Well, we are rapidly approaching the time for Emmys, and as much as the networks wants to complain about getting shutout in most categories (somewhat justified) and about the broadcast's ever decreasing ratings, this years broadcasts asks a question that TV executive never thought they'd face. Can a show that never aired on television win TV's biggest prize.
Having seen Netflix's House of Cards, I can only conclude that the answer is: the day is coming. I don't think it'll be this day, however, considering how conservative the Emmy voters are in general (How long did it take them to recognize The Sopranos, after all?). As for whether or not the show deserves to win, I'll go into some detail below, but I do think given the surprising strength of two of the major opponents, I don't think we're there yet.
Here are my picks if I were given the power, (and every year I wish I had), starting with Dramas
House of Cards is a very good series, and if it were a basic cable drama, it would be the lead choice, especially considering that Mad Men had what even the biggest fans would consider an off season. Homeland was excellent this season (I have no idea why so many critics who loved the show when it aired are now calling the second season a sophomore slump.), but I think the ultimate winner is a shows that's always been as good, and maybe even better.
Breaking Bad has won nine Emmys, none for Best Drama. The ratings for its final episodes are the highest it's ever been. It has recently passed Sopranos as one of the greatest reviewed series of all time. And part one of season 5 was extraordinary. The irony is more people might end up watching its penultimate episode which airs Sunday night than those who see it triumph here. Set your DVR.
Should Win, Will Win: Breaking Bad.
Bryan Cranston, having won the SAG award and Broadcast Critics award for Best Actor should be the favorite--- but he has three previous wins. Kevin Spacey was brilliant as the lead in House of Cards, but did enough people see this series to honor him? And it just seems wrong that Mad Men has been on for six season and Jon Hamm has won nothing.
I wouldn't object tremendously if Damien Lewis repeated for Homeland (or Cranston for that matter). Of the six nominees, Spacey deserves to win the most, but I think Lewis will repeat. I think the Emmy voters do this as a rule.
Should Win: Spacey
Will Win: Lewis (but never bet against Cranston.)
Easiest pick of the night, but it's worth noting the provisos. Entertainment Weekly thinks Kerry Washington will triumph because it's been twenty years since an African-American Actress triumphed in this category. But she's in a series by Shonda Rhimes (which don't win a lot of Emmys), and the Academy has been demonstrating a kind of subtle bias lately (Jon Cryer beats Don Cheadle for Best Actor makes no sense; stay tuned for more in the Comedy). Robin Wright probably should win for creating an original vital character as Claire Underwood, but she inexplicably has never been to any awards before. Elisabeth Moss has a good chance of winning... for Best Movie.
Remember this is a category that they had to make room for seven nominees and still left out Juliana Marguiles and Keri Russell. Then remember Claire Danes work for any episode of Homeland, and the Golden Globe and SAG award, and you know that there could be twenty nominees, and she'd still be the best.
Should win: Moss
Will win: Danes.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Could go to one of the Breaking Bad nominees, both were exceptional. But personally, this is the easiest pick of the night. Mandy Patinkin is one of television's greatest actors, and he is magnificent on Homeland. I can not imagine a situation where a Golden Globe nominee gets shorted, even though these categories are full of surprises.
Should Win, Will Win: Patinkin
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
I don't quite have the heart for this category, considering they decided to ignore Monica Potter for Parenthood (seriously?). But there are some good candidates. My choice (and it'll probably be the Academy's) is the Lady Macbeth of AMC, Anna Gunn. Skyler reached new lows and new highs--- sometimes within the same episode. The closer this series comes to it conclusion, the better she gets. Besides, she deserves to win for the abuse she takes on the Internet.
Should Win, Will Win: Gunn.
Next Post, The Comedies