Emmys Preview, Part 2: The Rest

It’s Part 2 of our Emmy predictions, covering the Miniseries, Movie, Variety, and Reality categories. Fargo! The Normal Heart! Sherlock!

In case you missed Part 1, here’s a handy link to it.


Outstanding Miniseries
American Horror Story:  Coven
Bonnie & Clyde
The White Queen

Chase: This would be a whole lot more interesting if there was a True Detective-Fargo showdown, but Detective decided to submit as a drama series (plus a whole host of bizarre rules including the different designations for “Created By” and “Created for TV by” tags…). At least it makes this easy. Fargo.

David: Fargo, and it’s not remotely close. No production went so quickly from “Ugh, why is this necessary?” to “WOW, THIS IS FANTASTIC.” I would have even picked it over True Detective. Slam-dunk for the voters.

Rachel: Fargo — one of those times I’m totes cool with the weird Emmy categorizations.

Sean: Fargo is a foregone conclusion.  I just wish this season of American Horror Story had been half as creative or creepy as its last.  The new season was a tongue-in-cheek travesty.


Outstanding Television Movie
Killing Kennedy
Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight
The Normal Heart
Sherlock: His Last Vow
The Trip to Bountiful

Chase: Sherlock: His Last Vow cleaning up at the Creative Arts Emmys gives me a little pause, but this still seems like The Normal Heart.

David: I can’t conceive of a scenario in which The Normal Heart doesn’t take the big prize, even with Sherlock notching a few very surprising wins last week (beating Fargo for Cinematography and Score? I love Sherlock, but COME ON.)

Sean:  The emotional power of The Normal Heart will be impossible for voters to ignore.

Rachel: There are movies on television?! Sherlock: His Last Vow is the only one I watched…and being the Cumberbitch I am…


Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Helena Bonham Carter – Burton and Taylor
Minnie Driver – Return to Zero
Jessica Lange – American Horror Story: Coven
Sarah Paulson – American Horror Story: Coven
Cicely Tyson – The Trip to Bountiful
Kristen Wiig – The Spoils of Babylon

Chase: I’m not going to lie. I don’t have a clue on this one. Jessica Lange? AHS had its worst season by all accounts, but at least she’s won before.

David: Which is why I’m not picking her. I’m expecting the AHS gals to cancel each other out, clearing the way for Cicely Tyson. But as I haven’t seen any of the nominees, that’s just my reading of the tea leaves.

Rachel: Cicely Tyson? I literally picked a name out of an ice bucket. I watched AHS: Coven…but…yowza. What other people label as “acting” always boggles my mind.

Sean:  Jessica Lange remained impeccable in an otherwise atrocious season of television.  Cicely Tyson is a beloved legend.  The choice is simple.


Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Benedict Cumberbatch – Sherlock: His Last Vow
Chiwetel Ejiofor – Dancing on the Edge
Idris Elba – Luther
Martin Freeman – Fargo
Mark Ruffalo – The Normal Heart
Billy Bob Thornton – Fargo

David: Very, very tough category, so tough that I’d cheer for any of these six names if they were called. Cumberbatch has been magnificent on now three seasons of Sherlock, but he will continue to be an also-ran. His partner Martin Freeman gave arguably the single-best performance in a very difficult role. But it probably comes down to two: Mark Ruffalo, and Billy Bob Thornton, whose star wattage outshines Freeman’s.  His Lorne Malvo was the black hole that sucked everyone else into his orbit.

Chase: Talent galore. All of these men are excellent actors and deserve armloads of awards. Martin Freeman had the more transformative arc in Fargo, so I’ll go there, but Thornton would not be a shock. Honestly, none of these nominees would.

Rachel: Once again, I am a card carrying member of the Cumberbitches…but no, Martin Freeman gave an acting class week in and week out on Fargo — even over the tremendous talent that is Thornton. All of the men in this category are elite, and I cannot say I would be upset by any walking away with the trophy, but if you haven’t had the joy of experiencing Freeman’s Lester, do yourself a favor and get on it!

Sean:  I’m still kicking myself for missing Fargo, but I’m fully expecting one of those boys to take it.


Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Angela Bassett – American Horror Story: Coven
Kathy Bates – American Horror Story: Coven
Ellen Burstyn – Flowers in the Attic
Frances Conroy – American Horror Story: Coven
Julia Roberts – The Normal Heart
Allison Tolman – Fargo

David: Another glut of AHS nominees. Gadzooks. The winner should be Allison Tolman, who came out of nowhere to anchor Fargo without coming off like a Frances McDormand retread. But if anyone can beat her, it’s Julia Roberts, simply by being Julia Roberts.

Sean: Julia Roberts took this role to win an Emmy.  She will succeed.  It’s just that kind of role, regardless of merit.  (For the record she is fine, but the boys own the film and her angry schtick is something we’ve seen before).

