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66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Drama and Comedy Series   Leave a comment

Emmy Drama Series

Today we’ll be finishing the Emmy 2014 analysis series here at Tit for Tat by doing the remaining two categories left for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards before envelopes are opened on Monday night. And with no further ado, let’s begin with the drama programs of the past season.

When it seemed like it’s gonna go downhill from the first season, House of Cards went on and even beat their nomination tally of their previous season. While that showed potential that voters aren’t giving up on the show anytime soon, I don’t think Netflix has completely managed to pull off the win in here as well. Mad Men stays for another year and is likely to join the club of shows nominated for all their eligible seasons, but it has been back in 2011 when they still won any Emmy so at this point, it’s a filler at best. Game of Thrones was screwed by another HBO being campaigned here, and while the show’s chances would increase, the genre bias against a fantasy show is still hard to overcome, even if with overwhelming reviews. Downton Abbey might have lost Hugh Bonneville this year, but gained Joanne Froggatt back again. All it lost is a Directing nom, so if anything, I think it indicates that it will still be nominated in the succeeding years. Breaking Bad seemed a confident frontrunner all season though it doesn’t have the benefit of airing a current season during Emmy voting. MeanwhileHBO must have too much confidence in True Detective to even consider ruining the small chance of Game of Thrones. After all, this is a now or never moment for the Emmys to reward this season. But then again, a cultural phenomenon like Breaking Bad doesn’t deserve to end with only one Drama Series Emmy in its mantle. Just like its previous cable show successor The Sopranos, the show is too big to resist to be denied of a second Drama Series; thus, I’m predicting it to win again.

Prediction: Breaking Bad
Alternate: “True Detective

Full Rankings:
01. “Breaking Bad
02. True Detective
03. “House of Cards
04. “Game of Thrones
05. “Downton Abbey
06. “Mad Men

Emmy Comedy Series

And lastly, we’re now on the comedy series. Last season, when it had critics rallying around it and it continuing to be a dominating force ratings wise, The Big Bang Theory still wasn’t able to do any big moves in the race, and I think it has already peaked when it comes to its chances of winning the top plum now. Louie, in its most dramatic season, would never also find its way near to the podium so the fact that it even got nominated for such is already a feat of its own. Not only did it manage to pick up a series nod, it also swept writing and directing nods so that bodes well for Silicon Valley but this show is too alienating for a broad amount of voters to prevail. It also doesn’t help that even if its on HBO, its ratings are nothing to be proud of. Sadly, the same applies for the other HBO show Veep, though to its benefit, it has Julia Louis Dreyfus maintaining the buzz for the show and the guilds totally supporting it. Maybe it’s a slow burner? In the end, I see this as a close fight between 4x champ Modern Family and newbie series Orange is the New Black. On one hand, Modern Family lost some of its key nominations (primarily two acting nods for its ensemble), but then again, it’s still the broadest show in this line up that I don’t think it will have any problem winning for a fifth one. It also submitted its best set of tapes, so it’s really not wise to dismiss this show altogether. Stealing its thunder, however, is the new Netflix show picking up 15 nominations and winning already three. The Orange ensemble is campaigning like crazy, and despite being on Netflix, the show has done a good job of making others aware of it. While I don’t think it’s a shoo-in, it’s also helped by its second season delivering (like how Breaking Bad was helped last year) unlike other female-oriented nominated shows before. In the end, I’d give the odds to them crowning a new champ now, but I’ll be wary since Modern Family is very much still in this race.

Prediction: Orange is the New Black
Alternate: “Modern Family

Full Rankings:
01. “Orange is the New Black
02. Modern Family
03. “Veep
04. “Silicon Valley
05. “The Big Bang Theory”
06. “Louie

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

There you have it! Let’s see how many of these will I get correctly or how badly I will do this year. For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

 

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66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

Emmy Drama Lead Actor

And we’re now down to the last male acting category for this year’s Emmy analysis special here at Tit for Tat. After Jeff Daniels’ out of nowhere win last year, this is surely a contended race and definitely one of the nail-biters come Emmy ceremony. Let’s discuss Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

Despite winning two Oscars and a few SAGs under his belt, Kevin Spacey still hasn’t won an Emmy (and a Golden Globe for that matter) despite having multiple nominations already. This year, Spacey is nominated once again for House of Cards, and he submitted the season finale “Chapter 26” to the panel. In it, we see Vice President Frank Underwood doing some saving after his allies find out his backstabbing plans. He then turns tables around to fix it which led to a chilling ending for his character. This is really a great arc for Spacey and he was given a lot to do with it making him feel empowered, defeated, vindicated all in one episode. He talks to the camera, he does a narration, he connives, and he is vile in it. I really am surprised that he hasn’t won any award for this role so far, but with lesser competition next year, maybe that’s when he’ll start to actually dominate the race.

