TV: Could ‘Better Call Saul’ Rule the Emmys This Year?

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The sophomore season of “Better Call Saul” proved that the “Breaking Bad” spin-off was just as watch-worthy as its predecessor, bringing much of the celebrated laconic dialogue, tongue-in-cheek humor and meditative pacing of the latter show to help build the origin story to TV’s most entertaining and affable crooked lawyer. Piggy-backing off the success of “Breaking Bad,” “Better Call Saul” demonstrated very quickly last season that it was a series not to be missed – and how could it be with Vince Gilligan returning, once again as showrunner and executive producer, this time with “Breaking Bad” co-executive producer Peter Gould to help take the reins. During its run, “Breaking Bad” had an amazing track record at the Primetime Emmy’s, taking home at least one award for every year it was nominated – the series was noticeably absent during the 2011 Emmy’s race. “Better Call Saul” so far has only managed to conjure a few nominations. Could season two be the year to put Gilligan and crew back into serious Emmy consideration?

Let’s take a look at the show’s short history with the Emmy’s. Last year, “Better Call Saul” was nominated for quite a few things. Star Bob Odenkirk was nominated for best actor, Jonathan Banks got a supporting actor nomination, while series writer Gordon Smith was nominated for the episode “Five-O.” The show was also nominated in the sound mixing and single-camera editing categories (while also being overlooked for cinematography), and it was nominated for the biggest award of the night: best drama series. This year, expect to see it nominated again for best drama series, along with collecting a best-supporting actress nomination for Rhea Seehorn who plays the inexorably determined Kim Wexler.

So who will be nominated and who will win? Bob Odenkirk has yet to win an Emmy for his role as Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman. Interestingly, he was never nominated for “Breaking Bad.” He has, however, won two Emmy’s in non-acting categories, during his comedy writing days for “Saturday Night Live” and “The Ben Still Show” in the early ‘80s. My guess is Odenkirk will get his moment, but it won’t be for a while. The Emmy’s might give him a courtesy bookend statue – a “thank you for your contributions, better late than never” win for the series’ last season. Banks is, also, almost certainly getting a nomination. Banks has been nominated three times in the best-supporting actor category, including last year’s nomination. The first time came in 1989 for the TV show “Wiseguy,” following a 24-year absence from the Emmy’s before being nominated again in 2013 for “Breaking Bad.” Banks also won at last year’s Critic’s Choice awards for best supporting actor on “Better Call Saul.” His nomination-slot seems well secured, but he might have to wait for his time also before winning. The other acting category that is sure to get a nomination is best supporting actress. Seehorn was hard to miss this season playing the implacable Kim – a female attorney working up the corporate ladder after being cold-shouldered from an illustrious assignment. If her, now famous, feminist mantra (“You don’t save me. I save me.”) doesn’t secure her a nomination, surely nothing will. Also expect the series to be nominated again for best drama series, while recognizing the writing on the show again and possibly the directing. The show will accumulate a couple nominations once again, but don’t expect it to take home any awards this year.

Possible Emmy nominations in the Drama category:

  • Best Drama Series
  • Best Actor – Bob Odenkirk
  • Best Supporting Actor – Jonathan Banks
  • Best Supporting Actress – Rhea Seehorn
  • Best Writing
  • Best Directing