Nerdy Girl Predicts: The 2019 Emmy Awards

62nd Primetime Emmy Awards - Audience

(Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

My relationship with the Emmys has always been a volatile one. It’s resulted in shoes thrown at the television (when Keri Russell didn’t win for The Americans last year) but also in tears of joy from my couch (when Matthew Rhys did win last year—and thanked Keri Russell in the cutest way possible). And so I continue to tune in year after year, ready for the emotional roller coaster that comes with caring way too much about whether or not your favorites go home with a shiny gold statue.

With some awards shows, I try to be objective with my predictions, but that never works with the Emmys. I care too much about the shows I love, and I can never separate my head from my heart. As such, my predictions might not be the best guide for your own Emmy pools or parties, but they offer a look into the shows and performances that captured my heart in the last year. And since my job and my life have gotten busier recently (yet again—can’t things ever slow down?!), I hope this will provide you all with a nice little snapshot of my thoughts on this past year of television since it’s been hard for me to write about my thoughts and (MANY) feelings as often as I’d like around these parts.

Without further ado, let’s make some predictions (and talk endlessly about our favorites)! I won’t cover every category—especially because in some categories (like TV Movie), I haven’t seen a single nominee. But I have a horse in most of the races this year, and I can’t wait to share my feelings with you about why I’ll be rooting for them on Sunday night. And if you want even more insight (and emotional, all-caps reactions), I’ll be live tweeting throughout the evening starting with the red carpet at 6 p.m. EST. Come for the analysis—stay for the rabid fangirling over how gorgeous the cast of Game of Thrones is sure to look.

Outstanding Drama Series
My Pick: Game of Thrones
My Thoughts: No matter what your opinion was concerning the final season of Game of Thrones (For the record: My opinion is a cross between a shrug of the shoulders and a fit of rage depending on what storyline we’re talking about), it was impossible to top the show in terms of its production value, cultural impact, and buzz. With a plethora of nominations and a reputation for Emmy glory (even for less than stellar seasons), I think this is one of the few safe bets of the night. And despite my misgivings about the final season as a whole, I think parts of it (namely, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”) were among the best things television gave us in the last year. I’m not sure a TV drama will ever again draw the kind of universal attention and discussion that Game of Thrones did, and I can’t see Emmy voters passing up one last chance to honor its cultural impact.

Outstanding Comedy Series
My Pick: Veep
My Thoughts: This is one category where I can separate my hopes from my sense of reality, and that’s because I’m going to console myself with the idea that The Good Place will have a better shot to win a “body of work” Emmy for its next—and last—season. This time, I think Veep is going to take home one last Emmy in a category stacked with brilliance. I wouldn’t mind any of the nominees winning—and I hope the love is spread around in the writing and directing categories—but I’ve heard nothing but praise for Veep’s final season (I’m still many seasons behind in my quest to watch all of it), so I think Emmy voters will want to send it out on a winning note.

Outstanding Limited Series
My Pick: When They See Us
My Thoughts: This is another powerhouse of a category, but nothing I watched on TV this year has stayed with me in a visceral way like When They See Us. The power of its performances, the clarity of its writing, the immersive and unflinching style of its direction—every part of it was operating at the highest level to produce something masterful. It’s a showcase of this particular medium at its very best, with each episode varying just enough in focus and tone to present a comprehensive look at the lives of human beings caught up in the horrors of the American criminal justice system. The humanity on display in this limited series was almost too painful to process at points, and that is exactly why it deserves this recognition.

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Game of Thrones Moment of the Week: “The Last of the Starks”

The Moment: Jaime Lannister Leaves Brienne of Tarth

Setting the Scene: After the consummation of Jaime and Brienne’s relationship and seemingly a period of happiness in Winterfell, Jaime hears that Cersei and Euron have done serious damage to Daenerys’s forces, which causes him to do some soul-searching.

Why It Matters: If you’ll notice, I changed the title of this section. “Why It’s Awesome” didn’t feel right for a scene that left my favorite character sobbing and my other favorite character riding off to what seems to be certain death with the most unclear motives in television history. Despite its inherently tragic (and possibly frustrating) nature, this scene deserved a closer look.

