The UPROXX Guide To Who Should (And Will) Win At The 2014 Emmys

The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards are next Monday, August 25th. So there’s no confusion to how we feel about who should and who will win, we’re making our predictions now. Danger, Dustin, Dan, and myself picked who and what we think SHOULD win (our picks are in parentheses) and wrote blurbs defending our selections, while Burnsy added write-ups on who and what WILL win. Share your thoughts, feelings, and rants in the comments.

Outstanding Lead Actor In a Miniseries or Movie

-Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: His Last Vow

-Idris Elba, Luther (Ashley)

-Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dancing On the Edge

-Martin Freeman, Fargo (Josh) (Danger) (Dustin) (Dan)

If you want to know how incredible Martin Freeman’s performance was in Fargo this season, watch any other Martin Freeman performance on any other show or movie, ever. He’s always been such a likable, easy-to-love presence, and in Fargo, he turned all of that on its head. The transformation from Bilbo Baggins or Tim Canterbury into a massive prick was astounding, and the magic of Freeman is that he could do with with a wan, little smirk that made us all want to wipe it away with our fist. Who knew there was a Joffrey buried inside of Martin Freeman? – Dustin

-Billy Bob Thornton, Fargo

-Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart

Will Win: Mark Ruffalo. Five actors from The Normal Heart earned nominations, and Ruffalo and his castmates all earned rave reviews for their performances, so this should be his first trip to the Emmy stage.

Outstanding Lead Actress In a Miniseries or Movie

-Helena Bonham Carter, Burton and Taylor

-Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Coven

-Minnie Driver, Return to Zero

-Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Coven

-Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful

-Kristen Wiig, The Spoils of Babylon (Josh) (Danger) (Dustin) (Dan) (Ashley)

Nailing the tone of a cheesy ’70s miniseries while not overplaying it is an incredibly hard thing to do. As somebody who sat through one of these damn things every year, thanks to Grandma and VHS, Wiig nails the pure cheese involved in something like The Spoils of Babylon while still being incredibly funny. – Dan

Will Win: Cicely Tyson. Wiig was downright brilliant in The Spoils of Babylon, but will the Emmy voters even get the jokes? Probably not.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In a Miniseries or Movie

-Colin Hanks, Fargo

-Jim Parsons, The Normal Heart

-Joe Mantello, The Normal Heart

-Alfred Molina, The Normal Heart

-Matt Bomer, The Normal Heart (Ashley)

-Martin Freeman, Sherlock: His Last Vow (Josh) (Danger) (Dustin) (Dan)

Again, it’s as much about Freeman’s range, as anything. He may be the world’s worst person in Fargo, but he’s very much the soul of Sherlock, which is hard to imagine in a character barely able to contain his irritation for his best friend. For the way that Dr. Watson treated the return of his friend from what he thought was the grave makes him worthy of the Emmy. – Dustin

Will Win: Matt Bomer. The Normal Heart‘s cast was what really made this HBO film a critical hit. Specifically, Bomer lost 30 pounds to play Felix Turner and he already earned a Critics’ Choice Television Award for his effort.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In a Miniseries or Movie

-Angela Bassett, American Horror Story: Coven

-Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Coven

-Frances Conroy, American Horror Story: Coven

-Ellen Burstyn, Flowers in the Attic

-Julia Roberts, The Normal Heart

-Allison Tolman, Fargo (Josh) (Danger) (Dustin) (Dan) (Ashley)

In a series/miniseries/TV event/whatever the hell you want to call it stacked with big names like Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton, Key, Peele, and Colin Hanks (hey, he’s a big star to people who love to hate Dexter), it was a relative unknown who gave arguably Fargo‘s greatest performance. As Molly Solverson, Allison Tolman was the heart of a show so much about death – she was the sympathetic character viewers at home wanted to win. And she did. Hopefully she’ll win again on Monday. – Josh

Will Win: Julia Roberts. We very clearly loved Tolman, but it’s Julia-freaking-Roberts and she’s the perfect A-lister to show up and steal the Emmy spotlight.

