Let’s (finally) talk about the Emmy nominations and make a bunch of really bad predictions

I started writing this when the Emmy nominations came out … let me check … TWO MONTHS AGO, but then my summer became messy and I had to travel a lot and the next thing you know this was no longer exactly “news” and I thought, “I’ll just save it for the week before the Emmys.” But then my late summer became even messier and I was suddenly driving across the country to Georgia where I got stuck by a hurricane and the next thing you know it’s the morning the Emmys are going to take place. Life comes at you fast and all that.

Anyway, here are my best guesses and thoughts on what is set to be a VERY WEIRD Emmys. Good luck to all the deserving nominees.


Outstanding Drama Series

The Boys


The Crown

The Mandalorian

Lovecraft Country


The Handmaid’s Tale

This Is Us

Who will win:

The safe money is on The Crown — it tied The Mandalorian for most Emmy nominations this year, and it’s unlikely they are going to give the most prestigious award of the night to a sci-fi show with a puppet. That said, Pose could pull off a surprise win here if the voters are feeling particularly sentimental.

And just a side note: I’m thrilled to see so many unconventional drama series in here — half of the dramas nominated are in the sci-fi/horror category, a delightful and welcome change that I hope lasts a while. The turn by the academy to take genre series more seriously started with Game of Thrones, and The Handmaid’s Tale, so it’s not exactly an unprecedented development. But for half of the nominees to be of a sci-fi flavor is remarkable, and I hope it doesn’t end when more conventional series return. I mean, who’da thunk that a show that featured a prehensile 10-foot-long dick would be nominated for TV’s biggest prize?

Who should win:

I have actually seen every show on this list, and honestly? The show I enjoyed the most, and the show that I think was the most important political show of our current moment? The Boys. I find The Crown incredibly boring; Bridgerton was fun, but pure froth; The Mandalorian does amazing things with a puppet but lacks heft; Lovecraft Country was good but uneven; Pose is a little too sanctimonious; The Handmaid’s Tale is brilliant but difficult to watch as it’s way too close to home (especially for Texas women); and This Is Us continues to be a very good tearjerker, but its moment has come and gone. Unlike The Handmaid’s Tale which is also  a cultural and political bellwether for the moment we are facing in this country, The Boys is not painful to watch — in fact, it’s just the opposite: a wicked and sly social commentary disguised as an entertaining romp. It won’t win, but if I had my druthers, it would.

Who was snubbed:

Perry Mason; Small Axe; For All Mankind; In Treatment

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Regé-Jean Page, Bridgerton

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

Billy Porter, Pose

Jonathan Majors, Lovecraft Country

Matthew Rhys, Perry Mason

Josh O’Connor, The Crown

Who will win:

Josh O’Connor if The Crown is having a big night. Otherwise, the emotional favorite is probably Billy Porter.

Who should win:

Of these men, my choice would have been Billy Porter, but I would have had a hard time choosing between him and Matthew Rhys.

Who was snubbed:

 Pedro Pascal for The Mandalorian; Anthony Starr for The Boys

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Emma Corrin, The Crown

Olivia Colman, The Crown

Uzo Aduba, In Treatment

Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale

Jurnee Smollett, Lovecraft Country

Mj Rodriguez, Pose

Who will win:

Emma Corrin is the obvious shoo-in for this category, but keep your eye on Mj Rodriguez, the first trans actress to be nominated in a lead Emmys category. There’s a chance voters might want to make history by giving her a win.

Who should win:

Jurnee Smollett was strong and fierce and vulnerable in Lovecraft Country, but I would also be very happy for Mj Rodriguez to win this — she carried Pose.

Who was snubbed:

Phoebe Dynevor for Bridgerton; Tatiana Maslany in Perry Mason

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Michael K. Williams, Lovecraft Country

Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid’s Tale

Max Minghella, The Handmaid’s Tale

O-T Fagbenle, The Handmaid’s Tale

John Lithgow, Perry Mason

Tobias Menzies, The Crown

Giancarlo Esposito, The Mandalorian

Chris Sullivan, This Is Us

Who will win:

This is a tough category with so many great performances, but my gut is saying The Handmaid’s Tales votes will split themselves, and that Tobias Menzies will walk away with the win. This is a dark and cynical thing to say, but Michael K. Williams died after the voting window closed, and is probably not going to win this by being a sentimental vote. DON’T LOOK AT ME THAT WAY, IT’S TRUE. 

