The 2015 Primtime Emmy awards (for achievement in television) are tonight starting at 5pm PDT (8pm EDT). Here are my picks for tonight's winners in the biggest categories.
"Game of Thrones"This is the biggest category of the night. My favorite show is Game of Thrones on HBO and the show garnered the most nominations of any television show this year. It has already won eight emmys this year (in the technical categories, called the creative arts). It has another 7 Emmy nominations in 6 categories.
"Orange Is the New Black"
"House of Cards"
"Better Call Saul"
SHOULD WIN: "Game of Thrones"
WILL WIN: "Game of Thrones"
"Louie"Modern Family has won this category for the last five years, tying Frasier. Some people believe that its sixth season was a dip in quality (something I would dispute) and just think it is time for another show to be honored. However, Veep has been steadily gaining traction while Transparent has been getting the most buzz of any new show powered by its focus on trans issues and transformative performance by Jeffrey Tambor.
"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"
"Parks and Recreation"
SHOULD WIN: "Modern Family"
WILL WIN: "Veep"
Actress in a drama
Taraji P. Henson, "Empire"This is the toughest category of the night. There are at least another six women who could have (and maybe should have) been nominated. Last year's winner, Juliana Margulies for The Good Wife didn't even get nominated and one could argue that she did better work this season than last season. The big story is that there are two women of color being nominated here, with a surprise snub of Scandal's Kerry Washington. In my opinion an even bigger story is finally the recognition of Tatiana Maslany for her bravura performance as eight(!) different clones on Orphan Black which I have started watching and think is amazing. I have never seen Mad Men and even though I still watch Homeland even its biggest fans would have to admit that Danes' nomination is a nostalgic one. I haven't seen Empire but I understand that it is a huge hit (basically a prime-time soap opera in the vein of Dallas or Dynasty but with a largely African-American cast and the inclusion of music and musical celebrities.) It should be noted (with disgust!) that in the history of the Emmys there have only been 10 African-American winners. Ever. Voters will be hard-pressed to not cast a historic vote in this category.
Viola Davis, "How to Get Away With Murder"
Robin Wright, "House of Cards"
Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men"
Claire Danes, "Homeland"
Tatiana Maslany, "Orphan Black"
SHOULD WIN: Tatiana Maslany, "Orphan Black" or Robin Wright, "House of Cards"
WILL WIN: Viola Davis, "How to Get Away With Murder" or Taraji P. Henson, "Empire"
Actor in a drama
Bob Odenkirk, "Better Call Saul"Many people are hoping and hoping that Jon Hamm will finally win an Emmy for his portrayal of Don Draper on Mad Men which since it has concluded would be his last opportunity to do so. However, he is up against two previous winners (Kevin Spacey and Jeff Daniels). Bryan Cranston dominated this category for the entire run of Breaking Bad but since his last win last year it should be Hamm's race to lose. I only watch House of Cards and Better Call Saul and in my opinion either of the two leads there are deserving of a win.
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"
Kevin Spacey, "House of Cards"
Jeff Daniels, "The Newsroom"
Kyle Chandler, "Bloodline"
Liev Schreiber, "Ray Donovan"
SHOULD WIN: Kevin Spacey, "House of Cards" or Bob Odenkirk, "Better Call Saul"
WILL WIN: Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"
Actress in a comedy
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep"Julia Louis-Dreyfus has won three years in a row for the first three seasons of Veep and now that she is the President the show has gotten even better. Both of the Amy's would probably be more popular winners but I doubt either one of them has the broad level of audience support to stop Louis-Dreyfus winning her 6th Emmy award.
Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation"
Lily Tomlin, "Grace and Frankie"
Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie"
Amy Schumer, "Inside Amy Schumer"
Lisa Kudrow, "Comeback"
SHOULD WIN: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep"
WILL WIN: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep"
Actor in a comedyAnthony Anderson, "black-ish"If Jeffrey Tambor doesn't win this category there will be rioting in downtown Los Angeles like they showed on Fear The Walking Dead last week!