Let’s start with the obvious: None of us have any idea why Jaime really left the North—and the life he was building there with Brienne—to return South. We can make educated guesses, make up various theories, and even claim to use the actors’ performances, small pieces of what we think is foreshadowing, and potential spoilers to gain insight into Jaime’s mind in this moment. Is he leaving to kill Cersei because he knows he’s the only one who can get close enough? Is he leaving to die with her because he feels that’s the only way to fully atone for the sins he committed out of his love for her? Is he leaving to try to save her because he still loves her? Is he leaving because of the child Cersei is pregnant with? Does he plan to die in her arms as her soulmate? Did he always only love Cersei, or does he truly love Brienne now? Does he think he’s not worthy of Brienne? Is he trying to protect Brienne by pushing her away so she won’t follow him?

There are probably a thousand more ways to interpret this scene and what Jaime is going through during it, but we won’t know until the next episode airs, or the series finale, or maybe not even then. And for some people, that might be fine. Obscuring character motivations for the sake of preserving shock value is not a new trick on this show—it was my main complaint with last season’s Arya/Sansa storyline. But it’s not fine for me. I want to leave every scene of this final season feeling something—whatever that feeling may be—deeply. I prefer when the characters drive the plot, not the other way around. So Jaime’s lack of clear motivation—and the lack of relationship building between him and Brienne (in this episode rather than in the many seasons of gorgeous development we got before their love scene)—left me feeling confused more than anything else. By trying to hit two huge beats (the sex and the “breakup”) in one of the show’s most nuanced and beloved relationships all in the course of an episode, it just cemented my belief that this final season is more about moving characters into predetermined places as quickly as possible instead of creating a story whose final highs and lows feel earned.

With that being said, I don’t want to talk much about Jaime in this scene. I want to believe that the tears in his eyes gave away his true feelings (because how deeply unsatisfying would it be for him to actually go back to Cersei because he loves her after all this?), but my lack of faith in these writers when it comes to Jaime’s character arc is telling me that might have just been the result of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau once again bringing so much more depth to his character than the writers believe exists in Jaime.

And how could he not bring everything he had to this scene when he was met with his best scene partner giving what may have been her best performance yet?

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Game of Thrones Moment of the Week: “The Long Night”

The Moment: Arya Stark Kills the Night King

Setting the Scene: Just as all hope seems lost for the living in Winterfell and with the Night King seemingly about to draw his sword against Bran, Arya jumps out of the darkness and fulfills her destiny to close blue eyes forever.

Why It’s Awesome: I’ll be honest: I didn’t love “The Long Night.” Last week’s “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” is much more my style of storytelling and provided far more of what I want from Game of Thrones. However, this episode delivered when it counted, with a moment that had me leaping off my couch in shock and will forever be immortalized in reaction videos that bring tears to my eyes when I watch them.

This is what fandom is all about. It’s what entertainment is all about. It’s about these kinds of moments—ones that make us hold our breath and then explode with emotion, ones that make us want to talk to everyone we know about how it made us feel, and ones that bring us together in shared excitement.

Arya killing the Night King was unexpected in the moment. It seemed like it was Jon’s destiny—or maybe even Bran’s. And then, as the episode neared its end and the fates of all the main characters looked pretty grim, I actually started to worry if maybe the Night King would actually win. But that wasn’t the subversion the writers were going for. Instead, it was the subversion of our expectations of whose hero’s journey we’re actually on when it comes to this story. After Arya stabbed the Night King, I had the best kind of reaction imaginable to a piece of media—I immediately thought about going back and rewatching the entire show with this knowledge in mind, because I knew that I’d see everything differently now. This was a moment that changed not just the future of the show, but how I will now view its previous episodes, too. Because, in her own twisted way, Arya was on a hero’s journey. She had to travel far from home, encounter monsters of all kinds, let her old self die, survive hell, and return home with new knowledge that could be used to create a better future. It doesn’t get more quintessentially Joseph Campbell than that.

