Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Emmy Predictions, Part One: Directors

The Emmys are this Sunday, and I'm really looking forward to watching them this year. Conan O'Brien will be hosting, and the Desperate Housewives are guaranteed not to win any awards. For the rest of the week, I will be (correctly?) predicting the winners in all of the major categories. I'll start with the awards for Directing:

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series:
The Comeback, Michael Patrick King
Curb Your Enthusiasm, Robert B. Weide
Entourage, Dan Attias
Entourage, Julian Farino
My Name Is Earl, Marc Buckland
Weeds, Craig Zisk

I'm eliminating The Comeback and Curb right away, since the former was cancelled, and the latter has not won since 2003. Entourage will likely split the votes for its two directors, giving neither enough panel votes to win. My Name Is Earl definitely deserves to win, but Weeds makes for interesting competition. Both are newer shows and first-time nominees, so it's anyone's award for the taking. Hopefully Earl's karma will beat Weeds' dark humor.

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
Big Love, Rodrigo Garcia
Lost, Jack Bender
Six Feet Under, Alan Ball
The Sopranos, Tim Van Patten
The Sopranos, David Nutter
24, Jon Cassar
The West Wing, Mimi Leder

Lost and The West Wing may have the edge as the only nominees returning from last year (Lost won), but Lost was a bit slow this season. Sentimentality may play a role as West Wing and Six Feet Under are both no longer among the living. I'd be shocked if Big Love beat out all of the heavyweights, but it has novelty on its side. 24 has some major nominations this year, but it hasn't had a directing nomination in three years, and has never won; a definite long shot. The award will probably go to one of the Sopranos directors, and I'd cast my vote for the "Members Only" episode directed by Tim Van Patten. As the premiere episode after a long hiatus, "Members Only" delivered violence, humor, and some pretty dramatic shocks.

Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or a Dramatic Special
Bleak House, Justin Chadwick
Elizabeth I, Tom Hooper
Flight 93, Peter Markle
The Girl in the Cafe, David Yates
High School Musical, Kenny Ortega
Mrs. Harris, Phyllis Nagy

As I stated in my blog about the Emmy nominations, Bleak House is a major favorite of mine. In a just world, it would win all of the awards for which it is eligible. The Girl in the Cafe was dry and preachy, so I'm skeptical of its ability to stand out. Award shows sometimes favor obscure cable period pieces that no ordinary viewer has seen, which means that Mrs. Harris and Elizabeth I may have a chance. Emmy may go patriotic and reward anyone "brave" enough to capitalize on the September 11th tragedy, though (Flight 93). But I can't deny that, while never having seen it, High School Musical has some serious game. I've heard a great deal about it, and the series' soundtrack is all over iTunes. Plus, who doesn't love a musical?

Outstanding Directing for Variety, Music, or Comedy Program
78th Annual Academy Awards, Louis J. Horvitz
American Idol, Bruce Gowers
The Colbert Report, Jim Hoskinson
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, Chuck O'Neil
Saturday Night Live, Beth McCarthy Miller

My sources at the Internet Movie Database inform me that Saturday Night Live has only won in this category once (in 1976), and it gets nominated about as often as it airs a decent episode. No dice. American Idol is a long shot as well, even with the adorable memory of Kellie Pickler still fresh in our minds. I'll be rooting for The Colbert Report, but it is still a fairly new show, and Jon Stewart's shadow is pretty big at the moment. Looking back on Emmys past, it seems more likely that The Daily Show will win the awards for Writing and Outstanding Program and lose in this category. The front runner is most definitely the Academy Awards broadcast, which wins every few years or so--Horvitz in particular has won many times over. You just know the Emmy folks will jump at the chance to bestow an award on their social betters in the entertainment industry.

Check back for my predictions in the Writing, Series, and Acting categories soon!