Matthew Gilbert

Tonight’s Emmys: Who will win, who should win, and who got snubbed

Alex Borstein (left) and Rachel Brosnahan in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”
Alex Borstein (left) and Rachel Brosnahan in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”(Amazon Studios)

Best comedy

“Atlanta” (FX)

“Barry” (HBO)

“black-ish” (ABC)

“Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO)

“GLOW” (Netflix)

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

“Silicon Valley” (HBO)

“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

SHOULD WIN: With three-time winner “Veep” out of the running this year, “Atlanta,” “Barry,” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” all deservedly stand a chance. I’ll be especially happy if “Barry” wins, as it wryly negotiates the difficulties of trying to change and the nuances of war-related PTSD.

WILL WIN: About a woman shaking off conventional roles, “Mrs. Maisel” has timely crowd-pleaser written all over it. That flash may eclipse the subtle auteurism of “Atlanta” and the offbeat insight of “Barry.”


ROBBED: The passionate and subtle “Better Things,” the wisely romantic “Insecure,” the short-story-collection-like “High Maintenance,” and the playfully inventive “The Good Place” were among the year’s best. Too bad slots were taken by oldies-but-no-longer-goodies “Silicon Valley” and “Curb.”

Best actress, comedy

Pamela Adlon, “Better Things”

Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Allison Janney, “Mom”

Issa Rae, “Insecure”

Tracee Ellis Ross, “black-ish”

Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”

SHOULD WIN: I’m happy to see Rae get her first nomination for her endearing performance, but Adlon is a force of nature who explores every beat to the fullest.

WILL WIN: Brosnahan is thoroughly winning as a budding stand-up comic, and I think she’ll take the prize, if only for being able to make Amy Sherman-Palladino’s dialogue sound natural. Janney, though, is an Emmy favorite, with seven trophies, and she is fresh off an Oscar win; she may prevail.

ROBBED: I love Tomlin, but Minnie Driver deserves that slot for her fiercely comic work on “Speechless.”

Best actor, comedy

Anthony Anderson, “black-ish”

Ted Danson, “The Good Place”

Larry David, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”

Donald Glover, “Atlanta”

Bill Hader, “Barry”

William H. Macy, “Shameless”

SHOULD WIN: I’m going with Danson, who brings a commanding sense of clever wackiness to network TV’s best comedy. He carries the show with his sparkling wit, and his range never fails to impress.


WILL WIN: I’m expecting Glover to repeat his win from last year, as the cynical eyes of the show, but I won’t be surprised if Hader, both comic and dramatic in “Barry,” gets the nod.

ROBBED: Alex Lawther impresses me every time I see him, and he was remarkable in “The End of the [Expletive] World” as a most unexpectedly sympathetic psychopath.

Supporting actress, comedy

Zazie Beetz, “Atlanta”

Aidy Bryant, “Saturday Night Live”

Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous
Mrs. Maisel”

Betty Gilpin, “GLOW”

Leslie Jones, “Saturday Night Live”

Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”

Laurie Metcalf, “Roseanne”

Megan Mullally, “Will & Grace”

SHOULD WIN: They’re all good, but I’d like to see Mullally win. She is irresistible, and her Karen Walker has only become more absurd in the Trump era. I watched every new episode of “Will & Grace” solely for her.

WILL WIN: The Academy didn’t buy into reboot fever, as it didn’t bestow many nominations on “Twin Peaks,” “Roseanne,” or “Will & Grace.” But I do think the voters, who are prone to confirming their previous opinions, will not be able to resist two-time winner Mullally.

ROBBED: D’Arcy Carden from “The Good Place,” Paula Newsome from “Barry,” and Yvonne Orji on “Insecure” are all terrific.

