Saturday, October 6, 2018

'Game of Thrones,' 'Westworld,' and 'The Handmaid's Tale' — fantastic and futuristic government winners at the Primetime and Creative Arts Emmy Awards

I opened 'The Americans' and 'The Crown' — 20th Century government winners at the Primetime and Creative Arts Emmy Awards by saying "four different shows divided up the seven awards for drama series at the final night of the Emmy Awards, "The Americans," "The Crown," "Game of Thrones," and "Westworld."  Instead of writing about all four in one post, I am splitting discussion of them and the other drama winners into historical and contemporary dramas today and fantastic and futuristic drama series tomorrow" and closed with a reminder that "I'll return with the speculative fiction winners among drama series tomorrow.  Stay tuned."  It's time to follow through and note that I did a better job of predicting the winners in the categories I'm covering today than the ones I wrote about yesterday, beginning with Outstanding Drama Series.
The Americans (FX)
The Crown (Netflix)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu)
Stranger Things (Netflix)
This Is Us (NBC)
Westworld (HBO)
As I've already reported in Diversity a winner at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, this is a record year for diverse performing nominees and "The Handmaid's Tale" has already earned an Emmy that recognized a performance by Samira Wiley, an LGBT African-American.  In addition, both "This Is Us" and "Westworld" have nominated actors that added to the diversity of nominees, all of whom I'll write about below.  It's also a better year than last year, when 'Westworld' led drama series with 22 Emmy nominations, followed by 'Stranger Things' with 19 and 'The Handmaid's Tale' with 13 with "Game of Thrones" joining last year's top speculative fiction shows and tying "Saturday Night Live" at 22 nominations...I'm also sure that a speculative fiction series will win for the fourth time in a row, as I see this category as a contest between last year's winner "The Handmaid's Tale" and the year before's winner "Game of Thrones."  If all things were equal, I would say that "Game of Thrones" would win, but I'm not sure that they are.  If the anti-Trump zeitgeist that propelled "The Handmaid's Tale" to victory in this category as well as both actress categories plus directing and writing last last year is still as strong, then it will likely repeat.  Either way, it would be fantastic and futuristic politics and government for the win.
All things did end up equal, as "Game of Thrones" won.  Watch Game of Thrones Wins Outstanding Drama Series at the 70th Emmy Awards.

Game of Thrones takes home the award for Outstanding Drama Series.
I made an even firmer prediction in the next category.
Every nominee for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series represents speculative fiction show or a series that examines politics and government with some examining both — more fantastic and futuristic politics and government!
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister on Game of Thrones (Episode: "The Spoils of War") (HBO)
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister on Game of Thrones (Episode: "The Dragon and the Wolf") (HBO)
Joseph Fiennes as Commander Fred Waterford on The Handmaid's Tale (Episode: "First Blood") (Hulu)
David Harbour as Jim Hopper on Stranger Things (Episode: "Chapter Four: Will the Wise") (Netflix)
Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson on Homeland (Episode: "Species Jump") (Showtime)
Matt Smith as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on The Crown (Episode: "Mystery Man") (Netflix)
I asked what if the entertainment professionals voted on the television acting nominations at the Saturn Awards?  The answer for this category was that Peter Dinklage would replace Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as a nominee.  It turns out that the Saturn Award nominating committee got Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's nomination right, just as they did for Adina Porter in "American Horror Story: Cult."  On the other hand, I was right to think that Peter Dinklage deserved a nomination as well.  Sorry, Kit Harington.  I also called that the professionals would pick David Harbour, who the Saturn Awards snubbed.  All of them, plus Joseph Fiennes from "The Handmaid's Tale," performed in series that potray fantastic and futuristic politics and government, so any of them winning would satisfy me.  As for who would win, I'm personally rooting for Harbour, who won a Critics' Choice Award, but I think the trophy will go to Dinklage, who is the only one of the nominees to win this category, which he did twice, most recently in 2015.
That's exactly what happened.  Watch 70th Emmy Awards: Peter Dinklage Wins For Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series.

Peter Dinklage wins the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Game of Thrones.

I didn't call the next category, but I got what I wanted anyway.
All four top speculative fiction series have nominees for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.
Alexis Bledel as Emily / Ofsteven on The Handmaid's Tale (Episode: "Unwomen") (Hulu)
Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven on Stranger Things (Episode: "Chapter Three: The Pollywog") (Netflix)
Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia on The Handmaid's Tale (Episode: "June") (Hulu)
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones (Episode: "The Dragon and the Wolf") (HBO)
Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret on The Crown (Episode: "Beryl") (Netflix)
Thandie Newton as Maeve Millay on Westworld (Episode: "Akane no Mai") (HBO)
Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy Waterford on The Handmaid's Tale (Episode: "Women's Work") (Hulu)
My personal favorite is Thandie Newton, who I liked better than Evan Rachel Wood in this season of "Westworld," followed by Millie Bobby Brown.  Unfortunately, I don't think either will win.  Instead, this category features a match-up between two of last year's winners, Ann Dowd, who won this award last year, and Alexis Bledel, who won Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for the same role last year.  Between the two of them, I think Dowd has the inside track.  My choice for upset would be either Newton or Vanessa Kirby.  The first would at least be a win for diversity as well as great acting, while the latter would be an example of a great role elevating a performance.
Watch 70th Emmy Awards: Thandie Newton Wins For Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series.

