Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
DAVID: It should be Atlanta. In a Veep-less year, It will very likely be Atlanta. But because I’m always wary to believe voters will truly get it right, I’m going to hedge and suggest that the (extremely good!) Marvelous Mrs. Maisel could pull off what in hindsight would not be an upset. Some are putting Barry in the mix because of the HBO voting bloc, but it’s too dark and idiosyncratic. And WHY ISN’T THE GOOD PLACE HERE?
CHASE: I think this is basically a lock for Atlanta. It’s the show of the moment, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s actually the best show on TV either. I’ve seen every episode of Silicon Valley, and I enjoy the heck out of it, but why it’s here and The Good Place isn’t shows the disregard Emmy voters have for network programming.
SEAN: I don’t watch a lot of comedy shows, so for most of these I’m going off of pure gut feeling. That said, it would be silly to bet against Atlanta and Donald Glover’s newfound star power.
LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Pamela Adlon, Better Things
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Allison Janney, Mom
Issa Rae, Insecure
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie
DAVID: Rachel Brosnahan, going away. It’s hard to find a better union of actor and material — as the spitfire Midge Maisel, Brosnahan delivers every twisty bit of patter Amy Sherman-Palladino puts in front of her. Not only the most technically impressive performance on this list, but perhaps the most lovable. I’m also not sure how Janney and Tomlin keep getting rubber-stamped over Kristen Bell and Alison Brie.
CHASE: Agree completely on Brosnahan (and Bell & Brie for that matter). What’s most interesting to me is how desperately the Golden Globe Awards long to be trendsetters, and they successfully managed to award Atlanta and Brosnahan before the Emmys. I have a feeling it burns them that they’re playing catch-up, and I wonder if that presages some surprises throughout the night.
SEAN: Brosnahan has the buzz and the reviews to back it. Locked.
LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Ted Danson, The Good Place
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Donald Glover, Atlanta
Bill Hader, Barry
William H. Macy, Shameless
DAVID: The smart money is on Atlanta auteur Donald Glover. Not only is his series poised for a big night, Glover’s submitted episode was “Teddy Perkins,” one of the strangest and most committed performances of the year. But he’s not the only actor also nominated for writing and directing — that’s Bill Hader, who’s in nearly every scene of Barry and executes (sorry) an astonishing tonal highwire act. Either could win. My vote, however, would go to Ted Danson, a national treasure who is giving the greatest performance of his career in The Good Place and hasn’t won in 25 years.
CHASE: Remember those surprises I was just talking about? I think Emmy voters will be eager to get ahead of the curve and award Bill Hader’s work in Barry. Even better, they already gave this award to Donald Glover last year which frees them to look in another direction.
SEAN: Glover is coming off of another hot year. He wins.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Zazie Beetz, Atlanta
Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Aidy Bryant, Saturday Night Live
Betty Gilpin, GLOW
Leslie Jones, Saturday Night Live
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Laurie Metcalf, Roseanne
Megan Mullally, Will and Grace
DAVID: EIGHT nominees, and none of them are D’Arcy Carden or Sarah Goldberg? This is exhausting. There’s only one choice for me and that’s Betty Gilpin, who is mesmerizing every moment she’s on screen — HOWEVER, even though voters have already seen GLOW‘s second season where she had an even more prominent role, she’s nominated here only for the show’s first. Will voters be confused, or just choose to award her a year early? If so, it’s because the SNL ladies split the vote, and Roseanne’s flameout squandered Metcalf’s chance for a “We loved you in Lady Bird” award. The other possible outcome is Maisel pulling a one-two with Brosnahan and Alex Borstein, who’s great. Hmm. I’ll just pick Gilpin.
CHASE: Roseanne and Will and Grace. What is this, 1998? The sheer amount of nominees makes this exceedingly hard to predict, but I think the bloom is off the SNL ladies after Kate McKinnon’s streak of wins. Atlanta‘s second season wasn’t enough of a showcase for Zazie Beetz for me to think she’s winning which leaves me looking at Alex Borstein. I’d prefer Gilpin, but Borstein winning certainly wouldn’t be anything to get upset over. She’s very good.
SEAN: Betty Gilpin gives the best performance on GLOW. The second season is more prominent in voters minds which will only help this year. Unfortunately, it will probably cost her the Emmy next year. Don’t be surprised by a Kate McKinnon repeat though.
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Louie Anderson, Baskets
Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Brian Tyree Henry, Atlanta
Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live
Henry Winkler, Barry
DAVID: Alec Baldwin doesn’t even want to be here, and Trump’s reactionary Tweet wouldn’t be worth it. Marc Maron and Manny Jacinto should have been here. Burgess missed his best chance a few years ago; Anderson already won, and Baskets is as far out of the zeitgeist as you can get; Thompson’s award is just getting nominated for the first time. That leaves Brian Tyree Henry, who was really more of Atlanta’s lead this season and deserves a prize just for this GIF; Tony Shalhoub, who is delightful on Maisel, and Henry Winkler who, critically, has never won before in his fifty-year career. That’s the difference between him and Ted Danson, and it’s what will make the difference on Monday.
CHASE: Sorry, Fonzie. Brian Tyree Henry is giving the best performance on television right now, and I can’t pass that up for a Henry Winkler nostalgia award. Again, it’s a chance for Emmy to award someone who hasn’t won before, and it would be richly deserved.
SEAN: Considering Atlanta is so loved right now, Brian Tyree Henry is the logical choice.
DIRECTING IN A COMEDY SERIES
Mark Cendrowski, The Big Bang Theory: “The Bow Tie Asymmetry”
Donald Glover, Atlanta: “FUBU”
Bill Hader, Barry: “Chapter One: Make Your Mark”
Mike Judge, Silicon Valley: “Initial Coin Offering”
Hiro Murai, Atlanta: “Teddy Perkins”
Jesse Peretz, GLOW: “Pilot”
Amy Sherman-Palladino, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: “Pilot”
DAVID: I’m predicting that this is where the paths of Atlanta and Maisel finally diverge, with Hiro Murai landing the much-deserved prize for directing the best television episode of the year, “Teddy Perkins”…
CHASE: “FUBU” should not be here, and it’s only muddying the waters for an award that Atlanta deserves to win. We get it. Everyone loves Donald Glover. But Hiro Murai is the show’s true visual genius. “Teddy Perkins” an unimpeachable episode of television, and Glover stole the directing award from him last year.
SEAN: Gut feeling: Donald Glover. Emmy loves a repeat.
WRITING IN A COMEDY SERIES
Alec Berg, Silicon Valley: “Fifty-One Percent”
Alec Berg & Bill Hader, Barry: “Chapter One: Make Your Mark”
Donald Glover, Atlanta: “Alligator Man”
Sefani Robinson, Atlanta: “Barbershop”
Liz Sarnoff, Barry: “Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast and Keep Going”
Amy Sherman-Palladino, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: “Pilot”
DAVID: …And Sherman-Palladino wins for writing. Easy money. (Or is it? Maybe voters really, really love Barry? Nah.) Next!
CHASE: Sherman-Palladino makes all the sense in the world considering that her writing is her hallmark. That means we’ll probably be wrong, naturally.
SEAN: Sherman-Palladino seems like a safe bet.