ONE37pm's Predictions for the 2022 Emmy Awards

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Is the beginning of autumn marked by the first drop of an orange leaf or the first unnecessarily aggressive argument over who should've won the Emmy for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series?

With the last bits of summer washing away behind us, it's officially Emmy season, and for some reason, these 2022 awards seem to be the most divisive in years, with the sheer quality of television released this past year being basically unmatched. But lucky for you, your favorite popular culture writing-duo, Conor Sheeran and Elizabeth Pagano, is right here to break down (and kindly disagree) over the 15 major award categories of the 2022 Emmys, which airs on September 12.

1. Outstanding Drama Series

As long as it is on the air, the category of Outstanding Drama Series feels as if it is Succession's to lose. It has fierce competition from fantastic series like Better Call Saul and Severance, but Succession towers over them in popularity and general popular culture significance.

While I think that Better Call Saul is (or was, now that it has wrapped up) the best show on television, Succession has this one in the bag. From the performances by the entire main cast to the riveting storylines of corporate intrigue and betrayal, Succession remains one of the best TV series of the past ten years. It will likely remain on top for a long time.

-Conor Sheeran, Managing Editor

I'd rather be attacked by a probably-rabid wolf than be forced to make this decision, but I've narrowed it down to two shows that are the most deserving: Yellowjackets and Succession.

Succession is basically a no-brainer: every single cast member was exactly on point this season—especially Jeremy Strong, whose performance as Kendall Roy was truly mind-blowing. On the other hand, we've got Yellowjackets, which—as the weeks went by—slowly garnered a massive following leading up to its finale. Not only is this show's cast also stacked, but we're following two-time differences here: one, which takes place in the '90s and tracks a group of high school girls after their plane crashes, and the other, which is about the surviving women in their present-day lives.

With that being as complicated as it is, the series never felt too jam-packed: everything was as balanced as it could be, folding in every genre imaginable, all fueled by amazing writing.

-Elizabeth Pagano, Staff Writer, Popular Culture

2. Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Despite what my co-author may believe, this category belongs to the lovable lunatic Villanelle, Jodie Comer. Comer's performance as the assassin already won her an Emmy in 2020, and it's about time she nabbed herself another trophy.

-Conor Sheeran

It's Laura Linney. That's it.

-Elizabeth Pagano

3. Lead Actor in a Drama Series

This category might be the toughest to predict because all six actors perform such great performances. That being said, I have to give it to Bob Odenkirk. His portrayal of Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman/Gene Takovic was the stuff of legends in Better Call Saul's final season, and his ability to take his comedy background and turn it into such a fantastic dramatic performance is unparalleled.

-Conor Sheeran

Jeremy Strong's portrayal of the outwardly selfish, overly-confident Kendall Roy took an entirely different turn this season. He delivered a performance that meshed together both the egotistic motives of a Roy as well as a more emotional side that we had yet to see until the third season.

-Elizabeth Pagano

4. Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

RHEA SEEHORN. RHEA SEEHORN. RHEA SEEHORN.

Sorry, I just really had to emphasize how much she finally deserves this award for her role as Kim Wexler in Better Call Saul. Her chemistry with Bob Odenkirk is as good as you're ever going to get in a drama series, and her finally getting the Emmy is long overdue.

If you needed evidence that she's more than earned this award, the scene of Kim crying on the bus makes this an open and shut case.

No disrespect to other actresses nominated, but if Rhea doesn't win, we riot.

-Conor Sheeran

While a large part of me needs to see Julia Garner take home this award for the incredible way that she embodied Ruth Langmore, not giving it to Christina Ricci for her performance in Yellowjackets seems practically criminal. Ricci portrayed the off-the-rails Misty Quigley, who teeters between being a caring friend and a psychopathic kidnapper—or possibly—killer. The ease with which she seamlessly flipped through each changing emotion of Misty solidifies her as one of the main standouts of the series.

-Elizabeth Pagano

5. Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

You know you have a great series when three actors in it are nominated for an acting award. Matthew MacFadyen as Tom Wambsgans has often gotten overshadowed by the towering performances of Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong, but make no mistake: He's as good as either of them. Season three of Succession pushes him into center stage and gives us an almost entirely new side to Tom, proving he's as good a schemer as any Roy.