Chase: Allison Tolman was excellent in Fargo, holding her own amid a cast of much bigger names. It almost seemed alien to have a police officer in 2014 who wasn’t corrupt or fighting deep streaks of darkness. Even playing just a Podunk town cop, Tolman still kept things very interesting.

Rachel: Allison Tolman should appear on every television set in the world daily. Too much hyperbole?


Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Matt Bomer – The Normal Heart
Martin Freeman – Sherlock: His Last Vow
Colin Hanks – Fargo
Joe Mantello – The Normal Heart
Alfred Molina – The Normal Heart
Jim Parsons – The Normal Heart

Chase: Crap. If your Emmy guiding principle is to go Fargo/Normal Heart when they’re available, then this is quite a pickle. Matt Bomer. He won this award at Critic’s Choice Awards, and he has the film’s top billing after Ruffalo.

David: From what I hear, even with Normal Heart taking four out of six nominees, Matt Bomer is the clear front-runner. That Martin Freeman will narrowly miss out on two awards is an unfortunate sidebar.

Sean: Matt Bomer is the front-runner and his performance is beautiful, but it’s also the obvious choice.  I’m actually predicting Jim Parsons to upset. He has a huge hit show nominated for several Emmys, and he is reprising the role he originated on stage.  He’ll be tough to pass up.

Rachel: Someone from The Normal Heart?


Writing for a Miniseries or Movie
American Horror Story: Coven – “Bitchcraft” – Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk
Fargo – “The Crocodile’s Dilemma” – Noah Hawley
Luther – Neil Cross
The Normal Heart – Larry Kramer
Sherlock: His Last Vow – Steven Moffat
Treme – “…To Miss New Orleans” – David Simon & Eric Overmyer

Chase: The Fargo premiere was excellent. Long before everything in that show had to have an accompanying parable, it was fresh and sharp in “The Crocodile’s Dilemma.”

David: Hoping for Fargo, planning for Normal Heart.

Rachel: Larry Kramer. I saw it with a live studio audience; not sure if it translated to television. I only ever keep HBO for Game of Thrones, so I missed it. Both Moffat and Hawley did superb work, however.

Sean: Larry Kramer will finally hold a major award in his hand for his work on a stage show whose recognition has come far too late.  The adaptation was pretty damn good to boot.


Directing for a Miniseries or Movie
American Horror Story – “Bitchcraft” – Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Fargo – “The Crocodile’s Dilemma” – Adam Bernstein
Fargo – “Buridan’s Ass” – Colin Bucksey
Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight – Stephen Frears
The Normal Heart – Ryan Murphy
Sherlock: His Last Vow – Nick Hurran

Chase: I’ll throw one out to Sherlock here. It cleaned up at the Creative Arts Emmys, so it should win something on the big stage. That doesn’t mean it’s here, but I feel the need to pick it somewhere in all of this. Nick Hurran gets my least confident Emmy prediction.

David: I would really love to agree with you. I want Sherlock to win something on Monday, but I have to default to Normal Heart one more time. Not because Ryan Murphy is universally beloved (he isn’t), but because Fargo has two separate episodes to split votes. “Buridan’s Ass” is the better episode (that whiteout!), but “Crocodile’s Dilemma” has the better shot.

Rachel: Does everyone in Hollywood still heart Ryan Murphy ‘s overly sappy television? I am assuming so here. (Please be Nick Hurran. Won’t be Nick Hurran.)

Sean:  Ryan Murphy‘s work on The Normal Heart is easily the best of his career.  It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea and his penchant for gaudy excess in every department doesn’t entirely go away in the film, but by god if there aren’t some devastatingly powerful sequences.  He will win and for once in his career he might actually deserve to.


Variety Series
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Real Time with Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Chase: I hope The Colbert Report enjoys their deserved win this year. Seems like this may quickly become Last Week Tonight’s award to lose.

David: Colbert Report, looking to repeat after its 2013 dethrone-ing of The Daily Show, already won the Creative Arts Emmy for Variety Writing. No reason to think it won’t complete the set. (Look out for Jimmy Fallon as a possible spoiler, however.) And yeah, next year John Oliver will begin his reign.

Rachel: Stephen Colbert for President!

Sean:  Oh, we are talking about these?  Um… I like Bill Maher


Reality-Competition Program
The Amazing Race
Dancing with the Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef
The Voice

David: Another upstart looking to repeat is The Voiceand it probably will. Astounding to think that The Amazing Race has won this bloody award nine times, while Project Runway and Survivor (which had a fantastic year but wasn’t even nominated) haven’t won at all. But I’d really love to see them acknowledge SYTYCD, which has been consistently great for so long. It had four out of five nominations for Best Choreography, for Pete’s sake.

Chase: It’s never a bad guess to go with The Amazing Race. So You Think You Can Dance with an outside shot.

Rachel: Abstaining as it is not real television and deserves no applause.

Sean:  Honestly, who cares?  Though I have a soft spot for The Amazing Race. Shhhhh… it’s a secret.


Tune in to the telecast Monday night on NBC!

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