Well here we are again, less than a week away from the Emmy Awards, the shiniest night in all of TV. This time last year I decided to put out my dream picks for all of the major categories and I did surprisingly well. So I thought it might be nice for me to put my “The Secret”-esque skills to work again and share who would be taking home the big prizes if I were the only one voting.
Again, this isn’t exactly who I think will win, this is just who I wish would win. Who will win is likely a much different story, full of predictable outcomes that will make all of us go “wow…what a surprise…” whilst rolling our eyes so far back into our head that they do a full 360. Anyway, on to the picks! (Which will be in bold and have fun little squigglys around them.)
Best Drama Series
~”House of Cards“~
This could potentially be a different pick if I had actually seen more of the nominees (sorry!) so I decided to go with an old reliable. The most recent season of “House of Cards” has been especially bonkers, and the fact that they were willing to go there at this point in the series, and with everything going on in the real world, was pretty impressive. Plus, I know some people hate it, but I still love when Frank Underwood breaks the fourth wall and talks to me like I’m his secret friend. To be honest, I just hope “This Is Us” doesn’t win.
Best Comedy Series
This one was really hard. To be honest, I would be satisfied with a tie between “Atlanta” and “Master of None,” but if there can only be one victor I want it to be “Atlanta.” It was just such a creatively and tonally different show and more often than not the Emmy Comedy categories can feel so stale and predictable. This would be a great shift in a different direction, honoring the comedies that are really doing something special and capturing people’s attention.
Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Bob Odenkirk – “Better Call Saul”
Kevin Spacey – “House of Cards”
~ Sterling K. Brown – “This Is Us”~
Milo Ventimiglia – “This Is Us”
Anthony Hopkins – “Westworld”
Now I know what I said earlier about not wanting “This Is Us” to win Best Drama, and it’s true, I don’t want it to win. Because it’s largely bad. But in that sea of bad there are a few glimmering pieces of good and one of them is the always excellent Sterling K. Brown as Randall. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if “This Is Us” was just his plot line, it would be a good show. He brings so much heart and compassion to the role. You love Randall and just want him to get away from all of these deeply irritating people that he calls his adopted family. Randall deserves better and giving Brown this award would be a nice step in that direction.
Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Robin Wright – “House of Cards”
Keri Russell – “The Americans”
Claire Foy – “The Crown”
Elizabeth Moss – “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Evan Rachel Wood – “Westworld”
This is another category where I feel that I’m at a bit of a disadvantage, given that I haven’t really seen many of the shows where these actresses are featured. I decided to go with Davis because even though her show is pretty insane and has jumped over so many sharks, she has continued to be a powerful and impressive presence on it. Also, she gives amazing acceptance speeches and I just feel like we could all really use one of those right now.
Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
~ Donald Glover – “Atlanta”~
Anthony Anderson – “black-ish”
Aziz Ansari – “Master of None”
This is as much a win for Donald Glover on “Atlanta” as it is a win for Donald Glover on “Community” in my mind. He’s such a great performer on both shows, taking focus when he deserves it and letting others shine in a scene when it’s appropriate. It’s also impressive to see him be so lax and slow-paced in his jokes and deliver when he always seemed to be at a 10 on “Community.” Ugh, he’s just so good! Give him the award!
Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Tracee Ellis Ross – “black-ish”
Lily Tomlin – “Grace and Frankie”
Ellie Kemper – “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus – “Veep”
While this will most likely go to either Allison Janney or Julia Louis-Dreyfus, I’m hoping that they’ll split the vote and it’ll end up going to the excellent Pamela Adlon. “Better Things” is such an under-appreciated gem and she’s so great on it. It feels so real and lived in, less like a scripted show and more like a true glimpse into someone’s daily life. If anything, I hope her nomination will inspire more people to check out the show, because it is definitely worth the watch.
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Jonathan Banks – “Better Call Saul”
Michael Kelly – “House of Cards”
David Harbour – “Stranger Things”
John Lithgow – “The Crown”
~ Ron Cephas Jones – “This Is Us”~
Jeffrey Wright – “Westworld”
Another one of the pieces of good in a sea of bad, Cephas Jones is so heartbreakingly wonderful on “This Is Us” that he and Brown almost make up for all the badness. Almost. Their scenes together were full of so much emotion and feeling, it was a masterclass from two amazing actors on how to make any viewer cry like a baby. And I did, several times. Since his character will (SPOILER ALERT) likely not have as big of a presence in the next season, which is a true shame, I hope that he’ll be recognized now for the great work he did.
