Saturday, September 8, 2018

'Westworld,' 'Game of Thrones,' 'The Handmaid's Tale,' 'Stranger Things,' and other speculative fiction nominees at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards

My longtime readers are probably asking if I'm going to post anything about "Westworld," "Game of Thrones," "The Handmaid's Tale," "Stranger Things," and other speculative fiction nominees at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards.  Tomorrow.  Stay tuned.
So I ended 'Saturday Night Live' leads Outstanding Variety Sketch Series nominations, again yesterday and so I begin today with the guest acting nominations featuring performers from speculative fiction series.

Based on the Wikipedia entry for this year's Creative Arts Emmy Awards, "Westworld" is up for the most awards tonight, 16, followed by "Game of Thrones" among speculative fiction series with 15, "The Handmaid's Tale" with 12, and "Stranger Things" with seven.  I will work through them in alphabetical order, beginning with acting with an interruption for animated programs before resuming with casting.

Ladies first with the nominees for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, where there are four speculative fiction candidates, three from "The Handmaid's Tale" and one from "Game of Thrones."
Viola Davis as Annalise Keating on Scandal (Episode: "Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself") (ABC)
Kelly Jenrette as Annie on The Handmaid's Tale (Episode: "Other Women") (Hulu)
Cherry Jones as Holly Osborne on The Handmaid's Tale (Episode: "Baggage") (Hulu)
Diana Rigg as Lady Olenna Tyrell on Game of Thrones (Episode: "The Queen's Justice") (HBO)
Cicely Tyson as Ophelia Harkness on How to Get Away with Murder (Episode: "I'm Going Away") (ABC)
Samira Wiley as Moira on The Handmaid's Tale (Episode: "After") (Hulu)
Alexis Bledel won this award last year, but she has been promoted to a supporting role while Samira Wiley has been moved down to a guest role along with two other actresses in guest roles in "The Handmaid's Tale."  If the voting members of the Television Academy wish to honor "The Handmaid's Tale" again, I think they would pick Wiley.  However, they could split their vote and one of Davis, Rigg, or Tyson could receive the trophy instead.  I'd vote for Davis, but I'm not a member of the Television Academy; another split of their vote between Davis and Tyson could have Rigg sneak by.  They could do better, but they could do worse, too.

Now the men nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.
F. Murray Abraham as Dar Adal on Homeland (Episode: "All In") (Showtime)
Cameron Britton as Edmund Kemper on Mindhunter (Episode: "Episode 2") (Netflix)
Matthew Goode as Tony Armstrong-Jones on The Crown (Episode: "Matrimonium") (Netflix)
Ron Cephas Jones as William “Shakespeare” Hill on This Is Us (Episode: "A Father's Advice") (NBC)
Gerald McRaney as Dr. Nathan Katowski on This Is Us (Episode: "The Car") (NBC)
Jimmi Simpson as William on Westworld (Episode: "Reunion") (HBO)
The speculative fiction nominee here is Jimmi Simpson as a young William AKA The Man in Black in "Westworld."  I was expecting Anthony Hopkins, but I suspect his episodes were too late in the season to earn enough nominating votes.  That's not to take anything away from Simpson; he deserved the nomination.  His winning will likely be another matter, as Gerald McRaney won last year and is my choice for favorite.  Also, F. Murray Abraham is an Oscar winner.  That might count for something.

Now for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, where I'll be a good environmentalist and recycle what I wrote in 'Saturday Night Live' leads Outstanding Variety Sketch Series nominations, again.
Tina Fey as Host on Saturday Night Live (Episode: "Host: Tina Fey") (NBC)
Tiffany Haddish as Host on Saturday Night Live (Episode: "Host: Tiffany Haddish") (NBC)
Jane Lynch as Sophie Lennon on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Episode: "Put That On Your Plate!") (Amazon)
Maya Rudolph as Judge Gen on The Good Place (Episode: "The Burrito") (NBC)
Molly Shannon as Val on Will & Grace (Episode: "There's Something About Larry") (NBC)
Wanda Sykes as Daphne Lido on Black-ish (Episode: "Juneteenth") (ABC)
The speculative fiction fan in me wants this to go to Maya Rudolph, but I think it will between one of the hosts of SNL and Jane Lynch.  Yes, more "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel."
Follow over the jump for the rest of the nominations of speculative fiction series, beginning with the animation nominees and a few winners.

