I’ve previously posted my picks for
And with the actual Emmy nominations to be announced tomorrow (editor’s note: as of this publishing, ‘tomorrow’ is now ‘very soon, like in a handful of hours’), I figured I had no time to dally. So without further ado, and probably very little explanation, my ballots for the remaining categories, some of which are incomplete for various reasons:
Lead Actor – Comedy
I was surprised at how few shows I’ve seen actually submitted lead nominees– ensemble and “everyone is supporting” seems to be the trend, so the pool isn’t deep. Anyway, my six:
Louis CK was nominated last year for Louie, and deservedly so. Alec Baldwin was born to play Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock. Adam Scott is an amazing, underrated actor, and now that he’s submitted as a lead for Parks and Recreation, I’m happy to nominate him. Joel McHale is integral to Community, even if it had its most uneven season yet. Whatever you think of Angry Boys (or its predecessor, Summer Heights High), Chris Lilley does really inhabit his characters and portray them well. And because I can’t picture anyone else playing the lead on Wilfred and the show hinges on the believability of that performance, the last nomination goes to Elijah Wood.
also considered: Garrett Dillahunt, “Raising Hope”; Larry David, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”; Danny McBride, “Eastbound and Down”
Lead Actor – Drama
I only watched five dramas that submitted leads, so, here they are! Bryan Cranston has won an Emmy ever year he’s been eligible for Breaking Bad, and he will again this year. Jon Hamm has the misfortune of being up against Bryan Cranston (and just when it thought he might finally join Mad Men on the winner’s stage last year, Kyle Chandler took it in Friday Night Lights’ final season). Dustin Hoffman was potent and effective on Luck— I wish we’d gotten the chance to see where Ace and Gus were headed. Timothy Olyphant is perfectly cast on Justified. As for the fifth: I think Steve Buscemi is a little miscast on Boardwalk Empire, but it’s not like his is a bad performance, I just think a bigger, more physically intimidating guy would be more effective. And since I don’t have anyone else I can put on my ballot, the sixth space is blank.
Lead Actress – Drama
This is an even worse copout. Even with the great things I hear about Claire Danes on Homeland and Emmy Rossum on Shameless, I don’t watch the shows, so I can’t comment on them myself. One show I watch submitted lead actresses. Mad Men, congrats! Not that Elisabeth Moss and Jessica Paré aren’t deserving. I’m generally a Megan fan, but I still think Moss is more deserving.
Supporting Actor – Drama
This category is stacked. I could fill my entire ballot from Breaking Bad or Boardwalk Empire. There were so many stacked shows that it was tough to choose. I’m going to list eight, and I’ll explain why when I get there. First, the no-brainers. Giancarlo Esposito and Aaron Paul both deserve all of the many accolades they received for their performances in Breaking Bad‘s season four, and the only question seems to be which one of them will win. But count me among those who think Paul should have submitted as a lead, as should have Peter Dinklage on Game of Thrones. Since they didn’t, I’m going to cheat and add two more names at the end of my list that would have gotten the nominations if they had. The rest of my ballot includes Walton Goggins, who absolutely inhabits Justified‘s Boyd Crowder; John Slattery, perennial Mad Men favorite who has the perfect supporting character in Roger Sterling: chemistry with everybody, always a quip for the occasion, but never diminishes the star; and Jack Huston, who manages to make even a cynical guy like feel the depths and pathos of Boardwalk Empire’s Richard Harrow.
If Dinklage and Paul had submitted leads, I would have added Alfie Allen as in-over-his-head Theon Greyjoy in Game of Thrones and Dennis Farina in Luck.
Like I said, this category was tremendously stacked. Among the award-worthy names I left off: Jonathan Banks, Vincent Kartheiser, Neal McDonough, Dean Norris, Michael Shannon, Bob Odenkirk, and Michael Stuhlbarg.
