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Five Reasons Not to Skip the Emmys

Long speeches, fashion fails, hit-or-miss hosts.  Yes, awards shows can be exhausting.  But if you were thinking about skipping the 2015 Emmy Awards and just reading about it later, think again.  We’ve got five reasons Black folks should tune in and turn up this year, plus some predictions.  Hint: #teamcookie and #teamannalise, you will not be disappointed.

1. How to Get Away with an Emmy Win:

Viola Davis is expected to, and should win, for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Davis is a deserving actress who has been nominated for two Oscars, three Golden Globes and three SAG awards, winning two—including earlier this year for How to Get Away with Murder. While many are saying Davis will bring home the trophy, her category is not an easy one. She’s competing against Emmy repeaters, such as Claire Danes (Homeland), Robin Wright (House of Cards), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)—along with fellow first-timers Taraji P. Henson (Empire) and Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black). These are all formidable competition for Davis, but she did come out on top at the SAG Awards against some of the same actors. And let’s not forget the key scene that made her a definite nominee. Who can forget when she took off her wig and makeup and showed another side to how Black women can be portrayed in primetime?

2. Black History:

 Deadline reported earlier this summer there has been a 64 percent gain in Black actors nominated at the Emmy’s this year, with 18 nominations in various categories. Henson and Davis’ nominations also mark the first time two black women have been nominated in the same year in their drama category. If Davis doesn’t take it, Henson should take it home. Henson has helped Empire become one of the most popular and successful shows on TV today—she’s also one of the only hope the hit show has in getting some real recognition at the awards. The last two years have really shown an improvement to the amount of minorities in leading roles and the types of roles they play. Hopefully the successes of Davis and Henson, especially after Sunday, will further that progression.

3. Hail to the Queen:

TV movie Bessie has already won an Emmy for Outstanding Television Movie but will Queen Latifah get the one for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for playing the star role? Her performance as the blues singer garnered many positive reviews for the film. She’s facing off against actors like Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Honorable Woman) and Frances McDormand (Olive Kitteridge), but we never underestimate royalty.

4. Crazy Eyed for Uzo Aduba:

Orange Is The New Black became a hit as soon as it hit Netflix, largely thanks to fan favorite character “Suzanne ‘Crazy Eyes’ Warren,” played by Uzo Aduba. She won an Emmy last year and took home a SAG award this year for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series with OITNB as well as its cast. But both Aduba and the show have made the switch from a comedy category to drama. Critics are talking about Game of Thrones actress Lena Headey and Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks being the ones to beat. Aduba still has a good chance to come away with the win.

5. Mama Drama of Shondaland:

Seasoned actress Khandi Alexander, nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for Scandal, goes toe to toe with veteran Cicely Tyson—nominated in the same category for How to Get Away with Murder. When shows like Scandal and HTGAWM star such leading ladies as Kerry Washington and Viola Davis, similarly daunting actresses are required to play their mothers. And to call Alexander and Tyson scene stealers would almost be an insult, they OWNED the screens they shared with their fictional progeny. Tyson has been nominated for 12 Emmys with three wins, while this is Alexander’s first nomination. Many of the OMG moments from Scandal occur when Alexander’s on screen, and the scene between Tyson and Davis towards the end of Season 1 was absolutely captivating to say the least. Our bet’s on a Shondaland mother getting the win.

Click here to view the full list of nominees and be sure to tune in to FOX Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET to find out who wins.

What are your predictions for the Emmys? Tell us in the comments below!

ABOUT JESSICA WENCK

Jessica Wenck is a writer and multimedia journalist who has been featured in publications including Variety.com, The Press Enterprise and ChicagoTalks.org.  She is addicted to coffee and is an entertainment junkie with a specialty in TV and film.  Follow her on Twitter.