And the Nominees are…

Emily Jacobsson , A&E Editor

The most intense night of television lies not in a show’s series finale or a season cliffhanger, but rather the Emmy Awards. With the returning winners mixed in with new standouts, it’s hard to tell who will take home an award on Sunday. Pick up the remote and tune in on Sept. 18 to see if any of my predictions play out.  

If the word “newcomer” comes with any negative connotation, Rami Malek does away with it. In his first major role, as Elliot Anderson in “Mr. Robot,” Malek has become a q

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uick favorite. Without Malek, “Mr. Robot” would not be the strong contender for Best Drama Series it currently is. He plays a shut off, cynical and socially-awkward computer hacker, yet somehow we can’t help but root for him.

 The future is bright for Malek, who is widely considered this season’s breakout star. It just makes sense that he would win  the Emmy in this category. However, he isn’t without healthy competition. Also nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series are Kevin Spacey of “House of Cards” and Matthew Rhys of “The Americans,” two actors that have established themselves long before Malek. Though talent should be enough for Malek, he may want to hope on beginner’s luck to secure his win.

For Robin Wright, having been previously nominated in the same category three times, it seems hopeful that the fourth time’s a charm. As First Lady Claire Underwood in “House of Cards,” Wright is cunning and undeniably talented.

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Regardless, last year’s winner, Viola Davis, will be hard to dethrone. Davis’s performance as Annalise Keating on “How to Get Away With Murder” was much stronger this season. Davis is one of the most impressive  actresses currently working in television, proving  her ability to deliver genuine, phenomenal performances. While all the nominees for Lead Actress in a Drama Series are more than capable

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of holding their own, I’m confident that Davis will walk away with her second consecutive Emmy.

Much like Davis, “Game of Thrones” is returning to reclaim the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series. With 23 nominations this year, the series seems virtually unstoppable. While I do have high hopes and a liking for “Mr. Robot,” I am forced to recognize the brilliance of “Game of Thrones” and its ability to keep its audience satisfied and begging for more year after year.

 The sign of a

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truly great TV series is its ability to bring people together. The fan culture that has arisen out of “Game of Thrones” is something that all the other nominees in this category can only hope to achieve.

I still remember waiting in anticipation for “Black-ish” to premiere and the disappointment I felt when it fell short of my expectations. However, the show’s quality increased so much that I now feel that “Black-ish” holds the highest potential among other nominations and may be able to prevent “Veep” from a consecutive win. Clever and comedic,

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“Black-ish” sought to tackle stereotypes and tell the stories of a community underrepresented on television, while keeping things relatively lighthearted. The genuine heart in this show is what makes me want to see them leave with an Emmy.

While all nominations in this category are worthy of praise, it comes down to the obvious struggle between “The People v. O.J. Simpson” and “Fargo.”  Both entries are beautiful examples of period projects, but the relevance of “The People v. O.J. Simpson” and the attention it received earlier this year may be just enough to place it above “Fargo.” An outstanding cast, director and script all factor into why I think “The People” should win the Emmy, but, ultimately, it’s about what they achieved: elegantly recreating a story that has fascinated the old and young alike.