Welcome to Emmy Experts Typing, a weekly column in which Gold Derby editors and experts Joyce Eng and Christopher Rosen discuss the Emmy race – via Slack, of course. This week, we take a look at what appears to be a battle between two women for Best Limited Series/TV Movie Actress.
Christopher Rosen: Hello Joyce! It’s the last Friday of July, which means we’re getting closer and closer to voting for the Emmys, and then the Emmys themselves. That is, we are in a period of pre-Crisis time scarcity, where the Phase 2 campaign is going full steam ahead. This week we talked about drama, but now we’re tapping into the limited series categories, and while “The White Lotus” seems all but guaranteed to win in the supporting categories (after all, the show has eight nominations for its cast ), I wanted to watch the Best Actress race. Our chances have Amanda Seyfried comfortably ahead for “The Dropout” and she’s been the pick we’ve been waiting for for months. But I can’t help but feel that she’s been overwhelmed by Lily James. The ‘Pam & Tommy’ star – who just did an interview with us as she pushes for the upset win – not only pulled off one of the biggest transformations of the year to play Pamela Anderson, but his show also outperformed with 10 nominations, including one for Best Limited Series. “The Dropout” has one too, but with only six nominations to its name and two in the directing category. All of this makes me wonder, why isn’t this race closer? What will it take for people to push James to the top of their predictions?
joyceeng: Hilarious you say that because it’s ostensibly the closest of the four limited action races. Their respective show’s nomination totals aren’t really relevant here since only the actors vote for the acting categories (plus, “The Dropout” got into writing and directing while “Pam & Tommy”, who was always going to have more craft support, didn’t hit either). But what’s relevant is that the acting branch is there for “Pam & Tommy” since it’s scored three names and Seyfried is the only acting candidate for “The Dropout.” Thesps likely took “Pam & Tommy” to a serial nomination. It’s a strong argument for a James win on top of his actual performance and conversion angle. I still have Seyfried slightly ahead for now because “The Dropout” and her campaign has always been about her and her performance, and I think she can pull it off. Maybe you can even say that the hyper-targeted campaign is the reason why Naveen Andrews didn’t make it even though he’s almost co-lead and has many major scenes opposite Seyfried. Compare that to James and Sebastian Stanwho were constantly on the trail in phase 1. My top three are the women who are nominated in a limited series, which means Julia Garnier, the one who invented Anna herself, is in third place. I’m not predicting it, but I can see a scenario where no one is really passionate about any of these performances or Seyfried and James split the vote, and Garner takes it. She’s a two-time winner and two-time nominee this year, “Inventing Anna” is for sure the most-watched show from this bunch, and while her performance is divisive, I can imagine her fans and enough of the occasional check because they remembered watching this. Can you see her being the Emmys VIP?
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Christopher Rosen:A quick “I disagree full stop gif” here for the idea that nomination totals are irrelevant: I think the perception of a show’s strength absolutely matters, no matter who votes where. “The Dropout” was disappointing and no one wants to pick a show that’s considered to be on the decline (which is why none of us even mentioned Margaret Qualley for “Maid,” even though she was an early favorite here before the nominations were even released). As for Garner – let me say: I can see it! You could argue that none of these nominees are even as strong as the fifth competitor in last year’s race (presumably Cynthia Erivo for “Genius: Aretha” or Elizabeth Olsen for “WandaVision”, both of whom could probably win if they faced this group). So with that kind of parity among the nominees, I think the visibility factor is high. Everyone has watched “Inventing Anna” and most people really like Julia Garner. I won’t pick her to win here – I’ve always won Best Dramatic Supporting Actress for “Ozark” – but why not? We haven’t talked much about the Best Limited Series Actor race until now and that’s probably because we have Michael Keaton win in a landslide. Looks like he’s one of the few locks of the season. But can you make the case for another nominee – or is the best Batman unbeatable?
joyceeng: I know you don’t know the math, but the difference between 10 and six isn’t that big! That’s closer than the difference between 20 (the “White Lotus”) and 14 (“Dopesick’s”). You say no one wants to pick a stalling show, but that reasoning might apply more to a race in series. If the ostensibly strongest show or the show with the most names or the most sustained buzz matters so much, we would have a lot of different acting winners. The actors showed that they choose, for the most, what they liked the most, if not Catherine Hahn, who never faltered for nine months, would have won. Don’t get me wrong – ‘The Dropout’ is in a weird place, but it still has the all-important name of the show, which, may I remind you, we weren’t entirely convinced it would pull off, so I looks like he was upset. The lack of a series name is why I have Qualley in fourth place because the only person who has won this category without a series name since limited series and TV movies were separated again in 2014 is Regina Kingthe Emmys Sally Field, for “Seven seconds”. As for Keaton, he should just make sure he’s out of the bathroom when his category is announced. It also feels like people want it for him (as they should – he’s grossly underrewarded) and that’s a big turnaround. But I have Stan second because he’s the only other person here in a nominated series. Remember the days when everyone (including us!) thought Andrew Garfield and Colin Firth would be Keaton’s biggest rivals? Good time.
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Christopher Rosen: I admit that my math skills are like Tim Curry in “Clue”, but I will die on this hill, even after the victory of Seyfried at the Emmy night. As for the other guys besides Keaton, were we that young? Stan would be a valid choice here, but I will remain a little sad Miles Teller didn’t participate in “The Offer” (never forget, no #sponcon), because if he was there, I’d probably have him second.
joyceeng: I’m absolutely shocked that you didn’t take this opportunity to mourn your boy Matthew Goodeit is also a snub. Who are you and what did you do to Chris? James definitely feels like the most likely ‘Pam & Tommy’ trio to triumph, given the state of their respective races, but as I’ve said before, I’m glad Stan finally received the nomination that he should have gotten for “Kings”. and “Political Animals” (no, not “Gossip Girl”, xoxo).
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