Sunday, September 17, 2017

'Westworld' and 'Stranger Things' lead drama series with five Creative Arts Emmy Awards each

I wrote "I'll be back with more winners in speculative fiction and politics" at the end of '13th' leads non-fiction programs with four Emmy Awards.  With the Primetime Emmy Awards tonight, I only have time for one, so for this week's Sunday Entertainment feature, I'm sharing the speculative fiction winners from last weekend's Creative Arts Emmy Awards, just like I did two years ago in 'Game of Thrones' already a big winner at the Emmy Awards and last year in Ten Emmy Awards for 'Game of Thrones' plus other speculative fiction winners.  Then I'll probably post the speculative fiction winners from tonight's show tomorrow, just as I did in 'Game of Thrones' wins Best Drama and three other awards two years ago and 'Game of Thrones' and 'Orphan Black' win Emmy Awards.  Sorry, political comedies, dramas, and variety shows, but I'm nothing if not predictable.  I'll get to you like I did last year in Last Week Tonight examines Clinton and Trump foundations after winning three Emmy Awards.  Be patient.

Follow over the jump as I report on the five Emmy Awards both "Westworld" and "Stranger Things" have already won as well as the three statuettes "The Handmaid's Tale" earned, all of which put them in the lead for drama series, along with all the rest of the live-action speculative fiction winners, including the first Emmy Awards for "Gotham" and "Marvel's Luke Cage."

The five awards "Westworld" won last week were Outstanding Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series, Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media Within A Scripted Program, Outstanding Make-up for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic), Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour), and Outstanding Special Visual Effects.  Here's what I wrote about each of them two months ago in 'Westworld' leads drama series with 22 Emmy nominations, followed by 'Stranger Things' with 19 and 'The Handmaid's Tale' with 13.
Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series...
I want to root for "Penny Dreadful," but I think I should support "Westworld" instead.  "Vikings" might be a dark horse, while "The Crown" would be the mainstream favorite.
I was right to go with my head instead of my heart.  That's something I should have done in the next category.
Creative Achievement in Interactive Media Within a Scripted Program...
All of the nominees are or adjacent to speculative fiction.  By the way, this is where the discrepancy between the 18 nominations for "Stranger Things" in the video and news accounts and the 19 nominations I count.  "Stranger Things VR Experience" is counted as a different show than "Stranger Things."  Meanwhile, the nomination for "Westworld" is counted as one for the show itself.  That doesn't seem fair, does it?  On a personal note, I should root for "The Simpsons" because I marched in the UCLA Band with David Silverman (we're both tuba players).  I think that's a good enough reason.
Yeah, I should have been rooting for "Westworld."  The same was true in the next category, where my heart belonged to one series but my head knew to go to two others.
Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic)...
Once again, "Penny Dreadful" joins "Stranger Things" and "Westworld" for its third nomination of four and once again, I have to suppress the urge to root for it.  "Vikings" is speculative fiction adjacent, so "This is Us" is outnumbered.
I wouldn't have thought "Westworld" would win both Hairstyling and Make-up, but I'm glad it did.  If nothing else, it helped make Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton look as good as they act.
Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour)...
Again, I expect "Stranger Things" to win this.
I was glad to be wrong, as I think "Westworld" is a marginally better show, which takes nothing away from "Stranger Things."

And now for the final winning category.
Special Visual Effects...
All of the nominees are or adjacent to speculative fiction, which is to be expected.  Out of all of them, I'm rooting for "Westworld."  The Best Science Fiction TV Series should have the best special effects.
I'm glad to write that it did.

"Stranger Things" also won five awards, Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series, Outstanding Main Title Design, Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music, Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series, and Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series.  This is what I wrote about all these categories two months ago.
Casting for a Drama Series...
The fifth category with all three big spectulative fiction series highlights how well the actors matched their parts.  If the SAG Awards are any indication, I'd give the advantage to "Stranger Things," as it won Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Drama Series.  Still, both "Westworld" and "The Handmaid's Tale" earned four acting nominations.  By that criterion, "This is Us" earned seven, so it's the mainstream series that I think has the best shot.
Hah, called it.  I also called both of the next two categories.
Main Title Design...
I expressed my surprise that neither "Stranger Things" nor "Westworld" were even nominated for Best Opening Title Sequence or Closing Credit Sequence for a TV/Streaming Series at the Golden Trailer Awards, a category "Big Little Lies" won instead.  I thought both were excellent and expected to see them nominated at the Emmys, as I wrote in 'Suicide Squad' leads Grammy nominations in music for visual media followed by 'Stranger Things'.
I fully expect both the theme song and the opening title sequence to be nominated for an Emmy.  I also expect it to be competing in both categories against "Westworld."  Be patient about those predictions coming true, as the nominations won't come out until June.
Both predictions came true.  Joining "Stranger Things" and "Westworld" is "American Gods" to make three speculative fiction nominees.  As for "Big Little Lies," it was not even nominated here, although it got the recognition I expected in other categories.
Original Main Title Theme Music...
My other prediction that both "Stranger Things" and "Westworld" would have their outstanding theme songs nominated also came true.  Joining them is the theme to "The Good Fight," the streaming series' only nomination.
As I wrote two months ago, "If either of those two win, I'll be thrilled."  One of them won and I am thrilled!  I'll celebrate at the end.