I begin the first of three program categories with Outstanding Animated Program.
Big Hero 6: The Series (Episode: "Baymax Returns") (Disney XD)
Bob's Burgers (Episode: "V For Valentine-detta") (Fox)
Rick and Morty (Episode: "Pickle Rick") (Adult Swim)
The Simpsons (Episode: "Gone Boy") (Fox)
South Park (Episode: "Put It Down") (Comedy Central)
"Bob's Burgers" won this category last year, so I expect it will do it again.  As the image I used to illustrate this section indicates, I think its biggest competition is "Rick and Morty."

The second category rewarding animation is Outstanding Short-Format Animation.
Adventure Time (Episode: "Ring of Fire") (Cartoon Network)
Robot Chicken (Episode: "Freshly Baked: The Robot Chicken Santa Claus Pot Cookie Freakout Special: Special Edition") (Adult Swim)
Steven Universe (Episode: "Jungle Moon") (Cartoon Network)
Teen Titans Go! (Episode: "The Self-Indulgent 200th Episode Spectacular! Pt. 1 and Pt. 2") (Cartoon Network)
We Bare Bears (Episode: "Hurricane Hal") (Cartoon Network)
"Adventure Time" won last year, so I think it will win again.

I conclude the program nominations with a category that is mostly live action, but has my favorite animated show among its nominees, Outstanding Children's Program.
Alexa and Katie (Netflix)
Fuller House (Netflix)
A Series of Unfortunate Events (Netflix)
The Magical Wand Chase: A Sesame Street Special (HBO)
Star Wars Rebels (Disney XD)
Of course I'm rooting for the final season of "Star Wars Rebels," the Saturn Award winner, but I don't think it will win.  Instead, the favorite is "Sesame Street," which won this award last year, followed by "A Series of Unfortunate Events" and "Fuller House."  At least the first is a speculative fiction series.

That completes the program awards.  Now for some awards that recognize individuals in animation, beginning with Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance.
Alex Borstein as Lois Griffin, Babs Pewterschmidt, Natalia, Female Hippo, Woman in Car and Female Voice on Family Guy (Episode: "Nanny Goats") (Fox)
Dan Castellaneta as Homer Simpson, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, Sideshow Mel on The Simpsons (Episode: "Fears of a Clown") (Fox)
Seth MacFarlane as Stan Smith and Roger Smith on American Dad! (Episode: "The Talented Mr. Dingleberry") (TBS)
Seth MacFarlane as Stewie Griffin and Brian Griffin on Family Guy (Episode: "Send in Stewie, Please") (Fox)
Russi Taylor as Huey, Dewey, Louie, Grandma, The Witch and Minnie Mouse on Mickey Mouse (Episode: "The Scariest Story Ever: A Mickey Mouse Halloween Spooktacular") (Disney Channel)
Seth MacFarlane won the past two years for his work on "Family Guy," but that doesn't mean he's the prohibitive favorite this year, as he's now competing against himself and "Family Guy" co-star Alex Borstein, who is also nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy.  She could pull an upset, as could Dan Castellaneta.

Next, some categories in which the nominees have already won, Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation, as these awards are juried.
Adventure Time – Lindsay Small-Butera (character animation) (Episode: "Ketchup") (Cartoon Network)
Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie – Stu Livingston (storyboard artist) (Nickelodeon)
The Number on Great-Grandpa's Arm – Jeff Scher (production design) (HBO)
The Scariest Story Ever: A Mickey Mouse Halloween Spooktacular – Justin Martin (background design) (Disney Channel)
The Simpsons – Caroline Cruikshank (character animation) (Episode: "Springfield Splendor") (Fox)
Steven Universe – Patrick Bryson (background painting) (Episode: "Jungle Moon") (Cartoon Network)

All four of the top speculative fiction drama series earned nominations for Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series.
The Crown (Netflix)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu)
Stranger Things (Netflix)
Westworld (HBO)
"Stranger Things" won the trophy last year, but that was a television season without "Game of Thrones," which won this category the two years before that.  With both in contention, I would give the edge to the dragons, as much as I'd prefer "Stranger Things" or "Westworld."  With my luck, "The Handmaid's Tale" might pull off the upset.

