Outstanding Drama Series is widely considered the top prize at the Emmy Awards. There’s a good reason it’s the last category in every ceremony: There’s still considerable prestige attached to being the best drama on TV, and almost every show that claims the honor continues to have a lasting legacy.
The 2021-2022 season features another round of acclaimed contenders vying for a spot among the final nominees for television’s highest honor. The abundance of worthy shows can make things hard to predict; Fortunately, GoldDerby’s experts and top users combine their odds to rank the series’ nomination odds, adding much-needed clarity to the race.
ten It’s us
It’s us aired its final episode last May, ending the sentimental series after a successful six-season run. The show followed the lives of the Pearsons, single-handedly saving the network and family drama from oblivion.
The show received very positive reviews throughout its run. The most critical praise went to the performances of the actors, especially Sterling K. Brown, Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore. It’s us is in a good position to earn an Outstanding Drama Series nomination, though competition from streamers may prevent it from being recognized for its final season.
9 stranger things
After a long break of three years, stranger thingsone of the best sci-fi shows of the last decade, returns for its highly anticipated fourth season. The plot takes place nine months after the events of season 3 and follows a series of mysterious murders linked to the Upside Down, causing fear among the inhabitants of Hawkins.
stranger things season 4 broke records within Netflix and received universal critical acclaim. Praise went to the show’s production values, writing, direction, and performances by the actors, especially Millie Bobby Brown and Sadie Sink. Considering the huge impact of the season, it is strange that stranger things doesn’t rank higher in the GoldDerby odds, but his place among the nominees looks more certain with each passing day.
HBO’s harrowing teen drama Euphoria launched its second season earlier this year, delivering more of the neon-color excess that fans love. The show follows the lives of several troubled teens struggling with addiction, sexuality, and identity and features an ensemble cast led by Zendaya.
Partially based on creator Sam Levinson’s early life, Euphoria received critical acclaim for her distinctive looks and performances from the cast, especially Zendaya, who won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress for her work in Season 1. However, Season 2 drew a lot of criticism due to its hypersexualized teenage characters, which could affect its chances of an Outstanding Drama Series nomination.
seven yellow jackets
Arguably the drama of the final season, Showtime’s yellow jackets features an ensemble cast featuring heavy hitters like Christina Ricci and Melanie Lynskey. The plot centers on a group of teenagers involved in a plane crash in 1996 and the consequences the event has on themselves.
yellow jackets was universally critically acclaimed. Major praise went to the performances of the cast, especially Lynskey, Ricci, and the young performers, as well as the show’s mystery, writing, and subversive tone. Lynskey is a dark horse in the Lead Actress category, and the show itself could prove dangerous in the Drama Series category if Showtime plays its cards right.
Apple TV+ has some of the best series streaming today, including Dan Erickson’s Breakup. Featuring an ensemble cast led by Adam Scott, Breakup focuses on an employee who agrees to submit to the titular procedure in which their work memories are separated from those of non-work.
Breakup drew praise from critics and audiences, who noted the show’s high production values and complex storytelling. Breakup could do well at the Emmys, with many of its actors receiving nominations. His place among the drama series nominees seems plausible, but a win might be out of the question.
Created by Taylor Sheridan and featuring Oscar winner Kevin Costner, Yellowstone focuses on the Dutton family, owners of Montana’s largest cattle ranch. Conflicts arise with the Broken Rock Indian Reservation.
Although initial reception was divisive, subsequent seasons drew positive reviews. Yellowstone season 4 even earned the cast a nomination for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, cementing their place as one of the top contenders for this year’s Emmys.
4 You better call Saul
You better call Saula spin-off on Emmy darling breaking Bad, follows the transition of Jimmy McGill from a serious lawyer and former con man to the selfish and criminal lawyer Saul Goodman. Bob Odenkirk reprises his role alongside a cast that includes Rhea Seehorn, Jonathan Banks and Giancarlo Esposito.
Nominated for Outstanding Drama Series for each of its five seasons, You better call Saulhis presence among this year’s nominees is a certainty. The show received particular praise for the first half of Season 6, making it a strong contender for shocking upset and claiming the statuette.
Netflix’s gripping drama ozark delivered its final batch of episodes, ending the series in a sufficiently intense fashion. With career-best Jason Bateman and Laura Linney, ozark follows the Byrde family as they become embroiled in an increasingly dangerous life of crime.
ozarkThe final season of received positive reviews. Critics criticized the separation of episodes, which made Part 1 somewhat underwhelming, but praised the performances of the cast, especially Linney and series breakthrough Julia Garner. The Emmys love to reward shows from their past seasons, which might help ozark lead the pack.
2 squid game
squid game has been the streaming phenomenon of 2021. Netflix’s smash hit on contestants competing in a deadly series of childish games for the chance to win 6 billion won has broken many streamer records and become a pop culture sensation.
The show is Netflix’s main contender in the race and dark horse to win Outstanding Drama Series at this year’s Emmys. Lead actor Lee Jung-jae and supporting actress HoYeon Jung are also the top contestants in their respective categories, increasing squid gameto win the first prize of the evening.
HBO Succession is the favorite to win Outstanding Drama Series at this year’s Emmys. With an ensemble cast that includes Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong, Kieran Culkin, Matthew McFadyen and Sarah Snook, Succession follows the dysfunctional Roy family and their struggles for ownership of their business, Waystar RoyCo.
Season 2 of Succession won Outstanding Drama Series at the 2020 Emmy Awards, making it an instant favorite to repeat at this year’s ceremony. Season 3 was critically acclaimed, with its ending drawing considerable praise, making its chances of victory even more certain.
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