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Millie Bobby Brown – “Stranger Things”
Ann Dowd – “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Samira Wiley – “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Chrissy Metz – “This Is Us”
Thandie Newton – “Westworld”
I have to be honest…I don’t really have a strong opinion on the people in this category. In the one season and three episodes I saw of “Orange is the New Black” before completely losing interest in it, I was consistently entertained and impressed by Uzo Aduba’s performance, so why not give it to her, right? I’m sure she kept that up well. Okay. Well there’s that.
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Louie Anderson – “Baskets”
Ty Burrell – “Modern Family”
~ Tituss Burgess – “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”~
Tony Hale – “Veep”
Matt Walsh – “Veep”
What I should be doing is giving this award to one of the great performances given by Brian Tyree Henry or Lakeith Stanfield on “Atlanta,” but since they were both criminally not nominated I’ll give it to the always hilarious Tituss Burgess. He’s never not funny, always giving it his all, and did an A+ parody of Lemonade this season. That alone should garner him all the awards.
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Vanessa Bayer – “Saturday Night Live”
~ Leslie Jones – “Saturday Night Live”~
Kate McKinnon – “Saturday Night Live”
Kathryn Hahn – “Transparent”
Judith Light – “Transparent”
Anna Chlumsky – “Veep”
While this should and likely will go to Kate McKinnon, I just want to see Leslie Jones’ reaction to winning an Emmy. Come on, you know it would be amazing. Thoughts and prayers to whomever would be presenting her the award, because I can just imagine her picking them up and swinging them around, a more gleeful and PG version of Adrian Brody at the Oscars. It would be so delightful. That being said, I would be equally happy if Kate McKinnon won and I imagine Leslie Jones would be too.
Best Limited Series
~ “Big Little Lies“~
Oh man, this was SO HARD. Between “Big Little Lies” and “Feud,” there’s so much great work focused on complicated female relationships and it was so hard to choose. I decided to go with “Big Little Lies” because it just felt so artfully done, like a super long beautiful movie broken up into parts. But honestly, I might change my mind tomorrow. And then change it back the next day. It’s so hard to pick!!!!
Best Television Movie
I was so pleased to see this lovely episode of the always great “Black Mirror” get some recognition with a nomination, but it would be even better if it won. “Black Mirror” is always so great, and this installment is no exception.
Best Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Television Movie
Ewan McGregor – “Fargo”
Geoffrey Rush – “Genius”
Benedict Cumberbatch – “Sherlock: The Lying Detective”
~ Riz Ahmed – “The Night Of”~
John Turturro – “The Night Of”
Robert De Niro – “The Wizard of Lies”
I haven’t seen a single thing in this category, so I’m just going to give it to Riz Ahmed because I like his music and generally like him as a person. So there.
Best Lead Actress in a Limited Series of Television Movie
Nicole Kidman – “Big Little Lies”
Reese Witherspoon – “Big Little Lies”
Carrie Coon – “Fargo”
~ Jessica Lange – “Feud: Bette And Joan”~
Susan Sarandon – “Feud: Bette and Joan
This was another hard category to pick from, given the power duos from both “Big Little Lies” and “Feud,” but Jessica Lange is really hard to beat. She’s always so amazing and it’s no different in “Feud.” Her Joan Crawford was everything you could possibly want it to be and it should definitely earn her another Emmy win.
Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Television Movie
Alexander Skarsgard – “Big Little Lies”
David Thewlis – “Fargo”
~ Stanley Tucci – “Feud: Bette and Joan”~
Alfred Molina – “Feud: Bette and Joan”
Michael Kenneth Williams – “The Night Of”
Bill Camp – “The Night Of”
I just love Stanley Tucci so much. He’s consistently so great and even while playing a highly unlikable character like he does in “Feud” you still kind of like him because hey, it’s Stanley Tucci! He’s so likable!
Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie
~ Regina King – “American Crime”~
Laura Dern – “Big Little Lies”
Shailene Woodley – “Big Little Lies”
Judy Davis – “Feud: Bette and Joan”
Jackie Hoffman – “Feud: Bette and Joan”
Michelle Pfeiffer – “The Wizard of Lies”
While I would be happy with Laura Dern winning this as well, I just wanted to give one final recognition to the never fully appreciated “American Crime” and the amazing work that Regina King did on it season after season. She’s won before for the show, but I just want her to win one last time, that way ABC can see what a dumb mistake they made in canceling it. (I wonder if Fox will ever see the dumb mistake they made in canceling “Pitch.” Yup, I just brought up “Pitch” again. Never forget “Pitch”!)
So there you go, my dream picks for the biggest awards at this year’s Emmys. Will I have the same amount of insane luck this year as I did last year? We’ll all have to watch and find out.
What do you think? Who are your dream Emmy picks? Do you think I should watch more of the nominated drama series? Yeah, I probably should. But I don’t have time! There’s too many other things I’d rather watch! Ugh! Fill out your ballots in the comments. And, of course…