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Photo by Jenn Murphy

The Emmy Awards, aka the night meant for celebrating the best and brightest on TV (Or, at least, the best and brightest according to a specific group of people) is coming up this Sunday, September 18. It seems a bit redundant to say it at this point, but I am very excited. There’s nothing I love more than a good award show, especially one that highlights my best friend, TV.

 

Since the big night is truly right around the corner, I thought it would be the perfect time to make my dream predictions. Please note that I didn’t just say predictions, I said dream predictions. I don’t necessarily think my picks are all in line with who and what will actually take home the trophies on the 18th (unfortunately). As I’ve shamefully admitted before, there are plenty of things I haven’t quite gotten around to watching yet, so I can’t make definitive decisions based on a full range of viewing experiences. Instead, I’m going to pick who I like from what I actually watch. If the world was fully in sync with my views, (and if it was, Jimmy Kimmel would not be hosting the show) the following bolded names would be the sitting pretty in the winning envelopes that always seem so difficult to open. (I’m also only doing the biggest awards, because ain’t nobody got time for the whole shebang.)

 


 

Best Drama Series

The Americans

Game of Thrones

House of Cards

Downton Abbey

Better Call Saul

~”Mr. Robot“~

Homeland

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: “Mr. Robot” is currently one of the best shows on television. The first season was completely inventive and incredible and despite a few small missteps, the currently airing second season has been just as great. This category (and the other ones within the dramatic genre) seem to always be run by a few specific shows (think “Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men,” “Downton Abbey” and “Game of Thrones”) but I’m really hoping the television academy will do like they did in the comedy category last year and break from the monotonous tradition. What better way to do it than with the most game-changing show on TV?

 

Best Comedy Series

Veep

Transparent

Silicon Valley

Modern Family

Master of None

~”Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt“~

Black-ish

I’ll admit, this was a much more difficult choice than the drama category since there are several shows nominated here that I truly love. Thankfully, the curse of “Modern Family” was broken last year by “Veep” winning, which opened the door for more shows to actually have a fighting chance of winning. I picked “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” because it has a brilliant way of being unfailingly cheerful despite the show’s somewhat dark plot. In an era where the lines between comedy and drama are regularly blurred, it’s nice to see something that’s still so bright and fun. That being said, I definitely wouldn’t be devastated if “Master of None” or “Black-ish” took home the big prize.

 

Best Actor in a Drama Series

Kyle Chandler (“Bloodline“)

~Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”)~

Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”)

Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”)

Liev Schrieber (“Ray Donovan“)

Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”)

Malek’s performance on “Mr. Robot” is a true masterclass in how to make creepy endearing. Despite Elliot’s many nefarious acts, you find yourself rooting for him to succeed and much of that has to do with Malek’s stellar acting skills. This is one that I’m really hoping will pay off on the big night, since Malek has already received a lot of recognition from other awards shows.

 

Best Actress in a Drama Series

Viola Davis (“How to Get Away With Murder“)

Claire Danes (“Homeland”)

Taraji P. Henson (“Empire“)

~Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black“)~

Keri Russell (“The Americans”)

Robin Wright (“House of Cards”)

In case you don’t know, Maslany has played at least 10 different characters over “Orphan Black’s” 4 already-aired seasons, each as individual and unique as the last. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been watching the show and completely forgotten that a large majority of the people on screen were being played by the same person. If that isn’t enough to earn someone an Emmy Award, then I really don’t know what is.

 

Best Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”)

Aziz Ansari (“Master of None”)

~Will Forte (“The Last Man on Earth“)~

William H. Macy (“Shameless“)

Thomas Middleditch (“Silicon Valley”)

Jeffrey Tambor (“Transparent”)

Will Forte has been consistently great on the consistently under-appreciated “Last Man on Earth.” Funny in a way that never feels forced, he never been afraid to truly go for it, going as far as to shave half of his face of a bit on the show. Dedication like that definitely deserves some Emmy love.

 

Best Actress in a Comedy Series

~Ellie Kemper (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”)~

Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”)

Laurie Metcalf (“Getting On“)

Tracee Ellis Ross (“Black-ish”)

Amy Schumer (“Inside Amy Schumer“)

Lily Tomlin (“Grace and Frankie“)

Ellie Kemper has a way of making her character child-like and cheerful without getting too grating or annoying, a true skill in my book. She’s so incredibly funny and carries the series in a way that seems almost effortless. I’d be so happy to see her win, but I also wouldn’t be upset in Tracee Ellis Ross’ name was called. But oh, who am I kidding, we all know Julia Louis-Dreyfus is gonna win.

 

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Jonathan Banks (“Better Call Saul”)

Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”)

Kit Harrington (“Game of Thrones”)

~Michael Kelly (“House of Cards”)~

Ben Mendelsohn (“Bloodline”)

Jon Voight (“Ray Donovan”)

As President Underwood’s deeply disturbed Chief of Staff, Michael Kelly brings the creep factor and brings it well. Much like Rami Malek’s work on “Mr. Robot” you want Kelly’s Doug Stamper to succeed even when what he is doing is truly awful, as it often is. It also helps that I once spoke to someone who worked with him and she said he was very nice, proving even more his true acting skill.

 

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones”)

Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones”)

Maggie Smith (“Downton Abbey”)

Maura Tierney (“The Affair“)

Maisie Williams (“Game of Thrones”)

~Constance Zimmer (“UnREAL“)~

In her role as the cunning and vicious showrunner of a “Bachelor”-esque dating show, Constance Zimmer brings the fire. While I would have loved to have also seen Zimmer’s “UnREAL” co-star Shiri Appleby nominated for her equally excellent work on the show, Zimmer’s much-deserved nomination will have to do (for now). A win for her would be a great reminder of how excellent the first season of “UnREAL” was, especially because the show’s weak second season didn’t do anyone any favors.

