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'Game of Thrones' Poised to Run the Table at Creative Arts Emmys but Still a Long Shot for Prestigious Drama Series Award
September 8, 2015  | By Alex Strachan
 

Even though TV is a visual medium, the men and women behind the visuals are often shunted aside in the annual rush to anoint TV’s best.

The Creative Arts Emmys always take a back seat to the main event, even though in a year like this — when Game of Thrones (top) landed a field-leading 24 nominations and American Horror Story: Freak Show followed with 19 — it’s clear the technical categories count for more than mere window-dressing. Game of Thrones’ cinematography, casting, production design, costuming, visual effects, picture editing, sound mixing, stunt coordination, and makeup — all nominated for Emmys — helped make what many are calling Game of Thrones’ finest, most dramatic and emotionally trenchant season yet.

Game of Thrones is still a long shot to take the coveted Outstanding Drama Series Emmy on Sept. 20 — the smart money is on Mad Men (right), a fitting send-off for a series that changed the face of television the same way Breaking Bad did a year earlier — but that doesn’t take anything away from what a singular achievement it has become: a flight of imagination that, thanks its artistry, social relevance, boundless creativity, and adult themes, has made the leap from fantasy to reality, made the impossible seem plausible — dragons? ancient prophesies? skeleton creatures rising from the dead to slay the living in an ice storm? — and engaged our emotions while doing it. Game of Thrones stirs the soul, without being soft or squishy.

As a drama series, Game of Thrones may overcome Emmy voters’ bias against so-called “genre shows” and win best drama one day — the same way Lost managed to confound Emmy doubters in 2005 — but perhaps not this time, not in a year when the other contenders include House of Cards, Downton Abbey, Orange is the New Black, first-timer Better Call Saul, and past drama winners Homeland and Mad Men.

What does seem clear, though, is that it may run the table this weekend (Saturday Sept. 12) when the Creative Arts Emmys are handed out. American Horror Story: Freak Show, nominated in other categories — limited series, as opposed to ongoing, single-camera series — will also do well, from a numerical standpoint, and justifiably so.

In this case, quantity can and does equate with quality.

 
 
 
 
 
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