The 74th Emmy Awards will be streaming live on Lionsgate Play at 5:30 am IST on Tuesday. Here are our recommendations of the best comedy and drama shows in the running, all bagging numerous nominations this year – some new entries, some returning ones.
Abbott Elementary (season 1 streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar): A mockumentary sitcom set in an underfunded elementary school with mostly Black students, Abbott Elementary swept to TV in December 2021 and met with critical acclaim. Nominated in seven categories, including Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, and four acting categories, the show is anchored by loveable second-grade teacher Janine Teagues (played by Quinta Brunson) who has to navigate an underpaid teaching career while maintaining her optimism in a school where teachers rarely last for more than two years.
Barry (seasons 1, 2 and 3 streaming on Hotstar): A dark comedy drama following war veteran-turned-hitman Barry Berkman (played by Bill Hader), Barry’s third season is nominated in a whopping 14 categories, including Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series, and three acting categories. The show depicts Berkman’s struggles with depression and longing for human connection as he travels to Los Angeles for a hit job, but gets drawn to an acting class which makes him question his life’s purpose.
Ted Lasso (seasons 1 and 2 streaming on Apple TV+): A bumbling and humble American football coach hired to train an English soccer team (never mind the absence of any discernible similarity between the two sports), Ted Lasso won hearts everywhere with Jason Sudeikis’ portrayal of the titular character. Lasso is a paragon of optimism and positivity, an attitude that infuriates his beleaguered team, throws off predatory journalists, and even borders on the toxic in a hopeless locker room that finds it impossible to train for a win anymore. Season 2 has been nominated in 20 categories this year, including Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, and 10 acting categories.
Only Murders in the Building (seasons 1 and 2 streaming on Hotstar): Don’t deny it: if you’ve always cherished a love for crime fiction, that long-ago fateful day of dabbling in a true crime podcast has somehow led to a full-blown obsession – one you aren’t sure is entirely healthy. Only Murders in the Building is a hilarious depiction of three friends with a shared love of true crime podcasts, one that inspires them to start a podcast of their own as they investigate a suspicious death in their expensive New York apartment building. Season 2 has been nominated in 17 categories, including Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, and four acting categories.
Better Call Saul (seasons 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 streaming on Netflix): It was difficult to top Breaking Bad, one of the most successful TV dramas of all time, but Better Call Saul, a spin-off legal dramedy that follows a criminal defence attorney (formerly, of course, a con artist), takes a stupendous shot at it. Widely hailed as a worthy – and maybe even better – follow-up to Breaking Bad, the show is an Emmy staple. Season 6 has been nominated in seven categories, including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.
Ozark (seasons 1, 2, 3 and 4 streaming on Netflix): Drug cartels, money laundering, criminal underworlds and shady backwater dealings – this show has it all. After a money laundering scheme goes awry, financial advisor Marty Byrde offers an even bigger operation in the Lake of the Ozarks region of central Missouri, moving his entire family from Chicago for his next criminal adventurism. Season 4 has been nominated in 13 categories, including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, and four acting categories.
Severance (season 1 streaming on Apple TV+): An amazing high-concept sci-fi thriller about a biotechnology company that severs the work memories of its employees from their non-work memories, Severance premiered on Apple TV+ in February this year to rave reviews. The lead, a severed employee called Mark (played by Adam Scott), uncovers a web of conspiracies that kicks off the plot. The show has been nominated in 14 categories, including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, and four acting categories.
Succession (seasons 1, 2 and 3 streaming on Hotstar): What do you get when you cross one of the biggest media conglomerates in the world with the family that owns it and can’t come to a consensus on how to run it? A hilarious, tragic, shocking and riveting drama that has become one of the biggest TV events of the past few years. Season 3 has bagged a wild 27 nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, and nine acting categories.