I love that Arya’s journey had a real purpose. I struggled for a long time with her story because it felt like a depressing tale of a haunted girl learning to become a soulless killer for revenge. And that kind of story is never interesting to me. But now it all makes sense. She had to become intimately familiar with death in order to kill its greatest agent and symbol. She had to know death to destroy death. All of her training led her to that moment of sticking death itself with the pointy end to defend her brother and her home. When you look at who Arya is and what she was fighting for, there was no better way for this part of the story to end. It managed to be both surprising and satisfying, which doesn’t happen very often on television.

I have no idea where this story is going to go now, but I’m ready to move on from the Night King and get back to the interpersonal, human dramas that have made this show so compelling from the pilot onward. And if this moment taught me anything, it’s that satisfying surprises are still lurking around every corner.

Honorable Mentions: Tyrion kissing Sansa’s hand, Bran telling Theon he’s a good man, Arya giving Sansa a dagger, and literally any of the approximately 800 times Jaime and Brienne saved each other

Game of Thrones Moment of the Week: “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”

The Moment: Brienne of Tarth Becomes a Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

Setting the Scene: When Tormund asks Brienne why she’s not a knight, Jaime is inspired to break tradition on what might be their last night alive.

Why It’s Awesome: “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” is all about the answer to one question: If you thought you only had one night left to live, how would you want to spend it? It’s one of the all-time great episodes of Game of Thrones because of how perfectly that question is answered for each character. Arya wants to spend it experiencing one last pleasurable human act that’s about life and not death. (Get it, girl!) Tyrion wants to spend it getting drunk. Sam wants to spend it with his new family. Sansa wants to spend it eating among her people with a man who makes her feel safe. At the end of the world, some people choose to forget, some people choose to pray, some people choose to sing.

And some people choose to hope.

For Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister, hope is not something that comes naturally—at least not anymore. They’re both masters of pushing down their deepest desires to the point that even they no longer believe they want those things anymore. Jaime has fooled most people into believing he doesn’t care if anyone respects him or sees him as honorable, and Brienne knows she’ll never be a knight—will never have that public acceptance of who she is—so why bother wanting it?

But when facing the end of the world, it was finally time for both of these characters to admit that those things mattered to them—and to find that when they finally looked out from behind their self-imposed walls, they were staring into the eyes of someone who wanted to give them exactly what they desired most.

The buildup to this moment was perfect—from Jaime jumping to his feet when Brienne entered the room (complete with Tyrion’s knowing eyebrow raise) to her downright adorable blush when Jaime asked her to stay. Gwendoline Christie played those early moments with an innocent sense of romantic anticipation—the kind of barely-restrained glee and fear a person feels when they realize the object of their affection might actually like them too. And then throw in Tormund and his hilariously misguided attempts to woo Brienne and it was like a Westeros romantic comedy, despite the impending sense of doom. I wasn’t sure what kind of payoff we were going to get, but I knew something was coming. I just had no idea how great it would be.

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TV Time: Fosse/Verdon 1.02

FosseVerdonEp2

Source: New York Times

Title: Who’s Got the Pain?

Worth a Second Look: The Use of the Rehearsal Studio
This episode used the rehearsal studio to show the way intimate spaces—and intimacy, by extension—can be alternately exciting and stifling. When you’re first falling in love with someone, the idea of being alone in a room with them is thrilling, but when things are going poorly, those same spaces that once sheltered a growing attraction can make you feel trapped with no way out.

Bob and Gwen met in a rehearsal studio, and that first meeting changed their lives—and the course of musical theater history. It was a meeting between two soul mates who didn’t take long to figure out that’s what they were; you could see it developing as soon as Gwen realized Bob was choreographing a striptease and as soon as Bob saw Gwen hit that burlesque pose. What started as two people trying to get the upper hand quickly morphed into a dynamic partnership all in the course of a few counts of 8. Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams brilliantly conveyed the initial tension dissolving as they discovered their shared experiences using the language they knew best: dance. With just one pose, Gwen opened the door to her burlesque past, and with one shake of his shoulders, Bob did the same. Alone in an isolated space, they couldn’t hide, but instead of being afraid of the vulnerability that comes with intimacy, they embraced it. They grew more comfortable—with Gwen adding bits of herself to the choreography—creating something together as partners minutes into their first meeting. And the way Rockwell and Williams played the excitement of two people finding a kindred spirit was electric. The moment after she finished the choreography and sprang up in front of him, breathless with exertion and joy, was magical. It was the most fun kind of foreplay—a perfectly matched pair riding the high of love at first dance.