Thandie Newton wins the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for Westworld.
So "Westworld" isn't really about futuristic government (the one time actual government shows up in the form of the People's Liberation Army, they get chased off the island), but it is my favorite of all the nominated speculative fiction shows, so I'm happy.  Congratulations to Thandie Newton, F-bomb and all!

Follow over the jump for the speculative fiction winners at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

Once again, I'm going to be a good environmentalist by recycling what I wrote in Diversity a winner at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards.
I was all over the place while trying to predict Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama, but I think I managed to hit the target anyway.
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.
Samira Wiley was the first name I mentioned, which means it was my "first choice."  Another success!
I don't have Wiley accepting the award, but I do have 70th Emmy Awards: Backstage LIVE! with Samira Wiley.

Albert Lawrence speaks with Samira Wiley about her win for The Handmaid's Tale.
She's actually the winner of Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama, not a comedy, but at least The Television Academy got the rest of it right.

Now for the rest of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards won by speculative fiction drama series, which I generally called correctly.
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.
"Game of Thrones" won this award, as predicted.
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.
As I expected, "Westworld" won for "Akane no Mai."
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.
My hopes were rewarded, as "Westworld" repeated.
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.
On the other hand, The Television Academy did not reward my hopes, giving it instead to "Counterpart."  I'll embed the video of the main title sequence at the end of this entry.
"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.
I was right; it was and "Westworld" beat "Game of Thrones" to take home this trophy.  Congratulations to the crew of "Westworld" who made "Akane no Mai" such a feast for the eyes and earned the series three of its four Emmys.
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.
Nope, "Game of Thrones" won, although I at least knew that "Game of Thrones" was the other show most likely to win.
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.
The Grammy nominee won, as "Game of Thrones" earned the award.
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.
Consider the rabbit pulled, as "The Handmaid's Tale" upset both "Game of Thrones," which might have been the victim of vote splitting, and "Stranger Things" to win the Emmy.

Even though I mentioned Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary Program (One Hour or More) in Crime and punishment a major theme of Limited Series nominees at the Emmy Awards for National Wildlife Day, as both "American Horror Story: Cult" and "Twin Peaks" earned nominations, I forgot to list all the nominees and forecast a winner.  Now is the time to correct that.
The Handmaid's Tale (Episode: "June") (Hulu)
American Horror Story: Cult (FX)
The Handmaid's Tale (Episode: "Seeds", "After", "First Blood") (Hulu)
Ozark (Episode: "My Dripping Sleep") (Netflix)
Twin Peaks (Showtime)
Based on "The Handmaid's Tale" winning this award last year, I would have expected that it would be the favorite to repeat.  It did.  Unfortunately, I can't claim credit after the fact.  On the other hand, I can congratulate "The Handmaid's Tale" on its three Emmy Awards — congratulations!
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.
This was the only time I picked "The Crown" to win and was wrong.   Instead, "Game of Thrones" won, which is O.K. with me.  The dragons won this award when it was still Outstanding Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series, something I missed and should have noted.

Now for the one trophy won by "Stranger Things."
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.
Congratulations to "Stranger Things" and their sound crew.  May they repeat a third and final time next year.

ETA: I forgot an award for "Game of Thrones."
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."
As I anticipated, "Game of Thrones" won this category.  Now back to the original entry.
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.
The dragons did, as "Game of Thrones" won the award.
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.
As I expected, "Game of Thrones" won this award a third time, helping make the fantasy series the most Emmy-winning show this year with nine statuettes.  For that accomplishment, I am giving the cast and crew a curtain call with 70th Emmys Thank You Cam: The Team From Game Of Thrones.

The team from Game Of Thrones talk with the Emmys Thank You Cam after winning for Outstanding Drama Series.

I'll have more tomorrow about the Emmy Awards, probably the wins by "Saturday Night Live."  In the meantime, here is the STARZ Counterpart Main Title, as promised.

Karin Fong's latest title sequence for STARZ Counterpart, delves into an intricate world of parallel dimensions, doppelgängers, secrets and suspense. For JK Simmons, It's just another day at the office...

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