Now going to his seventh nomination with no wins still, Jon Hamm has become one of the perennial losers in this category even surpassing Hugh Laurie and Michael C. Hall already. While it seems like the Academy doesn’t like the acting on Mad Men, it also didn’t help that he submitted “The Stretegy” which wasn’t his strongest episode this season. As opposed to the previous episodes, voters get to sympathize with Don Draper this time upon realizing that his marriage is falling apart and has to convince Peggy that he’s helping and not sabotaging her. But really, it’s all moot. Maybe he can take advantage of the empty crowd next year with the show’s final season in play.

People surely underestimated him last year and at the nominations last month, but it seems like Jeff Daniels is here to stay…for this year at least. Refuting to be a one hit wonder, Daniels picks up a consecutive nod to regain his title and had “Election Night Part 2″ to help him achieve that. In this episode, we see a more personal story from Will as he tackles his relationship with MacKenzie ending with a proposal. While this is not at the same level of the speech he gave in his winning episode last year, I think he has stronger competition this year to do a repeat of his win.

In one of the best episodes submitted ever in this category. Bryan Cranston in “Ozymandias” is certainly the best tape he has submitted in this category including all his three winning tapes here before. He is on fire for the whole episode here with a nod to his earlier Walt at the start of the episode up until that confrontation with Anna Gunn in the end. There’s no denying that this is a powerful tape and one that can easily win again since his last victory four years ago. If only he had weaker competition, I’d be very easy to say this will be an easy one for the books but then comes…

True Detective. Both the leads of the show got nominated here and let’s start with Emmy winner Woody Harrelson. Woody was wise to submit “The Locked Room” which had him dealing with his family’s reaction to his work. Due to his covering of the case, he has forgotten about his family which ended with him breaking down when confronted by his wife. There’s also a scene with his mistress near the end where he demands that she sees no other man aside from him. As for his co-star’s tape, he benefits from it since it’s the finale episode of the series.

Lastly, coming off from an Oscar win last March, Matthew McConaughey is now on the hunt for the Emmy as well as the other actor of True Detective. While his submissions is arguable to most people (majority felt he should have went with “The Secret  Fate of All Life” or Who Goes There“), his submission of the series finale “Form and Void” isn’t really something to be ashamed off. In it, they’ve finally put the pieces of the puzzle together which ended with a creepy chasing scene at the maze. In the final scene, McConaughey delivers a really strong monologue which can seal the high rankings from the panel. He also benefits from Harrelson’s tape, as it showcased a different side of Rust so that’s two tapes from him.

I guess it all boils down to Bryan Cranston and Matthew McConaughey. Cranston submitted his consensus tour de force tape while others are meh on McConaughey. But then again, he has two tapes which shows his range, and it’s the last two they’ll be seeing when they watch the Lead Actor reel (since episodes are arranged on the tape alphabetically of the show’s name). When you have two great tapes competing, that’s when the outside factors in, and I think McConaughey is ahead of that. He’s basically Hollywood’s “go to” guy now after his career turnaround the past few years. While Cranston aims to tie the record of Dennis Franz in this category with four wins, this is their only chance to reward McConaughey for this performance. If ever there’s someone who’ll be tying Dennis Franz though, it’ll be Bryan Cranston, but I think this is the case where Cranston’s three previous Emmy wins hurt his chances when pitted against showbiz’ poster actor in a one time performance.

Prediction: Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective
Alternate: Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad

Full Rankings:
01. Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective
02. Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad
03. Kevin Spacey, ‘House of Cards
04. Woody Harrelson, “True Detective
05. Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom
06. Jon Hamm, “Mad Men

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Directing in a Drama and Comedy Series   Leave a comment

As we lead to the final six days of our Emmy analysis coverage here, we move on to the two Directing categories for this year.

