In case you didn’t know, which is very possible considering not many people have as much enthusiasm for meaningless awards as much as I do, the Emmys will take place this sunday night. As is the norm every time a big awards show is coming up, I can’t help but wonder who will win trophies and who will go home empty-handed. I just love predicting these things, so here’s part one of who I think will win the Emmys.
Lead Actor in a Drama Series
The Nominees: Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Damian Lewis (Homeland), Kevin Spacey (House of Cards)
When you get nominated for an Emmy, you submit a specific episode of the series you’re in for Emmy voters to watch as an example of your work throughout the season. More often than not, people with the best tape win. With that in mind, it’s easy to think this race boils down to a two horse race between Bryan Cranston and Damian Lewis. Crasnton has “Say My Name”, which is a pretty good tape and also has the advantage that comes from having the very last episodes of Breaking Bad on the air right now. On the other hand, Damian Lewis’ submission tape is “Q&A” which is not only the very best episode Homeland‘s ever done, but one of the very best of the whole season.
I would be fine with any of them winning, since they’re both terrific in their shows, but if you’d ask me for me personal preference, then I’d say Jon Hamm’s had his best year so far on Mad Men and the fact that he has never won (and probably never will) for playing Don Draper is ridiculous. Anyway, my real fear in this category is the possibility of either Jeff Daniels or Kevin Spacey winning this award. And it’s a realistic possibility. Daniels has that baity monologue he gives in his submission tape and Kevin Spacey is a movie star, something that Emmy voters tend to think means you’re automatically better than any tv actor.
Will Win: Damian Lewis
Should Win: Jon Hamm
Lead Actress in a Drama Series
The Nominees: Connie Britton (Nashville), Claire Danes (Homeland), Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey), Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), Kerry Washington (Scandal), Robin Wright (House of Cards)
In the BBC America series Orphan Black, Tatiana Maslany played something like fifteen different characters. If you haven’t seen the show, then I can only recommend it to you and say that the only way I’d discribe her performance is as a masterclass on creating character through acting. Hers was without a doubt the very best performance on televsion this season, and alas, she wasn’t nominated by the Emmys. Partially because her show isn’t very popular, partially because it’s a sci-fi show. In any case, she will not win the Emmy (at least not this year). Instead, we’ll have a repeat win from Claire Danes, and you know what, even if there were many problems with Homeland‘s second season, she is pretty amazing in that show.
The question is whether or not there is someone other than Danes who could win. The answer is maybe. Scandal has become one of the most popular shows on television thanks to its Twitter presence and the incredibly talented Kerry Washington is front and center in that show. The other possibility is Vera Farmiga, who is not only an Oscar nominee, but who has a pretty good submission tape. It’s just that when you’re competing with Claire Danes in “Q&A”, then I don’t know how you could beat her.
Will Win: Claire Danes
Should Win: Claire Danes, but seriously, in a just world there’s no way Tatiana Maslany wouldn’t have won this Emmy.
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
The Nominees: Alec Baldwin (30 Rock), Jason Bateman (Arrrested Development), Don Cheadle (House of Cards), Louis C.K. (Louie), Matt LeBlanc (Episodes), Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
I was pretty sure Alec Baldwin would win one final Emmy for the final season of 30 Rock. That is until I saw what he submitted for Emmy consideration. “A Goon’s Deed in a Weary World” is an ok submission, but nothing as powerful as to secure him the Emmy, and boy did Baldwin have some amazing episodes to choose from this season. His speech at Don Geiss’ funeral at the end of “My Whole Life is Thunder”, for example, would have guaranteed a third win. In any case, I don’t see Baldwin winning this award.
So, if not Baldwin, then who? My heart wants to say Louis C.K. because he is awesome. Season three of Louie showed him doing his best acting yet, but it was unconveniently in two or three part episodes that I guess couldn’t be submitted as one big package for consideration. He ended up submitting the first part of “Daddy’s Girlfriend”, a pretty funny episode, but one that isn’t brilliant unless you have seen the second part. I’ll be crossing my fingers for C.K., but really, all things considered, this one will probably be Sheldon Cooper’s third Emmy.
Will Win: Jim Parsons
Should Win: Louis C.K.
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
The Nominees: Laura Dern (Enlightened), Lena Dunham (Girls), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Tina Fey (30 Rock), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation)
For the first time in many years, the Lead Actress in a Comedy category is way more popular and full of talent than the Actor’s. I can say this is a pretty terrific lineup, even if the Emmys didn’t find room for such great performances as Zooey Deschanel in New Girl, Martha Plimpton in Raising Hope, Dakota Johnson in Ben and Kate and, above all, Sutton Foster in the sadly departed Bunheads.
I could, in all frankness, see any of these ladies taking the award (except maybe Edie Falco). Tina Fey could win final award for all her work all these years on 30 Rock. Amy Poehler could finally win the elusive Emmy she so ridiculously deserves now that she has a one-hour-long submission tape. Or it could go to Laura Dern, whose performance may be more dramatic than comedic, but is also one of the finest work done on television this year.
If my predictions come true, they will make for a very repetitive Emmys; but if you know anything about the Emmys, then you know they love awarding their favorite performers over and over again. With that in mind, and a more popular second season of Veep, I don’t see why Julia Louis-Dreyfus wouldn’t win again.
Will Win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Should Win: Laura Dern