Supporting Actress – Drama
I’m running out of time tonight, so I’m going to start rushing these, which is unfortunate because I don’t want to give them short shrift. But I’m going to have to, and you can read plenty more detailed critiques elsewhere. Anyway: I love Maisie Williams as Arya Stark on Game of Thrones. Christina Hendricks had possibly her strongest season of Mad Men yet, and “The Other Woman” screams “Emmy submission episode” for Joan. (I haven’t made up my mind as to how I’ll cast my vote yet, but it’s one of those two.) Lena Headey brings many layers to her Game of Thrones performance of Cersei Lannister, even if those layers are mostly despicable. She didn’t get as much screen time this season, but Kiernan Shipka is still an amazing find of a child actress on Mad Men. I loved Kerry Condon‘s unbridled (pun not intended, realized, but kept in anyway) enthusiasm and joy for her horses and for riding them on Luck. She hasn’t really gotten much recognition for her performance yet, but I think Joelle Carter deserves mention for her turn as Ava Crowder on Justified, as she portrays a strong, deep woman of many facets who assumes new roles when the occasion requires.
Also considered: Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad”; Kelly Macdonald, “Boardwalk Empire”; Sophie Turner, “Game of Thrones”
Guest Actor – Comedy
30 Rock submitted something like sixteen nominees for this, so it’s no surprise that they dominate. I only have five for this list; for some reason, the Emmy submissions lists are gone from their website, so I can’t go back and pick someone else. My four were Kelsey Grammer (probably my favorite, because the “Kelsey Grammer” of 30 Rock is a slick hustler always working an angle, and he’s having so much damn fun with it), Jim Carrey, Jon Hamm, and William Baldwin. To that list I added Louie’s Doug Stanhope, who showed a range and depth of character in his portrayal that I didn’t know he had in him.
Guest Actress – Comedy
Pamela Adlon, Louie; Mary Steenburgen, 30 Rock; Kathryn Hahn, Parks and Recreation; Lizzy Caplan, New Girl; Chloe Grace Moretz, 30 Rock; Megan Mullally, Happy Endings.
Tough to leave out Kiernan Shipka’s as herself on Don’t Trust the B___ in Apt. 23 or Patricia Clarkson’s icy portrayal of Tammy One on Parks and Recreation.
Guest Actor – Drama
My three favorites in alphabetical order: Jere Burns on Justified, Michael Gambon on Luck, and Mark Margolis on Breaking Bad. To fill out my ballot i added Mykelti Williamson (Justified) and Robert Morse and Ben Feldman (Mad Men).
Guest Actress – Drama
When I looked over the nominations list, one performance stood out to me: Julianne Nicholson as Boardwalk Empire’s tough, whip-smart, woman-in-a-man’s-world prosecutor Esther Randolph. I also liked Joan Allen on Luck.
Parks and Recreation
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
I was really tempted to nominate Don’t Trust the B___ in Apt. 23, but as much as I loved those seven episodes, they would have had to really be world-beaters, and they weren’t quite there yet. I really see this show potentially taking off as it goes on. I also considered New Girl, Cougar Town, Wilfred, Veep, and Suburgatory.
It’s easy when you only watch six. Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Luck, Justified, Game of Thrones, and Boardwalk Empire. They all deserve it, although I’m starting to feel like I should really watch Homeland. Maybe when I finish catching up on The Shield…
I’m only nominating two programs because they’re all I watch, but they’re two of my favorite shows on television. If animated shows were part of the running for Best Comedy, Archer and Bob’s Burgers would crack my top six, no question. As it is, they are the entirety of my ballot. (Congrats to Jon Benjamin in advance for his “Best lead voice actor” Emmy! That’s probably not a thing, or at least not what that thing is called.)
So which one is better? Archer tends to make me laugh harder in total, because the pace and density of jokes are cranked up, but I have more affection for the characters of Bob’s Burgers, and it makes me laugh plenty hard. So I’m going to cop out and call it a tie.
One final note: When I was looking for the Emmy submissions list, I found that the Emmys plan to announce their nominations live… AT 5:40 A.M. PACIFIC TIME. What the hell kind of crazy live launch hour is that? Who’s up and ready to announce things at 5:40?
Jimmy Kimmel is filling in on the announcements for Nick Offerman, who couldn’t make it at the last minute. The Emmys website said it was due to weather delays for flights on the East coast, but I like to think he just didn’t want to miss his fishing trip.