Four speculative fiction series appear in the field for Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (One Hour) although "Game of Thrones" isn't among them.  Instead, it's the X-Men spinoff "Legion."
The Crown – Adriano Goldman (Episode: "Beryl") (Netflix)
The Handmaid's Tale - Colin Watkinson (Episode: "June") (Hulu)
Legion – Dana Gonzales (Episode: "Chapter 8") (FX)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – M. David Mullen (Episode: "Pilot") (Amazon)
Ozark – Ben Kutchins (Episode: "The Toll") (Netflix)
Stranger Things – Tim Ives (Episode: "Chapter One: MADMAX") (Netflix)
Westworld – John Grillo (Episode: "The Riddle of the Sphinx") (HBO)
In a game of "one of these things is not like the others," "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" stands out as a comedy.  Just the same, it belongs here, as it was beautifully shot, although I'm not rooting for it.  Instead, my favorites are "Stranger Things" and "Westworld."  Unfortunately for my preferences, "The Handmaid's Tale" won this last year, so I think it has the inside track among the actual voters.

While I mentioned "Fahrenheit 451" earning a nomination for Outstanding Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes when I discussed the Outstanding Television Movie nominees, I didn't list the other nominees.  Time to correct that oversight.
Fahrenheit 451 (HBO)
Game of Thrones (Episode: "Beyond the Wall") (HBO)
The Handmaid's Tale (Episode: "Seeds") (Hulu)
A Series of Unfortunate Events (Episode: "The Vile Village: Part 1") (Netflix)
Westworld (Episode: "Akane no Mai") (HBO)
This is a new category, having been split from Outstanding Period Costumes just this year.  Even so, it's possible to guess the favorite, as "Game of Thrones" won two years ago.  Still, I think all the nominees deserve their recognition in this category.

Speaking of Outstanding Period Costumes, I also mentioned them in Crime and punishment a major theme of Limited Series nominees at the Emmy Awards for National Wildlife Day for "The Alienist" and "Genius: Picasso" but did not list the nominees, one of which is "Outlander," the sole speculative fiction representative in the category.
The Alienist (Episode: "A Fruitful Partnership") (FX)
The Crown (Episode: "Dear Mrs. Kennedy") (Netflix)
Genius: Picasso (Episode: "Chapter One") (Nat Geo)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Episode: "The Disappointment Of The Dionne Quintuplets") (Amazon)
Outlander (Episode: "Freedom & Whisky") (Starz)
As much as I am rooting for "The Alienist" and "Outlander," I think the contest is between last year's winner "The Crown" and "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel."  I really enjoyed the outfits in the comedy about comedians in 1950s New York City.

Among the top four speculative fiction shows, it's "Game of Thrones" vs. "Westworld" for Outstanding Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series.
The Crown (Episode: "Dear Mrs. Kennedy") (Netflix)
Game of Thrones (Episode: "The Dragon and the Wolf") (HBO)
GLOW (Episode: "Pilot") (Netflix)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Episode: "Pilot") (Amazon)
Westworld (Episode: "Akane no Mai") (HBO)
I'm not surprised that the episode of "Westworld" with the nomination for best costumes is the one with the nomination for best hair; "Akane no Mai" was gorgeous all around.  I also consider it the favorite, as it won last year.  That was without competition from "Game of Thones," which has been nominated multiple times but never won.  I think it's more likely that "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" or "GLOW" will pull off the upset.

It's to recycle from Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and NASA all nominees at the 70th Emmy Awards for Outstanding Original Interactive Program.
Moving even farther out into space, "NASA JPL: Cassini's Grand Finale" earned a nomination for Outstanding Original Interactive Program.
Joining "Cassini's Grand Finale" as a nominee in the category is "Back To The Moon," a glorified Google doodle.
Joining both are three speculative fiction featurettes, "Blade Runner 2049: Memory Lab," "Coco VR," and "Spider-Man Homecoming VR Experience."  I'll have more to write about then later when I cover the speculative fiction nominees.
I hope it's 'NASA JPL: Cassini's Grand Finale," but I wouldn't be surprised by any of them winning, especially the Google doodle, which more people probably saw than the other two.

Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media Within A Scripted Program includes two or three speculative fiction nominees, depending on how one classifies "Mr. Robot."
Mr. Robot - Ecoin (USA)
Rick and Morty - Virtual Rick-ality (Adult Swim)
Silicon Valley – Interactive World: Not Hotdog, VR & Twitter-Powered Pizza Drones (HBO)
13 Reasons Why - Talk To The Reasons (Netflix)
Westworld - Chaos Takes Control Interactive Experience (HBO)
"Westworld" won last year and I hope it wins again.

