Friday, August 14, 2020

Emmy Predictions 2020 - Who Will and Should Win for Directing in a Limited Series or Movie?

The nominations have been announced for The 72nd 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. Stephen Williams for HBO's Watchmen - "This Extraordinary Being"
  2. Nicole Kassell for HBO's Watchmen - "It's Summer and We're Running Out of Ice"
  3. Steph Green for HBO's Watchmen - "Little Fear of Lightning"
  4. Lynn Shelton for Hulu's Little Fires Everywhere - "Find a Way"
  5. Lenny Abrahamson for Hulu's Normal People - "Episode 5"
  6. Maria Schrader for Netflix's Unorthodox

HBO's Watchmen was an incredibly visceral and powerful viewing experience. It's deserving of all three nominations in this category. Sure, it's unfortunate that Netflix's Unbelievable couldn't have also been recognized here. It was wonderfully directed as well. However, Watchmen did such compelling, unique and different things in every episode of its season. It flourished with unexpected developments that were fundamentally centered around a collection of people struggling to move beyond the traumas of the past. It deconstructed the failings of the country while trying to remain aspirational. It addressed race in a searing way that forced the audience to challenge our own conceptions on the subject. Nicole Kassell set the template with a strong premiere. Steph Green knocked it out of the park with an hour focused on Tim Blake Nelson's character. However, Stephen Williams delivered the most powerful and emotional episode of the season. One that played around with its format in crazy and jarring ways. One that fundamentally told a story about the crimes committed against Black bodies and the anger that has fueled action across the generations. It was a tragedy of time and place. It had its hooks reaching out to the present day. It was tremendous. Again, a number of powerful moments were produced across all of the nominees in this category. But there is such a clear winner with the work Williams did in "This Extraordinary Being."

The Nominees Ranked by Which Will Win:
  1. Stephen Williams for HBO's Watchmen - "This Extraordinary Being"
  2. Lynn Shelton for Hulu's Little Fires Everywhere - "Find a Way"
  3. Nicole Kassell for HBO's Watchmen - "It's Summer and We're Running Out of Ice"
  4. Lenny Abrahamson for Hulu's Normal People - "Episode 5"
  5. Maria Schrader for Netflix's Unorthodox
  6. Steph Green for HBO's Watchmen - "Little Fear of Lightning"

Sometimes, Emmy voters are sentimental. Sometimes, they're not. Lynn Shelton unexpected passed away in May. She was a talented director whose work played around with various genres. Her voice will be missed in the conversation. She could win posthumously. That has happened in the past. However, it's less common than one might think. Little Fires Everywhere was a success. It too tackled a conversation about race and class. It started a discussion about motherhood that was vital to have in the industry. It was an important project that aired earlier this year. Great things can be said about the other nominees in this category as well. Unorthodox was a small project many people didn't know about before it was released. It blew up and landed multiple nominations. Normal People has inspired big reactions that run very hot or cold. The viewer either loves or hates what was done with that limited series. But again, the conversation ultimately has to come back to Watchmen. It was the most nominated series at the Emmys this year. It is going to pick up some awards. It has numerous opportunities here. Sure, that may cause vote splitting which will allow someone else to prevail. However, the Stephen Williams-helmed hour is easily the best that could rally immediate support for the voters who have seen it. Predicting this race could be obvious. However, surprises have happened in the past. 

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