-Conor Sheeran

That last episode of Succession alone pushes Matthew MacFadyen over the edge for the Emmy in this category. His sheer range of emotions in each episode shows the unlikely depth of Tom Wambsgans, a character who formerly hid in the face of opposition and unfair treatment but now stands tall for his beliefs.

-Elizabeth Pagano

6. Outstanding Comedy Series

As much as I loved the other shows in this category, especially Only Murders in the BuildingTed Lasso, and Curb Your Enthusiasm, this one has got to go to Barry. It almost seems unfair to call Barry a comedy series as this season was heavy on the drama and much lighter on the laughs, but the series was better for it.

Few shows can walk a delicate tightrope between comedy and drama quite as Barry can. This season is about trying to find forgiveness, dealing with failure, and coming to terms with your past. It's dark, tragic, funny, and sneakily one of the best-filmed shows on TV right now.

-Conor Sheeran

It's gotta be Only Murders in the Building. Listen, I could see every other contender in this race picking up the award, but Only Murders puts forth that extra oomph—the energy between Martin Short, Steve Martin, and Selena Gomez is the heartbeat of the series, leading us through both the absurd and serious of their investigation. The series outdoes itself in every episode, a fast-paced mystery well-balanced with the comedic stylings of its three unlikely citizen detectives-turned-podcasters.

-Elizabeth Pagano

7. Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

As an unabashed super fan of The Great (I may or may not have called it anti-historical perfection on this website), I have to say that Elle Fanning is currently giving one of the most under-appreciated performances on TV right now. Everything about her as Catherine the Great is incredible, and while she is going up against some other sensational actresses, Fanning needs this one.

-Conor Sheeran

Throughout the five seasons of Insecure, somehow Issa Rae has never picked up the Emmy for Lead Actress, which—at this point—is extremely well-deserved. My hope is that since the series closed up shop in 2021, the Television Academy will finally come around and award her with the Emmy.

-Elizabeth Pagano

8. Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Much like the show Barry, Bill Hader's Barry was less on the humor and more on the seriousness. The assassin turned wannabe actor found himself at his lowest as he saw himself becoming estranged from everyone he was close to in his life.

The traditionally comedic actor fully embraced the new take on his character and is a major reason this season of Barry deserves to bring home the Outstanding Comedy Series award.

Barry yelling at Sally about Mr. Cousineau left me speechless and cemented Hader as one of the best comedic turned dramatic actors performing right now.

-Conor Sheeran

Listen, I realize that Steve Martin is also up for this same award and is also in Only Murders in the Building, but Martin Short practically stole every scene that he was in. He plays the chip-and-dip-obsessed Oliver Putnam, who joins forces with a few of his neighbors to solve a murder in his apartment building.

-Elizabeth Pagano

9. Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Ted Lasso does a lot of things right, but perhaps the show's biggest strength is the cast. Top to bottom, the casting was fantastic, and while Jason Sudeikis as Ted might be front and center, Hannah Waddingham as Rebecca deserves just as much praise.

She's just so good as the villainous owner turned Ted Lasso BFF that any conversation about the show wouldn't be complete without mentioning Hannah Waddingham. Great performances dominate this category, but Waddingham stands above the rest.

-Conor Sheeran

While I'll admit that I wasn't crazy about Hannah Einbinder's character, Ava Daniels, in the first season of Hacks, Season 2 definitely solidified her in my eyes. Throughout the season, she toed the line in a fascinating triangle of wanting to be forgiven by her boss, Deborah Vance (Jean Smart), standing up to Vance, and wanting to be appreciated by her.

-Elizabeth Pagano

10. Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

If you're noticing a correlation between my choices and Barry, then you can probably figure out that the show was one of my favorites of 2022. Anthony Carrigan and Henry Winkler gave fantastic performances this season and were big reasons why it was as great as it was.

Out of these two, though, I have to give it to Mr. Winkler. The evolution of Gene Cousineau was nothing short of brilliant, and Winkler really stepped outside of that character's comfort zone.

-Conor Sheeran

Bowen Yang is a powerhouse and more than deserving of an Emmy at this point for the multitude of characters he's portrayed on Saturday Night Live. He saw a bit of a boost in his career as he co-starred in the Hulu original Fire Island, leading to a wider discussion about how he deserves more credit than he gets on SNL. Just a few of his genius sketches include appearing on Weekend Update as Fran Lebowitz, portraying a SoulCycle instructor, and portraying Elton John.

