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Ultimate Emmys Bracket: The Quarterfinals Begin with Fleabag Versus Sharp Objects

Plus Killing Eve and Schitt's Creek in a battle of rabid fandoms.
  • (Photos: BBC, HBO)
    (Photos: BBC, HBO)

    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 first set of match-ups in our quarterfinals... (Seed number appears before show title)

    Quarterfinals, Match 1

    (Photos: BBC, HBO)

    Network: Amazon Prime
    Nominations: 11, including Outstanding Comedy Series

    Let’s raise a Marks & Spencer’s pre-mixed gin and tonic can to Phoebe Waller-Bridge for the triumphant second season of Fleabag, which somehow managed to be perfect from start to finish. After dominating at the TCA Awards last month, can Phoebe Waller-Bridge replicate that success at the Emmys? In the acting categories, she is joined by recent Oscar-winner Olivia Colman (who is looking to add to her EGOT tally), scene-stealer Sian Clifford as Fleabag's sister, as well as Fiona Shaw and Kristin Scott Thomas in the guest category. The (Hot) Priest (Andrew Scott) told us this love would pass; I’m not sure he is right. -- Emma Fraser

    Sharp Objects
    Network: HBO
    Nominations: 8, including Outstanding Limited Series

    The dark Gillian Flynn-penned miniseries enters the Emmy race having already picked up a Golden Globe and a Critics’ Choice Television Award, though only for its actors, Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson. Critics raved about its moody themes and sweaty, suspicious Southern atmosphere, but it never quite caught on like director Jean-Marc Valée's previous miniseries, Big Little Lies did. That said, it may be picking up momentum in the Outstanding Limited Series category against stiff competition: Chernobyl, Fosse/Verdon, When They See Us, and Escape at Dannemora. It may have been the most-seen show of the group, which might give it an edge with voters, particularly in the acting categories. -- Omar Gallaga

    The Matchup: The heavy favorites at the top of the bracket have been laid to waste, and in their place are a pair of women in shows that take VERY different angles on the subject. It's tough to put a finger on exactly why Fleabag struck such a chord with audiences this year, beyond the simple facts of its sharp writing, clear-eyed emotions, and irresistible comedic performances. Meanwhile, it's been fun to see Sharp Objects get the recognition in our little bracket that the awards shows have thus far been unwilling to extend. At this point, it seems like it's gonna take a monster effort for any show to unseat Fleabag, but no show that demolished Game of Thrones the way Sharp Objects just did in should be underestimated.

    Quarterfinals, Match 2

    (Photos:BBC, CBC/Pop)

    Killing Eve
    Network: BBC America
    Nominations: 9, including Outstanding Drama Series

    What, is Sandra Oh’s mere divine presence not enough for you? In Killing Eve’s second season, Emmy has decided it was more than Oh, after season one arrived with nominations just for her and now-departed Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s writing. And now that it’s fully arrived by Emmy standards, take a look at most of its competition - we can’t let the boys have this one so easy! Of all of Killing Eve’s nine nominations this season, the majority of them -- from its cast to its writers and producers -- are women. -- Chris Feil

    Schitt’s Creek
    Network: Pop
    Nominations: 4, including Outstanding Comedy Series

    Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara have previously only won Emmys for writing (both for SCTV), but now they are both recognized for their roles as Johnny and Moira Rose. Awards is Moira’s favorite season and while her movie, The Crows Have Eyes III: The Crowening got unceremoniously shelved at the end of the season, O’Hara could win for this role within a role. Despite this failed comeback for the Rose matriarch, Season 5 is one featuring a number of personal triumphs, not to mention a Bob Fosse-worthy production of Cabaret. -- Emma Fraser

    The Matchup: Every time I talk about a Killing Eve matchup, I mention that the second season was noticeably weaker than the first, but then Killing Eve goes and cleans up in the Twitter poll, so clearly y'all don't agree. Maybe here's where Eve and Villanelle meet their unlikely matches in the Rose family, who are as likeable and as absurdly comedic as Eve and Villanelle are badass and … well, absurdly comedic. Maybe Eve is destined to last one more round and set up the Phoebe Waller-Bridge Thunderdome in the semifinals, but I have a feeling the Schitt's Creek hive will show up to vote in this competitive Canada versus Canada (Sandra Oh at least) matchup.

    Watch for more matches in the coming days (and follow us on Twitter and/or like us on Facebook for direct access to the polls as they're released).

    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.

    TOPICS: 71st Primetime Emmy Awards, Fleabag, Killing Eve, Schitt's Creek, Sharp Objects, Emmys Bracket