Marc Malkin’s Emmy verdict

A group of people applauding

Variety’s Senior Culture & Events Editor shares his thoughts on this year’s nominees, as well as his predictions on who will win

As told to Jess Kelham-Hohler     Above image: Succession (HBO)    Thursday 17 September, 2020    Short read

Television and film awards season is slowly beginning, and while the Venice Film Festival managed to take place in (socially distanced) person last week, the next big event – the 72nd Emmy Awards – is going virtual. Airing this Sunday on ABC, host Jimmy Kimmel will be introducing nominees and presenters from their own homes, with precise details of how the show will work (and be entertaining for audiences) still under wraps. 

Here, Variety’s Senior Culture & Events editor and LA-based member, Marc Malkin, shares his impression of this year’s nominations. He also predicts who will end up victorious and, in the wake of a year that forced a reckoning on racism and bias globally, how well the Television Academy addressed calls for representation. 

What’s your overall impression of the nomination list this year? 

‘There really is something for everyone. There’s just way too much content for there not to be. To see Black actors get record-setting recognition they deserve is a welcome moment when awards can be, and usually are, very White.’

Were there any surprises for you on the list? 

‘To be honest, not really. There are so many categories where all my favourites earnt a nomination or two. I loved seeing Paul Mescal [from Normal People] on the list, but can’t understand why his co-star Daisy Edgar-Jones didn’t get a nomination. Sadly, Pose didn’t get the attention I and so many think it should have received. Mj Rodriguez deserves to be recognised by the Television Academy.’
Two people on an outdoor balcony looking outward
A woman in dark clothes against a dark background

HBO’s Watchmen was the most nominated – what do you think made this series stand out? 

‘Regina King is a force to be reckoned with. She’s a Black woman, a Black superhero for our times. The storylines and complexities speak to today. Also, as it had already been announced this was a one-season deal, it meant Emmy voters had to rally for the show this year or never.’

Netflix broke the record for the most television nominations. Why do you think this has been such a great year for them? 

‘It seems like Netflix is taking over the world, doesn’t it? But think about it – the streamer puts out so much great content and became the destination for binge-watching during the pandemic. Netflix takes a lot of chances and pushes the envelope, and it’s paying off.’

Malkin’s winner predictions:

Outstanding Drama Series: Succession
Outstanding Comedy Series: Schitt’s Creek
Outstanding Limited Series: Watchmen
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Brian Cox, Succession
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Ramy Youssef, Ramy
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie: Regina King, Watchmen
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie: Hugh Jackman, Bad Education or Mark Ruffalo, I Know This Much Is True (I just can’t decide on this one)

The 72nd Emmy Awards will air this Sunday on ABC.

Marc Malkin is the Senior Culture & Events Editor for Variety, and the host of the podcast ‘The Big Ticket’, available here
Interested in becoming a member?