Saturday, August 23, 2014

In Which I Predict the 66th Primetime Emmy Award Winners

I watch a lot of television. I think this fact over the past year of this almost solely focused television blog has become quite apparent. I thought it would be a fun experiment this year to actually write down my own predictions for the Emmy Awards. Sometimes, the Emmy's get it so clearly wrong (looking at you Jeff Daniels in 2013) that it is nice to say "this is what should have won." So here you'll find my "who should win" and "who will win" because often the Emmy's go in a different direction than the one I'd like them to go. I'm sticking with just the most major categories, and avoiding anything that involves directing since I find directing hard to judge. 

Ready? Light, camera, aaaaaaand action!

Genre: Comedy

Outstanding Comedy Series
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Louie
  • Modern Family
  • Orange is the New Black
  • Silicon Valley
  • Veep
 What Should WinOrange is the New Black
This is more than a comedy; the Netflix based show could probably easily go up against some other dramas and still come away as fresh and innovative. This is a comedy that yes, makes you laugh, but it also makes you think, something all too rare when it comes to situational sitcoms. The show has heart, fantastic acting, real life drama, and some of the most rewarding and fleshed out characters on "television" that I've seen. It should take the statue, no questions asked. 

What Will Win:  Modern Family
Sadly, I don't think the the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is quite ready to acknowledge the awesome power that is Netflix. Look at how long it took them to open up to cable shows like The Sopranos. Give the Academy a few more years, and they'll jump on board just like the rest of America. But for now, they'll stick with what they know and Modern Family has taken the trophy several years running. It will again. 

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
  • Louis C.K (Louis)
  • Don Cheadle  (House of Lies)
  • Ricky Gervais (Derek)
  • Matt LeBlanc (Episodes)
  • William H. Macy (Shameless)
  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
 Who Should Win: Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory  
Okay, I'm a bit biased because I think Sheldon Cooper is one of the best characters on network television right now, but it's not without some measure of truth. Parsons is the breakaway star of the comedy show and has already won this award a few times. Sheldon Cooper's version of funny is somewhere between weird, endearing, and off putting. He's the reason people tune in week after week (all 19 million of them)

Who Will Win: Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Louis C.K is maybe the only other person who could give Parsons a run for his money, but the Academy will stick with safer, tested waters this year. Louis C.K has been up for this every year against Parsons and it's never gone to him. 

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
  • Lena Dunham (Girls)
  • Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
  • Julia-Louise Dreyfus (Veep)
  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike and Molly)
  • Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation)
  • Taylor Shilling (Orange is the New Black)
 Who Should Win: Taylor Shilling (Orange is the New Black) 
Shilling gives an incredible performance as Piper Chapman. The show relies both on slap stick, situational comedy, but also the comedy of the heart when people are put into impossible situations. I not only laughed with and at Piper, but I also felt for her. That's rare to find in a comedy. 

Who Will Win: Julia-Louis Dreyfus (Veep)
The Academy is kind of in love with Julia and "Veep." I don't blame them; Veep is funny and Dreyfus is great as the Vice President, but this is one of those times when someone else deserves it more. What it comes down to the Academy and whether or not they're ready to acknowledge non-television TV. 

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
  • Fred Armisen (Portlandia)
  • Andre Baugher  (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
  •  Ty Burrell  (Modern Family)
  •  Adam Driver (Girls)
  • Jesse Tyler Furgeson (Modern Family)
  • Tony Hale (Veep)

Who Should Win: Tony Hale (Veep)
In case you haven't figured it out, Tony Hale is kind of a comedic genius. I swear he makes most of it up on the fly. Take for instance last year's awards, where he followed Julia-Louis Dreyfus up on stage when she won and acted out his role as if he were on the show Veep instead of on stage. 

Who Will Win: Tony Hale (Veep)
For all the reasons I just listed, but also because is competition in this category can't really touch him. Armisen's role in Portlandia might come close, but Hale is far and away funnier than all of these men on this list. I think he's a shoe-in. 

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
  • 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)

Who Should Win: Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theroy) OR Kate Mulgrew (Orange is the New Black)
Both actresses are simply fantastic in their respective roles and both deserve the win. Bialik keeps getting denied so it would be nice for her to finally win. Mulgrew deserve to win just for her delivery of this line alone: "All I wanted was to eat the chicken, that is smarter than other chickens, and absorb its power."

Who Will Win: Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
Because the world is cold and cruel and unfair. Look, I know this is a funny show. But honestly, pass the torch already. Both Bialik and Mulgrew are much funnier in shows that are far more entertaining than Modern Family.  

Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series
  • Episodes
  • Louis
  • Orange is the New Black
  • Silicon Valley
  • Veep

What Should Win: Orange is the New Black
Are you sensing a theme here? Cause you should. 

What Will Win: Veep
I have hopes that the Academy will someday recognize Orange is the New Black (and Netflix shows in general) but until then, they are still deeply enamored of cable TV as something new and shiny without realizing that we've moved beyond. 

Genre: Miniseries

Outstanding Miniseries
  • American Horror Story: Coven
  • Bonnie and Clyde
  • Fargo
  • Luther
  • Treme
  • The White Queen

What Should Win: Fargo OR Luther
I don't care which one, but it needs (NEEDS) to be one of them. Come on, Academy. Prove to me that you aren't predictable and stupid. Give it to both if you can't decide, that's fine with me. 

What Will Win: American Horror Story: Coven
Please no. I know this show is incredibly popular but this wasn't their strongest season. The show is getting a bit too bizarre and relying on shock and the fandom love to get it by. Luther and Fargo were both stellar and way above anything AHS is ever going to do.   

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
  • Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock)
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dancing on the Edge)
  • Idris Elba (Luther)
  • Martin Freeman (Fargo)
  • Mark Ruffalo (The Normal Heart)
  • Billy Bob Thornton (Fargo)

Who Should Win: Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock)
Because freaking reasons that's why. Okay, I have reasons outside of this being one of my favorite TV shows. Cumberbatch submitted "His Last Vow' for nomination, probably the strongest performance he's given to date as Sherlock. His mania is over the top, but it's combined with a lot of heart in his interactions with Watson and Mycroft.

Who Will Win: Anyone's Game!
 Honestly, this category is impossible for me to predict because so many of the actors really nailed these performances. I lean toward Cumberbatch as my favorite, but Idris Elba, Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton deserve it as well. If I had to predict, gun to my head style, I'd say Billy Bob Thornton will take it.    

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
  •  Helena Bohnam Carter (Burton and Taylor)
  • Minnie Driver (Return to Zero)
  • Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Coven)
  • Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story: Coven)
  • Kristen Wiig (The Spoils of Babylon)

Who Should Win: Massive Shrug!
 Honestly, I have no ideas on this one. Helena Bonham Carter would get my vote simply because I love her as an actress but this is a category that is hard for me to give one over the other. 

Who Will Win: Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Coven)
I would be shocked if she didn't win at this point. Her nominations are beginning to feel obligatory simply because everyone loves her. I'm not a huge fan, though I acknowledge her popularity and the popularity of the show. Up against everyone else, she probably has the best bet, maybe apart from her costar Sarah Paulson. 

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
  • Matt Bomer (The Normal Heart)
  • Martin Freeman (Sherlock)
  • Colin Hanks (Fargo)
  • Joe Mantello (The Normal Heart)
  • Alfred Molina (The Normal Heart)
  • Jim Parsons (The Normal Heart)

Who Should Win: Martin Freeman (Sherlock)
Freeman had an overall great season as John Watson on Sherlock. His heartbreaking conversation when he discovers that his wife Mary is not who he thought broke my insides. He truly deserves some recognition for his role. 

Who Will Win: Someone from The Normal Heart
Holy crap, the odds are stacked in this shows favor. Take your pick of any of the four, though the Academy might give it to Parsons just out of sheer love for him. 

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
  •  Angela Basset (American Horror Story: Coven)
  • Kathy Bates (American Horror Story: Coven)
  • Ellen Burstyn  (Flowers in the Attic)
  •  Frances Conroy (American Horror Story: Coven)
  • Julia Roberts (The Normal Heart)
  • Allison Tolman (Fargo)
 Who Should Win: Allison Tolman (Fargo)
I'd give it to her for the accent alone. She was adorable and cute and wonderful. I'm all in favor of giving it to a newbie who gave a very solid performance. But that's not often how these things work. 
Who Will Win Ellen Burstyn (Flowers in the Attic)
It was a good adaption of the famous novel and Burstyn played her part well. She's also Hollywood elite which I think always gives them a leg up, even if in theory it shouldn't matter if you're just starting out or have been in the business for a long time. 

Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries or Movie
  • American Horror Story: Coven
  • Fargo
  • Luther
  • The Normal Heart
  • Sherlock
  • Treme

What Should Win: Fargo OR Luther
Take your pick, both are simply outstanding. Why not Sherlock, you ask? Because then Steven Moffat would get an award and I'm not in favor of giving awards to men who take everything that is beautiful and good in the world and slowly destroy it over time because of their own ego. Give him time, he'll kill Sherlock too, I'm sure. 

