Thursday, December 8, 2022

How To Win Your Emmy Pool: Outstanding Drama Writing & Directing

By Amanda Spears 

​I’m taking you television fans through how to methodically make your Emmy predictions and win your pool. Previously we looked at Outstanding Comedy Writing and Directing. Next up is Drama Writing and Directing.

Five years ago, the Emmys moved to a plurality vote replacing the more level playing field of 80-100 person panels. Since we spend more time watching television than a film, it’s easier to let our personal preferences affect our predictions as we try to manifest a win for our favorites.

​Unlike the Best Comedy Writing and Directing categories, the Drama races are a little more difficult to predict. Let’s take a look at how to predict the winners for Best Drama Directing and Writing based on recent trends.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA DIRECTING NOMINEES
“Aberfan,” “The Crown” directed by Benjamin Caron
“Cri de Coeur,” “The Crown” directed by Jessica Hobbs
“Prisoners of War,” “Homeland” directed by Lesli Linka Glatter
“The Interview,” “The Morning Show” directed by Mimi Leder
“Fire Pink,” “Ozark” directed by Alik Sakharov
“Su Casa Es Mi Casa,” “Ozark” directed by Ben Semanoff
“Hunting,” “Succession” directed by Andrij Parekh
“This Is Not for Tears,” “Succession” directed by Mark Mylod

OUTSTANDING DRAMA WRITING NOMINEES
“Bad Choice Road,” “Better Call Saul” written by Thomas Schnauz
“Bagman,” “Better Call Saul” written by Gordon Smith
“Aberfan,” “The Crown” written by Peter Morgan
“All In,” “Ozark” written by Chris Mundy
“Boss Fight,” “Ozark” written by John Shiban
“Fire Pink,” “Ozark” written by Miki Johnson
“This Is Not for Tears,” “Succession” written by Jesse Armstrong

Since 2017, on the Drama side, your series has to be nominated if you’re going to win anything – with the exception of “The Handmaid’s Tale’s” hanging episodes last year in the acting categories. Since all of the nominees for Best Drama Writing come from a series nominated, this does not affect that race. However, in the Best Drama Directing lineup this now leaves…

“Aberfan,” “The Crown” directed by Benjamin Caron
“Cri de Coeur,” “The Crown” directed by Jessica Hobbs
“Fire Pink,” Ozark directed by Alik Sakharov
“Su Casa Es Mi Casa,” “Ozark” directed by Ben Semanoff
“Hunting,” “Succession” directed by Andrij Parekh
“This Is Not for Tears,” “Succession” directed by Mark Mylod

Believe it or not, but only once in the past five years has a Drama series received multiple nominations: “Mad Men” in 2015 and one of the nominees was the season finale “Person to Person.” For writing, that now leaves us with…

“Aberfan,” “The Crown” written by Peter Morgan
“This Is Not for Tears,” “Succession” written by Jesse Armstrong

Since 2000, all of the Best Drama Directing winners have fallen into one of the next four trends: Pilot or season premieres, season/series finale, the biggest episode, or an episode directed by an Oscar nominee/winner. This now leaves us down to…

“Aberfan,” “The Crown” directed by Benjamin Caron
“Cri de Coeur,” “The Crown” directed by Jessica Hobbs
“Fire Pink,” Ozark directed by Alik Sakharov
“This Is Not for Tears,” “Succession” directed by Mark Mylod

​While it’s not a guarantee that an episode has support across multiple branches of the television academy, it is a sign that at best they’ve seen the episode. Next, we’ll eliminate the episodes with the least amount of nominations (not including performers submissions), which leaves us with…

“Aberfan,” “The Crown” directed by Benjamin Caron
“This Is Not for Tears,” “Succession” directed by Mark Mylod

And then there were two in Best Drama Directing and Writing: “Aberfan” (“The Crown”) and “This Is Not for Tears” (“Succession”). “Game of Thrones” swept both Best Drama Directing and Writing (2015-2016) on their way to winning Best Drama Series. “The Handmaid’s Tale (2017) followed suit and was also able to win the big three the next year. But in 2018 and 2019, Directing, Writing, and the eventual Series winner went to three different series

For Best Drama Writing look for Jesse Armstrong’s modern Shakespearean tragedy to prove victorious – it is truly a writer’s showcase. Armstrong is the defending champion winning last year for the “Succession” episode, “Nobody Is Ever Missing,” and the writing category tends to award the same series multiple times usually back to back. Since 2000, four series have won Best Drama Writing multiple times: “The Sopranos” (2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007), “Mad Men” (2008-2010), “Homeland” (2012, 2013), and “Game of Thrones,” (2015, 2016). If not “Tears,” who is most likely to upset? Look no further than “The Crown’s” “Aberfan”. Morgan has never won a major award in the U.S., and should he finally be victorious, it will be a strong sign that “The Crown” will be anointed Best Drama Series.

“The Crown” should reclaim the title of Best Drama Directing with a hauntingly beautiful and tragic episode dealing with the real-life disaster in the titular mining town and the subsequent response of the Queen. It has a sense of importance and gives us an insight into HM Queen Elizabeth II few know. If not “Aberfan,” who is most likely to upset? Should “Succession” claim the Best Drama Directing prize then Series will likely be next.

Outstanding Drama Directing Predictions
1. “Aberfan,” “The Crown” directed by Benjamin Caron
2. “This Is Not for Tears,” “Succession” directed by Mark Mylod
3. “Fire Pink,” “Ozark” directed by Alik Sakharov
4. Hunting,” “Succession” directed by Andrij Parekh
5. “Cri de Coeur,” “The Crown” directed by Jessica Hobbs
6. “Su Casa Es Mi Casa,” “Ozark” directed by Ben Semanoff
7. “Prisoners of War,” “Homeland” directed by Lesli Linka Glatter
8. “The Interview,” “The Morning Show” directed by Mimi Leder

Outstanding Drama Writing Predictions
1. “This Is Not for Tears,” “Succession” written by Jesse Armstrong
2. “Aberfan,” “The Crown” written by Peter Morgan
3. “Fire Pink,” “Ozark” written by Miki Johnson 
4. “All In,” “Ozark” written by Chris Mundy
5. “Bagman,” “Better Call Saul” written by Gordon Smith
6. “Bad Choice Road,” “Better Call Saul” written by Thomas Schnauz
7. “Boss Fight,” “Ozark” written by John Shiban

Do you agree or disagree with my logic? What are you predicting to win the Emmys for Outstanding Directing and Writing for a Drama Series? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or on our Twitter account. Stay tuned for more articles on the Emmys as I finalize my predictions.

You can follow Amanda and hear more of her thoughts on the Oscars and film on Twitter at @msamandaspears

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