AP Emmy pundits call a win for ‘Succession,’ split on comedy

Aug 31, 2022, 12:42 AM | Updated: 12:50 pm

This image released by ABC shows Quinta Brunson in a scene from "Abbott Elementary." (Ser Baffo/ABC...

This image released by ABC shows Quinta Brunson in a scene from "Abbott Elementary." (Ser Baffo/ABC via AP)

(Ser Baffo/ABC via AP)

              This image released by Hulu shows Michael Keaton in a scene from "Dopesick," an eight-part miniseries about America's opioid crisis. (Gene Page/Hulu via AP)
              This image released by HBO Max shows Murray Bartlett, foreground from left, Steve Zahn and Connie Britton in a scene from "The White Lotus." The series garnered 20 Emmy nominations including one for best limited series. (HBO Max via AP)
              This image released by Hulu shows Amanda Seyfried as Elizabeth Holmes in the Hulu series "The Dropout." (Beth Dubber/Hulu via AP)
              This image released by HBO shows Bill Hader in a scene from "Barry." (HBO via AP)
              This image released by HBO Max shows Jean Smart in a scene from 'Hacks." Smart was nominated for an Emmy Award for best lead actress in a comedy series. (Karen Ballard/HBO Max via AP)
              This image released by Hulu shows Steve Martin, from left, Martin Short and Selena Gomez in a scene from "Only Murders In The Building." (Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu via AP)
              This image released by AMC shows Bob Odenkirk in a scene from "Better Call Saul." Odenkirk was nominated for an Emmy Award for best lead actor in a drama series. (Greg Lewis/AMC via AP)
              This image released by BBC America shows Sandra Oh and Fiona Shaw in a scene from "Killing Eve." (Olly Courtney/BBCA via AP)
              This image released by HBO shows Brian Cox in a scene from "Succession." (HBO via AP)
              This image released by Apple TV+ shows Adam Scott in a scene from "Severance." Scott was nominated for an Emmy Award for best lead actor in a drama series. (Apple TV+ via AP)
              This image released by ABC shows Quinta Brunson in a scene from "Abbott Elementary." (Ser Baffo/ABC via AP)

So many TV shows, so few nominees who will end up clutching trophies at the Primetime Emmy Awards.

A total of 25 awards will be presented during the Sept. 12 ceremony, including in the glamour categories of acting and best comedy, drama and limited series. Past winners Jean Smart (“Hacks”) and Bill Hader (“Barry”) are among the contenders.

The overall field is highly competitive, with an unprecedented twist: Netflix’s South Korean phenomenon “Squid Game” is the first non-English language drama to be nominated for an Emmy.

While predicting victors this year is like one of those daunting “Squid Game” contests, Associated Press Television Writer Lynn Elber and AP Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy foolishly soldier on.


Nominees: “Better Call Saul”; “Euphoria”; “Ozark”; “Severance”; “Squid Game”; “Stranger Things”; “Succession”; “Yellowjackets.”


Should win: “Severance,” the vicious satire of office culture could not have asked for better timing, just as many white-collar workers were making their first tentative steps back — and questioning why. It is just brilliant, unpredictable and haunting.

Will win: Although both my innie and my outie think it should be “Severance,” the winner will be “Succession.” Not a bad step, just an easy one.


Should win: “Severance” captures the zeitgeist of worker discontent, but let’s consider “Squid Game” and its take on soul-destroying poverty. It’s wholly original and, yes, gruesome. That didn’t hurt four-time winner “Game of Thrones.”

Will win: “Succession” won the last time it competed, in 2020, and the antics of the rich and scheming Roy family are as engrossing a peep show as ever.


Nominees: “Abbott Elementary”; “Barry”; “Curb Your Enthusiasm”; “Hacks”; “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”; “Only Murders in the Building”; “Ted Lasso”; “What We Do in the Shadows.”


Should win: The mockumentary “Abbott Elementary,´´ a true workplace comedy in the vein of “The Office” or “Superstore.” How it is so specific to a group of underfunded teachers in Philadelphia and yet universal is the magic.

