As the nominations period comes to an end, EW’s team of experts and critics have compiled a list of the top contenders for the 2018 Emmy Awards.
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Showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields always thought of their Cold War-set series as a family drama first and a spy thriller second. In the show’s sixth and final season, they proved it with a devastating ending that tore the Jennings family apart — not by death, but by choice.
Spanning roughly the years 1956-64, the series’ second season crammed in marital woes, international crises, bumbling prime ministers, a visit from JFK and Jackie Kennedy, and even royal liaisons with Nazis! Though sweeping, opulent, and lavish in setting, the show never falls victim to self-inflated pomp and vanity, even if some characters do.
A shortened, seven-episode season resulted in the show’s most lavish production yet. Longtime fan-favorite characters united and clashed amid GoT’s unparalleled mix of jaw-dropping spectacle and character-driven intimacy, as HBO’s international hit continued to redefine “epic” in its seventh season. Bonus: 747-size dragons.
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
The Emmy-winning drama transformed the world of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel into an entire universe in season 2, as the oppressed handmaids of Gilead took their first small steps toward a revolution. Though harrowing and at times hard to watch, this Tale never lost sight of the power — and necessity — of hope.
In season 2, the show resolved the heartbreaking mystery — how patriarch Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) met his maker — and the Pearsons were pushed into fresh, challenging territory — Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth’s (Susan Kelechi Watson) exploration of fostering a child — all while continuing to tantalizingly toy with time. (That finale flash-forward… what?!)
A topical season 2 (the theme park is secretly a privacy-invading user data collection program? You don't say…) gave fans more of everything that made the sci-fi drama a breakout hit: more mysteries, parks (samurais, ninjas, and Bengal tigers!), robot rebellion, violent delights, and disturbing A.I. future-shock pathos.