Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Emmy Predictions 2019 - Which Program Will and Should Win for Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)?

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 Variety Special (Pre-Recorded).

The Nominees Ranked By Which Should Win:
  1. Netflix's Hannah Gadsby: Nanette
  2. Netflix's Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé
  3. Netflix's Springsteen on Broadway
  4. Netflix's Wanda Sykes: Not Normal
  5. CBS' Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live from Liverpool

It's so difficult to reinvent the stand-up special format. And yet, Hannah Gadsby did exactly that. Her Netflix special was so powerful because it provided thought-provoking conversations that had the chance to move audiences while still being amusing. It was a special viewing experience last summer that hasn't been replicated in the year since. Of course, there are a number of subversive nominees in the category this year as well. It's insightful to watch Beyoncé go deeper into her performances and the aspects of her life that she now reflects on with interest. It's also meaningful to watch as Bruce Springsteen leads his stage show through his life story. These programs are so personal and fascinating to watch. It proves that there are great things currently happening with the variety special format. They may only be allowed to happen on Netflix though. And yet, it should be appreciated that there is an outlet willing to produce these huge revelations. Even Wanda Sykes' special was strong and hilarious. It's more of what you expect from a stand-up special but the humor was as on point as ever. And finally, Carpool Karaoke is a format that got huge but the various producers are struggling to maintain its relevance in our culture. As such, it's hard to get all too excited about a new adventure with James Corden - even one featuring Paul McCartney.

The Nominees Ranked by Which Will Win:
  1. CBS' Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live from Liverpool
  2. Netflix's Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé
  3. Netflix's Springsteen on Broadway
  4. Netflix's Hannah Gadsby: Nanette
  5. Netflix's Wanda Sykes: Not Normal

Beyoncé is nominated for four Emmy Awards this year. That ties the total number of previous nominations she has received from these voters. She has never actually won though. That's astonishing. She may be an icon who deserves absolutely everything she gets. But her Lemonade special lost to Carpool Karaoke in 2016. As such, it may be easy to have that sinking feeling that history may repeat itself once more. The voters are clearly infatuated with James Corden. These specials won in 2016 and 2017. Dave Chappelle proved a year ago though that Corden isn't unbeatable. That may mean there is an opening for someone else to come in and win. That just means four Netflix specials will be competing amongst themselves. That too could create an opening for Carpool Karaoke where it seems like the outlier because it comes from CBS. The Netflix voting block may actually divide the votes so that none of their contenders win. Or it could be a reality in which these wildly different problems are judged together and fans of Beyonce have to go head-to-head with fans of Bruce Springsteen. Both are arguably great and delivered phenomenal specials. So did Hannah Gadsby and Wanda Sykes. That just may mean it's hard to tell who could possibly have the edge because it's so unclear if name recognition will ultimately amount to victory. Or maybe it'll be easy because if Springsteen wins he will become the latest performor to achieve EGOT status.

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