HBO News Blog

Game of Emmy Awards

By Serena Larkin on Sep 21, 2012 to HBO News

The Emmys are coming, are you excited?

You might have reason to be, as some HBO shows are up for some major awards. In particular, Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire are both nominees for the best drama award. Also, Steve Buscemi and Peter Dinklage are nominated in best drama actor and best supporting actor categories respectively.

As a Game of Thrones fan, I am apprehensive about that best drama award. With the scars from the second season still etched in my brain, -oh yes last season did not stick alright with me for several reasons, -the thought of Game of Thrones taking home gold as the best drama series makes me throw up in my mouth a bit. …Just a little bit. It is especially nauseating considering the competition, which across the board is all quite high quality this year. Here’s the short list:

DRAMA SERIES

“Boardwalk Empire” (HBO)
“Breaking Bad” (AMC)
“Downton Abbey” (PBS)
“Game of Thrones” (HBO)
“Homeland” (Showtime)
“Mad Men” (AMC)

But what are Game of Thrones‘ chances of winning the award even to my chagrin?

From my perch over here, based on the competiton it doesn’t deserve it, not this year. But maybe the critics forget why they are in love with Mad Men, find too many foibles in the romance of Downton Abbey, loathe Nucky for killing Jimmy almost as much as I do, or they just completely zone out on Homeland as if they think it already collected enough awards. Maybe. And yeah, I don’t even know where that puts Breaking Bad.

Nonetheless, it is doubtful that Homeland can be topped, above all its ever present real world setting is a magnet for critics, collecting everything in its range, and it has done well at other awards like the Globes. … However, with 6 wins from last weekend in Game of Thrones‘ clutches already, chances seem better this side of the creative Emmys awards than they did beforehand. And with such a large number of meaningless -or shall with less meaning rather than no meaning- awards it brings up the possibility Game of Thrones has become the doted darling at the Emmys, and destined to faultlessly collect all it can.

Now .. At the risk of sounding like a complete pessimist, I sense nothing could be worse for this show than for it to win on Sunday in the best drama category.

Here’s why: Often it is too apparent that the reputation of Game of Thrones is paramount to the actual quality of it, like they’d rather be dubbed the “ground-breaking fantasy series” than to actually deliver broken ground, – who is to say with the carrots off the stick and in the donkeys’ mouths that the writing will ever be any better? Do we want Benioff and Weiss to believe in their own genius any more than they already do? Do we? At this stage they’re already HBO’s favorite children, do they need the keys to the house, the corvette, and the safety deposit box?

I would rather the showrunners be kept somewhat humble and forced to try harder to attain greatness. Because I don’t this show is as good as it could be yet.

Maybe it is my acute awareness as a book fan that prevents me from wanting an Emmy endorsement on the job that this show has done so far, but it is also as a consumer television that I don’t see how Game of Thrones did more than toe the line it established in its first season. I don’t really think it did even that, although maybe we can say it had better explosions (not like there were any in S1) and maybe some of the filmograpgy was better (albeit that is a technical aspect). But for the quality of the writing, the storytelling, the dialogue, the pacing… those seem to be less than or equal to season one of Game of Thrones and that season went up against Mad Men last year and lost. Have those things improved so greatly for Game of Thrones to have jumped that far ahead?

Answer: In my opinion, no they have not.

But it might just be the brand is more well known, and Game of Thrones‘ preening of its reputation, (one producer named thirteen year old Adam Feinberg not included), is the golden goose that will lay it’s own egg Emmy night itself.

And I think that is something to fear: Benioff and Weiss being rewarded for plateauing as well as any future additional greenlighting of their departures off script, (you know the ones that actually are producable that they choose not to produce). For this I am nervous. And I don’t like being nervous. At least there are only a couple more days to sweat it out.

So how do you feel about Game of Thrones as well as Boardwalk Empire‘s chances to bring home some trophies on Sunday? Sound off below!

For full listing of all Emmy award nominees (and winners so far), check it out here.

  • krtmd

    Interesting post Serena. I’m in agreement with you – I don’t think GOT is quite “Best Drama” material – yet. And I think they face pretty stiff competition from critical darling “Homeland” as well as “Mad Men” yet again. “Boardwalk Empire” had a very strong S2, IMO, and I would favor them ahead of GOT as well. There’s also that “genre” show bias with Emmy voters, which makes things harder for our Westerosi friends. I’d prefer to see them lose and improve in later seasons, then to be rewarded for a weak season, at least in comparison to S1. Is that bad?










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