 

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Louie Anderson (“Baskets“)

~Andre Braugher (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine“)~

Ty Burrell (“Modern Family“)

Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt“)

Tony Hale (“Veep“)

Keegan-Michael Key (“Key and Peele“)

Matt Walsh (“Veep”)

There are so many things to love about the delightful “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” but I thing I love the most is definitely Andre Braugher. The fact that his serious and straight-laced character is often the funniest part of the show says a lot about his skills as both a serious and comedic actor. Captain Holt is definitely my favorite, and Braugher deserves all of the awards for making that happen.

 

Best Supporting Actress in A Comedy Series

Anna Chlumsky (“Veep”)

Gaby Hoffmann (“Transparent”)

Allison Janney (“Mom“)

Judith Light (“Transparent”)

~Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live“)~

Niecy Nash (“Getting On”)

Since she joined that cast of “SNL,” Kate McKinnon has proved to be a seemingly never-ending fount of silly, quirky and just straight-up weird original characters. She’s also carried on the challenging task of playing a very real and prominent figure in the world, Hillary Clinton. Both tasks she’s taken to excellently and work like that definitely deserves an Emmy win.

 

Best Limited Series

~”American Crime“~

Fargo

The Night Manager

The People vs. O.J. Simpson

Roots

This one was really hard. I LOVED “The People vs. O.J. Simpson” but it was impossible to ignore “American Crime’s” brilliant second season. Unflinchingly covering one of the most taboo and challenging topics of our time, “American Crime” never stayed away from the more upsetting moments and was all the better for it. And to think it aired on ABC! That surprising fact alone should earn the series a much-deserved Emmy.

 

Best Television Movie

~”A Very Murray Christmas“~

All The Way

Confirmation

Luther

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride

I’ll be honest: the only one I actually saw on this list was “A Very Murray Christmas” and I am unabashedly a huge lover of Christmas. Plus, I don’t understand why “Luther” and “Sherlock” are in this category since last time I checked they are both multi-season series. So yeah, “A Very Murray Christmas.” It’s great. Get into it.

 

Best Actor in A Limited Series or Television Movie

Bryan Cranston (“All The Way”)

Benedict Cumberbatch (“Sherlock: The Abominable Bride”)

Idris Elba (“Luther”)

Cuba Gooding Jr. (“The People vs. O.J. Simpson”)

Tom Hiddleston (“The Night Manager”)

~Courtney B. Vance (“The People vs. O.J. Simpson”)~

Vance was excellent as Johnny Cochran, holding his own amongst a who’s who of stars and Ryan Murphy favorites. In a particularly great mini-series, he was one of the shining stars. I also saw him in a play a few years ago and he was very good and Steven Spielberg was sitting four rows in front of me. That was fun.

 

Best Actress in A Limited Series or Television Movie

Kirsten Dunst (“Fargo”)

Felicity Huffman (“American Crime”)

Audra McDonald (“Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill“)

~Sarah Paulson (“The People vs. O.J. Simpson”)~

Lili Taylor (“American Crime”)

Kerry Washington (“Confirmation”)

Hands down, no competition – Sarah Paulson is the most deserving of an Emmy this year. She’s been deserving of one for years now really as the steadily great presence in a series of sub-par seasons of “American Horror Story.” As Marcia Clark, Paulson cements her status as an incredible actress truly worthy of any role she wants. Barring some sort of unforeseen circumstance, this awards is pretty much hers for the taking.

 

Best Supporting Actor in A Limited Television Series or Movie

~Sterling K. Brown (“The People vs. O.J. Simpson”)~

Hugh Laurie (“The Night Manager”)

Jesse Plemons (“Fargo”)

David Schwimmer (“The People vs. O.J. Simpson”)

John Travolta (“The People vs. O.J. Simpson”)

Bokeem Woodbine (“Fargo”)

To be honest, I had never even heard of Sterling K. Brown before “The People vs. O.J. Simpson,” but he ended up being one of the parts of the show that stuck in my mind the most after it ended. He’s also starring in NBC’s mysterious fall series “This Is Us,” which I fully intend on watching for both him and the gorgeous Milo Ventimiglia.

 

Best Supporting Actress in A Limited Series or Television Movie

Kathy Bates (“American Horror Story: Hotel“)

Olivia Colman (“The Night Manager”)

~Regina King (“American Crime”)~

Melissa Leo (“All The Way”)

Sarah Paulson (“American Horror Story: Hotel”)

Jean Smart (“Fargo”)

While it would be super fun for Sarah Paulson to win two Emmys in one night, her character on “American Horror Story: Hotel” was one of the most irritating in a generally irritating season. Regina King was excellent on the first season of “American Crime” (earning herself an Emmy) and continued that trend in the second season all while playing an entirely different character. I would love to see her win again.

 


 

Well there you have it, my full list of dream Emmy predictions. How many will come true? Who can never be sure? All I know is I will definitely be watching on September 18 to see how it all plays out. But trust and believe, if freakin’ “Modern Family” somehow wins Best Comedy Series I will RIOT.

 

What do you think of my Emmy dream picks? Have any dream picks of your own? Want to fight about the best “American Horror Story” season? I think it’s season 1: Murder House. Sharing is caring, especially in the comments. Now, before I go ice my hands (that was a lot of typing!)…

 

Stay classy.

Jenn

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