What Will Win: Fargo
Maybe I'm dreaming here, but I think the Academy may actually recognize that Fargo has a stronger writing season than their beloved American Horror Story: Coven. However, it's likely that I'm deluded and it will go to ASH: Coven. 

Genre: Drama

Outstanding Dramatic Series
  • Breaking Bad
  • Downton Abbey
  • Game of Thrones 
  • House of Cards
  • Mad Men
  • True Detective 

What Should Win: Breaking Bad
It pains me to say it, but Mad Men doesn't have a shot in hell this year. It should absolutely, without question be Breaking Bad. There is no way around this. I love Mad Men passionately and I adore House of Cards and Game of Thrones (while problematic for a book reader) is still good. But none of this matters after you watch the episode "Ozymandias" from Breaking Bad  
What Will Win: Breaking Bad
I don't make the rules, guys. It's going to win. Any argument you try to come up with as to why it shouldn't is going to fall on deaf ears. If it doesn't win, then I'll move to Mars. Seriously, it's going to win. 

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Dramatic Series
  •  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)

Who Should Win: Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
There is, quite simply put, no debate here. Have you seen "Ozymandias"? If not, go watch. I'll wait for you to come back and try to explain why he shouldn't win. You won't be able to.
Who Will Win: Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
There will be blood if he doesn't. I'm not kidding. If Jeff Daniels usurps him again this year, then I give up on TV altogether. It's going to be Cranston. It's his last time for an Emmy for his role on a show that will go down as one of the single greatest things to ever happen on TV.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Dramatic Series
  • Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex)
  • Claire Danes (Homeland)
  • Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey)
  • Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife)
  • Kerry Washington (Scandal)
  • Robin Wright (House of Cards)

Who Should Win: Kerry Washington (Scandal)
I struggled really hard with this one. Washington is my pick because she manages to be strong yet vulnerable and we don't have enough strong black leading ladies on TV these days and it's a crime. However I adore (adore adore adore) Lizzy Caplan on Masters of Sex. If she takes it, I'll be thrilled. 

Who Will Win: Clare Danes (Homeland)
I think we're looking at Danes taking it simply because she's taken it before. When it comes to drama, the Academy has really been focusing on cable TV and Danes does do a good job on Homeland, though I find the show tedious after awhile. We could be looking at upset here, if they give it to Robin Wright, though I personally thought her season one performance on House of Cards was better than her season two performance. 

Side Note: The real winner of this category SHOULD be Tatiana Maslany for Orphan Black but for some asinine idiotic reason that has yet to be properly explained, she wasn't even nominated which is a crime against good sense.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Dramatic Series
  • 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)

Who Should Win: Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
As someone who has been reading the A Song of Ice and Fire Books for almost 10 years, I fully recognize that the writers on Game of Thrones have totally whitewashed Tyrion Lannister. However, that doesn't change the fact that Dinklage is simply stunning. He deserves all the awards for THIS performance alone.  

Who Will Win: Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)
It pains me to say it, but Aaron doesn't deserve it this year. The second half of the final season of Breaking Bad was very light when it came to Jesse Pinkman, as it should have been to let Walter White really finish his story. However, there is nostalgia at play here. This is it for Breaking Bad and the whole gang. The swan song will win out. 

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Dramatic Series
  • Christine Baranski (The Good Wife)
  • Joanna Froggatt  (Downton Abbey)
  • Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad)
  • Lena Headey  (Game of Thrones)
  • Christiana Hendricks (Mad Men)
  • Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)

Who Should Win: Joanna Froggatt (Downton Abbey)
She had a really strong season and I think deserves to win just because she doesn't get recognized the way she should. Everyone always sings Maggie Smith's praises but Joanna is going great work too.  

Who Will Win: Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad)
It would surprise me if it went to anyone else, the same as it would surprise me if anyone other Cranston and Aaron Paul take home their own trophies. The nostalgia factor is great here. Breaking Bad will go down as monumental and the Academy wants to recognize that one more time. 

Outstanding Writing for a Dramatic Series
  •  Breaking Bad (episode: Ozymandias)
  • Breaking Bad (episode: Felina)
  • Game of Thrones
  • House of Cards
  • True Detective 

What Should Win: Breaking Bad (episode Ozymandias)
Have you watched it? No? Come back when you have. I'll wait. 

What Will Win: Breaking Bad (episode: Ozymandias)
Shoe-in. Absolute shoe-in.     


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