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

So many Television shows, so few nominees who’ll find yourself clutching trophies at the Primetime Emmy Awards.

A complete of 25 awards will undoubtedly be presented through the Sept. 12 ceremony, including in the glamour types of acting and best comedy, drama and limited series. Past winners Jean Smart (Hacks) and Bill Hader (Barry) are on the list of contenders.

The entire field is highly competitive, having an unprecedented twist: Netflixs South Korean phenomenon Squid Game may be the first nonEnglish language drama to be nominated for an Emmy.

While predicting victors this season is like among those daunting Squid Game contests, Associated Press Television Writer Lynn Elber and AP Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy foolishly soldier on.

DRAMA SERIES

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

KENNEDY:

Should win: Severance, the vicious satire of office culture cannot have asked for better timing, in the same way many white-collar workers were making their first tentative steps back and questioning why. It really is just brilliant, unpredictable and haunting.

Will win: Although both my innie and my outie think it must be Severance, the winner will undoubtedly be Succession. Not just a bad step, just a straightforward one.

ELBER:

Should win: Severance captures the zeitgeist of worker discontent, but lets consider Squid Game and its own undertake soul-destroying poverty. Its wholly original and, yes, gruesome. That didnt hurt four-time winner Game of Thrones.

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

COMEDY SERIES

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

KENNEDY:

Should win: The mockumentary Abbott Elementary, a genuine workplace comedy in the vein of ANY OFFICE or Superstore. How it really is so specific to several underfunded teachers in Philadelphia yet universal may be the magic.

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

ELBER:

Should win: Increase your hand once you learn the solution. Abbott Elementary may be the rare sitcom that clicked right away, using its characters, stories and heart all in the proper place.

Will win: Abbott Elementary, regardless of the odds against an old-school network entry winning against flashier cable and streaming rivals. It hasnt happened since Modern Family won in 2014.

ACTRESS, DRAMA

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

KENNEDY:

Should win: Linney hasnt won for Ozark and she deserves it for going from dutiful wife to a cunning mastermind on 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.

ELBER:

Should win and can win: Versatile, long-admired actor Lynskey gets her first Emmy on her behalf role as Shauna, who has umm, meaty secrets. Zendayas second win on her behalf gutsy work in Euphoria is deserved, but voters favor change in this category.

ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES

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

KENNEDY:

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

Will win: Odenkirk, never nominated for Breaking Bad, must have a minumum of one Emmy in the home for Better Call Saul. Or Cox, who had a rip-roaring season on Succession.

ELBER:

Should win and can win: A group of heavyweights for certain, with the above worthy. But Cox triumphs because the wily magnate scrabbling to regulate his empire and out-maneuver his equally venal brood.

ACTRESS, COMEDY SERIES

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

ELBER:

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

Will win: Smart. Back-to-back wins have grown to be rare in age peak TV (read: unending blast of shows), but her portrayal of a veteran comedian refusing to state uncle reached new degrees of vulnerability and grit.

KENNEDY:

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

ACTOR, COMEDY SERIES

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

ELBER:

Should win: Can we get yourself 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 an ideal note.)

Will win: Haders portrayal of a hitman-turned-actor who cant escape his past may be the core of a viciously satirical, addictive brew. A third Emmy is his reward.

KENNEDY:

Should win: Hoult, playing a vain, unpredictable, glass-breaking, headbutting and unethical Peter III of Russia in THE FANTASTIC, sucking the oxygen out of every scene. Its a frat-boy role but hard to nail like Hoult. Why don’t we hope my seed has found purchase, he says after an encounter with the queen, and I agree.

Will win: Hader. Everybody loves Hader.

LIMITED SERIES

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

ELBER:

Should win: Dopesick is really a granular dissection of the roots of Americas devastating opioid crisis centered on both its victims and villains. Television at its relevant best.

Will win: The Dropout. Lets face it: Seeing a Silicon Valleys high-flier brought down a peg or further is really a guilty pleasure, and the story of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes spectacular fall is punchily told.

KENNEDY:

Should win: The Dropout, agreed, a growth and fall in addition to a trip back again to her teenage years so well told that viewers could almost have a pity party for Holmes, or at the very least know how her fraud can happen.

Will win: The White Lotus, a satire of wealth, entitlement and privilege was this cycles lite Big Little Lies, also it was the splashiest show about rich white people being horrible, which weirdly all of the nominees this time around had components of.

ACTOR, LIMITED SERIES

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

ELBER:

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

KENNEDY:

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

Will win: Keaton, who always it appears can be an underestimated talent, shining in a job perfectly suitable for him: a sweet local doctor gradually understanding the horror he’s got helped create. A touch too perfect, but, hey.

ACTRESS, LIMITED SERIES

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.

ELBER:

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.

KENNEDY:

Should win and can win: Well without doubt see each one of these actors again at the Emmys, but this season it is about Seyfried, who played a fraudster with a Yoda-loving, Mandarin-speaking, munching-on-a-scorpion and dancing poorly essence.

___

For more with this years Emmy Awards, visit: www.apnews.com/EmmyAwards

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