Emmy Awards: 8 Burning Questions at the Finish Line

It’s become a popular refrain: “The Emmys are so boring.” That’s less a reflection of the three-hour telecast than the usual yawning predictability of the winners.

At first blush, this year does seem to have a whiff of inevitability, especially in the acting races where certain familiar faces are heavily favored to win.

But as voting nears the finish line, there are still more than a few burning questions that will only be answered when the envelopes are opened on Sept. 17.

What will win best drama?

For the past few years, it seemed like nothing could dethrone “Game of Thrones”: Though it took awhile for the show to finally break through with voters, once it did, it was hard for any of its competitors to outshine the HBO juggernaut in sheer scope and production. After all, how do you defeat a dragon? But then “Thrones” sat out the race last year, making room for Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” to not only seize the zeitgeist, but also the trophy. This time out, the two dramas are going head-to-head — each with sizable support already from voters with 22 noms for “Thrones” and 20 for “Handmaid’s.” So which will prevail? “Handmaid’s” just concluded its second season, so it’s top of mind for voters — for whom “Game of Thrones’” season, which aired last summer, may be a bit of a distant memory in an ever-more crowded landscape. Yet the second season of “Handmaid’s,” as politically pointed as ever, was perceived as too dark by some. Or will voters opt to wait until the final season of “Thrones” to crown it yet again? (And worth mentioning: Could “The Americans,” which wrapped with a much-heralded series finale, play spoiler?)

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