Outstanding Miniseries

American Horror Story: Coven

Bonnie & Clyde

Fargo (Josh) (Danger) (Dustin) (Ashley)

My expectations weren’t especially high for Fargo. A TV series based on a movie, but with none of that movie’s iconic characters, no day-to-day involvement from the movie’s beloved writing/directing pair, and entrusted almost entirely to a showrunner whose most notable credit before production started was for Bones. What could possibly go wrong? Turns out, somehow, on the backs on strong performances and an inventive time-shifting story, almost nothing. – Danger

Luther (Dan)

If you love police stories, you’re pretty much always spoiled for choice, but Luther stands out almost solely on the strength of its acting. That’s no knock to the superbly done Fargo, which will probably take the award and truthfully I think is almost as deserving. But just try and look away as Idris Elba’s life falls apart here; even with just four episodes, it was magnetic television. – Dan


The White Queen

Will Win: Fargo. Dan is spot on about Luther, as the series was nominated in 2012 (losing to Game Change), but the performances and story of Fargo are impossible to ignore.

Outstanding Lead Actor In a Comedy Series

-Louis CK, Louie (Josh) (Danger) (Dustin) (Dan) (Ashley)

When you think about all the stand-up comedians who have had their own shows, Louis C.K. stands miles above them in pure acting talent. He does more than deliver a punchline. He makes us laugh, but he also makes us feel. There’s a lot of comedy of discomfort on Louie, but unlike on a show like Curb Your Enthusiasm or It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, that discomfort comes from a real, organic place, and Louis C.K. never fails to remind us of that. – Dustin

-Don Cheadle, House of Lies

-Ricky Gervais, Derek

-Matt LeBlanc, Episodes

-William H. Macy, Shameless

-Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Will Win: Jim Parsons. The now-ridiculously-high paid star of a beloved network series up against five cable guys? It’s almost too obvious.

Outstanding Lead Actress In a Comedy Series

-Lena Dunham, Girls

-Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie

-Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (Josh) (Danger) (Dustin) (Dan) (Ashley)

Because she can say, “How much would I love to speak my mind on this campaign? Can you imagine if I did that? ‘Mississippi is chock full of assholes, I don’t trust the Chinese, and I gotta tell you something. I’m not gonna be able to pass a single piece of legislation that’s really gonna make any f*ck of a difference in your life.’ So how’s that for my platform?” And you still want her to become president. – Josh

-Melissa McCarthy, Mike and Molly

-Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

-Taylor Schilling, Orange Is the New Black

Will Win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Amy Poehler would be nice, and even Taylor Schilling would be a pleasant surprise (even if the “comedy” tag is debatable), but JLD is unstoppable.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In a Comedy Series

-Fred Armisen, Portlandia (Dan)

I live in the land of the fart-sniffing NPR-listening Prius-driving Starbucks-swilling “bourgeoisie bohemian” jackass, and Armisen, in Portlandia, stuffs them in a sack and gives them the beating they so richly deserve. Armisen perfectly encapsulates the guy I curse at Starbucks who has a five minute drink order, the jackass who nearly runs over my dog with his bicycle while blowing a stop sign and screams at me about cyclist rights, and the passive-aggressive tool at the restaurant who wants to know what’s organic, like it matters. And he does it without exaggerating them or making them ridiculous; as insane as the show looks, I’ve met everybody just like the characters Armisen played. Forget an Emmy for the year, Armisen deserves a lifetime achievement award. – Dan

-Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Danger) (Ashley)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine doesn’t work without Braugher. His deadpan gravitas balances out Samberg’s manic bouncy energy and grounds the whole thing. Also, puppies. – Danger

-Ty Burrell, Modern Family

-Adam Driver, Girls (Josh)

