Our picks for the 2020 Emmys


Since the first Primetime Emmy Awards 71 years ago, television franchises and actors alike have strived for the honor of receiving their own 24-karat gilded statuette. None, however, were prepared for the challenges presented by 2020.

In a letter sent to nominees in late August, this year’s host, Jimmy Kimmel, as well as other executive producers, announced that the entire award ceremony would take place online; the participants would be provided with a camera crew and filmed for the live Emmy Awards event on Sunday. 

Reviewing this year’s prospective candidates, it’s apparent that the majority of categories contain very strong contestants, many of which are productions from heavyweight networks. 



Among these, HBO’s “Succession” and Netflix’s “Ozark” take the lead in the drama category. 

Detailing the life of the Byrdes family after the father’s money-laundering business goes awry, to describe “Ozark” as intense would be an understatement. Jason Bateman gives a stellar performance as the arrogant financial advisor-turned-money launderer Marty Byrde, as does  Laura Linney as his neglected and unfaithful wife Wendy Byrde. The phenomenal casting not only bolsters Linney’s chances of winning Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, but also places “Ozark” amidst the top five drama contestants. 

Another strong contender for the drama category is “Succession,” a satirical series that makes fun of common reality television tropes. The HBO series documents the consequences of endowment jealousy and abuse of wealth by tycoon Logan Roy, and his son Kendall Roy, respectively played by Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong, both of whom are also strong candidates for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. With nine nominations under its belt, the combination of brilliant directing and screenwriting, in addition to its popularity, gives “Succession” a leg up on the competition. 


Limited Series

In contrast to the multitude of strong contenders in other categories, “Watchmen” seems to be dominating all other limited series. Decorated with 26 nominations thus far, the murder mystery show incorporates allegories of modern societal issues into its plot. It takes place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and begins as white supremacists attack a local police department. Inspired by the 1987 DC Comic series, “Watchmen” sheds light on the legacy of racism in America, and features actors Regina King and Jeremy Irons.  two nominees likely to clinch the titles of Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress in a Limited Series. 

Despite the success of “Watchmen,” Netflix’s “Unbelievable” and “Unorthodox” are also more than worthy of trophies, both telling the heart wrenching stories of women facing struggles that put their lives in turmoil. In “Unbelievable,” a young teen named Marie is faced not only with the trauma of rape, but of social persecution under the scrutiny of a community that accuses her of lying. “Unorthodox” spotlights the journey of a Hasidic Jewish woman, whose escape from an arranged marriage casts a dark shadow over her future. 



Meanwhile, Amazon Prime’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and Pop TV’s “Schitt’s Creek” are creating a great rift between comedy fans. Despite trailing the other by five nominations,  the sitcom “Schitt’s Creek” has been garnering more and more attention since the premier of its third season. Many believe, despite the show’s popularity, that it is severely underrated.

 A riches to rags story, “Schitt’s Creek” illustrates the experiences of Johnny, Moira and their two children who embark on a jarring journey to adapt to the poverty they now face, a stark contrast to the posh past they left behind. On the other hand, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” follows the trek of a young Jewish housewife who finds passion in stand-up comedy, forging her own path in small gigs all throughout New York. Though “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” as well as its cast is undoubtedly deserving of an award, Catherine O’Hara’s role as an unsung comedic genius in “Schitt’s Creek,” as well as the superb end to a well-received final season, ultimately outweighs its competitors, in my opinion.  


Though I was slightly disappointed that shows such as “Dark” and “Euphoria,” both highly acclaimed and immensely popular, were not nominated, this year’s nominees include phenomenal programs and actors alike, living up to the Emmy Awards’ reputation as a difficult call to make for entertainment lovers around the world.