Sunday, August 27, 2017

Emmy Predictions 2017 - Who Will Likely Win for Directing in a Comedy Series?

The nominations are in for The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The final round of voting is happening now. So, it's time to speculate on who is likely to win in each major category. Next up for analysis is Directing in a Comedy Series.

The Nominees:
  • Jamie Babbit for HBO's Silicon Valley - "Intellectual Property"
  • Donald Glover for FX's Atlanta - "B.A.N."
  • Mike Judge for HBO's Silicon Valley - "Server Error"
  • David Mandel for HBO's Veep - "Groundbreaking"
  • Morgan Sackett for HBO's Veep - "Blurb"
  • Dale Stern for HBO's Veep - "Justice"

On nomination morning, it was a surprise when the two-time reigning champion in this category - Jill Soloway for Amazon's Transparent - was snubbed. It was indicative of an overall downward trend for that show at the awards. It also means that there will be a new winner in this category for the first time in awhile. Veep has gotten three nominations in this category for the past two years. That's very impressive and seems practically impossible in this era where there are so many deserving candidates. Furthermore, Silicon Valley has two nominations in this category. So even though there are six nominees, they only cover three shows. Conventional wisdom would say that the show with the most nominations would ultimately emerge victorious. But that strategy runs into difficulties because the voters all have to get behind one of the episodes. That's a choice that may be daunting with the voters evenly split.

As such, that could create an opening for Donald Glover to win in this category. He has four individual nominations this year for Atlanta - as an actor, writer, director and producer. It would be a shocking development if he came home empty handed. It's very likely that he'll win at least one of these awards. He has strong chances in all of these races as well. If he wins all of them, it would be clear that Atlanta is the new awards darling for the Emmy voters. It still seems like an uphill challenge because he faces steep competition in each category. But the odds look good for him in this category. "B.A.N." was one of the most surprising, entertaining and distinctive episodes of the first season. In fact, it was one of the most memorable episodes of the year. I remember that episode more than the other nominees. So, that makes it seem likely that he'll emerge victorious.

But of course, one cannot simply discount Veep because it has proven to be an Emmy magnet over the last few years. It got three nominations for a reason. The voters love that show. Even in this divisive political era, it's more popular than ever before. That's remarkable. It still deserves its victories as well. It would be difficult to say that Veep didn't earn any of the awards it ultimately gets. Overall, I would say that "Blurb" and "Justice" were the funnier episodes. But "Groundbreaking" was directed by showrunner David Mandel. So, a case really could be made for any of them.

Of course, the true dark horse may actually be Mike Judge for Silicon Valley. He has been nominated in this category for every season the show has been on. That's consistency that is unrivaled in this category. The voters clearly love him enough to keep nominating him. But do they love him enough for him to win this year? It's definitely possible. Silicon Valley doesn't have a strong track record with actually winning in the major categories. But it can't easily be dismissed either. It's still getting a ton of buzz and acclaim four seasons in as well.

Should Win: Donald Glover
Will Win: Donald Glover
Dark Horse: Mike Judge