When I watched the most recent season of "Westworld," I noticed that most of its main title was new and wondered if that would qualify it for a nomination for Outstanding Main Title Design.  It did.
The Alienist (TNT)
Altered Carbon (Netflix)
Counterpart (Starz)
GLOW (Netflix)
Westworld (HBO)
I hope "Westworld" wins the second time around.

"Westworld" appears in both of the make-up categories for which it is eligible, beginning with Outstanding Make-up for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic).
Game of Thrones (Episode: "The Dragon and the Wolf") (HBO)
GLOW (Episode: "Money's On The Chase") (Netflix)
The Handmaid's Tale (Episode: "Unwomen") (Hulu)
This Is Us (Episode: "Number Three") (NBC)
Vikings (Episode: "Homeland") (History)
Westworld (Episode: "Akane no Mai") (HBO)
Best costumes, best hair, and best make-up -- as I wrote above, "Akane no Mai" was gorgeous all around.  On the one hand, "Westworld" won this last year.  On the other, it wasn't competing with "Game of Thrones," which won this category four of the previous five years, so I think the award is between the two HBO series.

Outstanding Prosthetic Make-up for a Series, Limited Series, Movie, or Special.
American Horror Story: Cult (FX)
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (FX)
Game of Thrones (Episode: "The Dragon and the Wolf") (HBO)
Star Trek: Discovery (Episode: "Will You Take My Hand?") (CBS)
Westworld (Episode: "The Riddle of the Sphinx") (HBO)
I'm rooting for "Star Trek: Discovery" for all the alien prosthetics -- Klingons and Doug Jones!  Still, I'm not optimistic, as this award has alternated between "American Horror Story" and "Game of Thrones" for the past four years and I think "American Horror Story" is favored.

Five of the six nominees for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score) are speculative fiction series -- wow!
Ramin Djawadi for Game of Thrones (Episode: "The Dragon and the Wolf") (HBO)
Sean Callery for Marvel's Jessica Jones (Episode: "AKA Playland") (Netflix)
Mark Isham, Cindy O'Connor and Michael Simon for Once Upon a Time (Episode: "Leaving Storybrooke") (ABC)
W.G. Snuffy Walden and A. Patrick Rose for SEAL Team (Episode: "Pattern Of Life") (CBS)
Kevin Kiner for Star Wars Rebels (Episode: "Family Reunion - And Farewell") (Disney XD)
Ramin Djawadi for Westworld (Episode: "Akane no Mai") (HBO)
I'm pleased to see "Once Upon a Time" and "Star Wars Rebels" up here with the rest, but I don't think they have much of a chance.  Instead, I think it's between "Marvel's Jessica Jones," which won Outstanding Main Title Theme Music two years ago, and "Game of Thrones," which earned a Grammy nomination.

Speaking of Outstanding Main Title Theme Music, two superhero shows earned nominations in this category, "Marvel's The Defenders" and "The Tick."
Carlos Rafael Rivera for Godless (Netflix)
Mychael Danna for The Last Tycoon (Amazon)
John Paesano for Marvel's The Defenders (Netflix)
Jeff Beal for The Putin Interviews (Showtime)
Mike S. Olson, Bridget Ellen Kearney, Michael Calabrese and Rachael Price for Somebody Feed Phil (Netflix)
Chris Bacon for The Tick (Amazon)
As much as I like the theme to "The Tick," I think "Godless" is better.

All of the nominees for Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series are speculative fiction series.
Game of Thrones – Tim Porter (Episode: "Beyond the Wall") (HBO)
Game of Thrones – Crispin Green (Episode: "The Dragon and the Wolf") (HBO)
Game of Thrones – Katie Weiland (Episode: "The Spoils of War") (HBO)
The Handmaid's Tale – Wendy Hallam Martin (Episode: "June") (Hulu)
Stranger Things - Kevin D. Ross (Episode: "Chapter Nine: The Gate") (Netflix)
It's between "Stranger Things," which won last year, and "Game of Thrones," which won the two years before that.  "The Handmaid's Tale" would really have to pull a rabbit out its hat against both of them to even have a chance.

Once again, it's "Game of Thrones" vs. "Westworld" for the speculative fiction nominees in Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Period or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More).
The Alienist (Episode: "The Boy On The Bridge") (TNT)
The Crown (Episodes: "Beryl") (Netflix)
Game of Thrones (Episode: "Dragonstone") (HBO)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Episode: "Ya Shivu v Bolshom Dome Na Kholme") (Amazon)
Westworld (Episodes: "Akane no Mai") (HBO)
Unfortunately for both HBO series, "The Crown" is the returning winner and therefore the favorite with "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" being my pick to upset it.

