Our Emmy’s Favorites: Who to Root for at This Year’s Award Show

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

The Emmy nominations came out July 28th, and we’re still trying to figure out who exactly will take home the gold at the first ever virtual ceremony this Sunday, September 20th. Listed at the end of this article are the nominees of the major categories, and you can find the other equally important nominees (!) at emmys.com.

As two pop culture fanatics and proud members of Gen Z, we are ecstatic -- euphoric, even -- about Zendaya’s first ever nomination in the Best Actress in a Drama Series category for her role as Rue in Euphoria. If you’re like us, you know that Zendaya has deserved an Emmy since she starred in Disney’s Shake It Up (some may argue that she carried the show). This is one of six Euphoria nominations, the others being in costumes, makeup, and music. Music composer Labrinth’s ethereal original score absolutely deserves to win; we’re still blasting the soundtrack in the car over a year later. While Labrinth’s music and Zendaya’s performance were standouts, we also expected a nomination for Sam Levinson, the show’s creator/writer/director, whose rich vision and specificity defined the vivid, fantastical world of his characters. Opposite Zendaya was actress Hunter Schafer, who also deserved a nod for her superb performance as Jules. With season two in the works, we’re hopeful that both Levinson and Schafer will get nods next year!

We’re celebrating another first-time Emmy nominee, Jeremy Pope, nominated for his role as Archie Coleman in Ryan Murphy’s limited series, Hollywood. As theater lovers, we know Jeremy Pope from his historic double-Tony nomination in 2019, but his recent work in television no doubt deserves the spotlight as well. His performance in Hollywood grounded what was a very lofty show, and he stole every scene with his talent and heart. Pope’s nomination is one of several for the Netflix limited series, but we are rooting for him and only him. We predict this is the first of many Emmy nominations for Pope, and we hope that he succeeds (and EGOTs) without forgetting his Broadway roots.

Choreographer, artist, visionary, and Ibby’s greatest inspiration Parris Goebel also secured her first Emmy nomination for Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Show, an hour-long experimental fashion show/dance performance. While you might not know her by name, you’ve probably seen Goebel’s work before -- she’s choreographed everything from Justin Bieber’s Sorry music video to JLo’s Super Bowl halftime show. There is no question: Parris Goebel deserves this Emmy. Her towering window sets, and dynamic dancers elevated the lingerie (literally!) to the highest level, unlike any fashion show we’ve ever seen. But it’s the creative contrasts in her choreography which set Goebel apart -- one second playful, the next hard-hitting and strong. She has more than earned this Emmy nom, and we’ll be cheering for her on Emmy night and every night after that for the rest of our lives.

We love celebrating the shows and artists we love, but we also know that the Emmys are an unimportant and flawed system. So many of our favorite shows and performances weren’t nominated, because the concept of fairly awarding art is impossible, as there is so much amazing content. Reese Witherspoon, queen of acting and starting a production company, was not nominated for any of the three iconic roles she played this year in Big Little Lies, The Morning Show, and Little Fires Everywhere. Pose was nominated in the acting and production categories, but MJ Rodriguez, Indya Moore, and Angelica Ross, who are the scene-stealers of the show, were all snubbed in the Best Actress categories. These snubs do not reflect a lack of cultural importance nor a lack of talent, but rather invisibility in the eyes of the very homogenous voting body of the Emmys. No matter how diverse the Emmy nominations may be, the nominating body themselves are a majority older, white, and male group - so, the talents of these stellar Black and Latinx trans actresses are largely devalued and ignored. One day, we hope that entertainment awards will be abolished, but until then, see you all September 20th for our virtual Emmys watch party!

Emmy nominations:

Outstanding Drama Series

Better Call Saul

The Crown

The Handmaid’s Tale

Killing Eve

The Mandalorian


Stranger Things


Outstanding Comedy Series

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Dead to Me


The Kominsky Method

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Schitt’s Creek

What We Do in the Shadows

Outstanding Limited Series

Little Fires Everywhere

Mrs. America




Outstanding Drama Actor

Jason Bateman, Ozark

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

Steve Carell, The Morning Show

Brian Cox, Succession

Billy Porter, Pose

Jeremy Strong, Succession

Outstanding Drama Actress

Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show

Olivia Colman, The Crown

Jodie Comer, Killing Eve

Laura Linney, Ozark

Sandra Oh, Killing Eve

Zendaya, Euphoria

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Giancarlo Esposito, Better Call Saul

Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid’s Tale

Billy Crudup, The Morning Show

Nicholas Braun, Succession

Kieran Culkin, Succession

Matthew MacFadyen, Succession

Jeffrey Wright, Westworld

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Laura Dern, Big Little Lies

Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies

Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown

Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale

Fiona Shaw, Killing Eve

Julia Garner, Ozark

Sarah Snook, Succession

Thandie Newton, Westworld

Outstanding Comedy Actor

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish

Don Cheadle, Black Monday

Ted Danson, The Good Place

Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method

Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek

Ramy Youssef, Ramy

Outstanding Comedy Actress

Christina Applegate, Dead to Me

Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Linda Cardellini, Dead to Me

Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek

Issa Rae, Insecure

Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

William Jackson Harper, The Good Place

Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method

Tony Shaloub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Mahershala Ali, Ramy

Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live

Dan Levy, Schitt’s Creek

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Betty Gilpin, GLOW

D’Arcy Carden, The Good Place

Yvonne Orji, Insecure

Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Marin Hinkle, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live

Cecily Strong, Saturday Night Live

Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series

Jeremy Irons, Watchmen

Hugh Jackman, Bad Education

Paul Mescal, Normal People

Jeremy Pope, Hollywood