The highs of that scene, though, were matched in brilliant execution by the lows of the moment Bob cornered Gwen in the small room off the main rehearsal studio after she discovered his wife was dying. The heat and playful passion of that first time alone together had faded to the point where Gwen seemed almost like a wounded animal in a cage with a predator. Just like before, they couldn’t hide from each other, but that wasn’t exciting anymore. The shift in tone was breathtaking and brilliant—with even the camera closing in tighter to emphasize the way intimacy can be claustrophobic at times.

The final scene with Bob and Gwen (essentially) alone in a rehearsal studio felt like a mixture of the previous two scenes. It lacked the overt sexual tension and playful energy of their first meeting but it also felt less stifling than Bob’s cornering of Gwen as she got ready to rehearse. Instead, it spoke to the lived-in intimacy of two people who are most at home with each other. As Bob spoke about art being about pain, the close-up on Gwen’s face said it all: She’d made her choice. Alone with Bob—away from everything and everyone else—it was impossible to ignore the singular understanding they had between them and the rarity of their partnership. And no matter how bad it got between them, things would continue to make sense when it was just them in a rehearsal space, away from the other influences and other women and focused on the magic that happened when they were left alone to dance.

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Game of Thrones Moment of the Week: “Winterfell”

Welcome, friends, to our final round of Game of Thrones analysis before our watch ends! If you’re new to these posts, each week I’ll break down a different moment that I loved in that week’s episode. However, the comments are open for you to talk about any and all aspects of the episode that you loved. There are always more moments I want to discuss, and I’m usually just looking for one magical commenter to give me an opening! I can’t wait to take one last journey through Westeros with all of you, so join in the fun whenever and however you can!

The Moment: Arya Reunites with Gendry

Setting the Scene: After Gendry arrives in Winterfell, Arya visits him to ask him to make her a new weapon.

Why It’s Awesome: “Winterfell” was an episode filled with reunions—Tyrion and Sansa, Jon and Bran, Jon and Sam—but many of the most emotional and compelling centered on Arya. As we all expected, her embrace with Jon was a moment of joy and love that was worth all the years we spent waiting for it, and her scene with the Hound was filled with the complex mixture of antagonism and respect that made their relationship one of the show’s most interesting. However, the moment I’ve found myself rewatching the most was the surprisingly sweet—and dare I say, flirtatious—reunion between Arya and Gendry.

I’ll admit it—part of me loves this scene purely because it put a ship I thought was long dead back into circulation. (I shipped these characters from early on in my reading of A Song of Ice and Fire and still think that Ned and Robert’s discussion about the marriage of their daughter and son was actually foreshadowing Arya and Gendry as a romantic pair.) With the passage of time and plenty of growing up on Maisie Williams’s part, it now feels okay for me to say that there was some real sexual tension in this scene that was fun to see. (Sparks were flying for reasons beyond the smithing, if you know what I mean.) It was playful and coy, and those are unexpected tones for Game of Thrones, especially for a scene featuring Arya.

Characters don’t get to smile a lot on Game of Thrones, so when a genuinely happy moment happens, it deserves to be treasured. And what I’ll remember most about Arya seeing Gendry again after so many years and so many changes was seeing her smile. Even in the scene with Jon, there was a hesitancy and a tension there—after the initial relief and emotional payoff of all these years of waiting, viewers were left with a sense that Jon, once again, knows nothing. He has no idea what kind of killer his sister has become and has no idea how strongly she’s aligned herself with Sansa, adding a layer of discomfort to their final hug. In contrast, there was nothing ambiguous about Arya’s demeanor with Gendry. She’s never going to be a cheerful character or even a relatively light one, but this was the most consistently at ease we’ve seen her since the show’s early days. And in showing this side of her, it made her feel like a more well-rounded character.

