A preview of the 71st Emmys
By Craig Allan, Contributor
With the primetime television season upon us, if that even has any meaning in this streaming world, it’s time to look back at the year via the small screen with the 71st annual Emmy Awards. This year marks an end of an era for television. The awards will be taking place on the Fox Broadcasting network, which is beginning its new era separated from 21st Century Fox, the entertainment arm of the company since its inception (which could also be called a merge) in 1935. Along with this, the world of streaming is about to enter a new era, with Disney’s Disney+, Warner Bros’ HBO Max, and Apple’s AppleTV+ planning to enter the market within the next year. With all these new streaming services starting next year, this could be the only chance for underappreciated favourites like Schitt’s Creek, and Better Call Saul to nail down some awards love. Who will take home a statue on television’s biggest night?
Some awards seem in the bag for certain shows and people. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who has won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy for her role as Selina Meyer every year since the inception of Veep, is bound to win it again for her seventh season and final turn as the character if the historical trend should continue. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver should also take Outstanding Variety Talk Series after taking it for the last three years against mostly the same competition. Other shows like Barry and When They See Us could also see big wins if their nomination totals are any indication (Barry 17, When they See Us 16) but other categories though are not as easy to predict.
The big mystery is how the night will go for Game of Thrones. The show has been a dominant favourite at the awards in the past but after a rocky final season which saw backlash from critics and fans alike it may not be as easy for the show as it has been in years past. The show still received the most nominations of any other show with 32 so that fact could indicate that the Emmy voters are willing to look at the show as greater than the sum of its parts, but who knows what the future holds for the land of dragons and thrones.
The Emmy’s have a tradition of picking the same shows and performances to win the same awards year after year, but every once in a while a new show climbs on stage and claims an award. One of these shows could very well be Schitt’s Creek. Nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress for Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara respectively, and Outstanding Contemporary Costumes, the quirky Canadian show has developed a strong following in the US. This gives the show’s US network, Pop TV, its first Emmy nominations. With so much buzz around the show it’s possible it could ride the wave to the golden lady. In the Limited Series category Chernobyl, the story of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Meltdown, was a hit with critics and viewers. While it did fall under the radar, airing in the shadow of the Game of Thrones finale, the limited series found fans who lauded the show for its depiction of the event and showing how propaganda and misinformation can put people at risk.
With television set to change, and perennial favourites like Game of Thrones and Veep entering their swan song Emmy seasons, it’s fitting that the Emmys that will end the decade contain so many shows at the end of their run. Who will win when Sunday night rolls around? Only the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences knows, and we will all find out on September 22.