Emmy Comedy Directing

For the comedy category Silicon Valley went with the pilot of the show which is always the safe bet for some sort of a recognition. That was obvious this year as it lead them to a nomination, but with almost no buzz for it, I think the nomination is the reward this time. Louis C.K continues his streak of nominations as well, and this year he chose the finale of his six part Elevator episode. I can see this being some sort of a dark horse in this category given that his direction was a standout here. I think we just have to accept from hereon that Glee will get a mention here (though we only have one season left!). To be fair, this wasn’t as random as last year since it’s one of their two event episodes of the season (the other being The Quarterback) and had Paris Barclay at the helm so this should have been given already. Episodes is the first episode that voters will check in its reel, and with this surprise nomination, I think it’s really well deserved. There’s a lot of obvious direction at play in this episode and while I don’t think it’ll win, it can be one who’ll find itself in the middle rankings a lot. I see this race as a two woman race (hurray!). On the left corner, we have current champ Gail Mancuso in Modern Family’s Las Vegas which is the most “obvious” showcase of direction here. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s one of the season’s best episode with the direction at the forefront. It’s some sort of a homage to the classic Frasier episode The Ski Trip. But then we also have Jodie friggin Foster for Orange is the New Black’s most emotional episode of its pilot season. I mean I could already really stop with the name recognition as I think it’ll be in play here; thus I’m going with it. But really, don’t be surprised if Modern Family wins its fourth consecutive direction nod since it’ll be more deserved than its last two wins in this category.

Prediction: Orange is the New Black, “Lesbian Request Denied
Alternate: Modern Family, “Las Vegas

Full Rankings:
01. Orange is the New Black, “Lesbian Request Denied
02. Modern Family, “Las Vegas
03. Louie, “Elevator Part 6
04. Silicon Valley, “Minimum Viable Product
05. Episodes, “Episode Nine
06. Glee, “100

Emmy Drama Directing

As for the drama side, let’s begin with Downton Abbey‘s season almost two hour season opener. In the tradition of its usual one episode for season submission, the show really knows what episode it has to submit, and that’s the reason why it’s on its third nomination in this category. Sadly for them, I think they’ll have the same fate as their last two tries. Meanwhile, Boardwalk Empire continues its hold in this category by getting its fifth nomination here in a span of four seasons. This year, they’ve submitted the season finale Farewell Daddy Blues. Remember when the show pulled off that upset two years ago? While I don’t see them repeating that this year, it’s really unwise to discount the show’s chances overall. Chapter 14 of House of Cards is nominated for both its writing and directing which is quite of a surprise, but between the two, directing is where its more obvious since that talked about scene in the episode is as showy as one can get. After all, they are the current champ in this category so there’s that in play. After two years of snubbing here, Game of Thrones finally gets its second directing nod for The Watchers on the Wall. While there is no denying of the show’s directorial achievement, its last two years of snubs quite indicate that they really aren’t over the moon about the show’s direction, and I think that affects its chances. And like in writing, I guess this will be between Breaking Bad and True Detective. The former is hoping for its first win here after five chances with their finale helmed by the show creator and 2x nominee in this category, Vince Gilligan. However, True Detective has the most talked about shot this year with its seven minute long tracking shot at the end of the episode. I don’t know if we can call this a lock, but I’d say that’s more than enough to declare Cary Fukunaga the victor here.

Prediction: True Detective, “Who Goes There
Alternate: Breaking Bad, “Felina

Full Rankings:
01. True Detective, “Who Goes There
02. Breaking Bad, “Felina
03. Boardwalk Empire, “Farewell Daddy Blues
04. Game of Thrones, “The Watchers on the Wall
05. House of Cards, “Chapter 14
06. Downton Abbey, “Episode One

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Writing in a Drama and Comedy Series   Leave a comment

After the supporting categories the past week and before we move on to the lead acting next week, let’s take a break in between and cover both the writing and directing categories. First up, the pen owners a.k.a the writers get the spotlight today as we tackle the two major writing categories. 

