We’ve hit the movies and the comedies, so with just one day left until a lot of Hollywood stars are either ecstatic or firing their agents, we’ll move into the five Drama categories. As I’ve mentioned before, the higher the ranking, the more likely I think it is that someone will be nominated (not necessarily win, though).
Best Drama Series
1. Breaking Bad
2. True Detective
3. House of Cards
4. Game of Thrones
5. Mad Men
6. Downton Abbey
The Lowdown: This looks extremely familiar, because, well, it is. The only show that I’m skipping from last year is Homeland, which has become a shadow of its former celebrated self. I do feel like new blood could oust the aging Mad Men and Downton Abbey, but no show aside from True Detective seems like it could be elevated onto this list. The Americans is more a critical than an audience fave (which matters with ratings-conscious Emmy) and The Good Wife missed last year (usually a death knell) and this category has been very resistant to network dramas. I say that this is the lineup, though don’t be surprised if Downton or Mad Men become the surprise miss of the morning.
Winner?: I mean, Breaking Bad has milked that double season for all it’s worth. True Detective could be a factor, but that seems more of a lead actor situation. Walter White wins in his final showdown.
Best Actor in a Drama Series
1. Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
2. Matthew McConaughey, True Detective
3. Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
4. Woody Harrelson, True Detective
5. James Spader, The Blacklist
6. Jon Hamm, Mad Men
The Lowdown: Once again, prestige (a pair of Oscar winners) and love of their shows will cement the top four easily in place. James Spader was once a major Emmy player for Boston Legal, and I suspect the ratings on this show will ensure him a nomination (perhaps I am underestimating it even for Best Series?). The final slot is a showdown between previous winner Jeff Daniels and long-suffering loser Jon Hamm. I’m going to go with Hamm because his show is more established with Emmy and didn’t get a gut-punch cancellation. That said, Mad Men is clearly weakened going into this year, and I think at least one of its perennials will miss.
Winner?: This is going to be an amazing showdown between the recently crowned Oscar Best Actor and a longtime Emmy favorite retiring his iconic character. I don’t dare predict who will win until I see how their shows fare in other categories, but this is going to be one for the ages.
Best Actress in a Drama Series
1. Robin Wright, House of Cards
2. Kerry Washington, Scandal
3. Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
4. Claire Danes, Homeland
5. Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
6. Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
The Lowdown: Occasionally getting snubbed when you were expected to get in has a HUGE effect the next year (see Sean Hayes for a good example), and I think that’s what Maslany is going to be this year. Michelle Dockery for Downton Abbey or Lizzy Caplan for Masters of Sex or even Keri Russell in The Americans all would make more sense, but Orphan Black is a major part of pop culture right now and she’s easily a breakout star. The rest of the women seem pretty set, though Moss could be vulnerable if Mad Men love completely falters.
Winner?: Margulies may have had one helluva a season, but I think this is a battle between Washington and Wright (Danes has slipped too far to win, though she’s got at least one more nomination in her before the sun sets on her series). Washington is on the biggest show on network television right now if you go strictly on buzz, and I still think that she’ll win for this role, but the fact that she missed last year (when Scandal love seemed to peak) could mean Wright’s ice queen will enjoy this trophy.
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
1. Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
2. Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
3. Dean Norris, Breaking Bad
4. Jon Voight, Ray Donovan
5. Josh Charles, The Good Wife
6. Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
The Lowdown: I don’t watch Boardwalk Empire anymore, but it does appear that Bobby Cannavale is not in contention this year (I suspect his character may have been a one-season arc), so we’re left with only a handful of actors from last year that could be returning, chief amongst them Aaron Paul, Mandy Patinkin, and Peter Dinklage. Dean Norris also seems to have gotten a lot of press for Breaking Bad and it’s hard to argue with an Oscar winner at the Emmys, so I think Jon Voight is probably going to be up here as well. That leaves one last slot, and I think that Josh Charles major season on The Good Wife coupled with his nomination a few years ago for the same role will be the push he needs to take out someone like John Slattery in Mad Men or Kit Harington in Game of Thrones.
Winner?: Breaking Bad is going to be hard to beat, and Aaron Paul seems quite likely to pick up a third trophy for his final season on the show. That being said, Dinklage has had a marvelous actorly showcase this season on Game of Thrones, and he has been favored by Emmy before-it could happen again.
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
1. Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
2. Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
3. Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
4. Michelle Monaghan, True Detective
5. Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
6. Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
The Lowdown: Emmy likes to repeat-that’s the best way to make sense of this list. While Gunn, Smith, and Baranski all seem pretty well-set (Baranski doesn’t have quite the heat she once did, but Emmy loves her to bits considering she has eleven nominations so far), the final three slots are a bit harder to sell. I suspect we’ll see Monaghan (someone other than Harrelson/McConaughey need to score from that show), and I am going to pick Hendricks/Clarke for the final two slots because they managed to make it in last year in a tough competition. Emmy could of course go with someone they once had the hots for like Archie Panjabi in The Good Wife or Joanne Froggatt in Downton Abbey or even someone outside the box like Bellamy Young for Scandal or Lena Headey for Game of Thrones, but my money is on Clarke/Hendricks for now.
Winner?: If Maggie Smith ever bothered to show up for one of these awards shows, I suspect they would call off the voting and just proclaim her the winner, but her absence makes it harder to vote for her. I suspect Gunn will win her second trophy for her show’s final season, with Christina Hendricks continuing to stew over the fact that no actor from Mad Men will ever win an Emmy.
And there you have it folks-tune in tomorrow to see my thoughts on the Emmy roundup, but before we get there-which dramatic contenders are you rooting for? Are you expecting? Share in the comments!