Emmys 2014 Preview: Who Should, Will Win

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By Josh Axelrod

Today’s the day! It’s finally Emmy time, which every TVeefanatic has had marked on their calendars since last year’s ceremony. Last year, “Breaking Bad” won its first Outstanding Drama Series award, Jeff Daniels somehow beat Jon Hamm and Bryan Cranston for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, and Merritt Wever gave either the best or worst acceptance speech ever. Here’s a quick rundown of who I think will and should win tomorrow night:

Outstanding Drama Series

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Breaking Bad

Downton Abbey

Game of Thrones

House of Cards

True Detective

Mad Men

Will Win: Breaking Bad

Should Win: Game of Thrones

I have a confession to make: I’ve never watched “Breaking Bad.” Yes, that makes me an inherently bad person. But it’s a critical darling with a passionate fan base, and I hear its final season was as good as TV gets. So I bet the Emmys will give them the props they probably deserve. But man, for my money, TV doesn’t get better than Season 4 of “Game of Thrones.” So much happened in only 10 episodes: Tyrion’s courtroom outburst, The Viper vs. The Mountain, The Battle of Castle Black, Brienne vs. The Hound, etc. Of course, it’s quite possible “True Detective” could steal both of these shows’ thunder. But I’ll be rooting for team Westeros.

Outstanding Comedy Series

Photo courtesy of “Orange is the New Black” Wiki

The Big Bang Theory

Veep

Modern Family

Louie

Orange is the New Black

Silicon Valley

Will Win: Orange is the New Black

Should Win: Veep

“Orange is the New Black” is a fantastic show with complex characters that offers a terrifying peak into the American prison system. Considering how much love the Emmys gave it in the acting categories, it appears to be the front runner. But it’s a dramedy that tends to skew closer to drama, which means it really shouldn’t even be in this category. With that said, “Veep” is a pure comedy, and one of the smartest ones in recent memory. Julia Louise-Dreyfus is guaranteed to win, so why not reward her show too? Honestly, as long as “Modern Family” loses, everybody wins this category.

Outstanding Variety Series

The Colbert Report

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Jimmy Kimmel Live

Real Time with Bill Maher

Saturday Night Live

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

Should Win: The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

Will Win: The Colbert Report

There’s not a lame duck in this bunch (well, Bill Maher isn’t my cup of tea, but the man clearly has carved an ultra liberal niche for himself). Colbert stole “The Daily Show’s” thunder last year and is probably primed to do it again. But nothing on late night TV has been funnier than the Emma Stone Lip Sync Battle on “The Tonight Show.” Plus, everything Jimmy Fallon does seems to go viral. Fallon deserves an Emmy for dominating both late night television and our Facebook Trending Feed.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

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Bryan Cranston

Kevin Spacey

Jon Hamm

Jeff Daniels

Woody Harrelson

Matthew McConaughey

Will Win: Matthew McConaughey

Should Win: Kevin Spacey

With all due respect to Bryan Cranston and Jon Hamm, the best performance I’ve seen this year was Kevin Spacey in “House of Cards.” The man has made Frank Underwood just as iconic as Walter White and Don Draper, and frankly I’d be more terrified to meet him on a Metro platform than either of those two. Of course, we’re in the middle of the McConaissance, and to be fair he does a hell of a job spouting abstract philosophy on “True Detective.” My money’s on him coming away with a trophy.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Michelle Dockery

Julianna Margulies

Claire Danes

Robin Wright

Kerry Washington

Lizzy Caplan

Will Win: Robin Wright

Should Win: Robin Wright

This is a list full of great actresses. This could easily go to Claire Danes for her patented lower lip quiver or Julianna Margulies for being a boss. But if the Emmy voters watched Robin Wright manipulate the entire country on national TV as Claire Underwood delivered the sob story to end all sob stories, they know that the “House of Cards” actress deserves some recognition this year.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

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Matt LeBlanc

Jim Parsons

Ricky Gervais

Don Cheadle

Louis C.K.

