Monday, August 19, 2019

Emmy Predictions 2019 - Who Will and Should Win for Writing in a Limited Series?

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 Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special.

The Nominees Ranked By Which Should Win:
  1. Ava DuVernay & Michael Starrbury for Netflix's When They See Us - "Part Four"
  2. Russell T Davies for Amazon's A Very English Scandal
  3. Joel Fields & Steven Levenson for FX's Fosse/Verdon - "Providence"
  4. Craig Mazin for HBO's Chernobyl
  5. Brett Johnson & Michael Tolkin for Showtime's Escape at Dannemora - "Part 7"
  6. Brett Johnson, Michael Tolkin & Jerry Stahl for Showtime's Escape at Dannemora - "Part 6"

Some of these limited series crafted stunning episodes of television. Others were collectively great across their runs. Some managed to do both. When They See Us was stunning from start to finish. And yet, it's easy to declare the final episode as the most effective and moving simply because it condenses the narrative down to one story before moving into the final conversation about how this case affected so many lives. Similarly, the Fosse/Verdon finale brought everything to a close for the lives of its central stars while reflecting on the vastly important legacies both of them left behind for their family and the overall world. Meanwhile, Russell T Davies once again shined with his unique ability to craft stories that are inherently dramatic while also blending a ton of competing tones but somehow make it all work. It's such specific and unique work that really adds so much character to the action onscreen. That was some of the most notable writing of the past year. But Chernobyl and Escape at Dannemora were great overall as well. They told compelling longterm stories. Sure, Escape at Dannemora is nominated twice for unique episodes. But those are the hours that play off of each other in vastly compelling ways to bookend the specific stories of the tragic individuals involved in this elaborate prison break. 

The Nominees Ranked by Which Will Win:
  1. Ava DuVernay & Michael Starrbury for Netflix's When They See Us - "Part Four"
  2. Craig Mazin for HBO's Chernobyl
  3. Brett Johnson & Michael Tolkin for Showtime's Escape at Dannemora - "Part 7"
  4. Joel Fields & Steven Levenson for FX's Fosse/Verdon - "Providence"
  5. Russell T Davies for Amazon's A Very English Scandal
  6. Brett Johnson, Michael Tolkin & Jerry Stahl for Showtime's Escape at Dannemora - "Part 6"

How many Emmys is When They See Us going to win? There is certainly the possibility that it wins for writing and directed as well as best limited series. It has the broad support that allows it to be a serious contender across the board. It's surprisingly unpredictable though. Ava DuVernay feels like a slightly stronger contender as a director. She should still be seen as a strong force in this race. But this could also be the category that allows one of the other great limited series to be showcased. Chernobyl and Escape at Dannemora gained broad support from the voters as well. Escape at Dannemora is even nominated twice in this category. Sure, it may be difficult for the voters to rally around one of the specific episodes. Both are solid but one doesn't inherently stand out above the other. That may make it difficult to become the winner. But Craig Mazin would also be a very deserving winner simply for the level of detail and research that went into his scripts all while making the story of the Chernobyl disaster compelling and intense for the audience. That takes a great deal of skill. He may actually be the spoiler in this race. The upset that more people should be predicting. As in many of the limited series categories though, it's hard to see any of the nominees as more or less deserving than the other. It would be terrific to see Russell T Davies or the Fosse/Verdon guys up on the stage accepting the award. That would be understandable and valid as well. As such, this is one of the harder races to predict the final outcome.

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