Game of Thrones has continued its dominance of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards this year by picking up 9 awards, 5 more than the next biggest winning shows- the limited series The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, the live stage show Grease: Live, and the documentary series Making a Murderer, which all won 4 awards apiece. This bodes well for the show to go onto win its second consecutive Outstanding Drama Series trophy on Sunday, where it is also nominated in 4 other categories, and if it were to win all five, it would take over from the mini-series John Adams as the most awarded series in a single year. Among the show’s wins was Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series, an award that has an excellent track record in its correlation with the Series winner. In the Comedy casting category, Veep was triumphant, while in the Limited Series/TV Movie casting category, The People v. O.J. Simpson was victorious. Expect all 3 of those shows to be the big winners at Sunday’s Primetime Emmys.
While there wasn’t too many shocking wins in the Creative Arts Emmys this year (aside from Black Sails winning in Sound Editing over Game of Thrones, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend beating Veep and Silicon Valley to win Comedy Picture Editing), the same couldn’t be said for the Guest acting categories, which pulled off some jaw-dropping upsets. In fact, the only favourite going into the ceremony that ended up winning was Tina Fey and Amy Poehler for Saturday Night Live in Comedy Guest Actress, which was momentous for two reasons: 1) it was the first time there were joint winners for a single acting award in Emmy history, and 2) it was Amy Poehler’s first Emmy on what was her 18th nomination. However, the favourites weren’t so fortunate in the other guest categories. In Drama Guest Actor, Hank Azaria won his sixth Emmy, this time for his role on Ray Donovan (as predicted by yours truly), while in Drama Guest Actress, Margo Martindale managed to astonishingly win for her 65 words, and 1 minute and 32 second cameo on The Americans, a role for which she has won this category to years in a row, which managed to send shock-waves among Emmy lovers. I have a theory on why Martindale keeps winning, because I know it’s that Emmy voters are not watching the episode submissions. I think it’s because of Netflix’s BoJack Horseman, in which she brilliantly voices “Character Actress Margo Martindale”, which is released just as Emmy voting begins. Just a thought. To be honest, I’m just going to pretend that she won for BoJack, just to save the blushes of the far more deserving Laurie Metcalf and Ellen Burstyn.
Meanwhile, possibly the biggest shock I can remember from following the Emmys came in Comedy Guest Actor, where Peter Scolari somehow managed to win for his role on HBO’s Girls. And while it wasn’t shocking like Margo Martindale’s was shocking, because Scolari is pretty good on the show and in his submission, but it’s that he wasn’t even in the original set of nominees. It was only until Peter MacNicol was deemed ineligible for appearing in 5 of the 10 episodes of Veep (you have to appear in less than half of your show’s season to be eligible in Guest), that Scolari was drafted in, so was obviously in 7th place from the nomination stage. That naturally said to Emmy predictors that he was very much last place out of the six, and was given 100/1 odds accordingly. And what makes his win even crazier was that he was the only recognition for Girls in any category, so when he was announced as the new nominee, that came as a shock. Everyone thought that Larry David had this in the bag for Saturday Night Live, but I guess his votes got split with Tracy Morgan, who was nominated for the same show, and Scolari managed to sneak in after getting extra attention through the MacNicol debacle. This is a truly incredible victory, the likes of which only the Emmys can do, in the Guest acting categories at least.
So, where does this leave the race? Well, I think Game of Thrones, Veep, The People v. O.J. Simpson, and All the Way’s bids are still in tact and haven’t been harmed, so expect to see them win the top categories. As for the acting races, House of Cards may struggle more than we first thought, as none of it’s five guest actors could win, but I still think Kevin Spacey still is in with a shot as these results have shown that voters are gravitating towards respected, veteran actors, which may mean the shocks come in the Drama Supporting categories, where Peter Dinklage and Maggie Smith may take it ahead of the younger Kit Harington and Lena Headey, while in Comedy, Baskets’ Louie Anderson could upset Tony Hale in Supporting Actor, but I’m not betting on it. In summary, if you’re not sure, go with last year’s winners, but don’t be afraid to go out on a limb- the Creative Arts Emmys have shown that even nominees that you write off can end up victorious.