Friday, August 16, 2019

Emmy Predictions 2019 - Who Will and Should Win for Directing in a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special?

The nominations have been announced for The 71st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. So now, it's time to speculate on who will and should win in each major category. Next up for analysis is Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special.

The Nominees Ranked By Which Should Win:
  1. Ava DuVernay for Netflix's When They See Us
  2. Ben Stiller for Showtime's Escape at Dannemora
  3. Johan Renck for HBO's Chernobyl
  4. Stephen Frears for Amazon's A Very English Scandal
  5. Thomas Kail for FX's Fosse/Verdon - "Who's Got the Pain"
  6. Jessica Yu for FX's Fosse/Verdon - "Glory"

This is an insanely talented group of directors. This was such a strong year for limited series. There was so much innovation in the format. A huge chunk of that surely came from the directors behind the camera bringing great performances out of the actors and guiding the audience through such crucial stories. It was mesmerizing to see what Ava DuVernay accomplished with When They See Us. It's a provocative series that aspired to retake the narrative of five young men who were wrongfully convicted. Because of the work she did, their lives are their own once more. That's so empowering. So much had the potential of getting lost in this widespread look at the failings of the system. And yet, DuVernay kept everything grounded and coherent so that the audience could be right there understanding everything that happened to these five young men of color. The technical achievements that Ben Stiller and Johan Renck pulled off were stunning as well. Escape at Dannemora notably had a one-shot sequence that was simply baffling as to how Stiller pulled it off. Meanwhile, Chernobyl depicted such a grim world with massive mistakes and misfortunes happening but kept everything focused on the guiding principle that we need to learn from the past to avoid making the same mistakes in the future. Stephen Frears and Thomas Kail did amazing jobs creating such specific worlds as well. Again, this whole category is riddled with talent operating at the peak of their abilities. 

The Nominees Ranked by Which Will Win:
  1. Ava DuVernay for Netflix's When They See Us
  2. Johan Renck for HBO's Chernobyl
  3. Ben Stiller for Showtime's Escape at Dannemora
  4. Thomas Kail for FX's Fosse/Verdon - "Who's Got the Pain"
  5. Stephen Frears for Amazon's A Very English Scandal
  6. Jessica Yu for FX's Fosse/Verdon - "Glory"

As with many of the limited series categories this year, it's going to be hard to feel confident about any of the predictions. The voters may just ultimately go to When They See Us for everything simply because it has the dominance to compete in so many different categories. The total number of nominations it got suggests that the voters already see it as the most dominant limited series from the past year in television. That may make Ava DuVernay the clear frontrunner in this race because she had her hand in absolutely everything revolving around this production. But again, When They See Us was hardly the only show that made a significant impact on both audiences and Emmy voters. Chernobyl became a cultural phenomenon as well. That may have surprised some people. But it was a story that was really getting going during the voting period for the nominations. Recency bias could certainly help Fosse/Verdon as well because it's fresh in the minds of the voters over something like A Very English Scandal which aired well over a year ago. In fact, Fosse/Verdon may have an edge because it has two nominees in this category. It didn't have a single director for the entire season like the other nominees. Instead, it shared the glory between Thomas Kail and Jessica Yu. If one of them wins, the edge probably goes to Tony and Emmy winner Thomas Kail. But no one should be counting out anyone in this race. DuVernay may have the edge but Stiller would be a deserving winner as well. Everyone put their all into these series. The result was a year full of huge creative swings that paid off immensely well. The limited series races will once again be the source of much of the drama and intrigue during the live ceremony.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my predictions? Let me know in the comments below!