I didn't call the next one, though, as I was rooting for my other favorite.
Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series...
Five nominations for three shows?  I've seen weirder.  I hope that "Better Call Saul" and "Stranger Things" split their votes and "Westworld" wins.
At least it was my second choice.  I did call the last category.
Sound Editing for a Series...
Look, one of three nominations for "Gotham!"  Cool, but I expect either "Westworld" or "Stranger Things" will win.
And "Stranger Things" did.  The sound was impressive and made a spooky show even spookier.

"The Handmaid's Tale" came in third among drama series with three wins.  While other shows won more, like "Samuari Jack" with four, they weren't drama series.  The dystopian tale won Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for Alexis Bledel as Ofglen/Emily, Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (One Hour), and Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More).  Reviewing what I wrote two months ago, I found that I completely blew my prediction for the most presigious category a speculative fiction show won last week.
Guest Actress in a Drama Series...
In the final acting category, "Stranger Things" and "The Handmaid's Tale" duke it out with the sole nomination for "The Leftovers" taking the place of "Westworld."  Out of all of them, I'm rooting for Ann Dowd, who has always been gripping as Patti Levin.  Besides, it's the only nomination for "The Leftovers" -- ever.  The show deserves some love.
"The Leftovers" may have deserved it, but "The Handmaid's Tale" got it and I didn't see it coming.  I'll let Bledel herself describe how she feels about the win in Entertainment Weekly's Alexis Bledel Tears Up Over 'Emotional' First Emmys Win: 'It's All the Feelings!'

ET spoke with the actress backstage after she won Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series at the 2017 Creative Arts Emmys, which airs Sept. 16 on FXX.
When I wrote that "I expect "The Handmaid's Tale" of a theocratic dystopian America will win more honors at the Emmys than I expected just a week ago," after winning two awards at the 2017 Television Critics Association Awards, this is the kind of result I should have expected.  So were the results of the next two awards.
Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (One Hour)...
In the final category that has all three featured shows nominated, speculative fiction domiminates.  The only show not in or adjacent to the genre is "The Crown."  This says that speculative fiction shows are, if nothing else, beautifully photographed.  By that standard, I hope the broad Western vistas of "Westworld" give it an advantage...
Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More)...
Hey, look, a "Penny Dreadful" nomination!  I'm tempted to root for its four nominations just because the show needs more love for its final season, but I suspect one of the "Westworld" bids will beat it.  Still, it's a good bet speculative fiction will win simply because the genre has four out of five nominations.
And a speculative fiction show did win, just not the won I was hoping for.

The last two winning dramas are both superhero shows.  First, "Gotham" won Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role.  I'm pleased, as I wrote "I'm rooting for 'Gotham,' but wouldn't be surprised if 'The Handmaid's Tale' pulled this off."  Luckily for "Gotham" and me, the Batman prequel won its first Emmy instead.

Also earning its first Emmy was "Marvel's Luke Cage," which won Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Limited Series, or Movie, its only nomination.  I wasn't completely surprised, as I wrote it was an open field in 'Gotham' leads superhero shows at the Primetime Emmy Awards with three nominations, where I threw up my hands.
Wow, what an action-packed field!  The only show missing is "The Walking Dead," which was nominated in this category two years ago.  Here, "Gotham" is in direct competition with "Marvel's Luke Cage" in the latter's only nominated category.  I'm rooting for "Gotham," but I'm not optimistic.  All the rest of the action shows have great stunts and "The Blacklist" won this category three years ago ("Game of Thrones," which won this category last year, is not eligible).
That's it for speculative fiction wins in drama series, but not for live-action speculative fiction, as "American Horror Story: Roanoke" won an Emmy for Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Limited Series, Movie, or Special.  It turns out I ignored the possibility of it winning.
Once again, the field is nearly full of speculative fiction, including the fourth and final nomination for "Penny Dreadful" and the only nomination for "The Walking Dead."  I'm rooting for them along with "Westworld" and "Stranger Things," but it would not be surprising if "Saturday Night Live" wins for turning Alec Baldwin, Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon into members of the Trump White House.
Oops.  At least a horror show won, even if it wasn't "The Walking Dead."

I wrote that I'd celebrate "Stranger Things" winning later.  It's later, so here is the winning title sequence and theme song.

Good luck to "Stranger Things," "Westworld," and "The Handmaid's Tale" tonight, as they are all in competition with each other for Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series.  In addition, "Stranger Things" and "Westworld" both have performers nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, "Westworld" and "The Handmaid's Tale" have nominees for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series, and "Westworld" has Anthony Hopkins nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series.  Three to five awards down, five to seven to go!

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