Matt Leblanc, "Episodes"
Don Cheadle, "House of Lies"
Louis C.K., "Louie"
William H. Macy, "Shameless"
Will Forte, "Last Man on Earth"
Jeffrey Tambor, "Transparent"
SHOULD WIN: Jeffrey Tambor, "Transparent"
WILL WIN: Jeffrey Tambor, "Transparent"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus has won three years in a row for the first three seasons of Veep and now that she is the President the show has gotten even better. Both of the Amy's would probably be more popular winners but I doubt either one of them has the broad level of audience support to stop Louis-Dreyfus winning her 6th Emmy award.
SHOULD WIN: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep"
WILL WIN: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep"
SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA
Jonathan Banks, "Better Call Saul"I would love to see Peter Dinklage win another Emmy for his key role as Tyrion Lannister on Game of Thrones but really of the shows that I have seen I would have to vote for Jonathan Banks who is also beloved for his role on Breaking Bad and who will be a popular choice.
Ben Mendelsohn, "Bloodline"
Jim Carter, "Downton Abbey"
Peter Dinklage, "Game of Thrones"
Michael Kelly, "House of Cards"
Alan Cumming, "The Good Wife"
SHOULD WIN: Jonathan Banks, "Better Call Saul"
WILL WIN: Jonathan Banks, "Better Call Saul"
SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA
Joanne Froggatt, "Downton Abbey"What is it about the drama actress categories that makes them so tough? Christine Baranski is doing amazing work on The Good Wife that should be recognized by more than just a nomination. Uzo Uduba is the only member of the huge cast of Orange is the New Black who has (somewhat inexplicably) been singled out for recognition. This is her second Emmy nomination and she won an Emmy for her role as Crazy Eyes in the Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series last year. However, I think both Lena Headey and Emilia Clarke has been doing incredible work on Game of Thrones for five seasons and they are both overdue for awards recognition. Of course the same could be said for any of the great actresses on The Walking Dead (Danai Gurari as Michonne or Melissa McBride as Carol) have been robbed!
Lena Headey, "Game of Thrones"
Emilia Clarke, "Game of Thrones"
Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men"
Uzo Aduba, "Orange Is the New Black"
Christine Baranski, "The Good Wife"
SHOULD WIN: Emilia Clarke, "Game of Thrones"
WILL WIN: Lena Headey, "Game of Thrones"
SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY
Andre Braugher, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"Usually there are multiple members of the supporting cast of Modern Family here, although I think most people would agree that Ty Burrell is the glue that ties the show together. I have not seen Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt but I am a huge fan of Tina Fey's work (I understand that she is the creator and writer of that Netflix-based show) and would be happy to see Burgess (playing an openly gay character) win. Tony Hale was a surprise winner two years ago for Veep (one of the key aspects of that show is the chemistry between Louis-Dreyfus and Hale) but Burrell has already won two Emmys for his role on Modern Family. It's sorta bizarre that only one half of the Key & Peele comedy duo was nominated, but anytime a non-white person gets nominated it has to be considered something of a victory for diversity in this day and age.
Adam Driver, "Girls"
Keegan-Michael Key, "Key & Peele"
Ty Burrell, "Modern Family"
Tituss Burgess, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"
Tony Hale, "Veep"
SHOULD WIN: Ty Burrell, "Modern Family"
WILL WIN: Tituss Burgess, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Niecy Nash, "Getting On"Again one of the toughest categories involves women, even though it contains a super-sized eight nominees. Mayim Bialik has been doing breakout work on television's highest-rated comedy series The Big Bang Theory but the fact that Jim Parsons was not even nominated this year is a huge surprise (and puzzling result) that does not bode well for her chances in this category. Julie Bowen is the comic foil to Ty Burrell as the main "mom" on Modern Family and has won twice before (2011 and 2012). Many people think that Allison Janney's work on Mom is exemplary but I have never seen the show so I can't really argue with that. Janney has a slew of Emmys (four for The West Wing but she also won last year for Mom and for her guest appearance in Masters of Sex).
Julie Bowen, "Modern Family"
Allison Janney, "Mom"
Kate McKinnon, "Saturday Night Live"
Mayim Bialik, "The Big Bang Theory"
Gaby Hoffman, "Transparent"
Jane Krakowski, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"
Anna Chlumsky, "Veep
SHOULD WIN: Mayim Bialik, "The Big Bang Theory"
WILL WIN: Julie Bowen, "Modern Family"