The Binge-Watch List Award Season: And the Emmy Goes to...

It’s time to catch up on some great, award-winning TV
Wednesday 22 September 2021

It’s Award Season again! The 73rd Primetime Emmy Award is seeing a new network joining the fray. Disney+, a new contender—though definitely not a new kid on the block—came in hot, with a total of 22 nominations for its shows. While Netflix continues its reign of supremacy here, Disney+ definitely levelled the playing field, plunging its total nominations to 29 from last year’s resounding 37. 

And in case you haven’t yet caught up with the nominated shows and movies, consider this a chance for you to binge-watch them all! 


1. The Crown

Photo: Netflix

Nominations: 11, including Outstanding Drama Series 

Wins: 7, including Best Drama Series, Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series, and Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Speaking of Netflix and its reign, The Crown is hands down a TV series that everybody can’t seem to stop talking about. This year, it seemed like the entire cast secured a nomination, with Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham-Carter both getting a second shot at this award for their roles as Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret, respectively. 

Despite all the Diana mania (does the reimagined Gucci Diana and Kristen Stewart’s Spencer ring any bells?) Emma Corrin did not bring home the statuette, succumbing to co-lead actress Olivia Colman. 

It’s also the first show to sweep all major drama categories, with Tobias Menzies and Gillian Anderson scoring the supporting accolades. 


2. Ted Lasso

Photo: Apple TV+

Nominations: 13, including Outstanding Comedy Series 

Wins: 4, including Best Comedy Series, and Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

If you’re hesitant to subscribe to Apple TV+, then Ted Lasso might just make you a convert. The show broke Glee’s record of 19 nominations in 2010, with 20 total Emmy nominations. 

Jason Sudeikis repeated his win at the Golden Globes where he took home the award for the Best Actor for a Comedy TV Series, to no one’s surprise.  

Fans of sports will enjoy the references, and how Jason’s character, Ted, struggles to switch gears from coaching American college football to coaching an English soccer team. While the show had a lukewarm start for its first season, Ted Lasso generated a lot of buzz and received great critical acclaim by the middle of that same season. 

If you’re one to enjoy a slow but enjoyable build, definitely tune in to Ted Lasso


3. The Queen’s Gambit 

Photo: Netflix

Nominations: 6, including Outstanding Limited Series and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series

Wins: 2, including Best Limited Series

Similar to The Crown, The Queen’s Gambit also took the world by storm. It has brought the game of chess—a game many think as dull and unglamourous—to the centre of our attention, and subverts our expectations pleasantly with Beth Harmon’s story and the drama that goes on in the chess masters’ lives.   

Anya Taylor-Joy, the show’s leading lady, has already won the Critics’ Choice TV Award, a Golden Globe, and the Screen Actors Guild Award—all for the same role. This time around, the competition just got tougher, and Taylor-Joy unfortunately did not make the cut and surrendered the gong to Mare of Easttown’s Kate Winslet.


4. I May Destroy You

Photo: HBO

Nominations: 6, including Outstanding Limited Series and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series

Wins: 1, Best Writing for a Limited Series or Movie

The New York Times described this show as “the perfect show for an anxious world”. The star of the show, Michaela Coel created, written and directed I May Destroy You, as she did for Netflix’s Chewing Gum—a TV series that was ahead of its time. 

You may remember that this show has stirred quite the drama when it was snubbed at the recent Golden Globes. Despite this, the show went on to win multiple awards: a few BAFTAs, a GLAAD Media Award, an Image Awards by the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP), and a Peabody Award. 

The story closely relates to Coel’s personal brush with rape, a situation which happened when she was writing for Chewing Gum. Coel also turned down Netflix’s US$1 million offer for the show, and subsequently made a deal with the BBC which allowed her to keep full creative control and ownership of the show. 


5. Lovecraft Country

Photo: Warner Bros.

