Sunday, September 13, 2015

2015 Emmy Predictions: The Miniseries

And now we transition from the shows you watch religiously to the TV movies that you have heard of starring the people you know as movie stars.  Yes, it's the miniseries/TV movie categories, which frequently feature the likes of HBO and PBS, though it's worth noting that at least a couple of other channels have snuck in with their own brand of worthiness.  Let's start, shall we?

Best Miniseries

American Crime
American Horror Story: Freak Show
The Honorable Woman
Olive Kitteridge
Wolf Hall

The Lowdown: I think now that Ryan Murphy has admitted that the seasons are interconnected that it might be even more questionable whether or not American Horror Story should be considered legal here, but even so it won't be interrupting the clear winner here.  HBO may not have had what one would consider a stellar miniseries season this past year, but without much competition (and boy howdy is this season generally pretty weak for Mini/TV Movies) I don't think that will matter as Elizabeth Strout's critically-acclaimed novel will surely end up at the top of the mountain.
My Prediction: Oliver Kitteridge

Best TV Movie

Agatha Christie's Poirot: Curtain, Poirot's Last Case
Grace of Monaco
Hello Ladies: The Movie
Killing Jesus

The Lowdown: Really?  We really needed six in this category which managed to bring together Bill O'Reilly, a spinoff movie of a TV series no one watched, and a movie considered so bad that it couldn't get a theatrical release despite starring Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman?  I don't throw Poirot in there mostly because it's a swan song and I'm still bummed that David Suchet didn't score a "life achievement" sort of nomination in a pretty paltry season, but you know in a normal year it wouldn't have stood a prayer.  Either way, this is clearly between Bessie and Nightingale, and considering it had the higher-profile and Nightingale has an easy trophy to hand out as a consolation prize in acting, the blues singer is one of the simplest picks of the night.
My Prediction: Bessie

Best Actor in a Miniseries/TV Movie

Adrien Brody, Houdini
Ricky Gervais, Derek: The Final Chapter
Timothy Hutton, American Crime
Richard Jenkins, Olive Kitteridge
David Oyelowo, Nightingale
Mark Rylance, Wolf Hall

The Lowdown: I like to imagine the Emmys and the Oscars have a little bit of a rivalry, with the Oscars being the star older brother to the Emmys shy, under-performing sister (their cousin Tony is the guy whom everyone looks nervously around when Grandma Peabody says "I wish he'd find a nice girl").  As a result of this, I think that the Oscars clear snub of David Oyelowo and the backlash against them will only strengthen his hand in trying to take home a different trophy this year.  Richard Jenkins theoretically has a chance if Olive is a blowout, but I doubt it will come to that.
My Prediction: David Oyelowo

Best Actress in a Miniseries/TV Movie

Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Honorable Woman
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Queen Latifah, Bessie
Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge
Emma Thompson, Sweeney Todd at Lincoln Center

The Lowdown: An extremely prestigious affair, with all six women sporting Oscar nominations to go with their Emmy nods, though I suspect most of them don't have a prayer.  The best bets here are on Latifah, McDormand, and Lange (Gyllenhaal did win a surprise Golden Globe, and theoretically could score but I suspect not with the Emmys who aren't as likely to surprise on TV as the Globes).  McDormand has the most lauded program and doesn't have an Emmy (unlike Lange, who has three), and as a result I think that may be enough for her to seal-the-deal and get the Triple Crown, but don't entirely discount the other two women if you're being ballsy in your predictions.
My Prediction: Frances McDormand

Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries/TV Movie

Richard Cabral, American Crime
Damien Lewis, Wolf Hall
Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge
Denis O'Hare, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Michael Kenneth Williams, Bessie
Finn Wittrock, American Horror Story: Freak Show

The Lowdown: In a perfect world, this would be an easy win for Finn Wittrock, who created the most iconic performance of this bunch and had a "star is born" year in general (plus, the women on AHS always get all of the love).  However, the Emmys like their winners a bit sturdier than that, and Bill Murray hasn't won an Emmy award in 38 years.  He's also starring in the much buzzier miniseries, and doesn't have a costar to compete with (one has to assume that Denis O'Hare has Emmy fans considering he keeps getting nominated for these nothing roles).  As a result, expect Murray, if he shows up, to give a speech social media goes gaga over.
My Prediction: Bill Murray

Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries/TV Movie

Angela Bassett, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Zoe Kazan, Olive Kitteridge
Regina King, American Crime
Mo'Nique, Bessie
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Freak Show

The Lowdown: After four nominations a lot of people seem to think this is Sarah Paulson's year, and indeed she did have a truly showy spot this past season as a two-headed woman (which had to have gained notice from voters).  Her competition, though, isn't a bunch of slouches, particularly Regina King (who has been a TV trouper for years and just got her first Emmy citation) and Kathy Bates (who won last year and is gunning for a third-never discount the Emmys ability to add yet another trophy to a shelf).  Paulson's biggest threat, though, is Oscar winner Mo'Nique, who likely isn't campaigning too heartily (it's about the performance, not the politics), but is universally regarded as an acting titan after her bravura work in Precious.  Considering the struggles she's had to make movies since then, one wonders if the Academy's acting branch will stand tall with her.  She's the underdog, but not by much.
My Prediction: I'm going to go with a rare upset (I don't usually do that since awards shows have gotten considerably more predictable in the past five years) and predict Mo'Nique.

And there it is-who do you think is taking the trophy?  Whom are you cheering for?  Share in the comments!

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