Will win: “Only Murders in the Building,” an uncontroversial and uninspired choice, as safe as an Upper West Side doorman building. Who can look at Martin Short, Steve Martin and Selena Gomez and tell them they get no Emmy?


Should win: Raise your hand if you know the answer. “Abbott Elementary” is the rare sitcom that clicked from the start, with its characters, stories and heart all in the right place.

Will win: “Abbott Elementary,” despite the odds against an old-school network entry winning against flashier cable and streaming rivals. It hasn’t happened since “Modern Family” won in 2014.


Nominees: Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve”; Laura Linney, “Ozark”; Melanie Lynskey, “Yellowjackets”; Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve”; Reese Witherspoon, “The Morning Show”; Zendaya, “Euphoria.”


Should win: Linney hasn’t won for “Ozark” and she deserves it for going from dutiful wife to a cunning mastermind over the four seasons.

Will win: Oh, who richly deserves her first Emmy after four years of “Killing Eve.” Comer and Zendaya have their statuettes; TV academy voters will bid Oh goodbye with one, too.


Should win and will win: Versatile, long-admired actor Lynskey gets her first Emmy for her role as Shauna, who has umm, meaty secrets. Zendaya’s second win for her gutsy work in “Euphoria” is deserved, but voters favor change in this category.


Nominees: Jason Bateman, “Ozark”; Brian Cox, “Succession”; Lee Jung-jae, “Squid Game”; Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”; Adam Scott, “Severance”; Jeremy Strong, “Succession.”


Should win: Scott for playing two roles on “Severance,” a worker bee and a grieving widow. The former “Parks and Recreation” star is here an everyman, just sputtering through his day, with damage lurking beneath the suit and tie.

Will win: Odenkirk, never nominated for “Breaking Bad,” should have at least one Emmy at home for “Better Call Saul.” Or Cox, who had a rip-roaring season on “Succession.”


Should win and will win: A category of heavyweights for sure, with all the above worthy. But Cox triumphs as the wily magnate scrabbling to control his empire and out-maneuver his equally venal brood.


Nominees: Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”; Quinta Brunson, “Abbott Elementary”; Kaley Cuoco, “The Flight Attendant”; Elle Fanning, “The Great”; Issa Rae, “Insecure”; Jean Smart, “Hacks.”


Should win: Brunson’s idealistic young schoolteacher is endearing and, as she begins to learn how to survive bureaucracy, growing before our eyes. Plus, teachers deserve respect.

Will win: Smart. Back-to-back wins have become rare in the age of peak TV (read: unending stream of shows), but her portrayal of a veteran comedian refusing to say uncle reached new levels of vulnerability and grit.


Should win and will win: Smart, her character vicious in anger, driven in her career, but this season also sowing a maternal and soft side. Besides, her other Emmy for “Hacks” is lonely.


Nominees: Donald Glover, “Atlanta”; Bill Hader, “Barry”; Nicholas Hoult, “The Great”; Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso”; Steve Martin, “Only Murders in the Building”; Martin Short, “Only Murders in the Building.”


Should win: Can we get a twofer for Martin and Short, whose chemistry and playfulness makes the series? (With a nod to co-star Selena Gomez; her droll tolerance of the pair adds the perfect note.)

Will win: Hader’s portrayal of a hitman-turned-actor who can’t escape his past is the core of a viciously satirical, addictive brew. A third Emmy is his reward.


Should win: Hoult, playing a vain, unpredictable, glass-breaking, headbutting and unethical Peter III of Russia in “The Great,” sucking the oxygen from every scene. It’s a frat-boy role but hard to nail like Hoult. “Let us hope my seed has found purchase,” he says after an encounter with the queen, and I agree.

Will win: Hader. Everyone loves Hader.


Nominees: “Dopesick”; “The Dropout”; “Inventing Anna”; “The White Lotus”; “Pam & Tommy.”


Should win: “Dopesick” is a granular dissection of the roots of America’s devastating opioid crisis focused on both its victims and villains. Television at its relevant best.

Will win: “The Dropout.” Let’s face it: Seeing a Silicon Valley’s high-flier brought down a peg or further is a guilty pleasure, and the story of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes’ spectacular fall is punchily told.


