Emmy Time!

39555_lgI’ve recently decided that, for the first time in years, I’m very interested in the Emmy Awards. Mind you there are MANY MANY top contenders that I haven’t seen this season/ever (Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Veep, Louie, and The Normal Heart are the most notable that come to mind). And the majority of the TV I do watch regularly was never in danger of being nominated (I haven’t missed an episode of the decidedly un-trendy Bones, Castle, or Criminal Minds in YEARS). But I’ve enjoyed reading the wonderful bounty of criticism about this season, and am a huge fan of The Good Wife, Fargo, OITNB, True Detective, House of Cards, etc. So what the hell, here’s my take on the upcoming Emmy nominees.
Predicted Winners will appear in bold.
My personal preferences will be italicized.
[egregiously overlooked nominees will be bracketed]

Drama Series
Breaking Bad – Downton Abbey – Game of Thrones
House of Cards – Mad Men – True Detective
[The Good Wife] – [Hannibal]

If Breaking Bad is as good as LITERALLY everyone says (and since Fargo was apparently “not a TV series”), then I guess I have to root for it.

Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory – Louie – Modern Family
Orange is the New Black – Silicon Valley – Veep
[Parks and Recreation] – [Brooklyn Nine-Nine]

TV Movie
Killing Kennedy – Muhammed Ali’s Greatest Fight – The Normal Heart
Sherlock: His Last Vow – The Trip to Bountiful

Though I’ve heard some quibbles about the Ryan Murphy treatment, if it’s half as affecting as it was in the theater it should be unbeatable. I just don’t know that I have the strength to sit through it again.

American Horror Story: Coven – Bonnie & Clyde – Fargo
Luther – Treme – The White Queen – [Sherlock]

I included Sherlock as a “shoulda been” not because I think it was “robbed” but because it’s in the wrong category (TV Movie, despite that the fact that there are three of them all continuing the same story from its previous two seasons). This whole Montessori system of “going in the category that feels right”–as opposed to objective definitions of a series vs. a miniseries vs. a movie–is ludicrous (if it does make the miniseries acting categories more fun).

Actress, Drama
Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex) – Claire Danes (Homeland)
Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) – Julianna Marguiles (The Good Wife)
Kerry Washington (Scandal) – Robin Wright (House of Cards)

Wright may win on Sunday the award she should have won last year for a far more impressive performance in House of Card’s stronger freshman season.

Actor, Drama
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) – Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom)
Jon Hamm (Mad Men) – Woody Harrelson (True Detective)
Matthew McConaughey (True Detective) – Kevin Spacey (House of Cards)

I was more impressed by Harrelson than McConaughey. As McConaughey’s performance in True Detective won him an Oscar for Dallas Buyer’s Club, it can probably take down Bryan Cranston (whose performance on Breaking Bad won him a Tony for All the Way).

Supporting Actress, Drama
Christine Baranski (The Good Wife) – Joanne Forgott (Downton Abbey)
Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) – Lena Headley (Game of Thrones)
Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)

The good news is, The Good Wife‘s major cast changes this season could mean more substantive material for Baranski’s annually underrated performance (and hopefully an Emmy win)…next year. If I watched Breaking Bad I have a feeling I would be rooting for Gunn as well.

Supporting Actor, Drama
Jim Carter (Downton Abbey) – Josh Charles (The Good Wife)
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) – Mandy Patinkin (Homeland)
Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) – Jon Voight (Ray Donovan)

Actress, Comedy
Lena Dunham (Girls) – Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep) – Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly)
Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) – Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black)

Goddammit, it’s gotta be Poehler’s turn SOMEtime

Actor, Comedy
Louis CK (Louie) – Don Cheadle (House of Lies)
Ricky Gervais (Derek) – Matt LeBlanc (Episodes)
William H. Macy (Shameless) – Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)

Supporting Acress, Comedy
Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory) – Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
Anna Chlumsky (Veep) – Allison Janney (Mom)
Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live) – Kate Mulgrew (Orange is the New Black)

Supporting Actor, Comedy
Fred Armisen (Portlandia) – Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Ty Burrell (Modern Family) – Adam Driver (Girls)
Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family) – Tony Hale (Veep)
[Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation)]

I hope the cautiously appreciated (though rewarding) Brooklyn Nine-Nine gets recognition, and Braugher’s vital contribution certainly merits an award on the show’s behalf.

Actress, Movie/Miniseries
Helena Bonham Carter (Burton and Taylor) – Minnie Driver (Return to Zero)
Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Coven) – Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story: Coven)
Cicely Tyson (The Trip to Bountiful) – Kristen Wiig (Spoils of Babylon)
[Allison Tolman, Fargo]

I don’t know if Sarah Paulson will ever be as good in anything again. And Tolman is a “shoulda been” because she is unquestionably the leading actress in Fargo, and I think she’s more of a stand-out here than in the supporting category to which performance is relegated.

Actor, Movie/Miniseries
Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock: His Last Vow) – Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dancing on the Edge)
Idris Elba (Luther) – Martin Freeman (Fargo)
Mark Ruffalo (The Normal Heart) – Billy Bob Thornton (Fargo)

At least the various forms of category fraud prevents Chiwetel from losing an Emmy AND an Oscar to Matthew McConaughey in the same year.

Supporting Actress, Movie/Miniseries
Angela Basset (American Horror Story: Coven) – Kathy Bates (American Horror Story: Coven)
Ellen Burstyn (Flowers in the Attic) – Francis Conroy (American Horror Story: Coven)
Julia Roberts (The Normal Heart)Allison Tolman (Fargo)

Allison Tolman is a lead actress (and in a TV Series, but I digress). If she were in the right category I would be all about Basset. Roberts has one of those incredible parts that, if done even halfway decently, should win all the awards.

Supporting Actor, Movie/Miniseries
Matt Bomer (The Normal Heart) – Martin Freeman (Sherlock: His Last Vow)
Colin Hanks (Fargo) – Joe Mantello (The Normal Heart)
Alfred Molina (The Normal Heart) – Jim Parsons (The Normal Heart)

As with Roberts, Matt Bomer has fantastic part to play. And he just seems so likeable. And those eyes! swoooooon. But in the most unassuming part of a series full of flashing performances, writing, and production values, Hanks consistently stood out as the highlight.

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