2021 Emmy Picks: Drama

With so many series facing extended production delays due to the pandemic, the window is open for a lot of series that probably wouldn’t have ever gotten their shot in a “normal” TV year. So let’s celebrate these underdogs.

DRAMA SERIES
Bridgerton (Netflix)
The Crown (Netflix)
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Lovecraft Country (HBO)
The Mandalorian (Disney+)
Perry Mason (HBO)
Pose (FX)
This Is Us (NBC)

Potential surprises:
The Alienist: Angel of Darkness (TNT) – new season qualified it as Drama Series; previous season nominated for Best Limited Series
The Boys (Prime) – never nominated
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Disney+) – new show
For All Mankind (AppleTV+) – never nominated
Yellowstone (Paramount) – never nominated

Ineligible: Better Call Saul, The Crown, Killing Eve, Ozark, Stranger Things, Succession

In my dreams: N/A

The skinny: The Crown might finally get its due, after being acclaimed and incredibly popular for its past three seasons. Finally winning for your best season to date will probably feel terrific.

DRAMA ACTOR
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Joseph Fiennes, The Handmaid’s Tale
Josh O’Connor, The Crown
Billy Porter, Pose
Matthew Rhys, Perry Mason
Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us

Potential surprises:
Kevin Costner, Yellowstone – never nominated for this show; 1 win for Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Anthony Mackie, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – new show
Regé-Jean Page, Bridgerton – new show
Jonathan Majors, Lovecraft Country – new show
Christopher Meloni, Law & Order: Organized Crime – new show; 1 nomination for this role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Pedro Pascal, The Mandalorian – never nominated
Sebastian Stan, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – new show

Ineligible: Jason Bateman, Steve Carell, Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong

In my dreams: Antony Starr, The Boys

The skinny: Really no telling here, with its two Black nominees both previous winners, and a few new faces. Rhys seems the front-runner, but I couldn’t exactly tell you why, other than he’s great.

DRAMA ACTRESS
Uzo Aduba, In Treatment
Olivia Colman, The Crown
Emma Corrin, The Crown
Mandy Moore, This Is Us
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale
Jurnee Smollett, Lovecraft Country

Potential surprises:
Phoebe Dynevor, Bridgerton – new show
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – 8 nominations (including 1 win)
Katherine Heigl, Firefly Lane – new show; 1 win for Supporting Actress
Queen Latifah, The Equalizer – new show; 2 nominations for Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Sarah Paulson, Ratched – new show; 1 win for Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Mj Rodriguez, Pose – never nominated

Ineligible: Jennifer Aniston, Olivia Colman, Jodie Comer, Laura Linney, Sandra Oh, Zendaya

In my dreams: Laura Donnelly, The Nevers

The skinny: It will be Colman vs. Corrin, with Moss returning after being bafflingly left off last year.

DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTOR
O-T Fagbenle, The Handmaid’s Tale
Giancarlo Esposito, The Mandalorian
John Lithgow, Perry Mason
Tobias Menzies, The Crown
Anthony Ramos, In Treatment
Chris Sullivan, This Is Us
Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid’s Tale
Michael K. Williams, Lovecraft Country

Potential surprises:
Jonathan Bailey, Bridgerton – new show
Asante Blackk, This Is Us – never nominated for this show; 1 nomination for Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Griffin Dunne, This Is Us – never nominated for this show; 1 nomination for Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
Justin Hartley, This Is Us – never nominated
John Benjamin Hickey, In Treatment – new show; 1 nomination for Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Joel Kinnaman, In Treatment – new show
Dylan McDermott, Law & Order: Organized Crime – new show; 1 nomination for Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, 1 nomination for Lead Actor
Max Minghella, The Handmaid’s Tale – never nominated
Stephen Root, Perry Mason – new show; 1 nomination for Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Wyatt Russell, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – new show

Ineligible: Nicholas Braun, Billy Crudup, Kieran Culkin, Mark Duplass, Giancarlo Esposito (for Better Call Saul), Matthew Macfadyen, Jeffrey Wright

In my dreams: Chris Chalk, Perry Mason

The skinny: An incredibly wide open category, and you should only count on previous winners (for different shows) John Lithgow and Bradley Whitford to make it.

DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Gillian Anderson, The Crown
Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale
Emerald Fennell, The Crown
Wunmi Mosaku, Lovecraft Country
Juliet Rylance, Perry Mason
Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid’s Tale
Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale

Potential surprises:
Marion Bailey, The Crown – never nominated
Madeline Brewer, The Handmaid’s Tale – never nominated
Jamie Chung, Lovecraft Country – new show
Nicola Coughlan, Bridgerton – new show
Erin Doherty, The Crown – never nominated
Aunjanue Ellis, Lovecraft Country – new show; 1 nomination for Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Dominique Jackson, Pose – never nominated
Tatiana Maslany, Perry Mason – new show; 1 win for Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Chrissy Metz, This Is Us – 1 nomination
Indya Moore, Pose – never nominated
Cynthia Nixon, Ratched – new show; 1 win for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Quintessa Swindell, In Treatment – new show
Lili Taylor, Perry Mason – new show; 1 nomination for Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Susan Kelechi Watson, This Is Us – never nominated

Ineligible: Laura Dern, Julia Garner, Thandiwe Newton, Fiona Shaw, Sarah Snook, Meryl Streep

In my dreams: Veronica Falcón, Perry Mason

The skinny: Just start engraving Gillian Anderson’s name on the award right now.

WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
The Boys
The Crown
The Handmaid’s Tale
Lovecraft Country
Perry Mason
Pose


Potential surprises:
Bridgerton – new show
Euphoria – never nominated

Ineligible: Better Call Saul, Ozark, Succession

In my dreams: N/A

The skinny: Peter Morgan is 0-for-3, but should finally get his due. Though wouldn’t it be wild if a show as irreverent as The Boys won?

DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
The Boys
The Crown
The Handmaid’s Tale
Lovecraft Country
The Mandalorian
Perry Mason


Potential surprises:
Bridgerton – new show
Euphoria – never nominated
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – new show
For All Mankind – never nominated
The Nevers – new show
Pose – never nominated
Raised by Wolves – new show

Ineligible: Homeland, The Morning Show, Ozark, Succession

In my dreams: N/A

The skinny: Lovecraft Country is certainly the most visually compelling show of the nominees, though don’t be surprised if the high-tech, high-octane thrills of The Mandalorian give Disney+ it’s first major victory.

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