7 TV Shows to Binge-Watch Before the 2016 Emmy Awards This Sunday
The 68th annual Emmy Awards are less than a week away—but there’s still plenty of time to binge-watch this year’s most buzzed-about shows before the winners are announced at Sunday night’s ceremony. Whether you’re ready to full-on commit to catching up on a more time-consuming (but most-nominated) series like Game of Thrones or would rather turn your attention to one of this year’s can’t-miss miniseries like The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story or Fargo, there’s something for any and every TV lover to appreciate on this year’s list of nominees. Of course, there’s also the newbies to look out for, like fan-favorites Mr. Robot and Master of None—both of which are up for multiple categories. Catch up on our picks below before tuning in to the Emmys on Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. ET on ABC.
- Number of nominations: 6
- Why you should watch: If you haven’t been spending your Wednesday nights tuning into USA’s hit hacker drama Mr. Robot, then you’re seriously missing out. The series’ first season already took home the Golden Globe for Best Drama earlier this year, and now, it's up for six nominations at this year’s Emmys, including Outstanding Drama. Rami Malek also scored a much-deserved Lead Actor in a Drama nod for his portrayal of the mentally unstable hacker-with-heart Elliot Alderson. The show is currently airing its second season—which the leading ladies told us all about—but even if you’re all caught up, we recommend re-watching season one to relive all of the fsociety vs. Evil Corp greatness from the very beginning—it’s pretty fascinating to see what you may have missed the first time around, even down to the smallest details.
- Where to catch up: Amazon Prime
Game of Thrones
Number of nominations: 23
Why you should watch: Fresh off 12 primetime Emmy wins last year, Game of Thrones is once again leading this year’s pack with a whopping 23 nominations. And while the love for the show may not come as a surprise, this year’s feat is downright deserved. The HBO series’ sixth season was one of its most riveting—and that says a lot for a show that kills off its main characters in bulk without so much as batting an eye. After torturing fans about the fate of Jon Snow, an epic Battle of the Bastards, and one majorly satisfying character death (bye, Ramsay!), this season gave us so much of what we wanted—and it more than earned its nomination for Best Drama. The show also picked up multiple acting nods, including returning nominees Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, and Peter Dinklage, as well as first-time nominees—and fan-favorites—Kit Harington and Maisie Williams. Here’s to hoping that Jon Snow and Arya Stark finally get what they deserve.
Where to catch up: HBO GO
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Number of nominations: 22
Why you should watch: Even before The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story premiered, there was already a ton of hype for the FX miniseries. Not only did it capitalize on the fact that people are still obsessed with the possibility of learning new details about O.J. Simpson’s murder trial, but it featured an all-star cast (and, of course, the promise of child actors portraying baby Kardashians). And as it turns out, the 10-episode single season lived up to the hype. In addition to earning an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Limited Series, the show picked up nods for all of its leading actors. Cuba Gooding Jr. and Courtney B. Vance are up for Outstanding Lead Actor for their respective roles as O.J. Simpson and defense attorney Johnnie Cochran; Sarah Paulson is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress for her portrayal of prosecutor Marcia Clark; and John Travolta, David Schwimmer, and Sterling K. Brown all received nods for Outstanding Supporting Actor for their roles as defense attorneys Robert Shapiro and Robert Kardashian, and prosecutor Christopher Darden, respectively.
Where to catch up: Amazon Prime
Number of nominations: 17
Why you should watch: After winning Outstanding Comedy Series last year, Veep landed 17 nominations this Emmys cycle—including an Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series nod for Julia Louis-Dreyfus. No big shocker there, as she’s won the category the past four years for her downright hilarious portrayal of Vice President-turned-President Selina Meyer. In season five, we saw Selina campaigning for the presidency yet again, this time hoping to win from an actual election (and not as the result of her predecessor’s resignation). And Dreyfus isn’t the show’s only star nominated for playing a political powerhouse. Anna Chlumsky is nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Selina’s chief of staff-turned-campaign manager; Tony Hale is once again up for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Selina’s “bag-man” Gary Walsh (he took home the trophy last year); and Matt Walsh is nominated for the same award for his portrayal of White House Press Secretary Mike McLintock.
Where to catch up: HBO GO
Number of nominations: 18
Why you should watch: The 10-episode second season of FX’s anthology series Fargo racked up the Emmy nods, including one for Outstanding Limited Series. Kirsten Dunst earned a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series for her portrayal of Peggy Blomquist, a hairstylist who covers up deadly crimes she and her husband committed in 1979 Minnesota. The show’s true crime nature, combined with dark comedy and a small-town Midwest backdrop, made for a worthwhile watch—and Dunst isn’t the only star nominated. Jesse Plemons and Bokeem Woodbine—who play Peggy’s husband Ed Blomquist and mobster Mike Milligan, respectively—both scored Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series nods for their roles, and Jean Smart is up for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series for bringing the show’s mob boss matriarch, Floyd Gerhardt, to life onscreen.
Where to catch up: Amazon Prime
- Number of nominations: 10
- Why you should watch: It’s no surprise that season two of the Jeffrey Tambor-helmed Amazon series is a contender for Outstanding Comedy Series. Tambor took home the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series at last year’s ceremony for his role as transgender Maura Pfefferman, a title he’s up for yet again this time around. Judith Light is also nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for the second year in a row for her role as Tambor’s onscreen ex-wife, Shelly, while Gaby Hoffmann is up for the same award for her role as the former couple’s daughter, Ali Pfefferman. The unconventional family at the heart of the groundbreaking show is a joy to watch, with each member on his or her own path to self-discovery. Season three starts streaming on Sept. 23, so what better time to catch up than now?
- Where to catch up:Amazon Prime
Master of None
Number of nominations: 4
Why you should watch: Last November, Aziz Ansari’s Netflix dramedy about a struggling 30-year-old actor trying to find success in New York City premiered to critical acclaim. Now, the show—which is created, executive produced, and written by its star, Ansari—has racked up four Emmy nominations, including one for Outstanding Comedy Series and one in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series category for Ansari’s role as his only-known-for-commercials character, Dev Shah. Master of None is smart, funny, and modern as it explores Dev’s romantic and career pursuits—but the show also manages to give you the feels at all the right moments. It’s already been picked up for a second season set to premiere in 2017, but you might as well get a head start on binge-watching all 10 episodes before Emmys this Sunday to see what all the fuss is about.
Where to catch up: Netflix