While Girls slightly fell apart in an uneven season, Adam Sackler’s life was coming together. He booked a big-time acting role, not unlike the guy who portrays him, future-Star Wars villian Adam Driver, and for the first time, he seemed to care about something other than misery and demeaning the women unlucky to sleep with him. But that’s not why he should win: it’s because there’s no else like him. He’s an oddball who’s acting style falls somewhere between you not being sure if he doesn’t give a sh*t about the scene he’s in, or if it comes so naturally to him that it just seems that way. Even Girls haters have to admit, he’s one of a kind. – Josh

-Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family

-Tony Hale, Veep (Dustin)

I never thought much of Tony Hale as an actor until I really began to take notice of how different his character in Veep is than Buster Bluth. There’s some obliviousness to both characters, but Gary Walsh is so much more likable, relatable, and I think, funnier. No supporting actor gives a better reaction shot than Hale, and I also think, based on the work he did with a busted shoulder carrying a bag all season, that he’s also one of the best physical comedians around. – Dustin

Will Win: Jesse Tyler Ferguson. People love it when a shutout ends, and since it sure as hell won’t be Jon Hamm winning for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Ferguson will finally win after losing to his Modern Family castmates and Tony Hale the last four years.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In a Comedy Series

-Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory

-Julie Bowen, Modern Family

-Anna Chlumsky, Veep (Ashley)

-Allison Janney, Mom (Dustin)

Mom is not a great show, but what separates it from every other crappy Chuck Lorre sitcom is the immense talent of Allison Janney, who does the unthinkable in Mom by extracting both laughs and sympathy out of alcoholism. She’s an incredible actress, and to see her turn from her shy, sexually frustrated character in Masters of Sex (for which she already won an Emmy over the weekend) into this brazen, boozy sexpot is a hell of a treat. – Dustin

-Kate McKinnon, SNL (Josh) (Danger)

Kate McKinnon is Kristen Wiig without any of the horrible characters. In an overstuffed season of SNL, she was the clear MVP, as adept at impressions as she was playing fictional bug-eyed weirdos. If the writers know what’s good for them, and for the show, she’ll get even more material next season, and knock it all out of the park. So long as there aren’t any Gillys in there. – Josh

-Kate Mulgrew, Orange Is the New Black (Dan)

Will Win: Mayim Bialik. It’s also very strange that The Big Bang Theory only had two actors nominated, so it’s safe to assume they’ll both win.

Outstanding Writing For a Comedy Series

Episodes, “Episode Five” by David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik

Louie, “So Did the Fat Lady” by Louis C.K. (Dan)

Louie deserves this not least for dragging television up over a line of quality it hadn’t bothered to cross in decades. Basically, if some cheap sitcom this guy edits on his laptop can have more emotional truth than a drama with a $5 million an episode budget, it makes everybody work harder. – Dan

Orange Is the New Black, “I Wasn’t Ready” by Liz Friedman and Jenji Kohan (Dustin)

Jenji Kohan and the OITNB writers’ room have the very difficult task of writing 13 episodes of television, each of which should have some self-contained pleasure, but that all should work seamlessly together, like a movie. Because that’s how most of us watched OITNB: in huge chunks. Not only that, the series had to weave in storylines for a huge ensemble, and I think what they did better than anything this season was to do what they couldn’t do in season one: make Piper likable. – Dustin

Silicon Valley, “Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency” by Alec Berg (Josh) (Danger) (Ashley)

Season one of Silicon Valley turned out to be about three hours and forty-five minutes of foreplay leading up to one of the greatest, most detailed, mathematically correct dick jokes ever committed to the small screen. We should celebrate this in many ways, including, but not limited to, with gold statues. – Danger

Veep, “Special Relationship” by Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, and Tony Roche

Will Win: Orange Is the New Black. We could debate the comedy value of this Netflix series until the sun comes up, but that’s not to say that a writing not wouldn’t be the perfect way to make up for this popular series striking out everywhere else.