Should win: “The Dropout,” agreed, a rise and fall — as well as a trip back to her teenage years — so well told that viewers could almost feel sorry for Holmes, or at least understand how her fraud could happen.

Will win: “The White Lotus,” a satire of wealth, entitlement and privilege was this cycle’s lite “Big Little Lies,” and it was the splashiest show about rich white people being horrible, which weirdly all the nominees this time had elements of.


Nominees: Colin Firth, “The Staircase”; Andrew Garfield, “Under the Banner of Heaven”; Oscar Isaac, “Scenes from a Marriage”; Michael Keaton, “Dopesick”; Himesh Patel, “Station Eleven”; Sebastian Stan, “Pam & Tommy.”


Should win and will win: Michael Keaton, for his restrained portrayal of a small-town doctor who’s ensnared by opioids at incalculable cost, to him and his patients. The Oscar-winning star is a gift to the small screen.


Should win: Isaac, who in “Scenes from a Marriage” whipsaws from being tightly controlled to impulsive, a little befuddled, liable to snap and always human as his heart broke.

Will win: Keaton, who always it seems is an underestimated talent, shining in a role perfectly suited to him: a sweet local doctor gradually understanding the horror he has helped create. A little too perfect, but, hey.


Nominees: Toni Collette, “The Staircase”; Julia Garner, “Inventing Anna”; Lily James, “Pam & Tommy”; Sarah Paulson, “Impeachment: American Crime Story”; Margaret Qualley, “Maid”; Amanda Seyfried, “The Dropout.”


Should win: Qualley did justice to a rarely seen screen character — a struggling, blue-collar single mom — with a nuanced, breakout performance in “Maid.”

Will win: Seyfried, whose portrayal of an ill-fated Silicon Valley whiz kid in “The Dropout” was a pull-out-the-stops barn burner.


Should win and will win: We’ll no doubt see all these actors again at the Emmys, but this year it is all about Seyfried, who played a fraudster with a Yoda-loving, Mandarin-speaking, munching-on-a-scorpion and dancing poorly essence.


For more on this year’s Emmy Awards, visit: www.apnews.com/EmmyAwards

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Seattle non-profits...

Associated Press

Oregon man convicted of murder in fatal shooting of sheriff’s deputy in Washington state

A jury has convicted an Oregon man of murder in the fatal shooting of a sheriff’s deputy in Washington state.

16 hours ago

Image: Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to a crowd during a campaign rally on Monday, Sept...

Associated Press

Judge rules Donald Trump defrauded banks, insurers while building real estate empire

A judge ruled Tuesday that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to fame and the White House.

1 day ago

FILE - The Amazon logo is displayed, Sept. 6, 2012, in Santa Monica, Calif. Amazon's profitable clo...

Haleluya Hadero, Associated Press

Amazon sued by FTC and 17 states over allegations it inflates online prices and overcharges sellers

The FTC filed an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon on Tuesday, alleging the e-commerce behemoth uses its position in the marketplace to inflate prices

2 days ago

KYIV, UKRAINE - 2022/09/03: A man looks at an image generated based on the stories of displaced chi...

Associated Press

Tech companies try to take AI image generators mainstream with better protections against misuse

Artificial intelligence tools that can conjure whimsical artwork or realistic-looking images from written commands started wowing the public last year. But most people don't actually use them at work or home.

2 days ago

Image: Actor David McCallum attends an event for "NCIS" during the 2009 Monte Carlo Television Fest...

Associated Press

David McCallum, star of hit series ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ and ‘NCIS,’ dies at 90

Actor David McCallum, who was the eccentric medical examiner in the popular "NCIS," has died. He was 90.

2 days ago

FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests indicating a positive result are photographed in New York, April...

Associated Press

Biden administration announces $600M to produce and distribute COVID tests

The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it is providing $600 million in funding to produce new at-home COVID-19 tests and is restarting a website allowing Americans to again order up to four free tests per household

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

AP Emmy pundits call a win for ‘Succession,’ split on comedy