Schitt’s Creek, Watchmen, Succession Will Win

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Schitt’s Creek, Watchmen, Succession Will Win

That time of year has arrived again. A cool breeze is in the air. You might be wearing a scarf. Perhaps a hat. Gourds are aplenty. You know what season I’m talking about—awards. This September is going to look a bit different for the Emmys though because the ceremony will be held virtually, with Jimmy Kimmel hosting the night’s festivities and dispatching out to winners who will be accepting from home. And that’s a damn shame, too, because if the stars are lining up as correctly as we’re envisioning, the right people are going to win this year.

After last weekend’s Television Critics Association Awards, it seems that this year’s stalwarts are going to be Schitt’s Creek, Succession, and Watchmen. That’s all, surprisingly, deservedly so. Schitt’s Creek’s slow and steady rise to glory is perfectly timed to its earnest final season. Succession fills the hole of a sly, prestige cable drama, and Watchmen? Well, Watchmen was the best damn television of the crop. But what do all the major award predictions look like before Sunday’s telecast. It’s so on the nose that we’ve included a third category, which is essentially, “who would have won if the winner weren’t around.” Here’s to you, Moira Rose. You and the girls have earned it.

Drama Series

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Better Call SaulThe CrownThe Handmaid’s TaleKilling EveThe MandalorianOzarkStranger ThingsSuccession

Who Will Win: SuccessionWho Should Win: SuccessionWho Could Have Won in Another Life: The Mandalorian

At the risk of offending Better Call Saul fans and (gestures to all of England), there’s really only one option here. In terms of writing and dry, dark wit, Succession stands out from the rest of the pack. The expanded field this year actually makes drama series feel a bit bloated. Stranger Things? The grotesque torture porn from The Handmaid’s Tale? Unless the sweet forces of Baby Yoda/The Child prevail, there’s no room for anyone but Succession here.

Drama Actor

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Jason Bateman, OzarkSterling K. Brown, This Is UsSteve Carell, The Morning ShowBrian Cox, SuccessionBilly Porter, PoseJeremy Strong, Succession

Who Will Win: Brian CoxWho Should Win: Brian CoxWho Could Have Won in Another Life: Jason Bateman

This category is much tighter, but unless someone really surprises and flips the script, the Emmy is Brian Cox’s award to win. Just to be controversial, a Jason Bateman win would be an exciting twist for Ozark, but it’s deeply unlikely. Logan Roy gets what Logan Roy wants.

Drama Actress

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Jennifer Aniston, The Morning ShowOlivia Colman, The CrownJodie Comer, Killing EveLaura Linney, OzarkSandra Oh, Killing EveZendaya, Euphoria

Who Will Win: Jennifer AnistonWho Should Win: ZendayaWho Could Have Won in Another Life: Sandra Oh

The Emmys have been waiting on Jennifer Aniston to have something major to celebrate for a while. The one concern here is that The Morning Show came out so long ago that it might not be fresh in viewers’ minds. In that case, Laura Linney’s turn on Ozark has the makings for dark horse fodder. Ditto for Olivia Colman. But the real sleeper here is Zendaya’s nomination for her incredible work on Euphoria. Don’t discount the power of a former Disney star. Also, just a reminder that somehow Sandra Oh has never won an Emmy.

Comedy Series

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Curb Your EnthusiasmDead to MeThe Good PlaceInsecureThe Kominsky MethodThe Marvelous Mrs. MaiselSchitt’s CreekWhat We Do in the Shadows

Who Will Win: Schitt’s CreekWho Should Win: Schitt’s CreekWho Could Have Won in Another Life: The Good Place

This, unlike the drama predecessor, is rife with great options. When The Kominsky Method and Marvelous Mrs. Maisel are your throw aways, you’re in heavyweight territory. And as much as it’d be nice to see The Good Place or Insecure nab the trophy, this is Schitt’s Creek’s year. On top of a stellar final season, this series award is well overdue: a best in show award, if there ever were one. While the rest of this list is packed with great narratives and performances, no one got it right quite like Dan and Eugene Levy’s feel-good comedy.

Comedy Actor

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Anthony Anderson, BlackishDon Cheadle, Black MondayTed Danson, The Good PlaceMichael Douglas, The Kominsky MethodEugene Levy, Schitt’s CreekRamy Youssef, Ramy

Who Will Win: Eugene LevyWho Should Win: Eugene LevyWho Could Have Won in Another Life: Ted Danson

Eugene Levy is a deserving winner, and should he win on Sunday, there’s no reason to not celebrate. It’s a bit of a bummer that he faces off against Ted Danson, who has given a stand up performance on The Good Place as well. The pack also has a quiet threat from Ramy Youssef as well, but it really should come down to Levy at the end.

Comedy Actress

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Christina Applegate, Dead to MeRachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. MaiselLinda Cardellini, Dead to MeCatherine O’Hara, Schitt’s CreekIssa Rae, InsecureTracee Ellis Ross, Blackish

Who Will Win: Catherine O’HaraWho Should Win: Catherine O’HaraWho Could Have Won in Another Life: Moira Rose for Sunset Bay

This award goes to bébé. There is no other option.

Limited Series

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Little Fires EverywhereMrs. AmericaUnbelievableUnorthodoxWatchmen

Who Will Win: WatchmenWho Should Win: WatchmenWho Could Have Won in Another Life: Unbelievable

To continue the trend of series that will (and deserve to) win, how can you not give this to Watchmen? It was some of, if not the most, affecting television to come out this year, and in this crop, it’s hard to find a competitor. Unbelievable was powerful and deserves so much more than it will get, but an A just isn’t an A+. Ditto for Unorthodox. Little Fires Everywhere… well, it happened. And Mrs. America dripped with self-importance. This is Watchmen’s year.

Limited Series/Movie Actor

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Jeremy Irons, WatchmenHugh Jackman, Bad EducationPaul Mescal, Normal PeopleJeremy Pope, HollywoodMark Ruffalo, I Know This Much is True

Who Will Win: Hugh JackmanWho Should Win: Mark RuffaloWho Could Have Won in Another Life: Paul Mescal

We have a race! A real race! This is a three man battle between the charm of Paul Mescal, the incredible dual performance of Mark Ruffalo, and the sheer star power of Hugh Jackman. The Academy loves a charismatic film star, which leaves Jackman and Ruffalo in the sights of the trophy. Mescal’s incredible performance in Normal People spells a bright future for him, but between Bad Education and the so-tragic-it’s-difficult-to-watch I Know This Much is True, we’re leaning in the direction that people dodged the feel bads of Ruffalo’s remarkable performance.

Limited Series/Movie Actress

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Cate Blanchett, Mrs. AmericaShira Haas, UnorthodoxRegina King, WatchmenOctavia Spencer, Self MadeKerry Washington, Little Fires Everywhere

Who Will Win: Regina KingWho Should Win: Regina KingWho Could Have Won in Another Life: Kerry Washington for her blunt, if not distracting, lip acting.

Back to this year’s refreshing trend: awarding stuff that should be awarded. If the TV gods get it right, this will be a sweep for Regina King, who poured her heart and soul into Watchmen. There’s a slight threat that the power of Cate Blanchett might unseat it, but not enough of one that we’re willing to give it air. Shoutout to Shira Haas for her incredible work in Unorthodox, but more than anything, major kudos to Kerry Washington and that acting bit she does where she moves her upper lip and snarls a bit to convey sadness, regret, disapproval, or anger. She did it on Scandal. She did it in Confirmation, and she kept the spirit alive in Little Fires Everywhere. Never change.

Justin Kirkland is a writer for Esquire, where he focuses on entertainment, television, and pop culture.

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