Outstanding Comedy Series

The Big Bang Theory

Louie (Josh) (Dan)

Leaving aside The Big Bang Theory, it was a strong field for comedy this year. But I’m going with Louie simply because it’s what the best comedy is; funny only because it’s just shy of painful. Louis C.K. doesn’t want you to cringe, he wants you to empathize even though you wish you couldn’t, and it’s brilliant. – Dan

Modern Family

Orange Is the New Black (Dustin)

I will concede Danger’s point that Veep was the funnier show this season, and I agree with Dan on Louie, which had some of the smartest, bravest episodes of television we’ve ever seen. But I almost feel like Louie was more a drama this season, while Orange Is the New Black was such a smart, funny combination of comedy and drama, of brilliant acting, and of great storytelling. Like Louie, OITNB explored substantive issues that matter, and I give it bonus points for being the most diverse show, with the most diverse perspective on TV. – Dustin

Silicon Valley

Veep (Danger) (Ashley)

Louie and OITNB were probably better television shows, like, from an artistic perspective, but of all the shows on this list, most of which were quite good, none made me laugh harder than Veep. I feel like that should matter in a category with “Comedy” in the title. – Danger

Will Win: The Big Bang Theory. Nothing against the cable shows – it’d be great to see Louie or Veep win this year – but the trend in comedy always favors the networks. Modern Family‘s the easy pick as the four-year reigning champ, but The Big Bang Theory just dominated the news cycle, so why wouldn’t it dominate the stage for the first time?

Outstanding Lead Actor In a Drama Series

-Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

-Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom

-Jon Hamm, Mad Men

-Woody Harrelson, True Detective

-Matthew McConaughey, True Detective (Josh) (Danger) (Dustin) (Dan) (Ashley)

This award has been McConaughey’s to lose from the second he cracked open a Lone Star tallboy and started ashing into a Big Hug Mug. It’s easy to forget that now that we’re seven months out from it and accustomed to the idea of Matthew McConaughey turning into one of the better actors in his generation, but at the time, holy crap it was a revelation. And that was before Rust Cohle delivered one of my favorite lines of the 2013-14 season, ‘L’chaim, fatass.” Give him a statue. – Danger

-Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

Will Win: Matthew McConaughey. It is very possible that Cranston, a three-time winner, could take home the Emmy one more time for Breaking Bad out of respect for the legacy he created as Walter White, but come on….McConaughey was on another level as Rust Cohle.

Outstanding Lead Actress In a Drama Series

-Lizzy Caplan, Masters of Sex (Josh) (Dan)

Caplan’s mostly notable for her comedic chops, but in Masters of Sex, she’s managed to turn in an argument that she’s better than her material. She’s not only kept up with Michael Sheen, she’s managed to outpace him, making Virginia a vastly more interesting and involved character and one I actually care about. It’ll probably be Margulies, because the Emmys love the familiar, but Caplan is one better. – Dan

-Kerry Washington, Scandal (Ashley)

-Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey

-Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife (Danger) (Dustin)

Julianna Margulies does more of the heavy lifting on The Good Wife than any of the other nominees do on their shows. This season, which saw her leave her old film, start a new one, and deal with a tragic death, was no exception. You could give the award to Caplan or Washington and I wouldn’t make much of a stink, but they’re both carrying a lighter load thanks to their supporting casts. That’s the tiebreaker for me. – Danger

-Claire Danes, Homeland

-Robin Wright, House of Cards

Will Win: Claire Danes. Let’s ignore the certainty of “Will Win” in this category, because this is a toss-up. Danes has won the last two years, so she was the favorite the moment that she was nominated, but betting the house on this would not be advised.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In a Drama Series

-Jim Carter, Downton Abbey

-Josh Charles, The Good Wife (Dustin) (Ashley)

