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Thursday, June 19, 2014

2014 Emmy Predictions and Hopefuls: Best Writing

Recently, the Emmy's released every person and show eligible in all of their categories for the 2014 Primetime Emmy's for their nomination ballot. This post is dedicated to everything related to Outstanding Writing in both the drama and comedy categories. It will be both who I think will actually earn a nomination as well as who I think deserves to earn a nomination. However, there is one main ground rule- I have to go off of the actual Emmy nomination ballot. Which means that if the series isn't actually eligible to earn a nomination in real life, then it's not eligible to be mentioned in this post. Makes sense, doesn't it? Let's begin!



- Erin Levy (Mad Men) "The Monolith"
- George Mastras (Breaking Bad) "To'hajiilee"
- Matthew Weiner (Mad Men) "Waterloo"
- Nick Pizzolatto (True Detective) "The Secret Fate of All Life"
- Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad) "Felina"

EPISODE THAT COULD PLAY SPOILER: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss (Game of Thrones) "The Children"

COLD, HARD LOCKS: Gilligan, Weiner, Pizzolatto


WHAT I'M PROBABLY WRONG ABOUT: Homeland being snubbed

Mad Men has earned anywhere from 2-4 nominations in this category for five out of the past six years it's been eligible. The only problem is that sixth year just so happened to be last year where the show didn't earn any writing nominations whatsoever. Many critics and Mad Men fans found the show's sixth season to be its worst and the 2013 Emmy eligibility period produced some excellent, excellent television. While I didn't think 7a of Mad Men was all that great (and I also loved Mad Men's sixth season), I always never choose to believe the anomaly as the truth. Mad Men not earning two nominations in a given year is an anomaly and a trend I refuse to follow when trying to predict who will earn a nomination in 2014.

While Breaking Bad hasn't dominated this category like Mad Men has, I just personally believe in my heart of hearts that its final season coupled with some incredible individual episodes will propel it to earn not one, but two nominations. I realize this is a bold move that will probably blow up in my face, but one I'm sticking tough to. I think Vince Gilliagan's nomination is lock considering he created Breaking Bad and he wrote what many consider one of the greatest series finales ever made. George Mastras is no stranger this category in the past, and I think "To'hajiilee" is good enough that earns a nomination. It should be Moira Walley-Beckett for writing the fucking incredible "Ozymandias" but Mastras has an Emmy nomination and Walley-Beckett does not, so that was my tie-breaker.

True Detective is going to get nominated in almost every category it's eligible in. Nick Pizzolatto wrote every episode of the HBO mini-series, and therefore, he's only eligible to submit one episode. I can guarantee that his lone Emmy submission episode, "The Secret Fate of All Life" is going to earn him a nomination.

I think it's risky to go against Homeland. It won this category last year, and the show has gone 2 for 2 in terms of nominations it's eligible for. However, and maybe I'm thinking with heart and not my head, I believe that the downturn in quality of Homeland's third season combined with stiff competition means that Homeland doesn't earn a writing nomination this year.

David Benioff & D.B. Weiss essentially write every episode of Game of Thrones (except for apparently the two best episodes this past season) and are coming off of their best season yet. They earned a nomination in this category during the show's first and third season, but did not earn one during the show's second season. So not only are the Emmy's not always on board with nominating Game of Thrones in this category, but the show's lone Emmy submission episode, "The Children" isn't all that great. I personally would give Benioff and Weiss the nomination, but I'd do it because I thought Game of Thrones as a whole was just spectacular and the writers should get Emmy recognition for that. However, Emmy voters don't think like that, and they give nominations based upon quality of the Emmy submission episode alone. It's for that reason that I don't think David Benioff & D.B. Weiss earn a writing Emmy nomination in 2014. 


- Cristine Chambers & Howard Korder (Boardwalk Empire) "The Old Ship of Zion"
- David Benioff & D.B. Wiess (Game of Thrones) "The Children"
- George Mastras (Breaking Bad) "To'hajiilee"
- Moira Walley-Beckett (Breaking Bad) "Ozymandias"
- Semi Chellas & Matthew Weiner (Mad Men) "The Strategy"

POTENTIAL OBVIOUS SNUB: The only true major snub would be if Moira Walley-Beckett doesn't get a nomination for "Ozymandias". I can't press enough what an incredible hour of television that was. In fact, Entertainment Weekly just released their top 50 TV scenes from the past 12 months, and guess which episode had a scene that landed at #1? Outside of that, there's nothing that *truly* needs to be in this category.  



- Liz Friedman & Jenji Kohan (Orange Is The New Black) "I Wasn't Ready"
- Lena Dunham, Judd Apatow, & Jenni Konner (Girls) "Beach House"
- Louie C.K. (Louie) "Pamela 3"
- Michael Schur (Parks and Recreation) "London"
- Tara Herrmann & Jenji Kohan (Orange Is The New Black) "Can't Fix Crazy"

EPISODE THAT COULD PLAY SPOILER: Carter Bays & Craig Thomas (How I Met Your Mother) "Last Forever"

COLD, HARD LOCKS: Lena Dunham, Louie C.K.

STRONG EDUCATED GUESSES: Michael Schur, 2 nominations for OITNB


Last year, three shows earned five nomination. Louie and 30 Rock each earned two nominations and The Office earned one. 30 Rock and The Office ended last year, which means this category is completely up in the air. Two years ago, Louie and Girls each earned one nomination, Parks and Recreation earned two nominations, and Community snuck in there for the 5th spot. This category is tough to predict year after year and the normal heavy hitters aren't guaranteed to get nominations in this category. It's a tough category to predict because past success is a terrible predictor of future nominations here, yet that's sort of what I'm doing.


- Laura McCreary (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) "The Bet"
- Liz Friedman & Jenji Kohan (Orange Is The New Black) "I Wasn't Ready"
- Jason Mantzoukas & Seth Rogen (The League) "Rafi and Dirty Randy"
- Michael Schur (Parks and Recreation) "London"
- Tara Herrmann & Jenji Kohan (Orange Is The New Black) "Can't Fix Crazy"

POTENTIAL OBVIOUS SNUB: "Rafi and Dirty Randy" (The League).

As fucking incredible as Breaking Bad's "Ozymandias" was last year, I actually named Rafi and Dirty Randy as the best single television episode of 2013. It's absolutely not going to earn any nominations, and even if the Emmy's all of the sudden loved FX's The League last year, it won't earn a writing nomination because it's mainly improvised (the same logic that I think Veep will never earn a writing nomination). Still, it's a fantastic episode and it is Emmy eligible.



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