Thursday, September 03, 2015

2015 Emmy Predictions: The Dramas

Yesterday, as you may recall, we started our three-part look at the Emmy Awards, deciding whether or not Modern Family had what it took to become a record-breaker.  We now move into the Drama categories, and for me, a little bit of trepidation, because I am not good at predicting my favorites to win awards, and yet two of my favorite series seem to be battling it out for the top category.  Since Lost went off the air, Mad Men and Game of Thrones have basically been battling it out over which one is my favorite, and somehow the Emmys, who usually side with shows I kind of wince at, are pitting the two against each other in the top race.  Let's start my misery there, shall we?

Best Drama Series

Better Call Saul
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Mad Men
Orange is the New Black

The Lowdown: Without Breaking Bad in the equation, we're left with a drama race that is largely wide-open.  All of these shows are either beloved by Emmy (Mad Men, Homeland), a spinoff of Breaking Bad, or are previous nominees still hunting for this Best Series trophy.  It's hard to know where the Breaking Bad support will go, particularly since Better Call Saul got solid reviews, but not the kind that sets this category on-fire.  I would normally guess Game of Thrones, but the controversy about its attitudes toward women, especially late in the series gained controversy and exacerbated some negative buzz about it which may have helped Mad Men's truncated final season.  Either way, this will be close.
My Prediction: Game of Thrones

Best Actor in a Drama Series

Kyle Chandler, Bloodline
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Bod Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Liev Schrieber, Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

The Lowdown: Another category where a double nomination could cost a final chance for an Emmy.  Like his pal Amy Poehler, Jon Hamm has a pretty decent chance in Best Comedy Guest Actor (though Bradley Whitford is also making a play there).  As a result, Hamm could well lose both or win both, but the ballots will be handed in before the Academy can prevent a split.  I do think the odds are with him, but if he falters there's a decent chance that either Kevin Spacey (who has never won an Emmy) or Bob Odenkirk (if Better Call Saul is stronger than I suspect) could gain in his absence.
My Prediction: Jon Hamm

Best Actress in a Drama Series

Claire Danes, Homeland
Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
Taraji P. Henson, Empire
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Robin Wright, House of Cards

The Lowdown: With last year's winner Julianna Margulies nowhere to be seen, this is a three-way race between Robin Wright, who has been trying to win this award for a few years now, and two newcomers/Oscar nominees: Viola Davis and Taraji P. Henson.  Henson's show ended up being a bit of a nominations disappointment even if it was a ratings goldmine (though don't think that FOX, who happens to be hosting, isn't pushing hard to get at least one of their major nominations across the finish line to an actual win).  As a result, I suspect it's between Wright, who might be there for House of Cards (she recently took a Globe and people know she hasn't won yet), and Davis (who has a major hit and is kind of just having a moment in her career right now that is difficult to deny).  Either way, expect a great acceptance speech as these women know how to create a strong presence on-stage.
My Prediction: Viola Davis

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Michael Kelly, House of Cards
Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline

The Lowdown: Last year's victor Aaron Paul is gone from this category, which means we'll likely get a new winner (Peter Dinklage has won before, but I doubt he lands for Game of Thrones in a season that didn't focus as much on him).  Jonathan Banks has to be considered the prohibitive frontrunner-this is the third series he's been nominated for as a regular (he also made it for Wiseguy and Breaking Bad), and he's considered by many to be the standout in Better Call Saul, a show that clearly is going to get at least one trophy this year.  If he doesn't make it, Michael Kelly's turn on House of Cards was considered a hit by critics and could surprise, but I wouldn't count on it.
My Prediction: Jonathan Banks

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

The Lowdown: Possibly the most competitive category of the night, this could go a lot of different directions, though Emilia Clarke, Joanne Froggatt, and Christine Baranski should practice their "gracious loser" faces.  On the surface Uzo Aduba's turn on Orange is the New Black, which already has an Emmy (albeit in a different category) seems like a solid choice.  She's the standout on that series and it's a big show not to end up with a major award.  Still, it's hard to deny the Emmys have been stingy to the Mad Men actors, and like Jon Hamm his costar Christina Hendricks has been waiting and waiting and waiting.  And then, of course, there's Lena Headey who got a major moment this past season with her "walk of shame" which set off thinkpieces and social media alike, but almost everyone universally praised her performance.  It's genuinely a tossup, but I think I'm going to go against how I would vote and go instead with a head thought-choice here...
My Prediction: Uzo Aduba

And there we are-the drama nominees.  We'll get to the miniseries tomorrow, but first let's discuss these races-who are you cheering for?  Who are you thinking emerges victorious?  Share your thoughts in the comments!



i'd disagree that Uzo is "the" standout from OITNB --- especially not in season 2 which is what they're supposed to be voting on -- BUT. i agree she's going to win. When anyone plays a character that memorable, even if it gets shticky they win (see also: Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess and Jane Lynch as Coach Sylvester on Glee)

John T said...

Yeah, I agree-I meant more the "standout" in the sense of the supporting player that the media/awards shows latch onto as a way to honor the show. It always reeks a little bit of laziness though on the parts of awards bodies that they don't check back-in and reassess who deserves the nomination (the Froggatt/Smith swap on Downton seeming like a rare exception to that rule).