It’s no secret that I believe the Emmys to be the most ludicrously political and meaningless of the major awards. More than the Oscars, the Tonys, the Globes, and the SAGs, the Primetime Emmy award nominations are notoriously nonsensical. They usually correlate more to popular audience opinion (e.g., The Big Bang Theory over Community) and not critical thought. You might be one of the many who believe that popular opinion should drive such awards, but I’m an entertainment snob and I want the critical darlings to win (at least the ones that I like).
Despite the rage, I can’t not watch, I can’t not have opinions and keep fueling my anger about the nominations and, soon, the winners. Here are my thoughts about what should happen tomorrow, and what should have happened months ago.
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Damian Lewis, Homeland
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Jeff Daniels, Newsroom
FIRST OF ALL, there should be 5 nominees in each category. These expanded acting categories are not doing anyone any favors. It should mean something to be nominated.
I’m usually not a fan of someone winning multiple times; I’m very socialist in my awards desires. But Bryan Cranston is deserving, in this last season of ‘Breaking Bad’. He has made Walter one of the most important characters in dramatic television, and should be rewarded. Possible spoiler: Spacey, because he’s Spacey, and this Netflix revolution in quality programming is something special that they may honor in some way here.
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Claire Danes, Homeland
Robin Wright, House of Cards
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Connie Britton, Nashville
Kerry Washington, Scandal
First, note that there are SEVEN nominees. As stated above, when categories are expanded like this, it means less and less. A nomination should not be a consolation for great work - every employed actor should be doing great work. These slots should reflect more than that, pure excellence. Instead, it’s just a way to get in everyone who is good at their job. Or in the case of Connie Britton, someone who isn’t great in her current role, but whom the voters liked in her last role, and in real life. Obviously, I do not think she belongs here. Same for Michelle Dockery, who, while serviceable, is not deserving of a nod.
My vote is for Kerry Washington, in the most exciting show I’ve seen lately. There’s no season premiere I’m looking forward to more than ‘Scandal’. She carries a strong ensemble and I’m completely on board with her no matter how cray cray it gets. I mean, Olivia motherf-ing Pope, amiright. Spoiler definitely Danes, who is the least spoily spoiler ever and is probably most people’s first choice. Actual spoiler could be Moss, who is always deserving for a show that has never won an acting Emmy.
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
Jason Bateman, Arrested Development
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis C.K., Louie
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Really, as long as Jim Parsons doesn’t win, I’ll be happy. When he won the first time, it was magical. It was deserved. When he won the second time, over Steve Carell in his last season of ‘The Office’, it was pretty terrible. If he wins a third time?? Nope. Not ok. He is very funny as Sheldon, but not 3 Emmys funny. I would be happy for Alec to win again for the ‘30 Rock’ last season, but Louie will probably win, deservedly, because once the Emmy voters think they are doing something hip, they stick with it. (See, e.g., Parsons.) I’d be happy with Cheadler or Bateman as well.
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
Laura Dern, Enlightened
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
She’s not going to win, but she should. Poehler’s Leslie Knope is one of the most lovable characters in television, leading an excellent ensemble and ensuring that each episode is funny, ridiculous, and heartwarming all at once. I’d be voting for her. Since the first three nominees should be in drama categories, watch for yet another win for Fey or Julia L-D, for their great work.
Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Veep’s second season was even stronger than its first, and out of these nominees it should be honored. I would have loved for 30 Rock to win in its final season, but the past year was badly tarnished by the awful character of Hazel. It really ruined things. Modern Family and BBT are funny but stale and unexciting, and Girls is a drama.
Outstanding Drama Series
Game Of Thrones
House Of Cards
Homeland is sick levels of awesome. It really is, and should be honored. But it’s Breaking Bad’s final season, and it’s also a sickly awesome show that will probably get the win. Aside from Downton, which is getting increasingly boring, and Mad Men, which had a very weak season, all of the other nominees would be quality winners.
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire
Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage, Game Of Thrones
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Ohhh how I want Mandy to win! His Saul is fantastic, as is everything he does. But Paul will win again for his final season, not undeservedly. I love that my boy Bobby Cannavale is nominated, too. Dinklage won before and his accent is getting worse. Oh I want Mandy to win!
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Emilia Clarke, Game Of Thrones
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Morena Baccarin, Homeland
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
How random is this category? Jessica Brody? Daenarys? The most hated character in cable TV, Anna Gunn? If I were voting, I’d actually vote for Emilia, but only because I feel bad that her Broadway debut was an utter failure and I want to make her happier. I think Anna Gunn would be the most deserving winner. If Maggie Smith wins, it would be the epitome of the Emmys – voting for someone they like with absolutely no thought given to the actual role. She has one line per episode! Yes, it’s usually the best part, but c’mon. C’MON!
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Adam Driver, Girls
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ed O'Neill, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Bill Hader, SNL
Tony Hale, Veep
Honestly, I’d be happy with anyone but the Modern Family guys. I’m so sick of this being the Modern Family category. I’m hoping they will cancel each other out and let the wildly deserving Hader sneak in. He won’t, I’m not saying that will happen, but I’d love it. I’d actually love if Hale or Driver won as well. Aside from the Modern Family monotony, this is actually a really fun bunch of nominations.
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Jane Lynch, Glee
Anna Chlumsky, Veep
Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Actually, if I could make one award happen tomorrow, it would be for Jane to win. As Jenna Maroney, she has concocted one of the most insane, amazing characters ever. It’s a crime that she has not won already. I’d be happy with Chlumsky, because she is the best (she’s ‘My Girl’!) and is great on Veep. But Jane must win!!
If Bowen, Lynch, or Vergara win, I mean…no, please.
Who do you guys want to win?