We’re getting into the heart of Emmy campaign series, and that means the return of our annual prediction series! Over the next several days, we’ll be sharing (as voted on by our team) our picks for all of the different categories across the board. It’s clear that the Emmys this year are going to look and feel very different, but even still, there are clearly shows and performers who are worthy of recognition. The show itself is set to air September 20 on ABC, and nominations will be officially announced next month.
Today, we want to kick off our wishlist with one of the most important categories of all: Outstanding Drama Series. It’s been a fantastic year for television, and only a few programs are going to be able to make the cut. We’re looking here at emotional achievements — shows that made us drop our jaws and be in awe of everything that they brought to the table. Check out our seven selections below, and be sure to share in the comments your own personal picks!
Better Call Saul (AMC) – Is the series’ fifth season its best overall? You can make a real case for it, whether it be the pacing, the intensity, and the best performances to date from Bob Odenkirk and Rhea Seehorn. This may very well be one of the greatest prequels of all time; while you know where some of the story is going thanks to Breaking Bad, the journey is still tantalizing and there is just enough mystery to still ask further questions.
Homeland (Showtime) – What a final season this was. In bringing Carrie Mathison back to the Middle East, the drama went back to its roots and delivered a story that was timely, gripping, and best showcased all of the danger of this world. It also remembered that the relationship between Carrie and Saul is what so many of us watch for. From start to finish, we’d say that the show ended up delivering in a profoundly emotional way.
Outlander (Starz) – Sometimes, it can be difficult to keep a show strong after multiple years on the air. For Outlander, however, we’re seeing the series continuing to shine week after week. Season 5 brought us stories about war, family, overcoming trauma, and the things that matter the most. It delivered epic battle sequences, sure, but its most poignant moments were individual conversations between characters, lifted by extraordinary performances featuring Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, and the rest of the cast. It made us want to head back to Fraser’s Ridge immediately.
Power (Starz) – It is still quite hard to believe that (spoiler alert) Ghost is gone. Yet, what Power delivered through its final season was a fitting end to one of the most exciting sagas in recent television history. From start to finish the final season gave us creativity, mystery, great performances, and a great deal of emotional weight. The final episodes were a tremendous risk, but one that we enjoyed following along as the puzzle pieces started to fit together. Who doesn’t love a good guessing game?
This Is Us (NBS) – Like Outlander, This Is Us has a challenge in making sure it feels as fresh now as it once did. Yet, they’re figuring it out by allowing us to dive deeper into the psyche of its characters. The Kevin – Randall feud, for example, is breaking our hearts … but it is essential to understanding their journeys. We’ve learned more about Kate’s past, about Rebecca’s diagnosis, and also some of where we are going. In the end, though, all of it is gripping television.
Vikings (History) – One of the most epic series in recent memory. Just for the battle scenes and stunt choreography alone, the show deserves a lot of credit. Then, you just add to it the multi-layered storytelling, the writing, and the ability of the cast to make these historical characters feel relatable to present-day audiences. This is a show to get lost in, and one that can mesmerize you and leaving you wanting so much more. We’re going to be sad when all of it is over.
Yellowstone (Paramount Network) – With many shows, there is a tendency to fall into a sophomore slump. Not here. The second season was far and away an improvement on the first, delivering near-constant action, strong performances, and one of the best visual spectacles on television. While Kevin Costner is a fantastic leading man, the cast around him is equally strong as the show takes Western motifs and thrusts them right into the 21st century.
(You can view more of our outlook on the future of Yellowstone below — once you do that, be sure to subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube.)
Related News – Be sure to get some other Emmy coverage
What do you want to see nominated in the Outstanding Drama Series category?
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