The Emmy Awards broadcast has been moved to Monday instead of Sunday night this year so as not to have to compete with football??? Great. We’re already pissed off. And admit it, so are you. With that being the case let’s get back at the people who invited you to predict the winners for their damned Emmy pool begin with. Let’s win this thing.
The pitfalls: For some reason, the Emmys are the trickiest of all the awards shows to predict. Is it the blue ribbon panels? Or just because in this much lauded new golden decade of television there are a wealth of riches? Neither. It’s just ALWAYS been a minefield. Individual episodes, scenes and clips are watched by various groups to many varied effects. And there are sooo many categories!!! (Note: To be said with a whine). Soooooo. Mannnnny. Categor-iiieeeeeeeeeesssss. Boy, are these #FirstWorldProblems.
Still, none of this prevents us from handing out our free predictions or getting on the inevitably indignant soapbox if even one of our perceived deserving recipients does not emerge victorious. Yes, it’s on. Consider yourself served, Emmy-ly. You unpredictably elusive hag, you.
Feel free to consult any of these below for the requisite awards pool you might be pressured to participate in on Monday night that we have already decided you will win with our help. But remember – just as William Goldman once said about the film industry – Nobody knows anything – the same pretty much goes here. Though, well – we do have our favorites and we have noticed a few (non-test) Patterns.
Outstanding Lead Actor, Drama
The Nominees: 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)
Winner: Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
The last awards run for Walter White’s alter ego. He IS the danger.
Loser: Matthew McConaughey (True Detective)
All right, all right, all right, he’s on awards fire. But do enough Emmy voters want to see him do another speech after he compared himself to Jesus at the Oscars? We think not. That said we here at NFAC are true MM fans and were amazed at the depth and intensity he brought to True Detective. But this is about who will be voted the winner. Both he and fellow cast mate Woody Harrelson will split what might have been one winning entry.
As for the rest in the field, they are all potential winners in another year but not this time out. Yes, we’re talking to you, Hammboat.
Outstanding Lead Actress, Drama
The Nominees: 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)
Winner: Claire Danes (Homeland)
You try playing a bipolar CIA double trouble agent convincingly and then get back to us. This past season was perhaps not as stellar but Danes’ Carrie was in as great a form as ever.
Loser: Robin Wright (House of Cards)
Who knew years after winning America’s heart as the love of Forrest Gump’s life that RW could play such a fascinating, duplicitous….and we’re not revealing any more. She’s won the reviews but will likely not get the pointy statuette. Some think Kerry Washington will for the network water cooler show of the year – Scandal. But we’re not one of them.
Outstanding Supporting Actor, Drama
The Nominees: 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)
Winner: Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)
This is our final chance to say it: He’s gotta win — BITCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Loser: Jon Voight (Ray Donovan)
We admit that it is probably more likely that Mr. Voight will walk away with the Emmy this year for his in your face, annoying portrait of the crazed former/present mobster from hell father. But he made us quit Ray Donovan after the first season because we couldn’t take watching that character one moment longer. So he will not be voted onstage in our survey. Bitch. The rest of the guys will get another chance, except for Josh Charles. But he wasn’t going to win, anyway. Bitch. #bitchbitchbitchbitchbitch.
Outstanding Supporting Actress, Drama
The Nominees: Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey), Lena Headey (Game of Thrones), Christine Baranski (The Good Wife), Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey)
Winner: Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad)
After suffering through the trials and tribulations of Walter White for what must have felt like twelve eternities, Ms. Gunn’s Skyler deserves the Emmy for her final hurrah. And her last season was probably her best. She wins for the second year in a row – in a walk.
Loser: No one really comes in a close second. Except – uh, no. No one.
Outstanding Lead Actor, Comedy
The Nominees: Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory), Ricky Gervais (Derek), Matt LeBlanc (Episodes), Don Cheadle (House of Lies), Louis C.K. (Louie), William H. Macy (Shameless)
Winner: Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory)
Surprised? Don’t be. He’s won three times and last year he was denied by Jon Cryer in Two and a Half Men. They love to award commercial success in this category but only if the actor is really great in the role. The rest of the guys all shine but all do various versions of comedy/drama.
Loser: William H. Macy (Shameless) is now competing in the comedy category in this role for the first time. He might be a spoiler. But don’t bank on it.
Outstanding Lead Actress, Comedy
The Nominees: Lena Dunham (Girls), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly), Amy Poehler (Parks & Recreation), Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black)
Winner: Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation)
Who doesn’t want to see her win for the first time and give a kick ass speech? Plus, does Julia Louis-Dreyfuss even want to get up there again and figure out a way to be humble for the umpteenth time?
Loser: We at NFAC think Lena Dunham is giving the most original, gutsy, unvarnished performance in all of TV land. She deserves the Emmy but, well, life isn’t always fair – as she and Hannah Horvath would likely agree.
