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A TV-A-Holic's Emmy Predictions: Drama

Nick Rizzo |
July 13, 2010 | 8:19 a.m. PDT



I love TV. It rules my life. My version of a perfect day involves a comfy couch and a marathon of one of my favorite shows, from The Mentalist to Real Housewives of New Jersey. Sometimes, I even watch shows LIVE, on my TELEVISION! That’s how much I obsess over TV…I’ll even sit through commercials so I don’t have to wait to watch the latest episode of Grey’s.

This year, I was very pleased with the Emmy nominations. The past few years have been exciting, but certainly predictable with the success of Mad Men and 30 Rock. I’m a huge fan of both shows, but this year, it looks like the Emmy love will be spread, around and I can’t wait to see who wins. Here are my predictions for who should win the coveted statuettes and who Academy members will ultimately vote for in the drama category.


The 2010 Emmy Awards will air on NBC on Sunday, Aug. 29
The 2010 Emmy Awards will air on NBC on Sunday, Aug. 29
Guest Actor In A Drama Series

Who Will/Should Win: John Lithgow, Dexter

This is one of the easiest races to predict. Lithgow brought sheer terror to the role of Arthur Mitchell, a dad living in the suburbs while also going on killing sprees all across the country. Through Arthur’s sad and twisted tale, Dexter found himself looking at a parallel of himself, and the chemistry between Lithgow and Michael C. Hall was chilling. Lithgow is a favorite among voters having already won an Emmy for his work on 3rd Rock From The Sun.

Guest Actress In A Drama Series

Who Will Win: Lily Tomlin, Damages

Who Should Win: Elizabeth Mitchell, LOST

Lily Tomlin played against type in this initially mysterious role and held her cards close to the chest for once. Portraying Marilyn, matriarch of the Tobin family, her storylines and delivery of them were high points in what could be the final season of Damages. She has a good chance of winning, especially with the fate of the show up in the air.

However, Elizabeth Mitchell is much more deserving of an Emmy. While she was nominated for her guest role on the series finale of LOST, she has been snubbed for three years, giving subtle and compelling performances on the show. Hopefully, voters can remember the acting powerhouse that is Ms. Mitchell (and forgive the train wreck that is V) and give her the statue she deserves.

Supporting Actress In A Drama Series

Who Will/Should Win: Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Hendricks, who is on a critically acclaimed series and has been delivering some excellent work this season, is the frontrunner to win and deservedly so. Good Wife’s Archie Panjabi is the dark horse of this category and the true definition of a “breakout star.” Ultimately, the award will go to Hendricks for her nuanced and consistent work for Mad Men’s stellar three seasons.

Supporting Actor In A Drama Series

Who Will Win: Terry O’Quinn, LOST

Who Should Win: Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad

While I am extremely happy that O’Quinn will most likely take the award for his role as “John Locke/The Man In Black,” Aaron Paul has been nominated several times, only to consistently lose the statue. If it wasn’t LOST’s last season, Paul would have a much better shot at winning. O’Quinn definitely deserves to win (spoiler alert: playing a whole new character after five seasons? Talk about a challenge!), but Paul should be recognized for this terrific role.

Lead Actor In A Drama Series

Who Will Win: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

Who Should Win: Michael C. Hall, Dexter

Emmy politics play a huge factor in determining the winner of this category. Both of these men are impeccable in each of their roles. They have truly given a new importance to the flawed protagonist. While Michael C. Hall is simply amazing in channeling a serial killer that we actually root for, Bryan Cranston has won two years in a row and could do a three-peat this year if he wins—a rarity in the Emmy race. Hall delivered his best work yet this season, but Cranston will win, especially with the next season of Breaking Bad not premiering for another year (meaning that Cranston won’t be eligible in 2011 for a nomination).

Lead Actress In A Drama Series

Who Will Win: Julianna Marguiles, The Good Wife

Who Should Win: Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights

This is a war of subtlety as both actresses have displayed incredible range this season. Marguiles is the frontrunner with her role on the breakout Good Wife, allowing us to grieve with her over her adulterous husband, but never playing the pity card. However, after four years of being ignored at the Emmys, Friday Night Lights’ MVP Connie Britton has been recognized, and she has been half of the best marriage depicted on TV. Plus, Emmy voters have to redeem themselves for snubbing this incredible show for four years.

Best Drama Series

Who Will Win: Mad Men

Who Should Win: LOST

Mad Men is truly unstoppable in this category, but this year it doesn’t quite have the lock for the win. The show has had a consistent and gripping season, plus the Season three finale was a beautiful example of quality television. However, LOST’s final season tugged on the audience’s heartstrings in a beautiful and poetic manner. From killing off three main characters in the span of seven minutes to the most watched finale of the year, LOST ended on a very high note (despite a few missteps along the way) and should be rewarded for being such a groundbreaking series. The show won for its excellent first season in 2005, so it’s only fitting that voters come full circle and give the award to the show that truly changed primetime television. I know the finale was very polarizing, but ultimately, this show was about the characters and their stories, not the lingering mysteries and unanswered questions (did you really want to learn what the smoke monster was?). Despite all of this, Mad Men will most likely win.

And there you have it. My predictions for the drama categories. Stay tuned as I weigh in on comedy and reality later this week. 

To reach Nick Rizzo, click here



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