Nominations: 6, including Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress in a Drama Series 

No wins

Step aside, Bridgerton, we’ve got a new period drama favourite, and it stars Marvel Cinematic Universe’s latest big bad actor, Jonathan Majors. 

Although HBO will not be renewing the show for a second season (whilst it was in development), Lovecraft Country will be a meaningful watch. The plot takes us through the journey of a Black Korean war veteran travelling across Jim Crow America as he is in search of his father. At the same time, he’s learning of dark secrets of Lovecraftian proportions plaguing the town.

When you’re binge-watching this horrific yet magnetising masterpiece, be sure to soak in Michael K. Williams’s performance, as it’s his final bow before his untimely demise on the 6th of September 2021. 


6. The Kominsky Method 

Photo: Netflix

Nominations: 3, including Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

No wins

Another MCU star (Michael Douglas) is fronting yet another show, and despite securing multiple nominations at multiple awards, they can’t seem to catch a break. That streak continues even at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards. For all three nominations, The Kominsky Method bowed down to the reign of Ted Lasso

However, as a huge fan of many of Chuck Lorre’s works (Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon to name a few) there is no way that this show will go unrecommended—awards aside. 


7. black-ish

Photo: ABC

Nominations: 3, including Outstanding Comedy Series, and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

No wins

Since its premiere in 2014, the show has raked up 64 total nominations, with 28 of those resulting in a win. However, from all seven successful seasons, never did they win an Emmy. This year, it’s a tall order for them to beat TV’s latest sweetheart, Ted Lasso

While they may have not won this round, tune in to black-ish for a glimpse into the lives of the upper class African-American family, led by Andre and Rainbow Johnson (played by Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross respectively). 


8. Mare of Easttown

Photo: HBO

Nominations: 7, including Outstanding Limited Series, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series

Wins: 3, including Best Lead Actress in a Limited Series 

If wholesome plotlines are not up your alley, then might we recommend Mare of Easttown, recent winner of three Emmy awards. It tells the story of a police detective who investigates the recent murder of a teenage mother while trying to keep her own life from falling apart. 

The BBC wrote, “Winslet makes an unglamourous return to TV…and her fierce, ordinary heroine is gloriously real.” Many other media outlets share similar positive sentiments, lauding her performance in the show. 

Although this show is intended as a miniseries, Winslet shares, in an Entertainment Weekly video, that series creator Brad Ingelsby already has “some very cool ideas” about where Mare Sheehan (Winslet’s character) could go next. 


9. The Flight Attendant 

Photo: Warner Bros.

Nominations: 5, including Outstanding Comedy Series, and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

No wins

Unlike the previous show, The Flight Attendant is confirmed for a second season, and you can catch the premiere in the spring of 2022. While the show may have lost to Ted Lasso and HACKS, a second season could grant it a second shot. 

Here, Kaley Cuoco shook off the chirpy and breezy Penny personality from The Big Bang Theory and embraced a more troubled character for this mystery-thriller series. If you enjoyed Netflix’s You (starring Penn Badgley and Elizabeth Lail), then you’re sure to devour this show in one sitting. 


10. The Handmaid’s Tale

Photo: Hulu

Nominations: 11, including Outstanding Drama Series, and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

No wins

If the book it was based on is a cultural phenomenon, then you can (almost) count on the show to be an instant must-watch. This is especially the case if the author is made a consulting producer, which in The Handmaid’s Tale’s case, is true. 

We’ve seen multiple futuristic dystopian fiction depicting humanity at the brink of extinction from climate change, artificial intelligence takeovers and even pandemics—which is hitting a little too close to home. This show offers a different take on post-apocalyptic horrors: child-bearing slavery. 

The show has been Hulu’s hail mary, as it’s the first show to be produced by the streaming service to win an Emmy for Outstanding Series back in 2017. And with season 5 in the works, there’s no sign of the show slowing down (especially with Atwood’s 2019 sequel, The Testaments).