This Sunday, you will make one of the toughest decisions in your life: Breaking Bad vs. the Emmys. OK, so maybe it’s not so much tough as it is, “I’m going to record the Emmys while Breaking Bad is on and catch up later, without commercials.” But zipping through the ads is going to put quite the strain on your remote finger.
The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards have no chance of superseding the penultimate episode of Breaking Bad in importance, but as far as award shows picking the “right” people go, as judged by sub-human monsters who write and read TV blogs with “naked Lizzy Caplan” in the headlines, it’s not that shabby. Many of our favorite people and shows, including Louis C.K., Tina Fey, Game of Thrones, Mad Men, and naturally, Breaking Bad, are all over the place, so this year might not be a complete train wreck, with Lena Dunham stirring sh*t up in the caboose.
With so few days left until the ceremony, let’s revisit some of the main categories and pick who deserves to win and who will actually win. (Justified and Parks and Recreation, you’ve already won my heart.)
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock (Episode: “A Goon’s Deed in a Weary World”) (NBC)
Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth on Arrested Development (Episode: “Flight of the Phoenix”) (Netflix)
Louis C.K. as Louie on Louie (Episode: “Daddy’s Girlfriend, Part 1”) (FX)
Don Cheadle as Marty Kaan on House of Lies (Episode: “Hostile Takeover”) (Showtime)
Matt LeBlanc as Himself on Episodes (Episode: “The Affair (Episode 202)”) (Showtime)
Jim Parsons as Dr. Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory (Episode: “The Habitation Configuration”) (CBS)
Who Should Win: Louis C.K.
Who Will Win: Louis C.K.
Who says the Emmys haven’t made progress? This year, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series should and will go to a man who admitted, “I still jerk off to that wedding album I found in the garbage” with self-loathing and pride. Also, “torpedoing towards your vagina.” “Daddy’s Girlfriend” wasn’t the strongest episode of Louie season three (that would be the three-part “Late Show” arc, though between “Daddy” and Arrested Development, Maria Bamford is an awards show MVP), but it’s the one that’s going to win Louis C.K. his first acting Emmy.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Laura Dern as Amy Jellicoe on Enlightened (Episode: “All I Ever Wanted”) (HBO)
Lena Dunham as Hannah Horvath on Girls (Episode: “Bad Friend”) (HBO)
Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton on Nurse Jackie (Episode: “Luck of the Drawing”) (Showtime)
Tina Fey as Liz Lemon on 30 Rock (Episodes: “Hogcock!”/”Last Lunch”) (NBC)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer on Veep (Episode: “Running”) (HBO)
Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation (Episodes: “Emergency Response”/”Leslie and Ben”) (NBC)
Who Should Win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Who Will Win: Tina Fey
Can Tina, Julia, and Amy be turned into one mega award show-winning monster named Tijuam? No? So I should probably throw out those sketches then? Be right back. Anyway, Julia Louis-Dreyfus rightfully won last year for her role as the venomous, sharp-tongued Selina Meyer, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she wins again this year. But that would leave Tina Fey and Amy Poehler trophy-less YET AGAIN. In fact, between them, they’ve only won once (or, as many times as America Ferrera), back in 2007-2008, when fittingly, Fey’s opponent was Louis-Dreyfus on The New Adventures of Old Christine. They’re both extremely deserving, but Fey has the better shot because 30 Rock is nominated in multiple categories; Parks and Rec tragically only appears here, which is never a good sign. Or a good decision by the Emmys. In other words, as long as it’s not Edie Falco or Lena Dunham, we won’t riot.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy on Modern Family (Episode: “Mistery Date”) (ABC)
Adam Driver as Adam Sackler on Girls (Episode: “It’s Back”) (HBO)
Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell Pritchett on Modern Family (Episode: “The Wow Factor”) (ABC)
Bill Hader as Various Characters on Saturday Night Live (Episode: “Host: Seth MacFarlane”) (NBC)
Tony Hale as Gary Walsh on Veep (Episode: “Running”) (HBO)
Ed O’Neill as Jay Pritchett on Modern Family (Episode: “Bringing Up Baby”) (ABC)
Who Should Win: Bill Hader
Who Will Win: Ty Burrell
…And the Modern Family Outstanding Supporting Actor steamroller flattens the competition for a fourth straight year. Ty Burrell is the best thing about the show (except for Jay’s dog butler), but winning every year is boring. It’s repetitive and expected and repetitive and doesn’t make for interesting TV and repetitive. If the Emmys want to shake this category up (which they won’t; Jeremy Piven won it three straight years), why not show some love for TV’s greatest happy sad sack, Tony Hale, or better yet, the departed Bill Hader, who made even the worst SNL sketches watchable? Give Modern Family their 294 awards elsewhere.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory (Episode: “The Fish Guts Displacement”) (CBS)
Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy on Modern Family (Episode: “My Hero”) (ABC)
Anna Chlumsky as Amy Brookheimer on Veep (Episode: “First Response”) (HBO)
Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney on 30 Rock (Episodes: “Hogcock!”/”Last Lunch”) (NBC)
Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester on Glee (Episode: “Feud”) (Fox)
Sofía Vergara as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on Modern Family (Episode: “Yard Sale”) (ABC)
Merritt Wever as Zoey Barkow on Nurse Jackie (Episode: “Teachable Moments”) (Showtime)
Who Should Win: Jane Krakowski
Who Will Win: Sofía Vergara
For the past decade, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series has been one of the toughest categories to predict. Since Doris Roberts reigned supreme four times in five years for her role on Everybody Loves Raymond (And F*cking Adores Raymond’s Mom, Apparently), the award has gone to Megan Mullally, Jaime Pressly, Jean Smart, Kristin Chenoweth, Jane Lynch, and finally, Julie Bowen, the past two times. This year is a complete toss-up, too, with a rare seven-nominee category balanced between ever-Emmy-beloved career resurrection projects (Mayim Bialik and Anna Chlumsky) and returning favorites, including previous winners Lynch and Bowen. But ultimately, everything comes back to Sofía Vergara. She’s got two things going for her: a) she’s on Modern Family, and b) she’s TV highest paid actress. Vergara’s the most recognizable face (and body) on an insanely popular show, which is what Jenna Maroney wishes we’d say about her. Hopefully the Emmys will.