In the days leading up to the 2019 Emmy Awards, we're pitting the 26 shows with the most nominations against each other to determine Primetimer readers' favorite Emmy-nominated series of the year. Full details in our kick-off post.
On to the next set of match-ups in round two... (Seed number appears before show title)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Network: Amazon Prime
Nominations: 20, including Outstanding Comedy Series
With a whopping 20 nominations and last year's Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series on their mantle, you'd think more people would be making a case for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel as a frontrunner. But with the return of Veep and the ascendance of Barry in its second season (whereas many felt Maisel treaded water), Amy Sherman-Palladino's comedy fels like an underdog. Still, we'd be foolish to underestimate the show, or the charms of series star Rachel Brosnahan.
Nominations: 6, including Outstanding Drama Series
Despite Pose’s place in the zeitgeist and its emotionally investing first season, it feels like this year’s Little Emmy Engine That Could. Rest assured, there would be no more rewarding victory on Emmy night than if Pose could pull of that Best Drama win - both for representation of queer people of color on television and for a great show that not enough people watched. -- Chris Feil
The Matchup: A clash of styles here for sure, although if you look closer, the shows have more in common than one might think. Both are windows into very specific moments in our cultural history; both wear their hearts on their sleeve, and both richly deserve all the costume design awards that can possibly be thrown at them. Pose has all the makings of a people's champ, but Maisel remains a formidable challenger.
Primetimer Ultimate Emmys Bracket Round 2, Match 5— Primetimer (@primetimercom) September 17, 2019
'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' vs. 'Pose'
Nominations: 13, including Outstanding Comedy Series
Netflix’s riff on Groundhog Day — game developer dies, then comes back during her 36th birthday party at the exact same time over and over again — was a big winner on Emmy nomination morning. The series got 13 nominations (high for a freshman series), including a nod for Natasha Lyonne’s tour-de-force lead performance as Nadia Vulvokov. The former Orange Is the New Black star also got nominated for co-writing the pilot. It’s a major coup for such a young series, and it gives Netflix a foothold in the Comedy Series category. You have to wonder, though: If it wins, will Lyonne keep giving her acceptance speech over and over? -- Kevin O'Keeffe
Network: Netflix (BBC One in the UK)
Nominations: 2, including Outstanding Drama Series
Despite being fully in the zeitgeist these days — joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe in The Eternals, starring in blockbuster Rocketman, rebuffing questions about his dating life — Bodyguard star Richard Madden did not get nominated for the Netflix/BBC One drama series. The government-secrets-and-sexy-security series earned just two nods, for Outstanding Drama Series and Writing for a Drama Series (for its pilot). It’s impressive that it still got into the Series category, but Madden really is the stone-faced soul of the show as Sergeant David Budd. We’re still thinking about his calm, assured introductory scene on the show, in which he diffuses a potential bombing with ease. Can you really celebrate Bodyguard without including the titular bodyguard? -- Kevin O'Keeffe
The Matchup: Bodyguard benefited from a friendly matchup against This Is Us. No such luck this round. Russian Doll may have peaked in buzz several months ago, but it's still one of the handful of great creative triumphs of the TV season.
Primetimer Ultimate Emmys Bracket Round 2, Match 6— Primetimer (@primetimercom) September 17, 2019
'Russian Doll' vs. 'Bodyguard'
Joe Reid is the senior writer at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.