Four of the five nominees for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One-Hour) are speculative fiction shows, including the second nomination for "Star Trek: Discovery."
Game of Thrones (Episode: "The Spoils of War") (HBO)
Homeland (Episode: "All In") (Showtime)
Star Trek: Discovery (Episode: "What's Past Is Prologue") (CBS All Access)
Stranger Things (Episode: "Chapter Eight: The Mind Flayer") (Netflix)
Westworld (Episode: "Akane No Mai") (HBO)
"Stranger Things" won the trophy last year, so it's the favorite, and "Game of Thrones" has won it twice before that, so I think it's the next best bet.

In a category dominated by comedies, "Star Wars Rebels" earned its third nomination for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation.
Atlanta (Episode: "Teddy Perkins") (FX)
Ballers (Episode: "Bull Rush") (HBO)
Barry (Episode: "Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast And Keep Going") (HBO)
Star Wars Rebels (Episode: "A World Between Worlds") (Disney XD)
Vice Principals (Episode: "The Union Of The Wizard & The Warrior") (HBO)
This is a completely new category, so I have no history to go on.  Here's to hoping it helps "Star Wars Rebels."

All four of the top speculative fiction series are competing for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour) with the science-fiction adjacent "Mr. Robot" rounding out the field.
Game of Thrones (Episode: "Beyond the Wall") (HBO)
The Handmaid's Tale (Episode: "June") (Hulu)
Mr. Robot (Episode: "eps3.4_runtime-error.r00") (USA)
Stranger Things (Episode: "Chapter Eight: The Mind Flayer") (Netflix)
Westworld (Episode: "Akane No Mai") (HBO)
"Westworld" won last year, while "Game of Thrones" three of the five years before that.  I might go with "Game of Thrones."

The animated "Family Guy" joins the live-action comedies among the nominees for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation.
Barry (Episode: "Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast And Keep Going") (HBO)
Family Guy (Episode: "Three Directors") (Fox)
Modern Family (Episode: "Lake Life") (ABC)
Mozart in the Jungle (Episode: "Domo Arigato") (Amazon)
Silicon Valley (Episode: "Fifty-One Percent") (HBO)
"Mozart in the Jungle" won this the past two year so I expect it to three-peat.

Outstanding Special Visual Effects is the province of speculative fiction shows, so of course all the nominees fit that description.
Altered Carbon (Episode: "Out Of The Past") (Netflix)
Game of Thrones (Episode: "Beyond the Wall") (HBO)
Lost in Space (Episode: "Danger, Will Robinson") (Netflix)
Stranger Things (Episode: "Chapter Nine: The Gate") (Netflix)
Westworld (Episode: "The Passenger") (HBO)
Oh, look, a nomination for "Lost in Space."  It should be happy just to be nominated, as the trophy will either go to last year's winner, "Westworld," or the the winner of the previous five years, "Game of Thrones."  I think the dragons will take it home this year.

"Gotham" took home Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role last year.
The Alienist (Episode: "The Boy On The Bridge") (TNT)
The Crown (Episodes: "Misadventure") (Netflix)
Gotham (Episode: "That's Entertainment") (Fox)
The Handmaid's Tale (Episodes: "June") (Hulu)
Mr. Robot (Episode: "eps3.4_runtime-err0r.r00") (USA)
Here's to hoping it repeats.

Now, the last category, Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Limited Series, or Movie."Game of Thrones" has won this twice, so it's the favorite, while "Westworld" was not even nominated last year.  "Marvel's The Punisher" or "The Blacklist" have better chances of pulling off the upset.

People who have been paying attention have probably noticed how many nominations the "Akane No Mai" episode of "Westworld" earned.  That was probably because of the behind the scenes video for the episode from HBO, which I thought was an effective bit of marketing to the Emmy voters.

Westworld 2x05 "Akane No Mai" Season 2 Episode 5 Inside - ショーグン・ワールドへようこそ (Welcome to Shogun World). Written by Dan Dietz; directed by Craig Zobel.
Based on the seven nominations for this episode, it worked.  Let's see if it earns awards as well as nominations.  I'll have that beginning Tuesday.  Stay tuned.

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