Emmy Comedy Writing

Louis CK was the frontrunner in this category for a long time now, but it seemed like So Did the Fat Lady lost quite its buzz after Sarah Baker’s exclusion in the Guest Actress category and from Louie’s six episode submission this year. While I don’t think it’s necessarily wise to exclude Louis CK here especially after his win two years ago, he’s no sure thing either. Silicon Valley manages to get in for its season finale with the very witty masturbation joke but I think this type of cool jokes doesn’t end with wins but simply with nominations (see: Community’s nod two years ago). Episodes seem to have its core fans in the writing branch as it’s 3/3 so far getting in here for all its eligible season. Thus, I won’t be surprised if they suddenly give it a win. But then again, maybe it’s just a show they love to nominate and not give wins with. After submitting a lot this year, predicting Veep for either writing or directing seemed unwise, but the fact that they manage to nab one here indicates a really strong support for the show. Lastly, pilots are like instant Emmy baits for writers, and Orange is the New Black’s lauded series opener is very much a spoiler here. If they really love the show, I won’t be shocked if this gets carried to a win as well But for now, I’m leaning on the hip semi-Emmy favorite who’s on an onward trajectory with Emmy love so I’m going with Veep’s “Special Relationship to win.

Prediction: Veep, “Special Relationship
Alternate: Orange is the New Black, “I Wasn’t Ready

Full Rankings:
01. Veep, “Special Relationship
02. Orange is the New Black, “I Wasn’t Ready
03. Louie, “So Did the Fat Lady
04. Silicon Valley, “Optical Tip-to-Tip Efficiency
05. Episodes, “Episode Five

Emmy Drama Writing

As for their dramatic counterpart, it’s such a surprise to find out that Breaking Bad hasn’t won in this category yet, but they have two contenders here to change their fate. First, they have Ozymandias which is probably the most lauded episode in the show’s history and such a tour de force hour in television. And then, they also have the series finale Felina written by Vince Gilligan. In the same manner that series pilots are very baity to reward, the same can be said for series finales (see: Friday Night Light’s upset win here for its finale in 2011). While it seems more logical that they get rewarded for their direction, Game of Thrones continue to rake in nomination for its writing instead. The season finale The Children is their nominated episode this year; however, if their previous event episodes the past season like Baelor and The Rains of Castamere wasn’t able to factor in, I don’t think it will be any different this year. True Detective only is eligible for one episode this year, but they managed to submit their best written episode, and if voters don’t really like to reward Breaking Bad here, I think this is the show that will benefit from that the most. To complete the nominees, we have the season opener of House of Cards which contained a big shocker in the middle of the episode. In the end, I think we’re bound to see a Breaking Bad writing win in play, so it’s between its two nominated episodes already. While Ozymandias is the more popular choice among the internet community, I don’t think they can resist the chance of awarding showrunner Vince Gilligan an Emmy here, so I say Felina wins in the end.

Prediction: Breaking Bad, “Felina
Alternate: Breaking Bad, “Ozymandias

Full Rankings:
01. Breaking Bad, “Felina
02. Breaking Bad, “Ozymandias
03. True Detective, “The Secret Fate of All Life
04. House of Cards, “Chapter 14
05. Game of Thrones, “The Children

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

66th Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations Predictions Part 4: Drama   Leave a comment

Hi there everyone! You’re still reading Tit for Tat’s 66th Emmy coverage. For the past three days, I have been sharing to you my predictions on who I think will be up for Emmy awards for this year. So before Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly announce the official nominees in the Reality and Variety, TV Movie and Miniseries, and Comedy genres, let’s finish this prediction series with the most serious genre of them all: drama!