This is probably one of those cases where I feel like where Charles deserves it based as much on five seasons of terrific work on The Good Wife as much as he deserves it for any one episode. It’s really hard to toe the line between likable hunk and morally ambiguous sleaze, but Josh Charles absolutely nailed it, so much so that losing him from the show felt like a bigger blow than any other character loss this year. – Dustin

-Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones (Josh) (Dan)

Back in May, when Tyrion hissed and growled at a courtroom packed with human vultures, our own Chet Manley wrote a post with the headline, “Peter Dinklage’s Emmy Worthy Scene From This Week’s Game of Thrones In GIFs.” Who am I to argue with out GIF-in-Chief (although I think Dinklage’s dungeon monologue about beetles was even better)? – Josh

-Mandy Patinkin, Homeland

-Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad (Danger)

Making me or anyone choose between Aaron Paul and Peter Dinklage is cruel at best and emotional terrorism at worst, but since we have to (since we really, really have to), I’m going with Paul. I don’t even have a good reason. I just thought back to Jesse Pinkman speeding off into the night in the finale with freedom in his eyes and decided he should win. This is about 200% more thought than most actual Emmy voters will put into the decision. – Danger

-Jon Voight, Ray Donovan

Will Win: Josh Charles. Paul could very easily win for the third and final time for Breaking Bad, or Dinklage could win his second Emmy for Game of Thrones. But Charles received rave reviews for his final season on The Good Wife, which wasn’t nominated Outstanding Drama Series, and he could be the big winner in its place.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In a Drama Series

-Christine Baranski, The Good Wife

-Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey

-Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad (Josh) (Danger) (Dustin) (Dan)

All due respect to everyone on this list, but no one had a moment quite like the scene in “Ozymandias” that saw Anna Gunn snap and try to take a big honking kitchen knife to her husband. Skyler White was a tough character to play because she was often in the position of telling Walter “no” or “stop,” and Breaking Bad would have been a much more boring show if he had always listened to her (not that she wasn’t right most of the time, or at least justified). Anna Gunn deserves credit for pulling it all off. – Danger

-Lena Headey, Game of Thrones (Ashley)

-Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

-Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Will Win: Anna Gunn. It would be shocking if she didn’t.

Outstanding Writing For a Drama Series

Breaking Bad, “Felina” by Vince Gilligan

Breaking Bad, “Ozymandias” by Moira Walley-Beckett (Josh) (Danger) (Dustin) (Dan) (Ashley)

I gotta admit: I’m biased here. This was the episode I just so happened to see being filmed when I visited Albuquerque last year, when Bryan Cranston signed an autograph for my wife and I on a piece of (fake) blood-speckled paper. That being said, “Ozymandias” is not only the highest rated episode of Breaking Bad, it’s also widely considered to be the greatest episode of TV…ever. So as fantastic as “Felina” was, it was still a letdown after “Ozymandias.” – Josh

Game of Thrones, “The Children” by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss

House of Cards, “Chapter 14” by Beau Willimon

True Detective, “The Secret Fate of All Life” by Nic Pizzolatto

Will Win: Breaking Bad, “Ozymandias.” True Detective‘s “The Secret Fate Of All Life” was fantastic, too, but nothing is going to beat “Ozymandias.”

Outstanding Drama Series

Breaking Bad (Josh) (Danger) (Dustin) (Dan)

After the Emmys, Breaking Bad is over. I mean, it’s technically been over for awhile, but after Monday, you’re not going to see Walter, Skyler, Jesse, Hank, Vince Gilligan, etc. in the same room together again, or at least not until they all show up on a very special episode of Better Call Saul. This is Breaking Bad‘s well deserved victory lap, and the other shows nominated are mere spectators. – Josh

Downton Abbey

Game of Thrones

House of Cards

Mad Men

True Detective (Ashley)

Will Win: Breaking Bad. Although, having won last year could hurt its chances against the True Detective powerhouse, but let’s face it – that final season of Breaking Bad was phenomenal, and the show deserves it well beyond the typical “farewell” victory. – Ashley

So what did we get wrong?