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Neon Tommy Predicts The 2013 Emmys

Annie Lloyd |
July 19, 2013 | 9:59 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards Air September 22
The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards Air September 22
The Emmys always offer a mixed bag of pleasant surprises, expired nominees, and a few genuine shockers. This year follows that trend while also emphasizing the abundance of good television on the air at the moment. The number of qualified candidates for each nomination far exceeds the allotted amount in every category. The Academy itself seems aware of this phenomenon by packing seven women into the Lead Actress in a Drama Series category. And without women like Keri Russell (“The Americans”) and Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”), even seven feels stingy. Michael Schneider of TVGuide and Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter both agree, presenting a solution the Academy Awards decided on a few years back: up the nominees list to ten in the major categories. But enough about that. Let’s get to the real, scientific, factual, and 100% foolproof part of the process: predictions. For this list I’ve just concerned myself with the major acting awards.

Lead Actor in a Drama Series Prediction: Damian Lewis, “Homeland”

Last year, Damian Lewis won over Bryan Cranston and Jon Hamm (besides the other nominees). Both had starred in some of the strongest work their respective shows had put out, so Lewis’ win proved what a tour-de-force “Homeland” was in its first season. Since then the show has become more about Nicholas Brody than Carrie Mathison, allowing Damian Lewis’ small mouth to clench up even more dramatically than it did before. And, while the show has also suffered creatively, Lewis’ abilities as an actor didn’t falter. Season six of “Mad Men” doesn’t seem likely to finally give Jon Hamm his deserved Emmy, and I doubt Bryan Cranston will win again until “Breaking Bad” finishes its run this year. Hugh Bonneville has no chance, nor do I think Jeff Daniels will break through. My concern rests with Kevin Spacey. He’s a movie star, after all, and that star power definitely influenced all the nominations “House of Cards” received. I predict the voters will end up staying safe with the decision they made last year, though, still a little reluctant towards Netflix as a purveyor of quality television. 

Lead Actress in a Drama Series Prediction: Claire Danes, “Homeland”

Since Keri Russell wasn’t nominated for her work in “The Americans,” it appears the Academy still holds “Homeland” up on its pedestal from last year. If not, Keri Russell would surely take the position as resident female spy on the list of nominees. You can explain Lewis’ nomination more logically than Danes’ so it’s clear merit isn’t the only factor in the nomination process (as if that’s ever the case). Danes has momentum from last year’s win—enough to both keep the other repeat nominees from finally winning and prevent the new ones from pulling their own first-nomination-win. Also, while Kerry Washington and Connie Britton are tremendous actresses, neither of them represents the best acting on “Scandal” and “Nashville,” respectively. Robin Wright doesn’t have Kevin Spacey’s reputation so her chance to represent “House of Cards” with an Emmy appears unlikely.

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Prediction: Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock”

“30 Rock” wrapped its final season this past January, and what a final season it was. The storylines, characters, and wit delivered to a seemingly impossible degree. And, as it’s always been, a lot of that was thanks to Alec Baldwin’s brilliant portrayal of Jack Donaghy. He’s won the Emmy several times before, and despite Jon Cryer's win last year, he seems poised to do it again. As great as Jason Bateman’s revival of Michael Bluth was, the lack of other nominations for “Arrested Development” reads as worrisome for his chances. This year “Louie” finally got the recognition it deserves nominations-wise. I think it’s only showing how the Emmy’s are warming up to the show, but I don’t think it’ll be enough for Louis C.K. to snag the award. Plus, with “30 Rock” officially bowing out of the race after this year the voters would be remiss not to award Alec Baldwin one last time. Oh, wait, what’s that you say? That didn’t stop them from never awarding Steve Carell for “The Office”? Shush now, don’t remind me.

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Prediction: Tina Fey, “30 Rock”

I anticipate Tina Fey will swoop in the same was as Alec Baldwin. She has won for her role as Liz Lemon before, “30 Rock” was her baby, and her return to the nomination pool isn’t likely to occur for a while. The final season of “30 Rock” had consistent laughs and actually showed some emotional change and growth for Fey’s Liz Lemon. Giving Tina Fey the awards would be the Academy’s final stamp of approval for the show, which is an opportunity I doubt they’d give up. Her competition is tough, but more from a critical standpoint rather than Emmy tradition. Julia Louis-Dreyfus won last year but “Veep” is still on the upswing and will surely provide consistent nominations. Lena Dunham, Edie Falco, and Laura Dern all star in (or starred, R.I.P. “Enlightened”) comedies that have turned “comedy” into a malleable idea. Drama creeps in much more in these shows than in the other comedies, so I imagine many voters will avoid supporting them on those grounds. This leaves Amy Poehler as the only remaining nominee. Her work as Leslie Knope in “Parks and Recreation” is worth ten Emmys, but her unsuccessful track record has made me lose all hope.

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Prediction: Jonathan Banks, “Breaking Bad”

Jonathan. Freaking. Banks. He had one hell of a season on “Breaking Bad” last year, and this is his one and only shot at getting an award for it. I have more faith in this award going to whoever merits it the most since Peter Dinklage cut in when Aaron Paul was ineligible in 2011. Whatever “Breaking Bad” has in store this summer will likely bring this award back to Paul in 2014, but for now Banks deserves it the most. Peter Dinklage still did a fine job this past season of “Game of Thrones” but the caliber of the acting around him made his capabilities less unique. Jim Carter and Mandy Patinkin also provide reliably great work on their shows, but awarding them would arouse confusion in everyone (including themselves). Since the Academy axed “Boardwalk Empire” from its Best Drama Series contest, I imagine Bobby Cannavale’s chances went with it.

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Prediction: Emilia Clarke, “Game of Thrones”

The shift from Daenerys “Where Are My Dragons” Targaryen of season two to the real slave-freeing Khaleesi of season three showcased an immense talent from Emilia Clarke. Her character has become one of the most fascinating in all of Westeros and beyond (which is saying something, considering the diversity of its citizens). Peter Dinklage’s win from a couple years ago has set up a promising precedent for Clarke. Also, considering the abundance of talent from Game of Thrones without nominations, I could see the Academy tacking all the respect they can muster onto this one award. The only other real threat I see in the competition comes from Anna Gunn. Her portrayal of Skyler White gave some of the most memorable and powerful moments of the first half of “Breaking Bad”’s final season. Though, because her show can unfairly vilify her character, I anticipate too many of the voters will do the same. In regards to former winners, Maggie Smith still delivers sharp wit and observation in “Downton Abbey” but has suffered from a lack of change in her character. As for the rest of the nominees? Morena Baccarin, Christina Hendricks, and Christine Baranski are all great but have little momentum. 

Supporting Actor and Actress in a Comedy Series Predictions: Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen, “Modern Family”

I’m combining these two mainly out of resignation. The “Modern Family” takeover of the past few years has proven unshakable even when the show itself hasn’t. I have so little hope for change in this arena that I can’t even bring myself to give a better justification for this prediction. Even the new and exciting nominations in both categories can’t undo my cynicism. Since Eric Stonestreet isn’t in the running this year, the other male winner seems poised to represent again in September.

The awards aren’t for another couple months, so all we can do until then is stew over predictions and analysis until the night when our disappointment will undoubtedly rule. 

EDIT 7/23: The author accidentally wrote Jim Parsons instead of Jon Cryer when citing last year's Best Comedy Actor winner and misphrased her reference towards Peter Dinklage's win in 2011. She has rectified these mistakes.

Reach Staff Reporter Annie Lloyd here. Follow her on Twitter here.



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