Mar 15, 2021
And the award for Outstanding Obligatory Emmy Winner Prediction Article goes to…
Why in the hell would anyone watch a show where amoral zillionaires tell each other about how great they are? The Emmys are at best a nostalgia exercise and at worst psychopathy obscured by sentimentality. I would rather pluck out my eyebrows and eat each hair individually than watch the Emmys.
But, because there’s nothing else to write about TV during the summer and I needed to pitch something people might inadvertently click, what if I cared about the Emmys? What if I cared enough about the Emmys to be “snarky” about them and give them legitimacy? “Social media comedy personalities” do this a lot, and I’ve tried before, so I can say with absolute certainty that there’s nothing down that rabbit hole. Don’t go down there.
It’s tempting. You think there are solid retweet numbers down there. But it’s all smoke and mirrors. As soon as the broadcast is over, everybody has forgotten what just happened. The next morning, you’ll look at your Twitter feed the way a relapsed alcoholic looks at his car when he finds it parked in an unfamiliar location. If writing jokes about the Emmys is comedy, then walking to my mailbox is hiking and eating the organic rot under my azalea bush is camping.
So writing about the Emmys is almost impossible, but there’s got to be a way to do it without shame, right? What does that scenario even look like? How can a mature adult engage with the rich-people-loving-themselves show and not lose his or her mind? Near as I can figure it, there’s only one way.
Now, this is admittedly a bit complicated, but just stick with me for a minute. First we have to create a hypothetical person. Let’s call him Henry. Now, Henry is underemployed, doesn’t sleep very well most nights, keeps weird hours. Henry’s alone a lot. His whole lifestyle is kind of sad, really, and it makes people keep their distance. So sometimes, when he’s in a really self-defeating mood, he lurks on message boards because he has no community of his own, and he’ll click pretty much any thread on that message board. It’s the rhythm of communal interaction that he’s interested in, not content per se.
Anyway, Henry doesn’t gamble much. Playing online poker for actual money is a seedy pursuit that makes him feel like he should take a shower after he plays it for more than 10 minutes. But let’s say Henry clicked on an Emmy thread, and there’s a pool to predict the winners. It’s not for money officially, but if you message the cool moderator who always alludes to having invites to private torrent trackers, you find out that there’s a $10 buy-in, and the PayPal account designated specifically for this contest has $230 in it. If there’s more than one winner, the prize money is split evenly, and sometimes there are 2 or 3 winners, but last year there was only one.
“Hey,” Henry thinks, “all of these other contestants are assholes who read the trades but don’t have any real intuition about possible winners. I know what ‘getting Taft-Hartleyed’ means, so I have a pretty good shot at actually winning this money. What the hell. I’ll draw up my list and enter.” Then he daydreams about what he’ll do with $230. He could almost buy three tanks of gas with that money. All of a sudden, Henry really cares about the Emmys.
Anyway, the deadline for entering was last night, so I can’t lose any money by sharing my list of predicted Emmy winners for 2014. If I’m right, I’ll gloat for a few hours and drive up to the lake. If I’m wrong, I’ll say that the whole thing was a joke. I’ll say my real list was much more well-reasoned and I can’t share my trade secrets with tourists.
(Note: I have excluded all the boring categories that nobody outside the business cares about.)
Outstanding Comedy Series:
Orange is the New Black. It’s on Netflix, so it would establish that the voters are forward thinking about the “future of television.” Veep is a dark horse because it establishes that the voters are smart and know who Armando Iannucci is.
Outstanding Drama Series:
Breaking Bad, because it’s over.
Fargo, because I’ve heard of that one.
Outstanding Television Movie:
The Normal Heart is the only one that doesn’t sound like a made-up movie for a prop TV Guide. Lock.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series:
Louis C.K. because if he plays his cards right, people will call him “the only auteur in television” in a few years, and you gotta be in on the ground floor of that racket.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series:
Lena Dunham. She hasn’t won yet, and haven’t you seen all those think pieces about what her name is?
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series:
Matthew McConaughey. Besides the obvious, if he doesn’t win, the only media narrative of the awards will be “True Detective shut out at Emmys.”
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series:
Julianna Margulies, because CBS has the most award campaign money.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series:
Ty Burrell. Modern Family was designed to win Emmys, so it’s gotta win a couple.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:
Julie Bowen, for the same reason.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series:
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series:
And there you go. That’s the list. By the way, Seth Meyers is hosting and he smiles like a prominent local attorney’s son who just stole fifty bucks from you and you can’t prove it, you can only swing at him, but if you swing at him he’ll call the cops.