Can 'OITNB' Win An Emmy? It'll Be Tough, But The Emmys Would Be Crazy (Eyes) Not To Nominate It
We haven't exactly make a secret of our undying love for Netflix's prison drama (scratch that, comedy ) Orange Is The New Black . I binged, you binged, we all binged all of Season 2 in about five seconds flat and are currently going through some serious Litchfield withdrawal. Like you, I too scour the internet for details on OITNB Season 3, pester my friends with pleas to watch this amazing show, and fill the time between seasons with orange jumpsuit-clad kittens. Okay, so maybe we have a little bit of a problem. But it's an amazing show, and we hope our high esteem for it will translate to lots of recognition when the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards roll around next month.
We were disappointed when the only nomination OITNB received at last year's Golden Globes was a Best Actress nod for star Taylor Schilling. But that appalling lack of recognition had one simple explanation: Netflix had submitted the series as a Drama. That meant it was competing not only against Netflix's other acclaimed series, House Of Cards, along with such awards juggernauts as Breaking Bad, The Good Wife, and Downton Abbey. Netflix wisely changed their tactics this time around and submitted OITNB to the Emmys as a Comedy. Sure, they may be stretching the definition of "comedy" here, but at least it gives our favorite show a better chance at taking home some trophies.
The Emmy nominations will be announced this Thursday morning, so we've put together a list of each category the show will be competing in, its strongest contender in that category, and who their fiercest competition will be. Remember: Even though we all just watched Season 2 of OITNB, remember that this year's Emmys are for last year's shows, which means it's Season 1 that's up for awards, not the thirteen episodes we just watched.
Outstanding Comedy Series, Here We Come
Ironically enough, OITNB's strongest chances are probably in the biggest category: Outstanding Comedy Series. Enough people are skeptical about the show's inclusion as a comedy that they might skew towards the performances that actually made them laugh out loud when voting in the acting races. And yet, no matter what you think of OITNB's categorization, there's no denying it's a damn good show.
Biggest competition: Modern Family — The ABC sitcom has won the top prize at the Emmy four years in a row now, one trophy for every season it's been on the air. Of course, every era must come to an end at some point, but there's no denying that this awards juggernaut is still the one to beat.
Should Taylor Schilling Go Ahead And Write That Speech?
Schilling was nominated for a Globe last year for her work in OITNB, but that was when the show was competing as a Drama. Will she get a similar nod now that voters have to consider her show a Comedy? Thankfully, two of last year's nominees — Tina Fey and Laura Dern — will be vacating their slots since their shows have ended. Will that be enough to Schilling to slip into the race, despite the inevitable moaning from detractors that "she's not funny enough"?
Biggest competition: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep — The former Seinfeld actress has won this prize two years in a row now, and her HBO show has only increased in popularity and acclaim since then. There's no reason to believe she won't pull a repeat performance this year, especially since most voters would agree that she's actually hilarious and not just stuck in a show with categorical schizophrenia.
What About Supporting Actor (And Scourge of the Internet) Jason Biggs?
Alright, so this one's a bit of a stretch. But Biggs is the only possibility for this category from the entire cast of OITNB, so here we are. Don't put any money on Biggs' name popping up Thursday morning, but at the same time never underestimate the power of name recognition.
Biggest competition: Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine — FOX's workplace comedy was arguably the biggest hit (critically, at least) of an otherwise dull year for the networks. This translated to success at the Golden Globes, when the show surprised everyone by taking home both Best Comedy and Best Actor for Andy Samberg. This category is really anybody's ballgame. Last year it went to Veep's Tony Hale, who could easily win again. The three years before that it went to varying members of the Modern Family cast. But if MF fatigue has officially set in and the Emmys want to acknowledge the networks' funniest new show, it's possible they could give this one to the Braugher's hilariously stoic Captain Holt.
Defy Red? No Way. Give Kate Mulgrew Some Emmy Love
You'd probably expect OITNB to dominate in this category, but in reality most of the show's performers submitted as Guest Actors, and the Supporting Actress race is notoriously locked up with two performers from Modern Family (Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara), one from The Big Bang Theory (Mayim Bialik), one from Glee (Jane Lynch), and one from Nurse Jackie (Merritt Wever). Fortunately, Jane Krakowski is out of the running now that 30 Rock has ended, and the chances of Lynch being nominated again are close to zero since Glee has fallen so far from favor. This should give Mulgrew the wiggle room she needs to enter the race.
Biggest competition: Julie Bowen, Modern Family — Claire Dunphy has won the prize two out of the four years the ABC show has been on the air (2011 and 2012), and although she lost to Nurse Jackie's Wever last year, she's still the likeliest contender of the bunch.
Don't Underestimate The Pornstache
OITNB isn't necessarily known for its male characters, but everyone loves a villain that's fun to hate. It's so easy to root against Pornstache, and that's got a lot to do with Schreiber's fearlessly douchey performance.
Biggest competition: Bob Newhart, The Big Bang Theory — There are so many strong names in consideration for this category (Nathan Lane for Modern Family, Louis C.K. for SNL, Tim Conway for Two And A Half Men, William Shatner for Hot In Cleveland) that it's nearly impossible to predict who will be nominated, let alone win. So we're going with Newhart as the biggest competition, purely because he won the award last year for the same role.
And Guest Actress Could Be Anyone, really
This is the category where you can expect OITNB to dominate, and the category in which the show has the best chance of winning, other than Series. Uzo Aduba (Crazy Eyes), Laverne Cox (Sophia), Natasha Lyonne (Nicky), and more prominent performers were all submitted as Guests, so it's possible the show could nab multiple noms here (although three nominations for one show would be impressive in a category this crowded). If we had to put our money on one actress though, it would be Laverne Cox.
Aduba's manic performance may be the splashiest and most fans' favorite, but Cox killed it with her subtly heartbreaking performance. Plus, Sophia is probably the highest-profile transgender role in screen history to actually be played by a transgender actress. In world where cisgender Jared Leto just won an Oscar for portraying a transgender woman, is it too much to hope that Cox will get the recognition that she so richly deserves?
Biggest competition: Joan Cusack, Shameless — Cusack has been nominated for this role for every season of Showtime's dramedy, though she's never won. But that was when Shameless was competing on the more competitive Drama side of the ceremony. Now that Showtime has switched Shameless to the Comedy categories, don't be surprised to see the three-time (soon to be four-time) nominee finally take home the trophy.
Images: Netflix (7)