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Directing

• Boardwalk Empire, Farewell Daddy Blues (Tim van Patten)
• Breaking Bad, Felina (Vince Gilligan)
• Downton Abbey, Episode 1 (David Evans)
• Masters of Sex, Pilot (John Madden)
• True Detective, Who Goes There (Cary Fukunaga)

Sixth nominee: House of Cards, Chapter 14 (Carl Franklin)

And let’s begin with Directing. Despite Boardwalk Empire falling off the Series and Lead Actor nods that they received during the show’s first two seasons, it’s safe to say that they haven’t lost their touch yet with the directors voting branch. For its past three seasons, the show has received two wins out of four nods, so we can all rely on Tim van Patten receiving his fourth consecutive nomination in here for the season finale Farewell Daddy Blues. You can also count on Downton Abbey to get in here since they’re very strategic about this whole Emmy process that they submit only one episode, so if the voters want to reward the show, Episode 1 is their only option to do so. Probably the most buzzed directorial achievement this year, Cary Fukunaga’s eight minute long track shot in True Detective’s Who Goes There isn’t only a nominee sure bet, but a frontrunner for the win as well. And can we talk about how this category loves its pilots and finales? Yep that’s right. Thus, I’m predicting one a piece for the pilot of Masters of Sex directed by Shakespeare in Love director John Madden, and of course, the finale of Breaking Bad by creator Vince Gilligan. Watch out for House of Cards though since it is the current champ in this category.

OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Writing

• Breaking Bad, Felina (Vince Gilligan)
• Breaking Bad, Ozymandias (Moira Walley-Beckett)
• Downton Abbey, Episode 1 (Julian Fellowes)
• Game of Thrones, The Children (David Benoiff, D.B. Weiss)
• True Detective, The Secret Fate of All Life (Nic Pizzolatto)

Sixth nominee: Mad Men, Waterloo (Carly Wray, Matthew Weiner)

As for the writing, it’s safe to assume that all these Downton Abbey fans in the Academy will simply check it off the Writing and Directing ballot so a nod here is expected (just like the past two years). After years of snubbing, Breaking Bad finally entered the race last year with two nominations, and I expect them to have the same fate this year — one for their finale Ozymandias and the other for their most submitted episode in the Emmy ballot, Felina. Unlike Downton Abbey though, True Detective only has one writer for the whole season; thus it can only submit one episode for consideration, so I’m expecting all its supports to push The Secret Fate of All Life to make it in here. As for the last spot, despite the show being a flashier directorial bet, it seems like the writers branch is the oen appreciative of Game of Thrones given their two nods here for the last two years. Therefore, I placed it here for their season finale episode.

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Guest Actor

• Michael Bowen, “Breaking Bad
• Beau Bridges, “Masters of Sex
• Dan Bucatinsky, “Scandal
• Nathan Lane, “The Good Wife
• Robert Morse, “Mad Men
• Pedro Pascal, “Game of Thrones

Seventh nominee: Louis Gossett Jr., “Boardwalk Empire

Well let’s begin with curent champ Dan Bucatinsky. Without spoiling anything, I think he’s not only in for a consecutive nod, bur he’s very much in for a consecutive win as well with that very baity episode. And since there’s no Michael J. Fox in tow, it paves the way for a repeat Nathan Lane nod as he’s the torchbearer of The Good Wife in this category for this year. Robert Morse of Mad Men has been nominated here four out of the last six times he’s eligible, and with a buzzed season he had, it’s safe to assume he’ll be back in the line up again. The same buzz surrounds Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal (and that’s solely not for his shirtless photo that he posted!) and with Game of Thrones‘ haul looking to be its biggest year by far, he’ll definitely be in for the ride. Then there’s semi-favorite Beau Bridges. His lauded performance in Masters of Sex already assures him of a nod, but the fact that he’s been nominated here twice the past four years means he has more support than expected. As for that last spot, I’m giving it to Breaking Bad actor Michael Bowen since I think this will be a redux of the Mark Margolis nom two years ago. He’s in the scenes most with the leads, and that can spread the wealth to his impending nod.

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Guest Actress

• Kate Burton, “Scandal
• Jane Fonda, “The Newsroom
• Allison Janney, “Masters of Sex
• Lisa Kudrow, “Scandal
• Carrie Preston, “The Good Wife
• Diana Rigg, “Game of Thrones