And that’s what made it so important. Arya is a young woman—she’s not a killing machine. And sometimes it feels like the show forgets that she is a person and that people have different dimensions and desires and emotions beyond their primary motivating factor (in her case, revenge). But in this scene, Arya got to behave in many ways like a young woman who hasn’t seen the death, destruction, violence, and trauma that have plagued her since the start of the show. She laughed and grinned and bantered and flirted with a young man in the same way she might have had her life not been upended by her father’s death all those years ago. And that’s all I have ever wanted for this character—for her to have a normal moment of happiness, even if it’s only for a stolen moment in the darkness of the coming winter.

I loved the way Joe Dempsie played Gendry’s realization that the girl he left behind had grown into a woman—and a woman he’s found himself attracted to. As his initial—almost comedic—tongue-tied reaction gave way to that fun place between warmth and heat, I felt like I was watching two partners remember the steps to a dance they thought they’d never do again—while also discovering some new moves along the way.

Although I’m a sucker for any time a man tells a woman “As you wish” (and we all know the writers are genre-savvy enough to know what that line means), my favorite part of the whole scene was Arya literally twirling around to give him one last look as he stood staring at her, completely transfixed. This is Arya discovering a whole new kind of power and loving it and Gendry loving it too. It’s Arya getting to have a moment of being desired for something beyond her skills as an assassin and relishing in it. And it’s the show giving its characters a moment of pure, uncomplicated, relatively innocent fun before tragedy strikes.

Game of Thrones is at its best when it allows its characters to have room to breathe and be human beings in between all the battles and killings, and this scene is a perfect example of that. It added a fun new dimension to Arya’s character while upping the emotional stakes of the battle to come because both Gendry and Arya now have something else to lose in it—the hope of what might be if they acted on those sparks between them.

Honorable Mentions: Sansa and Tyrion reunite, Arya and Jon hug, Sam tells Jon the truth, Jaime sees Bran across the Winterfell courtyard

Nerdy Girl Predicts: The 2019 Golden Globes

golden globes

It’s been a while (five years, to be exact!) since I’ve predicted the Golden Globes around these parts, but I’m back and ready to talk about my favorite awards show! The Golden Globes are the kickoff party for awards season—one of my favorite times of the year. They’re typically more fun than your average award show, feature memorable speeches, and celebrate both TV and film—the two great loves of my life. They’re also famously full of surprises and are notoriously hard to predict, which is exciting for the fangirl in me but challenging for the perfectionist who always wants to get as many picks right as possible.

Despite how hard it is to play the Golden Globes guessing game, I couldn’t resist making my predictions public this year when I have so many horses in this race. From the last chance for one of my favorite television shows of all time to the movie I loved this year more than any other, I haven’t been this emotionally invested in the entirety of an awards show in a long time. So if you want to see the multiple emotional meltdowns that are sure to occur in real time, I’ll be live tweeting the festivities starting at 6 p.m. EST tonight.

Until then, here are my predictions for what’s sure to be another memorable and surprising Golden Globes ceremony. Don’t forget to share your picks in the comments!

FILM
Best Motion Picture: Drama
My Pick: A Star Is Born
My Thoughts: If there’s one thing the HFPA seems to love, it’s star power. This film had that and more. It was a fresh but faithful take on a beloved Hollywood story, the debut of an actor-turned-director (another thing the Globes often honor), and a showcase for one of the biggest stars of the moment: Lady Gaga. A Star Is Born is a film with the kind of mass appeal and genuine artistry to take home the night’s biggest film award, and my intense devotion to its sincere storytelling means I’ll be crying happy tears on my couch if this prediction comes true.

Best Motion Picture: Musical or Comedy
My Pick: Green Book
My Thoughts: This category seems a bit more wide open than its dramatic counterpart. Although both Black Panther and BlacKkKlansman pose a bit of a threat to A Star Is Born, that’s remained the frontrunner, while the comedy/musical category has many options that all make strong cases for consideration. Despite my deep love for Mary Poppins Returns, I think Green Book has the kind of broad support and critical acclaim that will give it the edge. The Favourite is another strong possibility, but I think Green Book is the kind of feel-good, crowd-pleasing “comedy” that voters will want to reward at the Globes.