William H. Macy

Will Win: Jim Parsons

Should Win: Louis C.K.

Honestly, I don’t even watch “Louie.” But I’ve seen enough of C.K.’s stand-up and have read enough glowing reviews to assume that his show is as brilliant as it should be given the talent involved. Not that Jim Parsons isn’t totally worthy of another Emmy; it would just be nice to spread the love a little. I’m sure Sheldon would understand.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

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Melissa McCarthy

Lena Dunham

Edie Falco

Taylor Schilling

Amy Poehler

Julia Louise-Dreyfus

Will Win: Julia Louise-Dreyfus

Should Win: Amy Poehler

You know how Steve Carell somehow never won an Emmy award despite being nominated six times? Well, Poehler is getting dangerously close to being shut out for anchoring arguably the funniest show on TV in “Parks and Recreation.” Leslie Knope is just as important to pop culture as Michael Scott was, and it’s time to give Poehler some recognition. Of course, she’s competing against Selina Meyer. So good luck.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Aaron Paul

Jim Carter

Peter Dinklage

Josh Charles

Mandy Patinkin

Jon Voight

Will Win: Peter Dinklage

Should Win: Peter Dinklage

Seriously, watch that courtroom scene. “I did not kill Joffrey, BUT I WISH THAT I HAD.” Give Peter Dinklage all the Emmys, now please.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

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Anna Gunn

Maggie Smith

Joanne Froggatt

Lena Headey

Christine Baranski

Christina Hendricks

Will Win: Anna Gunn

Should Win: Anna Gunn

I don’t watch “The Good Wife” or “Downton Abbey,” so I can’t vouch for those performances. I do watch “Mad Men” and “Game of Thrones,” and as fantastic as Hendricks and Headey are, I wouldn’t necessarily jump to hand them statues. So because hee show is ending, and because she’s won before, Gunn will probably come out on top in this category. And I’m sure she deserves it too.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

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Adam Driver

Andre Braugher

Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Ty Burrell

Fred Armisen

Tony Hale

Will Win: Ty Burrell

Should Win: Andre Braugher

Until I’m 100 percent sure the academy is over its “Modern Family” phase, I’m not going to bet against it in this category. And Ty Burrell was the best part of that show when it was still funny. But Andre Braugher had an amazing debut season as the hilariously stoic Captain Ray Holt on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” It’s criminal that “Brooklyn’s” only major nomination was for Braugher, so Emmy voters should atone by giving Braugher a win here.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Mayim Bialik

Julie Bowen

Allison Janney

Kate Mulgrew

Kate McKinnon

Anna Chlumsky

Will Win: Allison Janney

Should Win: Kate McKinnon

It’s hard to vote against Allison Janney, who’s great in everything (even in the mediocre “Mom”). But McKinnon has quickly become “Saturday Night Live’s” MVP. Between her Justin Bieber impression, depressed Russian woman Olya Povlatsky and her role in the female-led video “Do It On My (Twin Bed),” McKinnon’s body of work is clearly worthy of some Emmy love.

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One thought on “Emmys 2014 Preview: Who Should, Will Win

  1. Agree with a lot of these. Some I’d put into play:

    – Aaron Paul for Best Supporting Actor in Drama. I know you haven’t seen the series but the episode he sent in had some impeccable acting. In fact, the entire second half of the fifth season, he was beyond amazing. No disrespect to Peter Dinklage at all, but definitely wouldn’t count out AP.

    – I would consider Kate Mulgrew for Supporting Actress. I like Allison Janney but I might just be biased as a huge OITNB fan and especially of her cut-throat acting.

    – No love for Ricky Gervais? Granted Parsons and Louis C.K. are both deserving but ‘Derek’ in my opinion is an incredibly underrated show.

    – I’m also not a fan of Brooklyn 99 at all. Might just be but I’ve never seen anything in that show. On the flip, I think that if Modern Family wins only one award tonight and the academy is done with its MF shower, it’ll have to be Phil Dunphy.

    Good predictions overall though! We’ll see what happens 🙂

    Like

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