Supporting actor, comedy

Louie Anderson, “Baskets”

Alec Baldwin, “Saturday Night Live”

Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

Brian Tyree Henry, “Atlanta”

Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous
Mrs. Maisel”


Kenan Thompson, “Saturday Night Live”

Henry Winkler, “Barry”

SHOULD WIN: Finally, the supporting categories aren’t clogged up with “Modern Family” folks. Henry was excellent in his vulnerable performance, but my vote goes to Winkler, whose ego-driven acting coach was a kick.

WILL WIN: Please don’t let it be Baldwin again, for his impersonation of President Trump, which is getting tired. The competition is too good. I’m thinking the Academy will go for Winkler, a TV veteran who, like Danson, shows no sign of laziness. This would be Winkler’s first win.

ROBBED: Lakeith Stanfield is so wonderfully weird as Darius, it’s hard to believe the voters gave “Atlanta” so many nominations but overlooked him.

Best drama

“The Americans” (FX)

“The Crown” (Netflix)

“Game of Thrones” (HBO)

“The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)

“Stranger Things” (Netflix)

“This Is Us” (NBC)

“Westworld” (HBO)

SHOULD WIN: I’m surprising myself here, because I adored season seven of “Game of Thrones,” as the list of players got shorter and new alliances were formed. I also enjoyed — if that’s the right word — season two of last year’s winner, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which continues to creepily mirror the news. But I’m going with the overlooked “The Americans,” which had a pitch perfect final season. “Game” will have another opportunity to win; “The Americans” will not. I wish I could collude with somebody to make it happen.

WILL WIN: The Academy may bend the knee to “Game of Thrones,” but I’m thinking last year’s winner, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” will sneak in again despite an uneven second season. The message of the Margaret Atwood adaptation — about the dangers of authoritarianism and sexism — will be irresistible at this moment in history. To anoint “The Americans” would be to admit past oversights.


ROBBED: The lethal gamesmanship of “Killing Eve” gave me tons of pleasure, despite the disappointing ending. Too bad the Academy doesn’t acknowledge David Simon’s brilliant shows; like “The Wire” and “Treme,” “The Deuce” was a dark, incisive look at America — in this case, the sex industry in 1970s Times Square.

Best actress, drama

Claire Foy, “The Crown”

Tatiana Maslany, “Orphan Black”

Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve”

Keri Russell, “The Americans”

Evan Rachel Wood, “Westworld”

SHOULD WIN: Russell’s stoic performance wasn’t as sympathetic as Moss’s emotional turn, but it was remarkably faceted. I’d love to see her win for a season in which she showed us the cracks in Elizabeth’s veneer.

WILL WIN: Moss will win again, and that will be perfectly excellent. She gives “Handmaid’s Tale” its forward momentum, as June falls to new depths but refuses to submit. Possible upset: Oh, whose charm was all over “Killing Eve.”

ROBBED: Laura Linney, with her sly smirks, is the best reason to watch “Ozark,” as her character cottons to the world of crime. Maggie Gyllenhaal is riveting in “The Deuce,” and Jodie Comer is dazzlingly amoral in “Killing Eve.”

Best actor, drama

Jason Bateman, “Ozark”

Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”


Ed Harris, “Westworld”

Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”

Milo Ventimiglia, “This Is Us”

Jeffrey Wright, “Westworld”

SHOULD WIN: Remember when Kyle Chandler won this category for the final season of “Friday Night Lights”? Remember when Jon Hamm won for the final season of “Mad Men”? I’d love to see Rhys find himself in the same position. His final season was his most poignant, as Philip turned his back on spying and, to some extent, his wife and daughter.

WILL WIN: The Academy will want to honor “This Is Us,” network TV’s big quality drama, and Brown is a great way for voters to do that. He’s the best thing on the show, and he gives a good acceptance speech.

ROBBED: J.K. Simmons kills it twice over on “Counterpart,” and Holt McCallany was impressive as both the skeptic and the anchor of “Mindhunter.”