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NGN’s Best of 2018: TV, Movies, and More

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

As 2018 draws to a close, it’s time once again to highlight the best of pop culture from this year. In previous years, I’ve stuck to television, but one of my goals for 2018 was to expose myself to more of a variety of media, so I watched more movies and read more books than I have in the past. That, coupled with a slight dip in the amount (and, frankly, the quality) of TV I watched this year inspired me to expand my year in review post to include movies, books, and sports in addition to television. I also hope this inspires you to share all of you favorite media from 2018, because one of the best things about these posts over the years has been all the wonderful recommendations I’ve been given in the comments. (I never would have fallen in love with The Americans without my NGN Family championing it in these posts years ago.)

Looking back on this year in media, it’s no surprise that so many of my favorite things revolved around female characters. The books, movies, and TV I loved this year almost unanimously dealt with women learning to define themselves on their own terms as brave, strong, and—most importantly—kind people. The media I gravitated toward this year often celebrated a kind of radical goodness—a message of light pushing back against the darkness, of love surviving even the most painful things life can throw at us, and of hope existing in that quiet corner of our souls that allows us to keep getting up when everything around us seems determined to keep us pinned down. This year in media taught me that we all have choices to make and those choices determine who we are. And when we choose to believe in ourselves and our capacity to love—that’s when we become our best selves. That’s the message I’m taking into 2019, and what an empowering message it is.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at my favorite television, movies, and more in 2018!

Television

the-americans-episode-607-harvest-promotional-photos

Source: spoilertv.com

Best Show (Drama): The Americans
The Americans changed me in ways I never could have expected when I first started watching it. It changed me as a writer; it changed me as a TV viewer. It forced me to look more closely and think more deeply about the media I consumed, and it challenged me every week to find the words to talk about its brilliance with others. Although I was sad to see it end this year, I couldn’t have asked for a better final season for what I consider the best show I’ve ever watched. The Americans was always a show about marriage and family above everything else, and this final season reinforced that in the most surprising and impressive ways imaginable as it built to a finale that was all about letting your children leave you behind as they grow. From “Don’t Dream It’s Over” to “With or Without You,” this season took us on a journey of self-definition for nearly every character that ended in a way I don’t think anyone expected. Along the way, it gave us heart-stopping chase scenes, romantic axe mutilations, line dancing, and a moment that will go down in TV history simply as “the parking garage scene.” With everyone in the cast turning in top-notch performances and masterful moments of silence balanced by lines that cut like a dagger (“You’re a whore!”), The Americans turned in one of television’s most complex and unique final seasons by staying true to itself until the very end.

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What Are You Watching? Fall 2018 Edition

Welcome, fellow TV fans, to NGN’s longest-running feature! This is my seventh fall TV season here at NGN, and I’m ready to once again share my viewing schedule with all of you.

Today is the first day of fall, which puts me in the mood for pumpkin spice everything, long sweaters, and new television shows. Luckily, this week kicks off the official start of fall TV season, and while my schedule is a bit lighter than it used to be (due in part to both life changes and a bit of a down year for pilots and premieres), I’m still excited for so many of my favorite shows to be back.

I hope this list inspires you to share your own fall TV schedule in the comments! I know that I’ve often used the recommendations shared in this post to try new shows that ended up becoming favorites of mine. And if you want to use my list to find new shows to try, I’ve listed the dates, times, and networks the premieres are airing on, and any new pilots I’m checking out are highlighted in pink.

(Just as a reminder: I don’t include reality shows on this list because I watch way too many of them but don’t watch them in any regular kind of viewing schedule.) 

I know this post isn’t quite the behemoth it once was, but I also have plenty of returning favorites coming back in early 2019, which means it might finally be time for me to do a midseason one of these in a few months! Until then, I hope this post reminds you of your favorite shows, introduces you to something new you might love, and inspires you to share a show you love that you can’t believe I’m not watching yet.

