Josh Rittberg
Arts & Culture Editor

On Sunday, Sept. 22 at 8pm when the Emmys appear on Fox, with a combination of acclaimed TV series such as “Game of Thrones” and “Veep” ending their respective runs, and exciting new television shows like “Fleabag” and “Pose” making their grand entrance at the awards, this year is sure to be more competitive and particularly more fascinating than ever.

Starting out with the Best Drama category, “Game of Thrones” is expected to sweep. Even though its last season has been divisive around viewers, voters may very well want to reward this extremely popular blockbuster series. 

The cat and mouse styled spy thriller, “Killing Eve” is also in the running for the dramatic categories. This series created by Phoebe Waller Bridge, who is also nominated for season 2 of “Fleabag,” may pick up a win for one of its two leading actresses, Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer.   

Television producing giant Ryan Murphy’s new series on the 1980s drag scene, “Pose,” managed to pick up nominations for Best Drama along with one for one of its stars, Billy Porter. For the Best Actor in a Drama category, expect to see Porter take the win, as this fashion and LGBTQ+ icon is a clear people’s favorite this year. 

Definitely expect to hear Phoebe Waller Bridge’s name a lot on Emmy’s night as she is the creator of two of the biggest shows this year. Her claim to fame is the Amazon Prime original series, “Fleabag” which follows its title character’s adventures of love, comedy and mischief in London. This is the rare show that didn’t get any nominations or recognition for its first season, but after a buzzy and hysterical second season where Fleabag has a crush on a young priest, it received great acclaim from both critics and audiences.

Bridge stars as the title character. She is nominated for Best Actress along with Best Writing for a Comedy series. Expect to see Bridge take home a writing award home for “Fleabag,”  if not an acting award. She may also win in the dramatic award categories if “Killing Eve” picks up some creative recognition.  She is a big name in the entertainment world right now, and she almost certainly will be taking home a trophy on Emmys night.

Bridge is also a part of the Outstanding Comedy Actress category, which is arguably one of the most competitive of the whole night. The front-runner in this category at the moment seems to be Julia Louis Dreyfuss for the TV show “Veep.” 

Dreyfuss is already very loved in the television industry, proven by the fact that in all the six seasons “Veep” has been on TV and nominated for awards, she has won an Emmy every time. This makes it likely for voters to award Dreyfuss for the show’s final season. Don’t count out Bridge though,  whose extraordinary acting work in “Fleabag” with her witty asides to the camera and startlingly strong dramatic work, also makes her a likely contender and possible upset in this category. 

Catherine O Hara is also absolutely fabulous as the self-absorbed yet grand actress Moira Rose on the show “Schitt’s Creek.” This is O Hara’s first  nomination in the series’ four season run, but it seems more likely that O Hara would win in next year’s Emmys as it will be the show’s last season. Natasha Lyonne is also very strong in “Russian Doll,” as is Christina Applegate in the Netflix show, “Dead to Me.” Although Dreyfuss seems to be the favorite, any of these talented women could be a dark horse in this category. 

For Outstanding Comedy Actor, expect Bill Hader to win his second Emmy for the show, “Barry.” Hader coming off great success in the film “It: Chapter 2” is one of the biggest talents in Hollywood right now. Expect him to get rewarded. 

Some other actors and shows to look out for are: Oscar winner Olivia Colman who is nominated for her delicious performance as Fleabag’s hilariously horrid stepmother; Michelle Williams who does a spot-on performance as Broadway legend Gwen Verdon in the miniseries “Fosse/Verdon,” and “Chernobyl” for HBO, which has also received great acclaim. 

The Emmys this year do not have a host, but the endless talent from this year’s nominated actors and show are sure to bring a night of excitement and maybe even some surprises sprinkled into the evening. This is an unusually good year for TV, and it will be a show in and of itself to see just who the Emmy voters choose for the night’s esteemed awards. 

No matter who wins, the Emmys, like all award shows, are meant to honor and celebrate all the great work done on the small screen. This year’s show is sure to be a celebration for the ages.