The Creative Arts Emmy Awards are upon us, and with them, they bring a whole host of questions, not the least of which include: The Emmys are tonight? Why can’t I find them on TV? Why isn’t “Stranger Things” nominated? I bet my house on Outstanding Period Costumes, did I make a mistake?
While some of those queries will remain a mystery, here are a few things to keep an eye on headed into two nights of honoring the best of what television has to offer. (Update: And now, with one night in the books, take a look at all the winners so far.)
Watch the ‘Thrones’
Every Emmy story this year seems to boil down to “Game of Thrones.” At the Creative Arts Emmys, the question is if the HBO behemoth can break the single season record for Emmy wins before the Primetime Emmys even begin. While it’s not likely, it is possible, with the series boasting 18 nominations in 16 separate categories, this weekend alone. With nearly 3/5 of the series nominations coming at the Creative Arts ceremonies, the events will serve as a great bellwether for what kind of night the historic series might have during Primetime.
While all eyes will be on Beyoncé – should she choose to attend – Saturday night’s ceremony, the real question is going to be whether anyone can beat Queen B and “Homecoming” for Outstanding Variety Special (pre-recorded). The most likely contender has a nickname of his own, but by the end of the night Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen may have a new moniker to bandy about: Queenslayer. But even “Springsteen on Broadway” serving as a potential spoiler, don’t be surprised if the prize doesn’t go to any of the four Netflix nominees in competition.
Because Beyoncé and Bruce face perhaps the most formidable foe in musical existence: A Beatle. Look for CBS’ “Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live From Liverpool” to serve as the dark horse in the category, where coming home could unseat “Homecoming” in the end.
Get Drawn In
The nominees for Outstanding Animated Program are so good, it hurts, with several opportunities to award some of television’s best overall series, should the Television Academy so choose. IndieWire favorite, Netflix’s “BoJack Horseman” scored its first-ever nomination in the category this year, as did Cartoon Network’s moving “Adventure Time.” Add in previous winners, Fox’s “Bob’s Burgers” and “The Simpsons,” along with naughty Netflix newcomer “Big Mouth” and the category promises to be one of the highlights of Saturday night’s ceremony.
One of the most novel aspects of the Emmy Awards is their willingness to embrace documentary film, even if said film originally found a place to live in theaters. This year’s nominees for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking include a slew of familiar faces for fans of documentary film, including “RBG,” “Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” and “Three Identical Strangers,” as well as nods for “Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes” and “The Sentence.”
This Song Slaps
A controversial opinion to be sure, but without a doubt the most anticipated category to be nominated during the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremonies is the honor for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music. Perhaps you disagree, unimpressed by the nominations for Hulu’s “Castle Rock,” The CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” Amazon’s “Good Omens,” and Netflix’s “Our Planet.” But you must acknowledge the undeniable slapitude of HBO’s “Succession” theme (and recurring score inspiration) as composed by Nicholas Britell. This song bangs. And, if you were wondering, it is also a bop.