It is now time to get ready to prep for Oscar time yet again. Considering how good the majority of the films from this year were, and how royally the Academy Awards seems to have driven themselves into a corner (particular in the Directors Branch), it is possible that (demonizing documentaries be damned) the Hollywood Foreign Press may be able to rectify some of these errors. I will deal with the Academy's problems very soon, but since this is ostensibly a column about television, I will deal with the prizes in that category. Here we go:
Best Drama: Probably the easiest choice of the night: Neither Boardwalk Empire or The Newsroom deserves to be considered in the Best Drama category. Downton Abbey had enough trouble switching between categories. And while Breaking Bad, it's never had much luck with the Foreign Press. That leaves Homeland, the program with the most nomination, that won Best Drama last time out, and was one of the best shows on TV last year, period.
Best Actor, Drama: One would like to see Damian Lewis win, as its probably going to be his last chance in this category for awhile. But he faces tough competition. Bryan Cranston is due a win here, and Jeff Daniels is a well-respected actor in the next new hit. Look for Daniels to edge Cranston in a tough category.
Best Actress, Drama: This should be an easy repeat for Claire Danes, who, if anything was stronger this season than when she won everything last year. Connie Britton could pull an upset for Nashville, but I'm looking to see Danes win.
Best Musical or Comedy: Tough call. Modern Family could easily repeat, it's definitely a strong enough show. But this is a category where HBO has been very strong, and while I'd like to see Episodes prevail, I think this will be there chance to honor the new shiny faces. I'm guessing Girls will win--- by a hair.
Best Actor, Comedy: Even harder to tip off than last year. Showime has traditionally done well in this category, and Don Cheadle was brilliant in House of Lies. But considering his immense popularity among his peers, the fact that he's been getting a lot of awards, and that the Globes gives more credit to actors who play fictionalized version of themselves, look for Louie. C.K. to win for Louie.
Best Actress, Comedy: Oh, I am so prejudiced on this one. Part of really wants to see co-hosts/nominees Tina Fey or Amy Poehler (the latter is my favorite) win, just to see how the loser reacts. But personally, I think they can mine more comic gold out of losing and going through the rest of the ceremony. My hear wants Poehler to win; my head thinks that it's going to go to either Lena Dunham or Zooey Deschanel, but I think this is the rare category where there are no real losers here.
Best Supporting Actor: Tough call here, but my personal choice is Mandy Patinkin for Homeland. He seems to be the most undervalued actor on a strong cast (award-wise) and I'd really like to see him prevail.
Best Supporting Actress: These are even harder to handicap here, considering how strong the level of competition is. I expect to see Maggie Smith prevail here for Downton Abbey--- she's won a couple of Emmys for the role, and she's up for other prizes for Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. But wouldn't it be something to see Haydn Pattiere win for Nashville? After all, she's a veteran actress too.
As for TV Movie, Miniseries or Special, this is HBO's wheelhouse, and I expect them to win for Game Change with Best Actress going to Julianne Moore (I can't wait to see Tina Fey's riff on her Sarah Palin impression. And though I'd like to see Benedict Cumberbatch prevail for Sherlock, I've got a hunch it's going to go Kevin Costner for Hatfilelds and McCoys.
Stay tuned for opinions on the results, and other award shows.