The nominations for the 70th annual Emmy Awards will be announced on Thursday by The Handmaids' Tale's Samira Wiley and Ryan Eggold, who stars in the upcoming drama New Amsterdam, premiering on NBC this fall. (Plan your viewing party accordingly: The 2018 awards show, hosted by SNL Weekend Update dudes Colin Jost and Michael Che, will air on September 17.)
As the entertainment team here at Cosmopolitan.com, we watch way too much an impressive amount of TV, sometimes at our desks (it's research, OK?), so we decided to take a crack at the buzziest awards categories and place bets on the stars, shows, made-for-TV movies, and even a Doritos commercial we think—and hope—will hear their names read aloud on Thursday, July 12.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Rachel Brosnahan, Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: If you’re someone who believes the Golden Globe-Emmy connection, then you shouldn’t be surprised to see Rachel Brosnahan’s name on the list of 2018 Emmy nominees. Her work as Midge on the Amazon series is bright, inspiring, and serves as a nice reminder that a good time slot in a comedy club is often better than a husband with a wandering eye.
Honorable mention: Tracee Ellis Ross, ABC's Black-ish: Julia Louis-Dreyfus has won this category every year since 2012, but Veep didn’t air a new season in 2018, which makes the category all the more interesting this year. Could this pave the way for Tracee Ellis Ross, who’s been nominated for Black-ish since 2016? —P.T
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Donald Glover, FX's Atlanta: Glover earned several awards for playing Earn on the first season of Atlanta, including a Golden Globe for Best Actor and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Expect him to repeat this delightful achievement come September – and expect him to arrive in something velvety and smooth.
Honorable mention: Bill Hader, HBO's Barry: Perhaps the only person who can ruin Donald Glover’s 2018 is Bill Hader, who truly shined as the hitman-turned Serious Actor in HBO’s Barry. —P.T
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Literally Issa's entire squad (Yvonne Orji, Natasha Rothwell, and Amanda Seales), HBO's Insecure: The drama on Insecure might center around Issa Rae's love life, but her crew of girlfriends is the always-quotable, real-talk-talking, so-funny-your-face hurts heart of the series. These actresses each deliver performances that range from cringeworthy to hilarious to heartrending with the kind of authenticity and warmth that makes you want to call up your friends and make brunch plans.
Honorable mention: Betty Gilpin, Netflix's GLOW. Because it's impossible not fall (and feel) for Gilpin's Debbie. —J.O.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Marc Maron, Netflix's GLOW: Maron accomplishes the impossible with his performance in GLOW—he makes a bitter, chain-smoking, mansplainer seem...charming?! Chalk it up to Maron's sharp delivery, sense of empathy, and sweet puppy dog eyes. —J.O.
OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: The show and its creators Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino have had a good run with its premiere season during the awards circuit. In case you haven’t been keeping count, the show has been honoured with two Golden Globe Awards (including Best Actress Rachel Brosnahan), two Critics Choice Television Awards (including Best Comedy Series), and a Peabody, NBD.
Honorable mention: FX's Atlanta. Donald Glover and company delivered another stunning season of Atlanta this year, so no one should be surprised to see the show leading the pack. FWIW, season one of Atlanta was up for this category last year, but lost out to Veep, which did not air any new episodes in 2018. —P.T.
OUTSTANDING REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
Vh1's RuPaul's Drag Race: I mean, duh.
Honorable mention: NBC's American Ninja Warrior. AKA the show that is impossible to watch without screaming, "BUT HOW?!" No really, have you ever watched a single viral video clip from this show and not had your head explode? Same. Case closed. —J.O.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Elisabeth Moss, Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale: Elisabeth Moss took home this award last year for her work in The Handmaid’s Tale, and given the way the setting of the show opened up in season two, it’s almost a given that she’ll be on the nominees list yet again.
Honorable mention: Claire Foy, Netflix's The Crown. If there’s any justice in the world, she’ll actually win this year — it’s her last season as Queen Elizabeth! —E.T.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Jeffrey Wright, HBO's Westworld: Westworld is so confounding that it makes Lost look like Sesame Street, but one confirmed fact about it is that Jeffrey Wright is stellar as Bernard/Arnold/Clone Bernard/I don’t even know. In season two especially, Wright really carried the weight of the show, adding humanity and emotion throughout truly insane plot developments. —E.T.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR/ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Sophie Turner, and Peter Dinklage, HBO's Game of Thrones: Game of Thrones was infamously left out of the 2017 Emmys — season seven premiered after the eligibility period, people! — so expect to see plenty of the cast back on top this year. Lena Headey (Cersei), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys), and Peter Dinklage (Tyrion) all received nominations in 2016 and seem like good candidates to pull off nods again in 2018, but one potential new face is Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa. The eldest Stark daughter finally came into her own last season, which meant Turner was able to dig a little deeper than she’s been able to in past years.