Seventh nominee: Margo Martindale, “The Americans

Aside from current champ Carrie Preston of The Good Wife and current frontrunenr Allison Janney of Masters of Sex, this is quite a lukewarm category as compared to its male counterpart. Sure there’s Dame Diana Rigg whose season wasn’t as sure like the last one, but I don’t see the Emmys dropping her easily this year, so I’m predicting a nod for her. Then there’s Jane Fonda who can’t even win last year with her legend status and baity tape, and with The Newsroom being less of a factor at all, I can see her missing. That said, she’s been visible lately with her tribute, so maybe another nod isn’t totally out of reach. Then for the last two spots, I’m going a bit heavy on Scandal guest actresses. First, there’s Emmy winner Lisa Kudrow. Though her guest appearance doesn’t scream “sure Emmy contender”, I think hers is one of the most buzzed guesting of the TV drama season that she can coast to a nod for it. It’s not surprising if she misses though especially since Kate Burton is also in contention. Shonda Rhimes made Kate Burton a multiple time nominee here for Grey’s Anatomy before, I easily think she can do a repeat of that, this time for her role in Scandal.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Supp Actor

• Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey
• Josh Charles, “The Good Wife
• Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones
• Dean Norris, “Breaking Bad
• Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad
• Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan

Seventh nominee: Charles Dance, “Game of Thrones

Both previous winners Peter Dinklage and Aaron Paul are safe already methinks. And in the tradition of farewell shows getting in more nods for their cast (see Kristin Davis in Sex in the City in 2004, Matthew Fox in Lost in 2010), I expect Dean Norris to finally snatch a nomination for himself as well. I’ve been adamant about Jim Carter, but I already made the mistake of dropping him last year only to be fooled when the noms were announced. So I’m sticking for him now. With how his fate in the show shocked the whole TV crowd, I expect Josh Charles to get his second nod for The Good Wife three years after he received his first. As for that last slot, I think the Globes affirmed more than ever on how it values its movie stars, Jon Voight will get that veteran slot for his first season performance in Ray Donovan. If not him, then maybe Game of Thrones adds another acting performance via another veteran, Charles Dance.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Supp Actress

• Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife
• Emilia Clarke, “Game of Thrones
• Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey
• Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad
• Michelle Monaghan, “True Detective
• Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey

Seventh nominee: Bellamy Young, “Scandal

Clusterfuck. That’s what this category is. Well let’s start with the regulars. Current champ Anna Gunn, 2012 winner Dame Maggie Smith, and perennial nominee Christine Baranski are the three safest in this line up that’s for sure. Then as for the other three, I’m going with a repeat of Emilia Clarke’s nod simply because I think Emmy has a disconnect with who owns which season when it comes to nominating actors from Game of Thrones. If she managed to get in last year with that lackluster of a season, I wouldn’t have high expectations that she will be dropped this year for doing less of that. Then there’s Michelle Monaghan, who I’m really not convinced. It seems like True Detective was 80% McConaughey and 20% Harrelson, that they won’t even care about the others. I can see a scenario where someone who makes sense to get nominated suddenly is nowhere to be found (Nicollette Sheridan in 2005, Corey Stoll last year), though I’m counting on Monaghan’s C-list movie star status to somehow help her here. The last spot is the riskiest of them all, as I’m going with a comeback narrative for Joanne Frogatt simply because her storyline the past season is too in your face to ignore. I have Bellamy Young as a replacement just because I find it weird if Scandal gets five(!) acting nominations and it’s not even close to be a Series contender, so I think she’s the most vulnerable.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Lead Actor

• Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad
• Jon Hamm, “Mad Men
• Woody Harrelson, “True Detective
• Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective
• Michael Sheen, “Masters of Sex
• Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards

Seventh nominee: James Spader, “The Blacklist

Talk about crowded. This category has at least 10 names in contention that makes a whole lotta sense. Let’s begin with Bryan Cranston. We actually can end it now with Cranston as well, but yeah he’s sooo getting in. Then there’s 2x Oscar winner Kevin Spacey. Sure his name didn’t exactly bring him to the podium last year, but this is a tailor made role for him that he’ll be a mainstay at these awards shows even if the show has already faltered. I think regardless of Mad Men‘s fate as a whole, Jon Hamm is another of those perennial nominees that will still get in, so I think he’s safe, albeit a bit vulnerable, for this year. And let’s go to the newbies. As for starters, we have the pair of True Detective actors here, and I predict both of them getting in. Well McConaughey is the more obvious one, and I see him contending for the win as well, but I’m going with Harrelson too since I predict that they’ll just check both of their names off. Plus this is not a priority vote ranking that will hurt the latter. That said, I won’t be surprised if he misses though since as I mentioned above, True Detective was 80% McConaughey and 20% Harrelson. As for that last slot, I contemplated going with James Spader, and he makes sense actually since he’s in a hit show and it’s a comeback performance, and this category really loves him (I mean come on, he won over James Gandolfini for the last season of The Sopranos). Then there’s also Downton Abbey‘s Hugh Bonneville and current champ Jeff Daniels of The Newsroom, but I think we’d see the start of decline of Downton starting this year and The Newsroom is as DOA as one can get per HBO standards. Thus, I’m going with previous Emmy nominee Michael Sheen since I;m quite confident of Masters of Sex delivering on Emmy nomination day.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Lead Actress

