The Emmy eligibility window ended at the end of May, so the field is set for the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards in September. As the summer begins in full, it is time to look back at the best television from the past year to see which shows to binge this summer to be caught up in time for the Emmys. The Emmys competition is wide open this year, with both Best Comedy Series and Best Drama Series winners from last year (“Schitt’s Creek” and “Succession”) not in the running this year. This means that there are many spots open for new shows to get the spotlight.
“The Flight Attendant”
HBO’s new hit dark comedy “The Flight Attendant” stars Kaley Cuoco as Cassie, a flight attendant who has to try to unravel the mystery of the dead body that she finds in her hotel room. The show toes the line between juicy thriller and clever black comedy, hitting the best of both worlds. Cuoco is likely the frontrunner for comedy actress after a Golden Globe and SAG nomination, with critics citing her performance as one of the best in any show all year. The show is also on track for nominations in Comedy Supporting Actress with Zosia Mamet, as well as writing, directing and Best Comedy Series.
“The Flight Attendant” is available to stream on HBO MAX.
“The Kominsky Method”
One of the few returning nominees in this category, “The Kominky Method” recently aired its third and final season following the continued journey of aging acting coach Sandy Kominsky (Michael Douglas.) The Emmys love to give out awards to shows on their final season and the show has picked up nominations for each of its previous seasons. “The Kominsky Method” doesn’t have the passionate fans or raving reviews that its competitors do, but it will almost certainly see a few nominations.
“The Kominsky Method” is available to stream on Netflix.
“PEN15” just missed out on Emmy nominations for its first season but now, with an unusually empty field, there is hope for this Hulu hit to score this year. “PEN15” follows Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle as fictionalized versions of their younger days in middle school. Both women have a shot at getting in for their stellar performances and a Writer’s Guild nomination earlier this year makes it a strong contender for a nomination in comedy writing.
“PEN15” is available to stream on Hulu.
“Master of None”
After a few years off, “Master of None” returned in May for a third season, this time following a new lead character (Lena Waithe) in a slower, more introspective season. Each of the last two seasons have been nominated for Best Comedy Series. Comedy actor,Aziz Ansari, while he is no longer acting in the series, remains on the show as the director. This season has not been as well-received as its previous seasons, but it should still be on track for nominations at the Emmys.
“Master of None” is available to stream on Netflix.
“Ted Lasso,” the big hit from Apple TV+, might just be the frontrunner in this category. This story of an American football coach who goes overseas to coach soccer has rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. Jason Sudeikis won the Golden Globe, Critics Choice and SAG award in the titular role and the ensemble received recognition as well. Look for Ted Lasso in just about every category come September.
“Ted Lasso” is available to stream on Apple TV+.
Dickinson (Apple TV+), Mythic Quest (Apple TV+) and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (NBC)
This new romance story is looking toward Emmy gold in its first season after taking the internet by storm after its release last Christmas. It’s on pace, hitting SAG nominations for the ensemble and for Regé-Jean Page in lead actor. It can also expect to hit some below-the-line nominations for its beautiful depiction of Regency-era England.
“Bridgerton” is available to stream on Netflix.
Chronicling the long reign of Queen Elizabeth II, “The Crown” has been an Emmy mainstay for its entire run. Outstanding Drama Series, Writing, Directing and Acting for Olivia Colman should all easily be in reach once again. This time, “The Crown” newcomers Gillian Anderson and Emma Corrin have wowed viewers as Margaret Thatcher and Princess Diana, respectively. Both women are looking to add to the show’s already lengthy list of Emmy nominations.
“The Crown” is available to stream on Netflix.
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
Another Emmy mainstay, dystopian drama “The Handmaid’s Tale” is back after being on hiatus for two years. The show has won before, including Elisabeth Moss for Best Lead Actress, Ann Dowd for Supporting Actress and for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series. Look for this to be one of the biggest contenders for Outstanding Drama Series as well.
“The Handmaid’s Tale” is available to stream on Hulu.
“The Mandalorian” was last year’s surprise Emmy contenter and it’s looking to show that last year wasn’t a fluke. With the Emmys being more open than ever, this show should have no problem picking up several nominations once again. The fantastical effects it takes to make a show in the Star Wars universe make it a shoe-in for technical awards, but it should also have no trouble making it into Outstanding Drama Series and Pedro Pascal may sneak into the Outstanding lead actor nominations.
“The Mandalorian” is available to stream on Disney+.
“Pose” hits the screen for its third and final season and with that should come plenty of love from the Emmys. “Pose” depicts the underground ballroom culture in New York and received great reviews. Billy Porter was nominated twice with a win for Lead Actor. The Emmy’s have been a bit light on nominations for “Pose” in its past few seasons, but this final season will get more recognition as the Television Academy tries to recognize the show’s achievement.
“Pose” is available to stream on FXNOW
P-Valley (STARZ), Perry Mason (HBO) and Lovecraft Country (HBO)
Limited Series/TV Movie
Don’t forget about the limited series category, as there are many great shows here as well. The frontrunner is Netflix’s “The Queen’s Gambit,” starring Anya Taylor-Joy as a Cold War chess prodigy. Coming onto the scene late is HBO’s “Mare of Eastown,” the finale of which briefly crashed HBOMAX’s servers from an overload of viewers trying to see the conclusion of this Kate Winslet mystery. Other contenders include Steve McQueen’s 5-film collection “Small Axe” (Amazon), Barry Jenkins’ hit series “The Underground Railroad” and HBO’s hard hitting “I May Destroy You.”
The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards will air on Sept. 19 on CBS.
By Ben Lindner