Emmy-Nominated Weekend: The Dramas

As part of ABPW’s Emmy-Nominated Weekend, this post is to talk about the drama nominations. To see our thoughts on the comedy noms, click here and let us know what you think! Now, let’s get down to business and talk about these noms. Because if there were ever a time to talk cable v network, it’s now.

Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Mad Men

This is the first year in my memory that all of the drama slots were taken by cable shows (and PBS, but it isn’t one of the Big 4, so I’m letting it slide). It’s surprising that The Good Wife didn’t make it back, but then again, Homeland and Game of Thrones were tough competition. Breaking Bad is re-eligible, and because it is one of my favorite shows of all time, I’m crossing my fingers for it to win, though I imagine Mad Men will go for a five-peat. Then again, dark horse Homeland has been coming out of nowhere to win it all. Then again then again, Downton Abbey is no longer a miniseries and has also been winning a lot–this one is really completely up in the air. It’s anyone’s game–who do you think will take it home?

Next year will potentially be the same lineup, unless The Newsroom knocks someone out of position once it’s eligible. All of these shows have at least one more nomination in them, and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

Dream winner: Breaking Bad. Probable winner: Mad Men.

Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law
Glenn Close, Damages
Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

Another fantastic array of actresses. I expected Julianna Margulies and Elisabeth Moss for their stellar work this last year, and it’s an expected but pleasant surprise to see Michelle Dockery up here, as well. I guess Kathy Bates is the best thing about the now-canceled Harry’s Law, so, that happened. Glenn Close might have taken it home for being Glenn Close, if it weren’t for Claire Danes, who not only was incredible on Homeland but who also seems to be the guaranteed Emmy draw.

Dream winner: Elisabeth Moss. Probable winner: Claire Danes.

Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damian Lewis, Homeland

Again, I couldn’t be less surprised by this list if you paid me, but that isn’t a bad thing. Hugh Bon’s acting was great, but I don’t think the writing was enough to get him the Emmy. Steve Buscemi was predictably awesome, as were Michael C. Hall and Jon Hamm (don’t you ever wonder if Jon Hamm would go crazy if he didn’t have 30 Rock to use his comedy side on?). It’s not very often that my dream and probable winners match up, but when you put Bryan Cranston on the line, it’s been known to happen. Again, though, Homeland has been grabbing wins left and right this year, so look out for Damian Lewis to possibly take this one.

Dream winner: Bryan Cranston. Probable winner: Bryan Cranston.

Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad
Brendan Coyle, Downton Abbey
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Jared Harris, Mad Men

I’m not sure in what world we live in that we were granted such an incredible Supporting Actor list, but hey, you don’t have to tell me twice. As much as I am in love with Aaron Paul’s acting on the show, I think the win should go to Giancarlo Esposito for his incredible turn as one of the most terrifying villains to ever grace the small screen (coming up for round two on the Abrams/Kripke Revolution this fall). Brendan Coyle and Jim Carter are to be congratulated for their nominations, though neither of their roles was nearly as impressive as anyone else on the list, through no fault of their own. Again, I can’t imagine how lucky we must have been to get a nomination for the stellar Jared Harris, whose last season on Mad Men was phenomenal–I won’t be surprised if he takes the win from everyone else, really.

Lastly, my probable winner for this category is Peter Dinklage, who has been taking the television scene by storm this year with his great work on Game of Thrones. Though I want Esposito to take home the win, I suspect Peter Dinklage will be the one to garner the Emmy this year, and I won’t be sad about it. Too many good options for me to make a decision–good thing I’m not an Emmy voter, I guess.

Dream winner: Giancarlo Esposito. Probable winner: Peter Dinklage.

Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Again, how can you ask me to choose? Though if Maggie Smith doesn’t win, I might throw a riot because that would be the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard in my life. As much as Christina Hendricks’ last season on Mad Men made me cry and rejoice and everything in between, the win needs to go to Maggie Smith. Joanne Froggatt, Archie Panjabi and Christine Baranski are all just as deserving, though. It’s such a tough call. I think next year will be Archie Panjabi’s year, though, so I’m okay with letting her sit this one out. But–Maggie Smith! Let’s make it happen, Emmy voters. We need to cherish her while we can. Is that too morbid? Well, it’s true.

