HBO’s “Barry” was the kind of show that snuck up on the industry and impressed everyone with its complexities. Created by Alec Berg and Bill Hader, the show constantly surprised as it starred Hader as a military vet-turned-hitman who stumbled into an acting class — and saw it as an escape from his tortured, inner demons.
Sprinkled with memorable performances by the legendary Henry Winkler, Stephen Root, Sarah Goldberg, and Anthony Carrigan, the show quickly became a critical favorite — and bigtime Emmy Awards contender. Nominated for 13 Emmys, including outstanding comedy series, the show is also the choice to win big by a publicist who filled out IndieWire’s anonymous Emmy ballot.
“We live in darker than usual times, and “Barry” is the right show for the moment,” the publicist wrote. Their ballot also picked Hader and Winkler for acting wins. Beyond that, the publicist is big on “The Americans,” “Genius: Picasso,” “American Ninja Warrior,” and “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” and plenty of other eclectic choices.
Read on for this publicist’s take on the 2018 Emmy race, and their reason behind each pick:
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Outstanding Drama Series
☑ The Americans
Game Of Thrones
The Handmaid’s Tale
This Is Us
It’s just time. How can you be THAT good for THAT long and not take the trophy? And the award for timeliness is extra impactful when you consider they had to start doing this almost 10 years ago, when Russia was our friend!
Outstanding Comedy Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
We live in darker than usual times, and “Barry” is the right show for the moment. I know it won’t likely win in this grouping, but “Silicon,” “Curb,” have all gone downhill. “Black-ish” and “Atlanta” are both totally worthy, too. But I worry they’ll split the #EmmysSoWhite vote and cancel one another out.
National Geographic/Dusan Martincek
Outstanding Limited Series
The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
☑ Genius: Picasso
Smart and entertaining true historical drama that doesn’t feel like punishment/education. It’s on brand for Nat Geo’s recent resurgence, and I’d love to see them collect more trophies.
Outstanding Television Movie
☑ Fahrenheit 451
USS Callister (Black Mirror)
Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Claire Foy/The Crown
Tatiana Maslany/Orphan Black
Elisabeth Moss/The Handmaid’s Tale
Sandra Oh/Killing Eve
☑ Keri Russell/The Americans
Evan Rachel Wood/Westworld
I came to this series late, and having binged it in rapid-fire succession this year, I have to say that the range, progression and depth of Keri’s character’s goes toe to toe with Elisabeth Moss’ excellence. And it’s her last chance with this character, so give her a trophy already.
Lead Actor in a Drama Series
☑ Jason Bateman/Ozark
Sterling K. Brown/This Is Us
Matthew Rhys/The Americans
Milo Ventimiglia/This Is Us
It’s not easy to direct and act as Bateman does. Perhaps it’s because he doesn’t have to verbalize to himself what he wants himself to do. But he brings a quiet strength and pragmatism to the role that is perfect and award-worthy.
Amazon Studios/Sarah Shatz
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Pamela Adlon/Better Things
☑ Rachel Brosnahan/The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Tracee Ellis Ross/black-ish
Lily Tomlin/Grace And Frankie
She hits the screen like a freight train and bursts into this viewer’s psyche like few characters/actresses ever have before. Required viewing for empowered females and the men who love them.
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Ted Danson/The Good Place
Larry David/Curb Your Enthusiasm
☑ Bill Hader/Barry
William H. Macy/Shameless
How can “Stefan” be this subtle and good every episode? What range and strength he brings to the role!
Lead Actress in a Limited Series/Movie
Jessica Biel/The Sinner
Laura Dern/The Tale
Edie Falco/Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders
Regina King/Seven Seconds
Sarah Paulson/American Horror Story: Cult
Lead Actor in a Limited Series/Movie
☑ Antonio Banderas/Genius: Picasso
Darren Criss/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Benedict Cumberbatch/Patrick Melrose
Jeff Daniels/The Looming Tower
John Legend/Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert
Jesse Plemons/USS Callister (Black Mirror)
Such a personal role – he is the biggest star to come out of Malaga since Picasso himself, so there was intense pressure on him to get it right and he did.
Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Alexis Bledel/The Handmaid’s Tale
Millie Bobby Brown/Stranger Things
Ann Dowd/The Handmaid’s Tale
Lena Headey/Game Of Thrones
Vanessa Kirby/The Crown
☑ Thandie Newton/Westworld
Yvonne Strahovski/The Handmaid’s Tale
This one is a toss-up. So many good choices. I choose Thandie because she is so graceful.
Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau/Game Of Thrones
☑ Peter Dinklage/Game Of Thrones
Joseph Fiennes/The Handmaid’s Tale
David Harbour/Stranger Things
Matt Smith/The Crown
Dink is never not great.
Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
☑ Zazie Beetz/Atlanta
Alex Borstein/The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Aidy Bryant/Saturday Night Live
Leslie Jones/Saturday Night Live
Kate McKinnon/Saturday Night Live
Megan Mullally/Will & Grace
The men in this cast do not deserve all the credit. Zazie is so believable I sometimes forget she is acting.
Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin/Saturday Night Live
Tituss Burgess/Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Brian Tyree Henry/Atlanta
Tony Shalhoub/The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Kenan Thompson/Saturday Night Live
☑ Henry Winkler/Barry
There is no better doddering oldster in the game today.
Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Sara Bareilles/Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert
Penélope Cruz/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
☑ Judith Light/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Adina Porter/American Horror Story: Cult
Letitia Wright/Black Museum (Black Mirror)
No good reason. I just like the show.
Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
☑ Jeff Daniels/Godless
Brandon Victor Dixon/Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert
Ricky Martin/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Edgar Ramírez/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Michael Stuhlbarg/The Looming Tower
Finn Wittrock/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Outstanding Reality/Competition Program
The Amazing Race
☑ American Ninja Warrior
RuPaul’s Drag Race
This is a show that cuts across all demos and brings families to the TV in a super-watchable, entertaining, relatable way. And the production values on the “at home with the contestants” pieces rarely fail to elicit tears.
Outstanding Structured Reality Program
☑ Antiques Roadshow
Lip Sync Battle
Who Do You Think You Are?
Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program
Born This Way
☑ Deadliest Catch
Naked And Afraid
RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked
United Shades Of America With W. Kamau Bell
Don’t know. Weird category.
Host for a Reality or Reality/Competition Program
W. Kamau Bell/United Shades Of America With W. Kamau Bell
Ellen Degeneres/Ellen’s Game Of Games
RuPaul/RuPaul’s Drag Race
☑ Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn/Project Runway
Jane Lynch/Hollywood Game Night
Outstanding Variety Talk Series
The Daily Show With Trevor Noah
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
☑ Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
The Late Late Show With James Corden
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
He brings it every time. The only show on this list that I regret missing live if I miss it live. That’s saying something in today’s on-demand world.
Outstanding Variety Sketch Series
At Home With Amy Sedaris
I Love You, America With Sarah Silverman
☑ Saturday Night Live
Tracey Ullman’s Show
How do they keep it so good — it’s not always 100 percent, but 40 years later, what is? Consistent appointment viewing. I’m still here after all these years.
Outstanding Variety Special (Live)
The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards
☑ 60th Annual Grammy Awards
Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert
Night Of Too Many Stars: America Unites For Autism Programs
I love the medley performances that you can’t see anywhere else.
Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)
Carol Burnett Show 50th Anniversary Special
Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special 2018
☑ Dave Chappelle: Equanimity
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee Presents: The Great American* Puerto Rico (*It’s Complicated)
Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest Of Your Life
He’s just… uggh. I can’t even explain how “above the rim” I think his writing and performance talents are. It’s a different game at his level.
Outstanding Informational Series or Special
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Leah Remini: Scientology And The Aftermath
My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman
☑ StarTalk With Neil deGrasse Tyson
We actually learn from him, and he is better than anyone at speaking on the right level for the audience in any setting. Whether Nobel laureates or kindergarteners, NdGT gets it right, and that’s an award-worthy talent.
[Production assistance by Liz Shannon Miller.]