tvDownload’s Emmy Predictions, Part 4: The Outstanding Drama and Comedy Debate

We debate the winners of Outstanding Comedy and Drama series, and whether or not they even make sense.

And your winner for Outstanding Everything: Transparent. (photo: Amazon)

In the week leading up to the 2015 Emmys, tvDownload’s Drew Grant and Vinnie Mancuso will discuss their predictions, hopes, dreams and fears. The only rule? There are no rules. Today’s discussion is the big categories: Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Comedy Series. We debate who will win, who will lose, and whether Hannibal should somehow win this year, next year, and every year. 

Read on for more! 

Outstanding Drama Series

Better Call Saul
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Mad Men

Drew: Dear HitFix,

I heard you. Hannibal didn’t make it in under the May 5th deadline to be nominated for this year’s Emmys.

/But I feel very, very deeply about a show–I’m talking about a Francis Dolarhyde-level deep, emotional feels. it might be the best hour-long drama the human race has ever been gifted. It seems ludicrous to talk around it when we’re discussing “Outstanding Television.” (The greats, in order: “HANNIBAL, Key & Peele, Dallas, Twilight Zone.”)


See I don’t think I’m here to really give you “predictions.” Like, just my speculated guessing, based on…my cool head and objectivity? No. Sorry. If you are reading us to pick winning nominees in your office betting pool, you are better off going to metadata sites that calculate this sort of thing, like GoldDerby, or RottenTomatoes. tvDownload has never agreed to the Emmys, or their habitually arbitrary rules. /fTheEmmys. So I choose Hannibal.

Also, even though I’m kind of TV clairvoyant, my abilities seem to be limited to “Guessing the plots of scripted shows* in the first act/pilot and then being annoyingly smug about my fan theories. (*As long as it’s not Mr. Robot.)

Last time I felt like I was watching a brand new type of medium built on the bones of old narratives, it was Transparent. So maybe I’m just swept up in the moment of the series finale of Bryan Fulluer’s nightmarish vision. But Transparent dovetailed with Golden Globes, so as viewers, we felt that the Amazon show had least been appreciated and acknowledged as perfect. The payoff for Hannibal is going to take FOREVER (well, at least until the Golden Globes). Because I am so YOLO but also because I have a goldfish memory, Hannibal will never get its due, because it’s NOT CURRENTLY BEING RECOGNIZED. Maybe when Golden Globes come out…but that’s happening literal months from now so who knows what will be awe-inspiring by then? I might be so deep into Fargo that I’ll have forgotten that “Bedelia DuMaurier”” is literally the second best name ever invented for TV. (It goes: “Fox Mulder, Bedelia DuMaurier”, and Si Wuttidid.”)

That being said: Mad Men, obviously, will win.

Vinnie: Let me, for one second, put aside the obvious. Mad Men IS going to win. No way the first season of a spin-off, a couple CGI dragons, Carrie Mathison and Doug Stamper‘s competition to see who has the scariest face, or fucking Downton Abbey are going to beat Mad Men’s final season. Mad Men’s win here is a duh-burger with a side of obvious fries.

Now let’s move on to Hannibal. Actually, wait, no…oh man I’m sorry…but let’s move on FROM Hannibal. Yes, I know it’s tough. That weird cannibal motherf*cker and the strangely beautiful and grotesque setting and cast Bryan Fuller surrounded him with was great. And it WILL win a ton of Emmys in 2016. Probably a bunch of acting and directing nods, eventually losing in Outstanding Drama to Mr. Robot (that’s right, I said it), or to SLEEPER HIT Rosewood on FOX (just kidding, Rosewood is terrible).

But you hit the nail right on the head when you asked “who knows what will be awe-inspiring by then?” That’s TV. Mad Men was fantastic for a while and everyone loved it, and now it’s probably going to get a shiny statue that says “Good Job.” The Wire is considered one of the greatest, if not THE greatest show of all time, and it won zero Emmys. Some shows win, some don’t. Some get cancelled before their time no matter how lush and strange and wonderfully dream-like they are, because TV executives are easily spooked. On and on it goes, buffering circle of life, and that is amazing. If aliens came to Earth and we told them “the one thing you need to know is, there are just too many great TV shows on right now,” they’d be so confused, because the internet connection is horrible in other galaxies and they don’t have Netflix OR Amazon, and would kill for something like Hannibal that is so cool that people are up in arms that it should win an Emmy this year, even though that would break the actual rules of the Emmys themselves.

