It’s time for TV to cap off the past year and hand out the awards for the past year. It’s been an interesting year, hasn’t it?
* Cable networks continued to rule, but Netflix scored recognition in both comedy and drama this year thanks to House of Cards and newcomer Orange is the New Black.
* HBO maintained its dominance (99 nominations!), but other networks raised their game with FX getting almost doubling their quota (You betcha Fargo!).
* In an effort to boost same-day ratings, TV is moving to more event programming so the number of worthy titles broke the best-in-show categories into separate categories for mini-series and movies.
* Arbitrary categorizations to improve chances of nominations hit an all-time high with the fine line between comedy and drama blurring with Shameless’ sudden realizes that it’s a comedy (which paid off in a nomination for William H Macy.)
* The definition of a a series, mini-series and movie also got weird with True Detective classified as a series, even though American Horror Story (which has a similar structure of new cast, place and story each season) is called a mini-series. Just a few years ago, Downton Abbey moved from mini-series to series. Uh huh. And to muddle things further, Sherlock, with its three episodes a season, is suddenly a movie so only the third episode qualified for awards this year.
Sure. That all makes sense! Anyways, here’s my breakdown on what’s going down on Monday!
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
For outstanding quality from start to finish, Breaking Bad deserves a final victory lap. As great as True Detective is, the story and the plot were not strong – the dazzle was all about the characters and performances so this show will be a winner, but it won’t be in this category. I’d love to see Game of Thrones get some recognition, but I don’t think this is the year.
OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Lizzy Caplan, Masters of Sex
Kerry Washington, Scandal
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Claire Danes, Homeland
Robin Wright, House of Cards
The winner will be Tatiana Maslany for Orphan Black! Wait, she’s not nominated? Even Kerry Washington thought the Tatiana snub that was a scandal, calling the omission “insane” (according to Buzzfeed). This isn’t Claire Danes’ year since she’s already got two wins under her belt and Homeland wasn’t so interesting this season. As a result, this is a pretty open category with buzz for Lizzy (the daring choice), Julianna (as a way to acknowledge The Good Wife) and Robin (Golden Globe winner). Robin is the safer choice for voters, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Lizzy or Julianna got some love.
OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A 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
While Bryan Cranston gave a master class in acting as Walter White, this is where True Detective will take home the prize. Woody and Matthew were both great in the show, but Matthew had a few more showcase scenes and this is the topper to his career pinnacle year after winning the Oscar. Matthew’s come along way, but let’s hope he celebrates with a jam the bongos during the after party.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Remember the \Breaking Bad scene where Skyler confronts Walt and he takes off with Holly and leaves Skyler wailing in the street? Yeah, Emmy voters do, too.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Josh Charles, The Good Wife
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Jon Voight, Ray Donovan
Will Breaking Bad continue to run away with the accolades or will Peter Dinklage upset the streak? Hard to say since both were really worthy this year. I think the Breaking Bad momentum will continue on, but Peter did some outstanding work this year.
The Big Bang Theory
Orange Is the New Black
Modern Family won’t be making history with a historic 5th year win for Best Comedy. Nope, that streak is up after a few mediocre seasons for the once-critical darling. Is it time for history of another sort? Could a steaming service take home the big crown? As one of the most buzzy shows around, Orange is the New Black has the inside track, but also watch out for Veep to possibly sneak in if voters are uncomfortable giving Netflix the big prize.
OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A 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
Some Emmy winning streaks are due to voter habits, others are due to continued excellence. Julia Louis-Dreyfus continues to command the funny and deserves this one again. The only spoiler? Love for Orange Is the New Black may lift Taylor to a win.
OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A 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
OK, this winning streak is more due to habit, I think. Jim Parsons will need more space on the mantel, despite the critical support for Louis CK.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Allison Janney, Mom
Kate Mulgrew, Orange Is the New Black
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Anna Chlumsky, Veep
This is an interesting category with no clear favorite. Allison Janney is a contender though she’s already won for this year for best guest appearance on Masters of Sex so voters may elect to give Kate Mulgrew some love. Of course Anna Chlumsky could always step in and steal the vote as well.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Adam Driver, Girls
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Fred Armisen, Portlandia
Tony Hale, Veep
Emmy voters love Andre Braugher and as the only major nomination for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I think he’s going to win it for his dead-on deadpan. The only snag may be Tony Hale who is pretty freaking hilarious in Veep.
OUTSTANDING TV MINISERIES
American Horror Story: Coven
Bonnie & Clyde
The White Queen
This is going to Fargo. No question.
OUTSTANDING TV MOVIE
Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight
The Normal Heart
Sherlock: His Last Vow
The Trip to Bountiful
Despite the really in-your-face tone of the movie which could off viewers, The Normal Heart is taking home this prize and probably most of the acting prizes as well.
LEAD ACTRESS IN A TV MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Helena Bonham Carter, Burton and Taylor
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Coven
Minnie Driver, Return to Zero
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Coven
Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful
Kristen Wiig, The Spoils of Babylon
A sentimental favorite, Cicely Tyson should be getting ready for a big speech.
LEAD ACTOR IN A TV MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: His Last Vow
Idris Elba, Luther
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dancing On the Edge
Martin Freeman, Fargo
Billy Bob Thornton, Fargo
Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart
In a perfect world, Benedict, Martin and Billy Bob would all be recognized for their work. However, Mark anchors The Normal Heart which is out to sweep all the male acting awards so he’s taking home the trophy. Billy Bob may creep in here for his singular and fascinating performance in Fargo.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TV MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Frances Conroy, American Horror Story: Coven
Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Coven
Angela Bassett, American Horror Story: Coven
Allison Tolman, Fargo
Ellen Burstyn, Flowers in the Attic
Julia Roberts, The Normal Heart
Fortunately Allison is a girl so she’s not in competition from The Normal Heart. (Sorry, Julia!) For her note-perfect performance in her first big gig, she’s taking home this one.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TV MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Colin Hanks, Fargo
Jim Parsons, The Normal Heart
Joe Mantello, The Normal Heart
Alfred Molina, The Normal Heart
Matt Bomer, The Normal Heart
Martin Freeman, Sherlock: His Last Vow
Matt Bomer will be grabbing the hardware on this one. A showcase supporting role, Matt proves that he’s more than a charming face that wears suits really well.
Alright, so that’s my take.
Let’s see if Emmy has any surprises up her sleeve!
The Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Seth Meyers, airs Monday on NBC.
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