Now that the Creative Arts Emmys are behind us, all eyes are on this weekend’s big gala—and who might possibly clean up with gold statuettes on Sunday night. And if the pattern set this weekend holds true, Game of Thrones is looking poised for a big victory in its final season. In the acting categories, however, it might still struggle—despite a flood of nominees.
On Sunday HBO’s juggernaut took home 10 Creative Arts Emmys—for sound editing, special visual effects, fantasy/sci-fi costumes, main title design, and more. This seems like a strong indication that in its final season, Game of Thrones could rule the Emmys. This should come as no surprise, since the series broke its own nominations record, despite the backlash it faced in its final season. The show’s most significant win from this weekend might be single-camera picture editing for a drama series. As IndieWire points out, the winner of that category has gone on to win outstanding drama five times in the last seven years. The potential victory would not be its first in that category; Game of Thrones has already won that award three times—last year, in 2016, and in 2015.
The biggest question mark for Thrones going into this weekend remains the acting categories. The show has a huge number of nominees this year—including Sophie Turner, Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Gwendoline Christie, and many more. But historically these categories have been tough for Thrones; Dinklage, who has won for supporting actor three times during the show’s run, is the only acting winner the show has ever had. So although the series might very well have a great night on Sunday, its acting nominees still face an uphill battle.
HBO has another juggernaut contender in Veep, which has dominated the comedy category for years, but at the Creative Arts Emmys it was all about The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which brought home six awards for its second season—including guest actor and actress in a comedy series for Luke Kirby and Jane Lynch. Those wins, too, were significant; it’s the first time since 2015 that Saturday Night Live has lost out on both guest acting categories. Other comedy winners included Russian Doll, with three wins, and Barry and Fleabag with two apiece. (It’s also worth noting that Fleabag’s second season will be its last, so if the TV Academy wants to acknowledge Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s immaculate work in the bigger categories, now is the last chance.)
And then there’s one more contender that staged some surprise victories this weekend: The Handmaid’s Tale took home three wins, despite being ineligible for most categories due to its air date. A few “dangling episodes” allowed Hulu to submit its marquee drama series, although it’s worth noting that it will not make an appearance in any of the major acting categories on Sunday night. Over the weekend, however, it took home guest actor and guest actress, drama—for Bradley Whitford and Cherry Jones—as well as, [deep breath], outstanding production design for a narrative contemporary program (one hour or more). Going into Sunday, although it won’t be a player in the big acting categories, watch out for it categories including outstanding writing for a drama series and outstanding directing for a drama series. Blessed be the fruit.
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