Hugh Dancy is going to Hulu. Gillian Anderson is busy with the revival of possibly the best sci-fi show of all time. Bryan Fuller is adapting Neil Gaiman. Mads Mikkelsen might go battle Benedict Cumberbatch dressed as a magician, which isn’t TV but is still awesome. All of these things are awesome! And they will be what we talk about long after these Emmys are over, right through the 2016 presentation, and up until a time where the only reason we bring up Hannibal is for funny GIFS or listicles headlined “Cancelled Too Soon :(”

Outstanding Comedy Series

Modern Family
Parks and Recreation
Silicon Valley
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Drew: I’m sad I’ve spent this whole time resisting Transparent. It should win. My stupid goldfish memory though! I keep want to argue why it’s not fair to place Transparent in comedy, as if it being nominated at all — let alone for categories which it will sweep — is the worst thing to ever happen.  Wasn’t I just complaining that we should stop categorizing these shows with categories? Well, the first step to that is to have programming-fluid titles like Transparent and OITNB transcend their normative little boxes. Sure, it’s all based on episode-length, but we can agree Transparent IS funny, right? And OITNB IS very dramatic? So why not.

Vinnie, have you started watching Hannibal yet? If not, I envy your experience of watching it for the first time. But one day soon, I need to be able to read every thought you had while binging the last season. You can email them to me, but if I don’t get it by ComicCon, I get to pick your costume.

Vinnie: See that’s my biggest problem with the Emmys (not the only one, but the biggest), that it has fully transformed from any semblance of an award show into one, prolonged argument. I’m waiting for the ceremony itself to turn into the brawl scene from Blazing Saddles. This, for the most part, is on the Emmys themselves of course. But it’s also on how far TV has come, and just how smart viewers are now. Really, the only result of Transparent winning this category should be that the world gets legitimately a little brighter for like, two or three hours, and my faith in humanity grows just a little bit more. But I, like you, like everyone, just cannot help pointing out that Transparent could also be a Drama. Fuck it, we could just have a category called Outstanding Transparent, which Transparent would win, and at least one person would raise their hand and be like “well what about Veep, though?”

It sucks that shows like Parks and Recreation often get buried in all this (I know you’re not a huge fan, Drew, but stick with me). In the middle of all these comedies that are also heavy as hell, or can lean on the lack of censorship afforded on HBO, or are part of the demon blood-contract that mandates Modern Family wins every year, Parks and Rec just was. And it got by on on being pleasant as hell, and hilarious, well-written and well-performed, and the only argument it ever garnered was that maybe it should at least be nominated? Just on the basis of making me incredibly happy and NOTHING ELSE for 22 minutes a week (or 1000, for the seasons I Netflix’d), I pick Parks and Rec.

As for your question about watching Hannibal — I’m halfway through the second season, but taking a break. It may or may not be because I fell asleep watching it on a plane, and I already HATE flying, and when you get woken up by turbulence and the first thing you see is Mads Mikkelsen’s face staring at you, you kind of assume the plane already went down, and it is horrifying.

Outstanding Reality Competition Series

The Voice
Top Chef
Dancing With the Stars
The Amazing Race
So You Think You Can Dance
Project Runway

Drew: None of these are Shark Tank??? DISMISSED, SIR!

Instead, here are how my personal Emmys will be going down: Hannibal would go against Transparent, Mad Men, Game of Thrones for Best Drama. And it would win. Orange is the New Black would be competing with Key and Peele, Schumer and Veep for Best Comedy, and it would win. One category is just Colbert, The Daily Show and Last Week Tonight, and we’d give it a spiffy name, like “Variety: Talking: Fake News: Direct Daily Show Connection.”

Let’s just for fun put Bojack Horseman in the Outstanding Animated series by itself (and maybe Rick and Morty?)

Olive Kitteridge will hopefully win over True Detective Season 2: Freak Show. I haven’t seen Olive Kitteridge yet, but it’s hard to imagine something with Bill Murray being as boring as those two snoozers this season.

Vinnie: Would you say those Emmys are your design? (I’m sorry. I still feel bad about saying we should move on from Hannibal).

If I actually had to pick one of these reality competitions, I’d go with The Amazing Race, because it’s funny when all The Amazing Race producers are on stage and you realize everyone that made The Amazing Race would die 20 minutes into The Amazing Race. This is where my mind wanders roughly two and three-quarters into the Emmys, which OH MY GOD are actually this Sunday. I’m not ready, Drew. I’m simply just not.

Join us here on on Sunday, September 20th at 8 PM for our Emmys 2015 LiveBlog, in which Drew and Vinnie slowly lose their minds over the course of three hours and many Andy Samberg jokes. 

tvDownload’s Emmy Predictions, Part 4: The Outstanding Drama and Comedy Debate