Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Predicting The 2021 Emmy Award Winners: Outstanding Drama Writing & Directing

By Amanda Spears 

If you remember from last year’s Emmys and my Golden Globe, SAG Awards, and Oscars predictions, I try my best to leave emotion out of making my predictions. As a result, I’m going to take you television fans through how to make your Emmy predictions and win your pool methodically. Next up in this series of articles is Outstanding Drama Series Writing and Directing.

Outstanding Drama Directing Nominees
“Diamond of the First Water” – “Bridgerton” directed by Julie Anne Robinson
“Fairytale” – “The Crown” directed by Benjamin Caron
“War” – “The Crown” directed by Jessica Hobbs
“The Wilderness” – “The Handmaid’s Tale” directed by Liz Garbus
“Chapter 9: The Marshal” – “The Mandalorian” directed by Jon Favreau
“Series Finale” – “Pose” directed by Steven Canals

Outstanding Drama Writing Nominees
“What I Know” – “The Boys” written by Rebecca Sonnenshine
“War” – “The Crown” written by Peter Morgan
“Home” – “The Handmaid’s Tale” written by Yahlin Chang
“Sundown” – “Lovecraft Country” written by Misha Green
“Chapter 13: The Jedi” – “The Mandalorian” written by Dave Filoni
“Chapter 16: The Rescue” – “The Mandalorian” written by Jon Favreau
“Series Finale” – “Pose” written by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Steven Canals, Janet Mock, and Our Lady J

No series has won Outstanding Drama Writing with multiple nominations since 2014 when “Breaking Bad’s” “Ozymandias” (Moira Walley-Beckett) defeated the series finale “Felina” (Vince Gilligan). Let’s just say that trends continue. Also, since 2000, all of the Best Drama Directing winners have fallen into one of these four trends: Pilot or season premieres, season/series finales, the biggest episode, or an episode directed by an Oscar nominee/winner. This leaves the state of the race at…

Outstanding Drama Directing Nominees
“Diamond of the First Water” – “Bridgerton” directed by Julie Anne Robinson
“Fairytale” – “The Crown” directed by Benjamin Caron
“War” – “The Crown” directed by Jessica Hobbs
“The Wilderness” – “The Handmaid’s Tale” directed by Liz Garbus
“Chapter 9: The Marshal” – “The Mandalorian” directed by Jon Favreau
“Series Finale” – “Pose” directed by Steven Canals

Outstanding Drama Writing Nominees
“What I Know” – “The Boys” written by Rebecca Sonnenshine
“War” -“The Crown” written by Peter Morgan
“Home” – “The Handmaid’s Tale” written by Yahlin Chang
“Sundown” – “Lovecraft Country” written by Misha Green
“Series Finale” – “Pose” written by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Steven Canals, Janet Mock, and Our Lady J

Next to be eliminated are the nominees that don’t have the momentum to win in their respective categories. This leaves us with…

Outstanding Drama Directing Nominees
“Fairytale” – “The Crown” directed by Benjamin Caron
“War” – “The Crown” directed by Jessica Hobbs
“The Wilderness” – “The Handmaid’s Tale” directed by Liz Garbus

Outstanding Drama Writing Nominees
“War” – “The Crown” written by Peter Morgan
“Series Finale” – “Pose” written by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Steven Canals, Janet Mock, and Our Lady J

Sorry “Bridgerton” fans, the show is a hit but doesn’t have the momentum to really factor into the race. “The Mandalorian’s” season opener may be a technical showcase, but its competition is too fierce. Meanwhile, “The Boys” and the canceled “Lovecraft Country” should just be happy to be nominated. “Pose” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” are birds of a feather – their best chances are in the opposite categories.

And then there were two in Drama Writing: “War” (“The Crown“) and “Series Finale” (“Pose“).

“War” is perfectly positioned to win – it’s the series finale where internal backstabbing leads to the exit of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher while setting up the next season perfectly as Charles and Diana prepare to wage a personal war amongst the royal family. Peter Morgan seems poised to finally win his long-overdue first Emmy on his sixth writing nomination and fourth consecutive nod for “The Crown.” Earlier in the year, cementing Morgan’s frontrunner status was his WGA Award win (shared with Jonathan Wilson). But history has a funny way of repeating its self which could help “Pose,” as both “Friday Night Lights” (2011) and “The Americans” (2018) won writing for their final seasons. Both “Friday Night Lights” and “The Americans” had so-so Emmy track records, but both won the TCA Award for Program of the Year – which “Pose” is not nominated for.

The Drama Directing race has three potential contenders: “War” (“The Crown“), “Fairytale” (“The Crown“), and “The Wilderness” (“The Handmaid’s Tale”). “Game of Thrones” swept both Best Drama Directing and Writing with “Mother’s Mercy” (2015) and “Battle of the Bastards” (2016) on their way to winning Best Drama Series. “The Handmaid’s Tale,” with their pilot “June” (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. Making things even more complicated was “Succession’s” sweep of the top three last year (2020) as it won Writing for “This Is Not for Tears” and directing for “Hunting.” For more information on “The Crown’s” directing nominees, take a look at my article about the series’ chance at Emmy history.

Final Outstanding Drama Directing Predictions
1. “War” – “The Crown” directed by Jessica Hobbs
2. “Fairytale” – “The Crown” directed by Benjamin Caron
3. “The Wilderness” – “The Handmaid’s Tale” directed by Liz Garbus
4. “Series Finale” – “Pose” directed by Steven Canals
5. “Chapter 9: The Marshal” – “The Mandalorian” directed by Jon Favreau
6. “Diamond of the First Water” – “Bridgerton” directed by Julie Anne Robinson

Final Outstanding Drama Writing Predictions
1. “War” – “The Crown” written by Peter Morgan
2. “Series Finale” – “Pose” written by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Steven Canals, Janet Mock, and Our Lady J
3. “Home” – “The Handmaid’s Tale” written by Yahlin Chang
4. “Chapter 13: The Jedi” – “The Mandalorian” written by Dave Filoni
5. “Chapter 16: The Rescue” – “The Mandalorian” written by Jon Favreau
6. “Sundown” – “Lovecraft Country” written by Misha Green
7. “What I Know” – “The Boys” written by Rebecca Sonnenshine

Do you agree or disagree with my logic? What are you predicting to win the Emmys for the Outstanding Drama Series Writing/Directing categories? 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 for the 2021 Emmy Awards taking place on September 19th.

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

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