Dream winner: Christina Hendricks. Probable winner: Maggie Smith.

Mark Margolis, Breaking Bad
Dylan Baker, The Good Wife
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife
Jeremy Davies, Justified
Ben Feldman, Mad Men
Jason Ritter, Parenthood

All fantastic roles on shows that I don’t watch much, or, at least, enough to be able to make a discerning call. Mark Margolis was great on Breaking Bad, but I probably wouldn’t award him the Emmy over these others. What say you, commenters?

Martha Plimpton, The Good Wife
Loretta Devine, Grey’s Anatomy
Jean Smart, Harry’s Law
Julia Ormond, Mad Men
Joan Cusack, Shameless
Uma Thurman, Smash

One thing I love about the Guest category is that we really get some diversity, where in the others sometimes the nominations get pushed together with a couple of shows rather than a variety. Each of these women was outstanding in these roles, but I think Martha Plimpton, Loretta Devine and Joan Cusack really rise to the top. I know Grey’s is a critical joke at this point, but Devine’s work dealing with Alzheimer’s really pushed her to the top, and I would love nothing more than for her to take home the win.

Dream winner: Loretta Devine. Probable winner: Martha Plimpton.

So there we have it: the drama noms and my thoughts. I know some of you will definitely have some different opinions, so I’m really curious to hear them. Who should take the awards home?

As far as the cable/network fight goes, Mad Men creator Matt Weiner said in an interview with TVLine recently that, “There’s no advantage  [in being on cable], no. And honestly, every single one of these shows was offered to network TV and they had no interest in them. They don’t makeshows like this. …It’s nice that they have these cable divisions, a place where you can do a show that does not need to get 20 million people. What’s even more exciting is when you do one of these shows and you actually do get that gigantic audience, even though you’re on basic cable. They could take a risk on one of these things; I don’t run their business, though. But they’re doing great!”

I really couldn’t agree more with him. Of course, it’s frustrating to feel like your favorite shows have been snubbed in favor of bigger budgets and shows that are more exclusive. I think the frustrated aspect comes from the fact that these shows aren’t available to everyone because of the higher price point of cable television. But, really, that doesn’t diminish the work they do, nor the writing or acting abilities of those involved, and I’m thrilled that some of the best shows out there right now are being nominated for years and years.

Let’s break it down in the comments. Tell me your feels, commenters.


About Bailey

I'm a writer and a feminist. I read a lot of books and I watch a lot of television.

2 Responses to “Emmy-Nominated Weekend: The Dramas”

  1. I’m a huge fan of Mad Men, but I suspect the Outstanding Drama award will go to another show this year. Season 5 simply wasn’t as good as the past 4 seasons.

    That said, Christina Hendricks and Jon Hamm still turned in brilliant performances, and I think they deserve to win in their respective categories.

  2. I’ve never actually seen Breaking Bad (but I intend to get to it eventually! So much to watch, so little time), so that probably affects my opinions about the nominations. I agree that Mad Men will probably win Outstanding Drama, even though with the exception if a couple choice episodes, it was not a strong season. I would love for Downton Abbey to win, but I think if it was going to get this category, it should’ve been for last season. I also love Game of Thrones, but I’m not really sure it should win this category only because unlike the other shows, it’s based off of a novel, so the storyline is really all set out for the show’s creators.

    I would love for Michelle Dockery or Elizabeth Moss to take the win, but I agree that it will most likely be Claire Danes (I can live with that. My So Called Life will always have a special place in my heart).

    As far as Lead Actor, again, I’ve never seen Breaking Bad, so I can’t speak with authority about Bryan Cranston (but I loved him in Malcolm in the Middle!). He will probably win, but it just breaks my heart that Michael C. Hall and Jon Hamm have never won! Also, I’m really upset that Hugh Laurie was left out of the running. It’s true that House wasn’t what it used to be, but it’s such a shame that Laurie was always passed over even when the show was at its prime.

    Peter Dinklage all the way for Supporting Actor.

    I agree that we should appreciate Maggie Smith for as long as possible! However, if for some strange reason she doesn’t win, I won’t riot if it goes to Christina Hendricks or Joanne Froggatt.

    Overall, this is a good year for the Emmys. I’m so glad that there is such great television out there and most of the people nominated deserve to win.

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