• Claire Danes, “Homeland
• Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey
• Vera Farmiga, “Bates Motel
• Juliana Margulies, “The Good Wife
• Kerry Washington, “Scandal
• Robin Wright, “House of Cards

Seventh nominee: Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men

And here’s another crowded one. Let’s begin by saying that despite Homeland turning into some mega shit show for its third season, Claire Danes still rises above the occasion, and I don’t think she’ll be snubbed ala Margulies last year. After all, she’s still the reigning champ in here. Speaking of Margulies, I believe that last year was just a fluke and a case where everyone thought she’s safe already that’s why they’re spreading the wealth (like how Allison Janney was snubbed in 2005), and with The Good Wife‘s heavily buzzed season, she’s so coming back for another nomination. If Robin Wright managed to get in last year for a borderline supporting role, I see no problem for her getting in this year again with even a winning tape in her hands. I’m sticking with Michelle Dockery still just because I really don’t think they’d dropped anything Downton that quick, and I have Hugh Bonneville as the sacrificial lamb of the show already. Kerry Washington who can’t even win for the love of God a Golden Globe or a SAG for Scandal, has a stronger narrative last year than this year, but I think she’s still safe at least this year. As for that last spot, I keep going back and forth with Elisabeth Moss and Vera Farmiga, but I really don’t think they’ll drop the Oscar nominee instantly especially after her surprise nomination last year as opposed to Mad Men who’s on a decline with their nods. Now watch them nominate all seven of them now.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Series

• Breaking Bad (AMC)
• Downton Abbey (PBS)
• Game of Thrones (HBO)
• House of Cards (Netflix)
• Masters of Sex (Showtime)
True Detective (HBO)

Seventh nominee: Mad Men (AMC)

As if we haven’t had any headaches with the Drama categories yet, but yes, Series is tough to predict. Unless, you know, they go with seven nominees. Bu let’s assume there are only six. I think we can separate them into this: Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and True Detective are safe no matter what. They’re clearly the upper tier in this one. No matter what happens to the rest of the line up, we can expect to see these three here. And then I’d go and say Downton Abbey is fourth here. Like I’m sure you’re also wondering who effin still supports Downton Abbey, the answer is: Emmy voting panel. I’d love to be wrong here, but let’s not kid ourselves. Then we have Showtime’s slot. I think Masters of Sex is being quite underrated as a whole, but this is clearly Showtime’s priority this year, and they have been doing a smooth run for its campaign. I think this will be the surprise of the contenders here. For that last spot, there’s Mad Men who is a 4x champ and has been nominated for all of its seasons by far, but really, the show’s buzz has just been absent all along. Not even at the guild precursors. It’s literally MIA as far as buzz is felt, though who knows? After all, the Emmys are the last group to react to buzz of shows. Then there’s also House of Cards. After its premiere last February, the show has been eclipsed by it’s Netflix sister Orange is the New Black. But to its favor, there’s still some clout left under its rug, and this is Netflix’ drama priority while Mad Men plays second fiddle to Breaking Bad. there’s a big chance they’d go seven nominees still (or even The Good Wife making that comeback), but for now I’d choose House of Cards by a small  margin.

Finally it’s over! Are you excited for the announcement later? Do you think Mad Men will be able to maintain its perfect Series nomination record? How much of Downton Abbey will go down in terms of nominations? And can Jeff Daniels overcome the jinx and get a chance to retain his title? Go on and share your thoughts in the comments section. 🙂

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