Who will (and should) win at the 2022 Emmys

·7 min read

Who will take home Lady Emmy when the Television Academy hands out the coveted statuettes at the 74th Annual Emmy Awards (Monday, September 12 at 8 p.m. on NBC)? Only those little envelopes know for sure... but EW critics Kristen Baldwin and Darren Franich have some fearless predictions.

Outstanding Drama

Succession
Succession

Macall Polay/HBO Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, and Kieran Culkin in Succession

Buzzy new dramas have some history here, with the debut seasons of Homeland and The Handmaid's Tale taking the top Drama prize. That would be good news for any of this year's three buzzy new series. But Severance, Squid Game, and Yellowjackets are competing against the ongoing juggernaut of awards magnet Succession. Bet on the Roy family to win again this year (and pray voters don't forget about Better Call Saul's eligible-in-2023 final episodes.)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama

Melanie Lynskey as Shauna in YELLOWJACKETS
Melanie Lynskey as Shauna in YELLOWJACKETS

Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME Melanie Lynskey in 'Yellowjackets'

Two years after Zendaya became this category's youngest winner ever, she's back with another buzzy season of HBO's teen-chaos drama. But anticipate a slight upset for Lynskey, a beloved performer given an incredible spotlight (comedic! tragic! romantic! murderous!) in Yellowjackets.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama

squid game
squid game

netflix Lee Jung-Jae in 'Squid Game'

Will this finally be Odenkirk's year, after six Saul nominations? That would be amazing! It would also be amazing for Lee to follow up his SAG award with a historic prize for Squid Game. In a close race, we'll give the win to Lee.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama

  • Patricia Arquette, Severance

  • Julia Garner, Ozark

  • Jung Ho-yeon, Squid Game

  • Christina Ricci, Yellowjackets

  • J. Smith Cameron, Succession

  • Sarah Snook, Succession

  • Sydney Sweeney, Euphoria

  • Rhea Seehorn, Better Call Saul

Better Call Saul series finale
Better Call Saul series finale

Greg Lewis/AMC Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler on 'Better Call Saul'

Another high-powered category, and if there's any hope for a controversial final season of Ozark, it's probably the ascendant Garner (who won this prize twice already). And don't count out the TV Academy's love for Sweeney, who's also nominated for The White Lotus. But after years of snubbing, this feels like the moment for Seehorn, who carried the heaviest emotional weight of Saul's devastating final act.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama

Succession
Succession

Graeme Hunter/HBO Kieran Culkin in 'Succession'

It's the Severance guys vs. the Succession guys vs. the Squid Game guys, and past winner Billy Crudup, too! If Severance rides high at the ceremony it could be either Turturro or Walken, but Culkin's steady work on Succession should bring home the trophy.

Outstanding Comedy

Abbott Elementary
Abbott Elementary

Pamela Littky/ABC The cast of 'Abbott Elementary'

A critically adored broadcast-network hit from an exciting new creative voice, Abbott Elementary is the kind of all-quadrant success story that seemed to be going extinct in the TV landscape. What better way to end a triumphant first season than to take the stage at the Emmys? For that reason alone, we'll give the edge to Abbott over likely top contenders Ted Lasso and Hacks.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy

Bill Hader HBO Barry Season 3 - Episode 6
Bill Hader HBO Barry Season 3 - Episode 6

HBO

Before Sudeikis won this award for the very nice Ted Lasso, and before Eugene Levy won this award for the very nice Schitt's Creek, Hader dominated this category for two straight years with the decidedly not-nice (and outstanding) Barry. The bleakly hilarious HBO sitcom returned after three years with some of its nastiest episodes yet, and Hader's demolishing turn as an oddly charming/possibly psychotic hitman has never been more magnetic. Expect a threepeat.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy

Jean Smart, HBO MAX Hacks Season 2
Jean Smart, HBO MAX Hacks Season 2

Karen Ballard/HBO Jean Smart is 'doin' Ellen' in 'Hacks' season 2 trailer

There's some serious competition here from Brunson and Fanning, not to mention a lot of love for Rae's Insecure swan song. But Smart has a unique position. She's the reigning champion, but Hacks' much-praised second season marked a discovery point for some viewers to catch up, and its recent renewal implies a lot of confidence from slash-happy HBO Max. Smart's the smart pick.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Henry Winkler HBO Barry Season 3 - Episode 8
Henry Winkler HBO Barry Season 3 - Episode 8

Merrick Morton/ HBO Henry Winkler in 'Barry'

This is ultimately a race between two previous winners: Brett Goldstein (2021) and Henry Winkler (2018), both of whom gave deserving performances. But we're going with Winkler, whose narcissistic acting teacher Gene Cousineau was undone by grief — and redeemed through regret — in Barry's stunning third season.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

ABBOTT ELEMENTARY
ABBOTT ELEMENTARY

Scott Everett White/ABC Janelle James in 'Abbott Elementary'

Predictions are all over the place in this category, making it look like a three-way tie between Janelle James, Hannah Waddingham, and Hannah Einbinder. While we'd be fine with all three actors taking the stage, James is the breakout star of 2022 — and voters love to reward critical darlings/first-time nominees. See: Hannah Waddingham (2021) and Annie Murphy (2020).

Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series

The White Lotus
The White Lotus

Mario Perez/HBO Natasha Rothwell in 'The White Lotus'

HBO's awards team has done an excellent job reminding voters why The White Lotus was such a phenomenon back in the summer of 2021. (Dropping the first footage of season 2 one week after nominations were announced was a nice touch.) Dopesick has at least one other category on lock (more on that below), but this award is Lotus' to lose.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Dopesick
Dopesick

Gene Page/Hulu Michael Keaton on 'Dopesick'

He won the Golden Globe, the SAG, and the Critics' Choice Television Award. Heck, Michael Keaton even took home the AARP Movies for Grownups award for Best Actor (TV). Surely the Emmys aren't going to break such a notable — and well-deserved — streak? Hulu's Dopesick is almost unbearably sad, but the wrenching tale of the opioid crisis is rendered unmissable by a keenly moving performance by Keaton.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

The Dropout
The Dropout

Beth Dubber/Hulu Amanda Seyfried in 'The Dropout'

Let's get one thing straight: This award belongs to Margaret Qualley. If you somehow missed Maid — which spent thirteen weeks in Netflix's top 10 last fall — Qualley gives a raw and beautifully unvarnished performance as Alex, a resourceful single mother determined to escape an abusive relationship. But Amanda Seyfried is the bigger star, and she did a solid impression of the Elizabeth Holmes' static-y baritone, so… congrats!

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

The White Lotus
The White Lotus

Mario Perez/HBO Murray Bartlett on 'The White Lotus.'

Murray Bartlett's Armond pooped in a suitcase and yet we were still devastated by his untimely death. The choice is clear.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

The White Lotus
The White Lotus

Mario Perez/HBO Jennifer Coolidge and Murray Bartlett in 'The White Lotus'

With seven nominees from only two series, vote splitting is inevitable in this battle of the stellar ensembles. As much as I'd love to see the win go to Dopesick's Kaitlyn Dever — so heart-wrenching as a young woman held captive by a vicious opioid addiction — the momentum is behind Jennifer Coolidge as White Lotus' Tanya, the kooky-loopy embodiment of privileged ennui.

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