Honorable mentions: Thandie Newton, HBO's Westworld: You could argue that Westworld’s Thandie Newton belongs in the lead actress category, but in an ensemble as big as this one, she’s more likely to end up here. Westworld is a hugely frustrating show, but even its biggest haters can’t deny that Newton is an absolute marvel as Maeve.
Vanessa Kirby, Netflix's The Crown: Claire Foy rightfully gets most of the attention on The Crown, acting-wise, but Vanessa Kirby, as Elizabeth’s younger sister Princess Margaret, has been somewhat under-sung. But she was a real standout in the show’s second season, especially in episodes like “Beryl,” so this could be her year. —E.T.
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
Netflix's The Crown: The first season of The Crown earned a lot of nominations, so if you agree that season two was even better, then it follows that it will clean up again this year.
Honorable mentions: HBO's Game of Thrones: As mentioned, Game of Thrones was ineligible last year, so don’t be surprised if Westeros makes a triumphant return. (Whether it wins or not will be another story — fans and critics alike agreed that season seven was not the show’s best.)
Hulu's The Handmaid’s Tale: I mean, obviously — the show has gotten even more resonant in year two of the Trump administration.
OWN's Queen Sugar: This is probably a long shot, but there’s no better family drama on TV right now than OWN’s Ava DuVernay–created Queen Sugar, and it would be lovely to see it get some mainstream awards recognition. —E.T.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Jessica Biel, The USA Network's The Sinner: The Sinner showed us a different side of Biel—a way, way darker side. ICYMI: Biel plays a mom accused of suddenly, inexplicably, losing her stuff and murdering someone. The hitch: She can't remember anything. Biel got mega-praise for her role that could carry her to an on-stage acceptance speech. —J.O.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Jesse Plemons, Netflix’s Black Mirror: Jesse Plemons plays the ultimate bad guy as Robert Daly in Black Mirror’s USS Callister: first, you feel for him. Who hasn’t had someone take all the credit for their hard work and bully them into feeling less than? Poor guy! Yeah, well, then he gets back at all who’ve wronged him by creating virtual reality versions of themselves and torturing them. Plemons’ skillfully bounces between sympathetic loser with a sci-fi fetish to spiteful sociopath in one of this year’s most commanding, entertainingly twisted performances.
Honorable mention: Al Pacino, HBO’s Paterno. Who doesn’t love a messed-up based-on-a-true story role that requires a physical transformation and an accent?! Awards voters, that’s who. —J.O.
OUTSTANDING TELEVISION MOVIE
USS Callister (from Netflix’s Black Mirror): USS Callister isn’t traditional horror—the stylishly shot, super smart standout short film from the anthology series follows a disgruntled tech bro who gets back at the coworkers by torturing alternate reality versions of them in a Star Trek-inspired universe—but it will haunt you. USS Callister is full of jump scares and monsters (human and otherwise), but that’s not what makes it spooky—it’s the panicky existential dread that leaps off the screen and sticks with you long past your binge-watching. —J.O.
OUTSTANDING VARIETY TALK SERIES
TBS' Full Frontal with Samantha Bee: Samantha Bee’s weekly program only received its first Emmy nomination last year and lost to John Oliver. If anyone can upset a category dominated by men, it’s Bee, who turned heads in May when she called Ivanka Trump a “feckless c*nt.”
Honorable mention: HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Ever since the exit of Jon Stewart from The Daily Show, John Oliver’s Sunday lecture has been the one to beat in this category. Last Week Tonight has won for the past two years. Don’t be surprised to see history repeat itself. —P.T.
OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY OR NONFICTION SERIES
Netflix's Wild Wild Country: For a few weeks this spring, it was all anyone could talk about: Sheela, the Rajneesh, those gauzy red outfits that will no doubt inspire questionable group Halloween costumes this October. Wild Wild Country, Netflix’s six-part Duplass brothers-produced documentary, masterfully chronicled the rise and downfall of the cult that took over a small town in Wasco County, Oregon through exhaustive research, archival materials, and sit-down interviews that made you scream WTFs at the screen.
Honorable mention: BBC America's Blue Planet II. Imagine an even more chill-inducing Planet Earth experience—Hans Zimmer-composed music, check. Sir David Attenborough voiceover narration, check. Soothing blue waves, cute clownfish, and hypnotizingly pretty coral, check—Blue Planet II is perfect highbrow binge-on-a-Sunday TV. (Except for that whole climate change is trashing the oceans part!) —J.O.
The Peter Dinklage Doritos One: If you didn’t know this was even an Emmy category, then join the club. Past winners include that John Malkovich ad for Squarespace, the Old Spice guy, and the famous Always “#LikeAGirl” campaign, so apparently Emmy voters go back and forth between heartfelt and goofy. On the basis of nothing but my own amusement, I’m predicting a nomination for that bizarre Doritos/Mountain Dew Ice commercial that features Peter Dinklage rapping Busta Rhymes and Morgan Freeman rapping Missy Elliott. —E.T.
H/T Cosmo US