Who should win:

John Lithgow was fantastic in Perry Mason, but again, any of these men are deserving.

Who was snubbed:

Nate Corddry in Perry Mason; Eric Lange in Perry Mason

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Gillian Anderson, The Crown

Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown

Emerald Fennell, The Crown

Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale

Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid’s Tale

Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale

Madeline Brewer, The Handmaid’s Tale

Aunjanue Ellis, Lovecraft Country

Who will win:

I mean, who knows. The nominations are dominated by two shows — both good shows with great roles for women — but do they split the vote, and this goes to Aunjanue Ellis? Probably not. Again, I think this will be a big night for The Crown, and if I had to guess who gets this, maybe Gillian Anderson? I have no idea.

Who should win:

I tend to think if Ann Dowd is nominated, Ann Dowd should win.

Who was snubbed:

Aya Cash in The Boys; Dominique Jackson in Pose; Gayle Rankin in Perry Mason; Lily Taylor in Perry Mason;

Outstanding Comedy Series


Cobra Kai


Emily in Paris


Ted Lasso

The Flight Attendant

The Kominsky Method

Who will win:

Ted Lasso. I mean, I could write more, I guess, but why? Ted Lasso was not just the best comedy of the year, it was the best show of the year, and it will win.

Who should win:

Ted Lasso

Who was snubbed:

A.P. Bio; Girls5Eva; Mr. Mayor; Shameless; The Conners

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish

Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method

William H. Macy, Shameless

Kenan Thompson, Kenan

Who will win:

Jason Sudeikis

Who should win:

Jason Sudeikis

Who was snubbed:

Glenn Howerton in A.P. Bio; Ted Danson in Mr. Mayor; William Zabka and Ralph Macchio in Cobra Kai

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Aidy Bryant, Shrill

Jean Smart, Hacks

Allison Janney, Mom

Kaley Cuoco, The Flight Attendant

Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish

Who will win:

Jean Smart

Who should win:

Jean Smart forever. (That said, Kaley Cuoco was a revelation in The Flight Attendant and I wouldn’t be mad at all.)

Who was snubbed:

Maya Erskine in Pen15; Anna Konkle in Pen15; Renée Elise Goldsberry in Girls5Eva; Sara Gilbert in The Conners

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Bowen Yang, Saturday Night Live

Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live

Brett Goldstein, Ted Lasso

Brendan Hunt, Ted Lasso

Nick Mohammed, Ted Lasso

Jeremy Swift, Ted Lasso

Paul Reiser, The Kominsky Method

Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Hacks

Who will win:

Again, this is rough because there are so many Ted Lasso nominations here, which is great! But it is going to split the vote. My gut feeling is that Brett Goldstein will get it, but keep an eye on Kenan Thompson — Saturday Night Live has won in this category seven times, and Thompson is definitely deserving, having carried that show on his back for years now.

Who should win:

Brett Goldstein.

Who was snubbed:

Jeremy Alan White in Shameless

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live

Cecily Strong, Saturday Night Live

Aidy Bryant, Saturday Night Live

Rosie Perez, The Flight Attendant

Hannah Einbinder, Hacks

Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso

Juno Temple, Ted Lasso

Who will win:

Juno Temple — but! again, don’t count the Saturday Night Live women out.

Who should win:

Actually, I’m going to go rogue here and say Rosie Perez for The Flight Attendant. She was truly heartbreaking in the role and gave her character such depth and dimension.

Who was snubbed:

Zosia Mamet in The Flight Attendant; Busy Philips in Girls5Eva;

Outstanding Limited Series

Mare of Easttown

I May Destroy You


The Queen’s Gambit

The Underground Railroad

Who will win:

Mare of Easttown, which was not just the best limited series of the year, it was the best drama of the year. That said, this is an amazing list of shows (and it’s not entirely clear that Mare will even end up being a limited series, as HBO is looking at renewing it for a second season. TV is really weird right now.) and I’d be genuinely happy to see any of these win. There’s a real argument to be made for each and every series here.