Outstanding Supporting Actor, Comedy
The Nominees: Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine Nine), Adam Driver (Girls), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), Ty Burrell (Modern Family), Fred Armisen (Portlandia), Tony Hale (Veep)
Winner: Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine Nine)
He’s really funny and anchors every episode in whatever believability it has. Watch the show and try to disagree.
Loser: Everyone else. And for all the Adam Driver fans – us included – yeah, he deserves it but his career is gonna be so stratospheric you’ll look at this minor glitch in the road one day and laugh that you even cared.
Outstanding Supporting Actress, Comedy
The Nominees: Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory), Julie Bowen (Modern Family), Allison Janney (Mom), Kate Mulgrew (Orange is the New Black), Kate McKinnon (SNL), Anna Chlumsky (Veep)
Winner: Allison Janney (Mom)
How many Emmy’s has she been awarded? Well, already one this year for her guest spot on Masters of Sex. And approximately 17 more for West Wing. This will be another. It’s tough to make an alcoholic mom believable in the half hour format – very tough. She pulls stuff like this off – which is why she gives so many speeches on TV in the first place.
Loser: Everyone else in terms of this Emmy. Though we do wish that SNL’s Kate McKinnon could pull an upset. That poor Russian lady she does on Weekend Update was one of the show’s highlights this year.
Outstanding Writing, Drama
The Nominees: Breaking Bad “Ozymandias” (AMC), Breaking Bad “Felina” (AMC), Game of Thrones “The Children” (HBO), House of Cards “Chapter 14” (Netflix), True Detective “The Secret Fate of All Life” (HBO)
Winner: Breaking Bad “Felina”
We can’t help feel that one of the best series finale in recent memory (or ever) has to win best writing. Doesn’t it?
Loser: All of the others. But they were still excellent. Well, what else do you expect a writer who respects good writing to say?
Outstanding Writing, Comedy
The Nominees: Episodes “Episode 305” (HBO), Louie “So Did The Fat Lady” (FX), Orange is the New Black “I Wasn’t Ready (Pilot)” (Netflix), Silicon Valley “Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency (HBO), Veep “Special Relationship” (HBO)
Winner: Orange is the New Black (Pilot)
It’s got the buzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Also, it feels as if this is the sure thing category to award what has become one of the new cultural TV touchstones of the moment – from Netflix. Or do we exaggerate?
Loser: No writers who get screen credit on series television are losers, fool. #Residuals.
The Nominees: American Horror Story: Coven (FX), Bonnie and Clyde (Lifetime), Fargo (FX), Luther (BBC America), Treme (HBO), The White Queen (Starz)
Winner: Fargo (FX)
We have to admit we have barely watched but our spies tell us it’s a shoe-in. Plus, everyone loves a Billy Bob villain.
Loser: American Horror Story. It will have to be satisfied with the fact that it is THE most consistently entertaining show on TV. #KathyBatesAngelaBassettJessicaLange?
Outstanding Television Movie
The Nominees: Killing Kennedy (National Geographic), Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight (HBO), The Normal Heart (HBO), Sherlock: His Last Vow (PBS), The Trip to the Bountiful (Lifetime)
Winner: The Normal Heart (HBO)
Every gay man in America will bitch out the Emmys if this does not happen. And no one in the television academy wants to have to deal with that.
Loser: They all lose because this is THE LOCK of the evening.
Outstanding Variety Series
The Nominees: The Colbert Report (Comedy Central), The Daily Show (Comedy Central), Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC), Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO), Saturday Night Live (NBC), The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC)
Winner: The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)
He makes what’s so tough seem soooo easy. Plus, it’s Stephen’s last time before he goes from the small to the big stage? Or is it the other way around?
Loser: Can we or thee really call any of those other guys and shows losers? Think about it a minute or two more.
The Nominees: The Big Bang Theory (CBS), Louie (FX), Modern Family (ABC), Orange is the New Black (Netflix), Silicon Valley (HBO), Veep (HBO)
Winner: Orange Is The New Black (Netflix)
It’s really not the best comedy on television but it’s got that thing going for it. You know that thing — the spotlight. Now it is possible voters might want to go for a true comedy, as they sometimes do here. In that case, your guess is as good as ours.
Loser: Louie (FX).
He’s an original and there are so few. As for Big Bang Theory – it has never won the best comedy series Emmy award because as some wise industry wag once told me decades ago: You don’t get to have money AND great reviews. They just won’t give you both anymore. (NOTE: I never did get out of this person just who the “they” was).
The Nominees: Breaking Bad (AMC), Downton Abbey (PBS), Game of Thrones (HBO), House of Cards (Netflix), Mad Men (AMC), True Detective (HBO)
Winner: Breaking Bad (AMC)
Do you really want a reason? Or an argument?
Loser: True Detective (HBO).
Despite the lulls in some of the episode, it was truly something different – an existential, philosophy-driven cop show told by varying symbolic imagery in shifting time periods. Only one other show can beat that. And will.