‘Squid Game’ set to make Emmy Awards history

Will it be the first non-English language production to be voted Best Drama Series? The bloodthirsty Korean series “Squid Game” will face fierce competition on Monday at the Emmy Awards where it has a chance to make history.

Dark and violent denunciation of the excesses of capitalism, in which miserable people kill each other during cruel children’s games with the hope of winning millions, the global success of Netflix could become the star of this competition, equivalent to the Oscars of the American television.

A success that would follow in the footsteps of the Korean film “Parasite”, which won the Oscar for best film in 2020.

But to win in Los Angeles, the series will have to get ahead of a serious competitor: “Succession”, a production already rewarded two years ago for its chronicle of a powerful family whose members plot and tear each other apart.

“It’s quite difficult to face this behemoth of HBO”, remarks the cinema columnist of Deadline Pete Hammond, recalling that the American series seems to lead the dance with 25 nominations.

This specialist, however, bets on a best actor award for Lee Jung-jae, the main actor of “Squid Game”. Enough to make the South Korean the first winner of this prize for a performance in a language other than English.

The series “Severance” (Apple TV+), a disturbing metaphor on the world of work, and “Ozark” (Netflix), which explores money laundering and the vices of the American middle class, are also aiming for the prize for the best drama series.

In this kind of series, Zendaya, already rewarded in 2020, has every chance of being voted best actress again for her role as a drug-addicted teenager in “Euphoria”.

– Aging comedian –

On the comedy side, “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV +), winner last year, seems set to re-emerge. In the series, Jason Sudeikis plays an American football coach parachuted into an English football team.

Nominated in the best actor category of a comedy, he faces Bill Hader, for his role as a hitman who dreams of being a Hollywood star in the series “Barry”, which resumes after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

Among women, Jean Smart is widely expected to be elected again as best actress, for her performance in “Hacks”, a comedy where she plays the role of an aging comedian from Las Vegas, forced to reinvent herself on stage.

Like every year, the mini-series category, which rewards productions limited to a single season, will bring in new blood.

Four of the five contenders are inspired by real scandals. “Dopesick” examines the murderous addiction of the United States to opioids, “The Dropout” tackles the fraud mounted by the medical start-up Theranos, “Pam and Tommy” retraces the underside of the publication of the sex tape by Pamela Anderson, and “Inventing Anna” follows the story of a young Russian who has long deceived New York elite by posing as a wealthy German heiress.

But in this very tight race, the tragicomic satire “The White Lotus”, which tackles the ambient hypocrisy of a Hawaiian luxury hotel, is given favorite by the experts.

“I think Michael Keaton is almost guaranteed to be voted best actor in a mini-series”, for his role in “Dopesick”, predicts Mr. Hammond. The critic also foresees an award for Amanda Seyfried, who plays the fallen boss of Theranos in “The Dropout”.

– “Smart security” –

The Emmy Awards generally enshrine peer recognition within the microcosm of American television: actors constitute the most important branch of voters.

Organized in a theater in Los Angeles, with a red carpet and a parade of stars, the ceremony marks a return to normal this year, after previous editions marked by the pandemic and the rules of social distancing.

She will be presented by American comedian Kenan Thompson, a well-known figure from the show “Saturday Night Live”.

The actor will officiate without security having been reinforced, a few months after the scandal caused by Will Smith, who reacted to a joke aimed at his wife by slapping comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars in front of a dumbfounded public.

“We have smart security. We have people around who make quick decisions,” Emmys boss Frank Scherma told webzine Deadline, refusing to overbid. “I can’t imagine lightning striking twice.”

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‘Squid Game’ set to make Emmy Awards history