Are the Emmys stuck in a rut?

Many critics are predicting the winners for some of the top prizes – best drama series and best comedy series – will be the same as last year. Is that a problem when there are so many TV options today? Or are possible winners 'Game of Thrones' and 'Veep' simply the best options out there?

HBO/AP
'Game of Thrones' stars Maisie Williams.

At the Sept. 18 Emmys ceremony, it may be a victory for the residents of Westeros and the staff of Selina Meyer again.

As the TV awards approach, many critics are predicting that programs such as HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” which won the best drama prize at the 2015 ceremony, and the HBO show “Veep,” which took the best comedy prize last year, will see a repeat of their wins. 

Since we’re living in what is often called a new golden age of television, with a massive amount of viewing opportunities, what do these predictions mean for TV? Are the Emmys stuck in a rut? Or are these shows the best of the crop and so deserving of multiple wins? 

Balancing this out is the fact that both “Thrones” and “Veep” have only won their respective prizes once. “Veep,” for example, has nothing like the record of ABC show “Modern Family,” which took the best comedy series prize five times in its history. It was a feat that left some critics weary. “ ’Modern Family’ is a completely acceptable show,” Vanity Fair writer Michelle Collins wrote in 2014 following the series’ newest win. “But like throw some new people a bone, Emmy voters.” 

However, some critics do see the fact that “Thrones” and “Veep” are seen as the frontrunners for their prizes as a signal that the Emmys need to think beyond past champions. 

“Why, if there’s so much great TV, do the Emmys often reward the same shows and performances over and over again?” Los Angeles Times writer Glenn Whipp wrote in his column predicting the winners for the upcoming telecast. 

Salon writer Melanie McFarland agrees that Emmy voters may like what is comfortable more than what is daring, also choosing “Thrones” and “Veep” as the winners for their prizes. 

“Heed that ancient saying about old habits,” Ms. McFarland writes. “Those of Emmy voters have deeper roots than an old growth forest. While predicting the outcomes could be trickier this time around owing to the presence of potent first-time nominees, including worthy veterans that finally busted into the ranks (hooray for ‘The Americans’!), a few wrinkly voting patterns may prevent those contenders from going home with some much-deserved hardware.”

However, some critics feel that the probable wins for “Thrones” and “Veep” are very much deserved, even if they would be repeats. Business Insider writer Jethro Nededog wrote after also selecting “Thrones” and “Veep” as his picks for best drama series and best comedy series, “[‘Thrones’] took lots of risks, measured out how much it would give in to fans' wishes, injected humor into an otherwise dark time, and ended with a huge, fan-pleasing battle … [and it was] another strong season of HBO's ‘Veep.’ ”

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