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The Accidental Turitz: I’m Not Great at Predictions, But Here Are Some Anyway

September 15, 2021 09:10 | By

For each of the last few years, I’ve done this thing wherein I write a bunch of essays about the various Oscar categories and share them on Facebook with my friends. I delve into the intricacies of each discipline, the history, the ups and downs and ins and outs, and then talk about the nominees and their work. Ultimately, because that’s how these things go, I predict who will win, while also commenting on whom I believe should win. These two are often not the same person.

Three years back, I nailed 21 of the 24 Oscar categories, which was an all-time record for me. I even got the three short program winners, another first. Each of the last two years, however, my score has been progressively worse. I think last year’s tally was 14 out of 24. Which is pathetic.

If it’s not already abundantly clear why I’m bringing this up a few days before the Emmy Awards ceremony, I’ll make it so: the older I get, the worse I seem to become at accurately predicting awards and who will win them. Yes, yes, I know I predicted all seven nominees in the Outstanding Drama Series, but anyone who was paying attention could have done that.

Well, almost anyone. I mean, there is some skill that plays into it. Otherwise, why would you even bother reading this thing? Come on. 

So, having said that, and with the understanding that prognostication is not exactly my forte, I thought it was appropriate to sit down this week and find out if there was anything worthwhile in this crystal ball of mine, tarnished and cloudy though it might be.

For starters, I am pretty sure that the show’s host, Cedric the Entertainer, will say something in his monologue that will rub people the wrong way, and if he doesn’t lose the audience outright, he’ll lose a good chunk of them. It’s not that he isn’t funny, he is, but his brand of humor isn’t for everyone, and I expect that he’ll cross the line for some people at least once. 

Rest assured, when he does, you will probably hear me laugh harder than anyone, as I’m a big believer in crossing the line whenever and wherever possible, but that’s a whole different column, so let’s move on. 

Hacks

Jean Smart in Hacks (Photo HBO/Anne Marie Fox)

If I were a betting man — and I am — I would place a fair sum on Jean Smart to win her fourth Emmy. This is not terribly controversial, as the bookies have her as the odds on favorite, and I would have to bet $28 to win $10, but it’s been a while since a lead comedic performance from either gender nailed it as hard as she did this year in Hacks. Seriously, if you haven’t watched it yet, put the column down and go check it out, then come back and mentally agree with me. 

Smart’s three previous Emmys were for other categories. Two for Guest Actress in a Comedy, one for Supporting Actress in a Comedy. This will be her first Lead Actress Emmy, and she will damn well deserve it.

I’m not going to bother stating the obvious, that Jason Sudeikis is also going to win for Best Actor for Ted Lasso, because picking anyone else would be absurd. Same with Lasso winning Best Comedy and The Crown winning Best Drama. And The Queen’s Gambit taking Best Limited Series, because there was nothing on TV this year that was better. I may not be great at this prediction thing, but I’m not a complete idiot, either.

Speaking of not being an idiot, I will declare here that neither of the two men from Hamilton nominated for Best Actor in a Movie or Limited Series will win, as both Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr. have already won all the hardware they’re going to win for these roles. 

Side note here, but there’s something off for me when a single role can win someone a Tony, a Grammy, and an Emmy. Two of the three, fine, because the Grammys are totally separate, but filming a stage play, airing it on TV, and then getting more awards for it? I mean, sure, everyone should be allowed to win whatever they can, but something about it rubs me the wrong way, for whatever that’s worth.

WandaVision

WandaVision (Marvel/Disney)

Since I’ve mentioned who I think won’t win, it sort of behooves me to mention who I think will, and because I don’t think Ewan McGregor as Halston will do it either, that leaves either Paul Bettany for WandaVision or Hugh Grant for The Undoing. I am a fan of both actors, and while I’ll be rooting for Hugh — because why wouldn’t you? — I’m going to predict that Paul takes it. Something about this particular Marvel TV show suggests that it’s going to win even more awards than it won this past weekend, those being for Outstanding Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes, Outstanding Music and Lyrics for “Agatha All Along,” Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Program (Half-Hour), thus becoming the first Marvel show to win any Emmys in the process. It won’t win Limited Series, because as noted above, The Queen’s Gambit will, but this will be a nice consolation prize.

What else? The show will probably be too long, because it always is, though not as bad as the Oscars, even though the Emmys has more categories. Which is a bit of a thinker, really, but I digress.

Some winners will talk politics, some won’t, and more than a few will drone on and on. Can’t be helped, really, and I never blame people for that, because if you win a big award like this, you should be able to say whatever you want and thank whomever you like. Hopefully, winners won’t go off the rails, like Joaquin Phoenix and Renée Zellweger did at the Oscars a couple years back, but other than that, I like to cut people some slack. 

There are probably more categories I could try, but I feel like this is a good list. I don’t like to get too far out over my skis, whenever possible. I’m smart that way.


Neil TuritzNeil Turitz is a journalist, essayist, author, and filmmaker who has worked in and written about Hollywood for nearly 25 years, though he has never lived there. These days, he splits his time between New York City and the Berkshires. He’s not on Twitter, but you can find him on Instagram @6wordreviews.

You can read a new installation of The Accidental Turitz every Wednesday, and all previous columns can be found here