Whether it’s the Oscars or the Grammys, all the major awards shows try to accomplish two very different things at the same time: recognize excellence and popular opinion. The former is a given, but the latter has more to do with what each awards body’s voting bloc considers to be “popular” at any given time. Hence why, thanks to a few absences and substitutions, Monday’s 70th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards telecast is going to be interesting. On the one hand, the Outstanding Comedy Series category is without last year’s winner “Veep,” which also won numerous times in previous years. As a result, returning contenders like “Atlanta” and newcomers like “Barry” stand a pretty good chance of taking the gold. On the other hand, the Outstanding Drama Series and its related categories were clearly dominated by “The Handmaid’s Tale” in 2017, and now that it’s back for another round, most would assume Hulu’s dystopian series would reign supreme again. Yet “Game of Thrones” is back this year with a record-breaking number of nominations, so who knows? Here’s our Emmy predictions 2018.
Emmy predictions 2018: Outstanding Comedy Series
Without past winners “Veep” and “Modern Family” in the mix, the 2018 nominees consist of “Atlanta,” “Barry,” “black-ish,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “GLOW,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Silicon Valley” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” With two wins from 2017 and another from this year’s non-televised awards program, however, Donald Glover’s “Atlanta” will most likely win the award. Bill Hader’s “Barry,” however, could sneak in at the last minute.
Emmy predictions 2018: Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Speaking of Glover, the actor, writer and producer also known as the rapper Childish Gambino took home last year’s lead actor Emmy. And considering just how much more he accomplished as Earn (and a few other characters) in season two, it’s a good bet that Glover will repeat the feat in 2018. Even so, much like the show category, Hader’s hilarious and dramatic work as a depressed hitman-turned-actor in “Barry” isn’t something to be ignored.
Emmy predictions 2018: Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
This year’s no-show by “Veep” also means that Julia Louis-Dreyfus isn’t a nominee. Instead, newcomers and veterans like Pamela Adlon from “Better Things” and Rachel Brosnahan from “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” are poised to win. Adlon has done great work on FX, but its prior attachment to Louis C.K. could prove distracting to voters. Brosnahan’s work in “Maisel” is more than deserving, but Allison Janney’s nominated performance in “Mom” will most likely win.
Emmy predictions 2018: Outstanding Drama Series
The 2018 nominees for drama series is likely occupying a lot of people’s minds for one very important reason: “Game of Thrones” is back. In addition to “The Americans,” “The Crown,” “Stranger Things,” “This Is Us,” “Westworld” and returning winner “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the HBO stalwart is back for another go. Even so, the previous winner will more than likely win the award, unless voters finally decide to recognize “The Americans” or “The Crown.”
Emmy predictions 2018: Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Sterling K. Brown won the lead actor award in 2017, and rightfully so, for his haunting work in NBC’s tearjerker “This Is Us.” He’s nominated again this year, and considering the fact that voters don’t always like change, he could very well win again. Yet with “The Americans” finally over at FX, chances are voters will also be more inclined to give the trophy to Matthew Rhys. Jason Bateman, Ed Harris, Milo Ventimiglia and Jeffrey Wright are also nominated.
Emmy predictions 2018: Lead Actress in a Drama Series
The previous two winners, Elisabeth Moss and Tatiana Maslany, are both nominated again for this year’s lead actress award. Yet with the former’s win last year for “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and the academy’s familiarity with her from “Mad Men,” chances are she’ll win again. However, considering the sheer amount of talk Sandra Oh’s mesmerizing performance in the thrilling “Killing Eve” generated, she very well may swing in for the win on Monday.