Supporting actress, drama

Alexis Bledel, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Millie Bobby Brown, “Stranger Things”

Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones”

Vanessa Kirby, “The Crown”

Thandie Newton, “Westworld”

Yvonne Strahovski, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

SHOULD WIN: Strahovski was particularly powerful and sympathetic, as Serena flip-flopped between the resistance and her hunger for getting a baby. I loves me some Dowd, last year’s deserving winner, and her Aunt Lydia is already written into our culture. But Strahovski was both despicable and heartbreaking.

WILL WIN: Strahovski will triumph, although you never know when Headey — so appalling as Cersei — will have her deserved day.

ROBBED: Holly Taylor has never been nominated for her difficult work on “The Americans,” as a pious teen gradually realizing and accepting her parents’ spy work. Shame.

Supporting actor, drama

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, “Game of Thrones”

Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”

Joseph Fiennes, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

David Harbour, “Stranger Things”

Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland”

Matt Smith, “The Crown”

SHOULD WIN: Fiennes is duly repulsive, but I’m hoping Coster-Waldau will win with his first nomination. His Jaime has enormous depth and inner conflict.

WILL WIN: Coster-Waldau had a great season, even if it seems like it aired forever ago. The Academy will finally give him his due.

ROBBED: Noah Emmerich was absolutely robbed. His work on “The Americans” was consistently fine — and appealingly understated — and he was heartbreaking in the series finale. Also, Asia Kate Dillon, the actor on “Billions” who isn’t bombastic, is never less than compelling.

Best limited series

“The Alienist” (TNT)

“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (FX)

“Genius: Picasso” (National

“Godless” (Netflix)

“Patrick Melrose” (Showtime)

SHOULD WIN: Ryan Murphy is the king of the limited series, and his “Versace” showed us why. Please let it win. It gave us lesser-known aspects of Andrew Cunanan and his victims while reminding us that homophobia and gay self-loathing may have kept the cops from apprehending the killer sooner rather than later. The performances were stunning. I’m in the minority, but I thought it was better than the first season of “American Crime Story,” about O.J. Simpson.

WILL WIN: Is it possible that the Cumberbatch charm and a British imprimatur will push “Patrick Melrose” into a win? Nope. It was just too dark. “Versace” will win.

ROBBED: I’m not bothered by the snubbing of “Twin Peaks,” which was like overhearing a coded conversation through a cement wall. But I’m sorry that both “Howards End” and “Alias Grace,” two thought-provoking period pieces, didn’t make the cut.

Best actress, limited series or TV movie

Jessica Biel, “The Sinner”

Laura Dern, “The Tale”

Michelle Dockery, “Godless”

Edie Falco, “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders”

Regina King, “Seven Seconds”

Sarah Paulson, “American Horror
Story: Cult”

SHOULD WIN: Dern was flawless as a reporter who revisits childhood relationships and begins to accept their toxicity. It’s a #MeToo-related story, and she brings us inside the way some victims resist seeing themselves as victims.

WILL WIN: If Falco, who fleshed out lawyer Leslie Abramson, wins, she’ll have a trifecta — comedy, drama, and limited series best-actress statues — and the Academy may not be able to pass that up. But I’m thinking Dern, who won last year for “Big Little Lies,” is undeniable.

ROBBED: Sarah Gadon was mesmerizing in “Alias Grace.”

Best actor, limited series or TV movie

Antonio Banderas, “Genius: Picasso”

Darren Criss, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime

Benedict Cumberbatch, “Patrick Melrose”

Jeff Daniels, “The Looming Tower”

John Legend, “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert”

Jesse Plemons, “Black Mirror: USS Callister”

SHOULD WIN: Criss should win for his complex, committed, and chilling performance as a sad, hateful, hate-filled man. Cumberbatch was phenomenal, and hard to look away from, but comparatively one-note.

WILL WIN: I think Criss will win, if only for going so much farther than “Glee” would have led us to believe. Picture me shaking my head if Legend, so likable but so very miscast in “Jesus Christ Superstar,” walks away with the prize.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.