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
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
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
The Big Bang Theory
Orange is the New Black
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Jesse Tyler Ferguson
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
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.