Sunday, August 07, 2016

68th Emmy Awards - Nominees - Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series

The Korner is providing reflections on the 68th Emmy Award nominees. Feel free to comment at the end of this post about your favorites or who doesn't deserve the nomination.

The top pick here is for "The Americans" for the episode "Persona Non Grata," written by Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg (FX Networks). This is a spoiler-free post so all that can be said is that it is the best example of how the team that creates each episode for this intense drama series and executes it perfectly each time. The suspenseful nature of a clandestine meeting is told with meaning by deeply emotional characters. The outcome for the main characters is full of metaphors and the rollercoaster of their story is hovering at the top, readying them for the dive of their lives. Writers Joseph Weisberg and Joel Fields are enjoying their first ever Emmy nomination for "The Americans," which is a longtime coming and so well-deserved.

The Korner cannot speak for the nomination of "Downton Abbey," episode 8 (PBS) written by Julian Fellowes, based on the fact that it is not a show that has been watched by The Korner. It can, however, appreciate the work by Julian Fellowes, a writer who won the Oscar for the screenplay of Gosford Park (2002). Fellowes won the Emmy for writing Downton Abbey in 2011. Fellowes has a talent for detail in the character development. We're sure that Fellowes will be a top vote for many of the Emmy voters.

Many times nominated, one-time winners in 2015 for Outstanding Writing, both David Benioff and D.B. Weiss share the nomination again in 2016 for "Game Of Thrones" for the episode "Battle Of The Bastards" (HBO). Indeed, this is a tremendous feat, writing an epic battle for the end of season 6. Scenes with the key characters are not overwritten and their actions speak much louder. It is an exhausting episode and ends in a victory for the victims. The Korner would not disagree that these writers deserve the Award for Outstanding Writing.

Writers Robert King and Michelle King are facing their second Outstanding Writing nomination for "The Good Wife" and this time for the series finale, "End" (CBS). While The Korner followed this series faithfully, this wasn't the best written episode of "The Good Wife," but perhaps it made an OK finale for the series because of the outcome for the main character. So much had to be packed into this episode. The Kings were previously nominated for the series's pilot episode and as executive producers for Outstanding Drama. The voters could strongly favor them due to the fact that the series has ended and also there is a spin-off on the table, expectedly for the characters played so well by Christine Baranski and Cush Jumbo. We expect that they'll have other guests including Carrie Preston playing Elsbeth Tascioni. (In a future post, we'll talk about supporting actor nominations covering Preston and others). We just hope it means a return of the character played by Archie Panjabi. The Korner would be shocked that it would win the top Outstanding Writing vote by the Emmy voters.

Sam Esmail is a newer writer and producer, most famous for the show for which he is nominated, "Mr. Robot" and its pilot, "," (USA). Regrettably, The Korner didn't make time in its schedule to watch "Mr. Robot," but appreciates and understands this newcomer being an underdog in the competition, however is not sure it can top the votes against the above list. Maybe in 2017 after it has at least two seasons behind it. (Edit: The Korner will watch Season 1, perhaps even Season 2, before The Emmy Awards air).

The other tough-to-win contender is for Marti Noxon and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro for "UnREAL" and the episode "Return" on (Lifetime). Noxon is well-known to The Korner for her work on Joss Whedon's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" from 1997-2002. Definitely she's overdue for an Emmy win and this is her first Emmy nomination, but do the voters watch "UnREAL"? It is an interesting concept of how reality shows get made. I think Noxon and Shapiro have a hard battle to win this Emmy, just as much as perhaps "Mr. Robot," but it is a key nomination as the third season of "UnREAL" is being developed.