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Friday, September 16, 2011


Feel free to play along at home with the Emmy Nomination prediction game. 2 points for a will win, 1 point for a should win.

Supporting Actor, Comedy
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Chris Colfer, Glee
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ed O'Neill, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
As always, the Supporting Actor in a comedy category presents us with the Colfer Conundrum – do you pick the best performance in a comedy or funniest performance in a comedy? If we’re going with best, I suspect Chris Colfer takes this category easily based on his heartbreaking performance in ‘Grilled Cheesus’. If we’re going with funniest, it’s probably (narrowly) Ty Burrell in Modern Family. Given that Emmy voters have to actually watch the episodes, though, I think its going to be difficult to go past Colfer, on his performance of ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ alone.

Chris Colfer. He’s the best part of a show that’s crumbling around him. While Ty Burrell was the most consistently funny part of Modern Family over the year, he didn’t really have a standout episode.
Supporting Actress, Comedy
Jane Lynch, Glee
Betty White, Hot in Cleveland
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Jane Lynch is hosting the ceremony. She’s won every award in this category since Glee began, and while she’s an increasingly awful part of that show, I don’t think your average Emmy voter has twigged to that. Helping her even further is the fact that her submission episode is a dramatic showcase for a comedic character.
In every episode of Modern Family, Sofia Vergara makes me glad I watched. Her pronunciation of ‘Shia Labeouf’ alone has kept me amused for months. She’s consistently the funniest part of a consistently funny show and as such easily deserves the win here. She won’t get it, though. More’s the pity.
Outstanding Mini-series or Movie
Mildred Pierce

Downton Abbey

The Kennedys

Cinema Verite

Too Big to Fail

The Pillars of the Earth
Given that the Kennedys was critically panned and none of Cinema Verite, Too Big to Fail or The Pillars of the Earth made much of a splash, this is a race between a critically adored British historical drama and a critically adored American drama. It’s gonna be Mildred Pierce, folks. Pack up and go home.
I’m not a huge fan of any of these series, finding Mildred Pierce slavish and overlong and Downton Abbey wildly inconsistent, depending on whether we were upstairs or downstairs. For being entertaining and thought provoking for the longest stretch, I’m going with the lords and ladies. Downton Abbey deserves this one.
Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series
The Colbert Report

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Saturday Night Live


Real Time with Bill Maher

The Daily Show
The Daily Show is on a deserved hot streak in this category and that shows no signs of abating.
The Daily Show continues its run of being the most relevant, sharpest comedy on television. Only The Colbert Report comes close but The Daily Show still has the edge.
Supporting Actor, Drama
John Slattery, Mad Men
Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age
Walton Goggins, Justified
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Josh Charles, The Good Wife
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Unlike some other critics, I’m perfectly happy with Josh Charles being nominated in this category. I think he’s fantastic.  But EVERYONE is fantastic in this category. Slattery is solid as always, Alan Cumming is consistently the best part of ‘The Good Wife’, Walton Goggins is one of the best character actors in the business, Andre Braugher plays against type beautifully and Peter Dinklage is a charisma machine on ‘Game of Thrones’. I’m going to go with Alan Cumming here for no other reason than he’s had the best combination of flashy part and popular show. Everyone would deserve a win here.

Man. This is a tough one – but I’m going to go with Peter Dinklage. Because I loved Game of Thrones, and this is probably its only chance for a ‘major award’. Plus, he’s awesome. If you haven’t watched Game of Thrones yet, you should have.
Supporting Actress, Drama
Kelly McDonald, Boardwalk Empire
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Michelle Forbes, The Killing
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Margo Martindale, Justified
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
I’m pretty deeply concerned that Boardwalk Empire is going to sweep these Emmys, and I expect Kelly McDonald to be one of the early harbingers of doom.
Having said that, it’s really difficult to deny McDonald her accolades, as she’s regularly pretty excellent on Boardwalk Empire. Anyone who watched Justified this year though knows that despite the fine work of Panjabi, Forbes, Baranski and Hendricks, Margo Martindale deserves the win as her unbelievable work on that show’s second season. Just brilliant, and she deserves the win.
Lead Actor, Comedy
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Louis CK, Louie
Steve Carell, The Office
Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
I think you can rule out LeBlanc and Galecki pretty quickly. The fact Galecki was nominated was pretty amazing in itself considering he’s on a show where he’s increasingly irrelevant. LeBlanc is the best thing about Episodes, but I don’t think that show gained enough cultural traction. Louis CK is a pleasant surprise for a nomination but I don’t think he’s quite got the tickets in the bank yet. So we have a three-way raise – the most recent winner in Parsons, the multi-winner in Baldwin and the emotional favourite who is yet to win an Emmy in Carell. I think Parsons gets the vote split with Galecki and Steve Carell’s episode is just good enough to get the nod over Baldwin.
And so he should. Steve Carell has created a fantastic character with a brilliant performance and is the most deserving person in the ENTIRE SHOW.
Lead Actress, Comedy
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Laura Linney, The Big C
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope
Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation
Sometimes you look at a category and it’s so even that you just look at the biggest movie star and give them the award. On that basis its probably Laura Linney, with a late charge from Melissa McCarthy.
As the anchor of the best comedy on television and simply the funniest and best actress on this list, it’s an easy and much-deserved win for Amy Poehler. DON’T BET ON THIS.
Lead Actor, Drama
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House
Timothy Olyphant, Justified
I think Steve Buscemi is an easy pick here but this is the only category when I’m going to break rank and put my faith in them to pick Jon Hamm for his wonderful performance in Mad Men, specifically in The Suitcase.
I’ve made my peace with the fact that Hugh Laurie and Kyle Chandler won’t with Emmys with two of the best (and best-performed) characters on television. Jon Hamm deserves this for the iconic Don Draper’s three previous seasons alone – but perhaps never more than this one.
Lead Actress, Drama
Kathy Bates, Harry's Law
Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights
Mireille Enos, The Killing
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU
Julianna Marguiles, The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
I think we can rule out Enos and Hargitay for having good but not outstanding seasons. I think Kathy Bates’ Kathy Bates-ness could very easily get her over the line. Julianna Marguiles and Connie Britton would both be easily deserving but I think Elisabeth Moss has chosen the right year to move up to Lead Actress and should get the win now.
See all the stuff I wrote about Jon Hamm up there? Uh, ditto. Elisabeth Moss for the win.
Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory


Modern Family

The Office

Parks & Recreation

30 Rock
The critically acclaimed and popular Modern Family will surely take this category out.
Glee had a wildly inconsistent second season and I’m not sure The Big Bang theory was actually especially funny this year. The Office had its highs as well as shocking lows (and really should have finished by now). 30 Rock and Modern Family had good, even great seasons, but nothing came even remotely close to the sustained brilliance of Parks and Recreation, especially Flu Season.
Andy: “I entered your symptoms into the computer and it says you may have ‘network connectivity problems’.”
That surely deserves an award.
Outstanding Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire


Friday Night Lights

Game of Thrones
The Good Wife

Mad Men
Martin Scorsese, Steve Buscemi, Kelly Macdonald and HBO are all involved with Boardwalk Empire. I just can’t see it not winning this category over Mad Men – but Mad Men has the runs on the board and also had a great season.
As much as I admire the depth and drama of Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire, as much as I like the twisted moral complexity of The Good Wife, as much as I love the searing emotion of Friday Night Lights, nothing captivated me as much this year as the action-packed, intrigue heavy genius of Game of Thrones. This is so much more than just a fantasy series, folks. Check it out.

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