Monday
Manifest (9/24, 10 p.m. on NBC)
If you’ve spent any time around these parts, you probably know of my deep love for Josh Dallas. He was the reason I became hooked on Once Upon a Time as instantaneously as I did, and as such, I will pretty much follow him anywhere. I’m not usually one to sign up for shows that seem inspired by Lost (because I will always compare them—and they will almost always come up short), but I will buy anything Dallas is selling at this point. The trailer also made me feel as if this might be more of a sincere, relationship-driven story than one propelled only by its central mystery, and that’s always a kind of show that speaks to me. Although I might not watch it until I get back from my own flights to Disney World next month (What can I say, I’ll always be a nervous flier!), it’s still on my list of pilots to try.
Series Premiere September 24

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Nerdy Girl Predicts: The 2018 Emmy Awards

 

62nd Primetime Emmy Awards - Audience

(Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

The Emmys and I have had a volatile relationship ever since the days when Jennifer Garner (and perhaps even more egregiously, Victor Garber) were passed over for their  work on Alias. There are times when surprise nominations and wins bring me endless joy—like Kate McKinnnon’s first win. But there are also times when shocking snubs send me into fits of rage—like the fact that Amy Poehler never won an Emmy for playing Leslie Knope and Steve Carell never won for playing Michael Scott.

Those last two names remind that an Emmy isn’t everything. Legendary performances and beloved television shows don’t need to have their time in the Emmy spotlight to mean something to both an individual and the TV-loving community at large.

But it’s still nice to see your favorites win.

With that being said, this has been a challenging prediction post to make. I’m too invested in some of the shows—especially one drama series in particular—to be completely objective (or even logical) in my choices. But the good thing is, I don’t really have to be. (That’s when not doing this for a living has its perks.) This year, I’m picking with my heart, so while you probably shouldn’t use my ballot as a key to winning your office pool, you should know that it’s a close look into where my heart will be on Monday night. (Side note: I HATE having the Emmys on a Monday night. It’s THE WORST.) And if you want an even closer look, you can follow along with all the evening’s fun—and probably emotional devastation and angry ranting—on Twitter, where I’ll be live tweeting starting around 6 p.m. EST!

Without further ado, let’s get to the picks!

Outstanding Drama Series
My Pick: The Americans
My Thoughts: It’s my last chance to root for what I think is the most nuanced and unexpectedly powerful drama on television, so you better believe I’m going to pick it to win in pretty much every category its nominated for. But this is more than just a choice from the heart; I think it has a good—albeit, not great—chance to get some of that last-season love the Emmys sometimes like to dish out. While this category is probably a two-horse race between The Handmaid’s Tale and Game of Thrones, I want to believe there’s some goodwill in Emmy voters’ hearts for this moving portrait of marriage and parenthood wrapped up in a spy story that’s completely compelling in its own right. The show’s final season featured some of its most breathtaking performances and heart-stopping moments, and it was capped off by one of the most talked-about finales of the year. I hope the well-deserved praise for that brilliant episode  leads to the Emmy glory this show has always deserved.

Outstanding Comedy Series
My Pick: Atlanta
My Thoughts: Although I don’t watch Atlanta (There’s too much good TV to watch!), I’m no dummy; I know it’s something special. I also know its second season was highly praised, and I’m always a supporter of Donald Glover winning all the awards. While I’d love to see GLOW take home this award (and am already hoping for it to win next year for its stellar second season), I won’t be completely devastated to see such an inventive show get the recognition it deserves.

Outstanding Limited Series
My Pick: The Assassination of Gianni Versace
My Thoughts: This is the only Limited Series pick I’m going to make this year because I’m woefully uneducated about the nominees, and that includes this iteration of American Crime Story. Although I only watched the first few episodes because it was too disturbing and violent for my taste, I knew it was a shoe-in for this award and pretty much any others it was going to be nominated for (including the career-redefining work Darren Criss did in a role that literally gave me nightmares). I can appreciate art without having the stomach to consume large amounts of it, and The Assassination of Gianni Versace was a true work of art.

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