Who should win:

Mare, but if I had to choose a series that is definitely going to be a limited drama and not return for another season, I might actually choose WandaVision, which — until it became another Marvel product towards the final episodes — was not just a heartbreaking rumination on grief and trauma, but a brilliant BRILLIANT! love letter to the sitcom form. Just a wonderful little series (again, right up to the point when it suddenly remembered it was supposed to be a superhero series).

Who was snubbed:

The Good Lord Bird, end list.

And no, I did not forget The Undoing. Boo to that series.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Paul Bettany, WandaVision

Hugh Grant, The Undoing

Ewan McGregor, Halston

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton

Leslie Odom Jr., Hamilton

Who will win:

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Who should win:

Lin-Manuel deserves this. But I’m also genuinely torn between Paul Bettany and — this will surprise you, Hugh Grant. While I did not care for The Undoing, I have to admit, Grant gave a hell of a performance in an infuriating project.

Who was snubbed:

Ethan Hawke for The Good Lord Bird

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Kate Winslet, Mare of Easttown

Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You

Anya Taylor-Joy, The Queen’s Gambit

Elizabeth Olsen, WandaVision

Cynthia Erivo, Genius: Aretha

Who will win:

Kate Winslet

Who should win:

Again, I’m torn here, between Michaela Coel and Elizabeth Olsen. They both gave powerful, memorable performances in difficult roles.

Who was snubbed:

Thuso Mbedu in The Underground Railroad

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Jean Smart, Mare of Easttown

Julianne Nicholson, Mare of Easttown

Kathryn Hahn, WandaVision

Phillipa Soo, Hamilton

Renee Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton

Moses Ingram, The Queen’s Gambit

Who will win:

Kathryn Hahn stole the show in WandaVision. It’s equally likely Jean Smart, Julianne Nicholson or Renee Elise Goldsberry could win here, so this is a real nail-biter.

Who should win:

Kathryn Hahn

Who was snubbed:

Angourie Rice for Mare of Easttown, if only for mastering that accent; Isla Johnson in The Queen’s Gambit

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Daveed Diggs, Hamilton

Jonathan Groff, Hamilton

Anthony Ramos, Hamilton

Thomas Brodie-Sangster, The Queen’s Gambit

Evan Peters, Mare of Easttown

Paapa Essiedu, I May Destroy You

Who will win:

There’s a good chance Daveed Diggs could take this, and Jonathan Groff is literally the best thing in a wonderful Hamilton, but if there’s justice in the world, it would go to Evan Peters. I’ve been watching Evan Peters on American Horror Story for a decade now, and this says more about that dumb show than anything else, but I honestly had no idea he was this great an actor. 

Who should win:

Evan Peters

Who was snubbed:

Bill Camp for The Queen’s Gambit

Outstanding Television Movie

Uncle Frank

Sylvie’s Love


Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia

Dolly Parton’s Christmas on The Square

Who will win:

Wait, where’s Hamilton?

Who should win:

Hold up, they put Hamilton in Variety Specials?

Who was snubbed:

Why would they put Hamilton in Variety Specials, but nominate the actors and the director for Television Movie? HOW DOES THAT MAKE ANY SENSE?

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

A Black Lady Sketch Show

Saturday Night Live

Who will win:

Saturday Night Live

Who should win:

Saturday Night Live but Black Lady Sketch Show is really great and it would be a huge deal if it won.

Who was snubbed:

I genuinely can not think of another sketch show out there right now that would be eligible for this ceremony? (Shows have to have been broadcast between June 1, 2020, and May 31, 2021, so I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson, for instance, is not eligible.)

Outstanding Variety Talk Series


The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Jimmy Kimmel Live

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Who will win:

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Who should win:

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Who was snubbed:


Outstanding Competition Program

The Amazing Race

Nailed It!

RuPaul’s Drag Race

Top Chef

The Voice

Who will win:

RuPaul’s Drag Race

Who should win:

Top Chef but I’d be thrilled with Drag Race, too

Who was snubbed:

So many reality shows out there, so few actually good ones.

Again, good luck to all the very deserving nominees, and I’ll see you kittens on the other side.


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