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.
For more TV talk, check out EW critic Kristen Baldwin, editor at large Lynette Rice, and editor in chief Henry Goldblatt’s witty new podcast about the Emmy Awards, Chasing Emmy. (Subscribe now via Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.)
The Americans (FX)
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.
The Crown (Netflix)
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.
Game of Thrones (HBO)
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.
This Is Us (NBC)
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.