-Elizabeth Pagano

11. Outstanding Limited Series

Outstanding Limited Series is a tough one only because the competition was rather weak in this category this year. That being said, Dopesick was one of the best shows I watched this year and certainly the most outstanding limited series. Its most serious competition is The White Lotus, and I could certainly see that winning the award based on popularity alone, but Dopesick is the better show.

Based on the book Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America, Dopesick explores the opioid epidemic in the United States, viewing it through the lens of characters, both real and fictional. It's an important and brutal watch but one that everyone should see.

-Conor Sheeran

While I have a pretty strong feeling that this award will be given to Dopesick, I'd much rather see it go to either The Dropout or The White Lotus.

While Amanda Seyfried's performance as Elizabeth Holmes was as dead-on as possible, she wasn't the only reason that this show was successful. Naveen Andrews also pulled off an extremely nuanced and surprisingly terrifying portrayal of Holmes' partner and confidant, Sunny Balwani, which directly complemented the chaotic nature of both Holmes and the storyline. While we had only been able to imagine the disorderly environment that was Theranos, The Dropout brings everything right to our faces, showing us firsthand just how reckless and problematic everything about the situation was—and how barely anyone intervened.

-Elizabeth Pagano

12. Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Lily James and Amanda Seyfried were genuinely transformative in their roles, with James, in particular, disappearing into her performance as Pamela Anderson in Pam & Tommy. However, Seyfried embodied practically everything about Elizabeth Holmes, the voice more than anything.

While Seyfried is the frontrunner in my mind, Lily James as Pamela Anderson was just as good. Speaking of voices, she was able to nail the actress's accent and look so well that you'd almost forget Lily James was British.

-Conor Sheeran

While The Dropout might not have garnered as much attention as Squid Game or Stranger Things, it was a killer series confidently led by Amanda Seyfried, who portrayed Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos. Though Kate McKinnon was originally slated to play the role, Seyfried stepped in and hit the ground running, nailing the attitude, odd mannerisms, and voice perfectly.

Also, a special shout out to Sarah Paulson, who's also extremely deserving of this award for her transformative role as Linda Tripp in Impeachment: American Crime Story; there's a very high chance that she'll be the one taking home this award.

-Elizabeth Pagano

13. Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

In my mind, this is Michael Keaton's award to lose. Keaton's Dr. Samuel Finnix begins the show as a doctor trying to help people and ends up fighting off the plague of addiction himself. It's distressing to watch a man who simply wanted to help others fall prey to the machinations of a company that only cares about the bottom dollar.

Keaton has already won a few awards for his performance, and he more than deserves his Emmy too.

-Conor Sheeran

Sebastian Stan

Only Sebastian Stan could successfully pull off the absolutely chaotic and egotistic Tommy Lee, doubling down on this role like no other and playing directly to the bursts of energy and aggression that inhabit Lee at all times.

-Elizabeth Pagano

14. Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

If it wasn't already clear from the graphic, the Television Academy loved The White Lotus, and I mean, REALLY loved it. Out of all the actresses nominated for the show, Jennifer Coolidge was perhaps the most praised.

She was so much fun to watch as Tanya, and it's great to see the Academy give her the recognition she's earned for this one. The fact that she's being brought back for season two of the series shows how beloved she was by fans and writers alike.

-Conor Sheeran

I realize that five out of seven of these nominees are from The White Lotus, but let me tell you: Jennifer Coolidge WILL be walking out of the Emmys with this award. Her perfectly odd and niche portrayal of solo vacationer, Tanya McQuoid, made such a major impact on the series that she was the only one brought back for the upcoming second season of The White Lotus.

-Elizabeth Pagano

15. Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Murray Bartlett all day, every day. He and Jennifer Coolidge were, by far, the best parts of The White Lotus, and they both should win these awards. The entire cast was great in their roles, but Coolidge and Bartlett stole the show.

-Conor Sheeran

Just as Jennifer Coolidge stood out in The White Lotus, so did Murray Bartlett, who played the hotel's high-strung, drugged-up manager, Armond. Throughout the series, we get to casually watch as he slips on amniotic fluid, steals a bag of prescription pills from a pair of teenagers, and breaks into one of his guest's hotel rooms.

-Elizabeth Pagano

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