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16 Days Til Emmy: What We're Rooting For

Over the next two weeks we'll periodically be experiencing a little Emmy countdown silliness. But first a matter of who we're rooting for in just 16 days. I polled a few members of TFE's team and my podcast co-host Joe Reid from whom I've learned much about TV (he's an expert) and who still thinks I look down on TV through pinched cinematic nose. Okay, maybe a little... but it is not from lack of quality! It's from other reasons but it mostly boils down to these four: I prefer a two hour commitment as opposed to a one-to-ten year commitment to stories and characters; I like the scope of history of the arts and the cinema has a much richer, longer and more well preserved history (people didn't really think of TV as an art until our lifetimes); I'm more naturally drawn to and more often wowed by movie stars; I despise the false equivalencies people who should know better (critics and journalists) are always spouting about TV vs Film so I am routinely pressed and therefore must take up arms for the cinema!

But otherwise I love TV... or at least "my shows". So let's get to it. Who is Team TFE rooting for in the big categories?

Why I'm Rooting for _______ in Drama Series? (answers after the jump)

Jose: The Good Wife (Shut up, I'm in denial...)

Joe Reid: I'm rooting for Game of Thrones in Outstanding Drama Series, but not because I think it was objectively the best of the six nominees. That would probably be Breaking Bad. I'd also probably slot True Detective ahead of Thrones if only for how thrillingly propulsive that show felt as I binge-watched it in the lead-up to the finale. I'm rooting for Thrones because it's been generally under-rewarded (except for Peter Dinklage, who's actually not my favorite when it comes to cast members), and because somewhat inexplicably it's become the TV show I most look forward to watching. 

Dancin' DanGame of Thrones but only because: Breaking Bad has already won; they didn't nominate the ACTUAL best shows on television (The Good WifeHannibalThe Americans, and Masters of Sex); I never quite "got" Mad Men (what I wanted from it was not what it was giving me in that first season, and I haven't tuned in since); because True Detective was as maddening and pretentious as it was exciting and fascinating; because Downton Abbey ceased being any good at the end of its first season; and because wild horses could not get me to watch House of Cards.

Abstew:  I know it's probably down to Breaking Bad vs. True Detective but I'm throwing my weight behind  Game of Thrones a show that might not have a chance (despite having the most nominations), but which I eagerly await watching the most when it airs and in real-time. (Otherwise someone - ahem, the internet...-might ruin something big.) It's epic, entertaining, and spectacular in every sense of the word.

Adam: Game of Thrones. As much as I bitched and moaned (and lord did I), the balancing act of jumping between three books is as flawless as Lena Headey’s resting bitch face.

Nathaniel R: I'm not sure I have an answer to this one. Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad aren't for me (I tried but both regularly made me ill with the gruesomeness). True Detective was interesting but deflated toward the end and feels a smidge smug and is already wildly overpraised - Top of the Lake last year, another detective murder mystery, was stronger and received half the attention.  I still love Mad Men best so there's my vote though I'd be rooting fully for Masters of Sex had it been nominated.

Why You're Rooting for ________ in Comedy Series?

Anne Marie: OINTB is everything Modern Family pretends to be: diverse, subversive, funny, with a surprisingly warm heart underneath all that snark. I want to see OINTB straight up slock the reigning Emmy darling.

Joe Reid: I'm rooting for Veep in comedy series because it's the funniest of the nominated shows by a mile; probably several miles. The only other nominated show I enjoy half as much as Orange Is the New Black, and that's probably a drama. 

Nathaniel R: Orange is the New Black since I couldn't possibly love it more. See our Best Shot episode if you haven't yet

Dancin' Dan:  Orange is the New Black, because it cares more for its characters than any other show on "TV" even as it still acknowledges that some of them are very bad people, and because it is often more hilarious than any other of the "comedies" nominated (except Veep, which would also be a worthy winner, what with its delicious, scarily accurate Washington satire and unbelievably spot-on performances).

JoseVeep because I still don't get how OITNB - which I DO love - is a comedy series.

Favorite Nomination in Any Acting Category

AbstewFavorite Nomination in Any Acting Category: Lizzy Caplan. Lizzy Caplan. Lizzy Caplan. She is absolutely brilliant on Masters of Sex and her nomination was the only thing I was actively hoping would happen yesterday. (The Secret works, y'all!) Bonus points if she takes Damian as her date and they wear matching purple tuxedos.

Dancin' Dan:  Frances Conroy for Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries, a shining beacon of camp excellence in the otherwise muddled, messy, and unsatisfying American Horror Story: Coven.

JoseAllison Janney in "Masters of Sex". Janney became my Emmy enemy (emmemy?) when she kept stealing Jennifer Garner's Emmysfor "Alias", but I'll be damned if I don't want her to win for this pithy, devastating performance.

P.S. Both Anne Marie and Adam vowed to throw pies at each voting member if Uzo Adobe didn't win Guest Actress for her role as "Crazy Eyes" in Orange is the New Black. Be warned, voters!


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Reader Comments (31)

For someone who hates category fraud, it's odd to see you rooting for OITNB, Nathaniel!

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRyan


August 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterstjeans

Why I'm Rooting for Breaking Bad in Drama Series? Just because a show has won series before does not mean it should not win again and while I love Game of Thrones this was no where near it's best season and while there were some dramatic moments the season was not as consistant as season 3 for me. Breaking Bad was spectacular and really deserves to win. Some other shows that I feel should be included are Hannibal, The Americans and The Good Wife especially over shows like Downton Abbey, House of Cards and Game of Thrones this season.

Why I;m Rooting for Orange is the New Black in Comedy Series? The show is just so good then when I watch it I cannot think about anything else. I mean the show is just so special and really if the show does not win I will be quite upset especially aganist a show like Modern Family which has outstayed it's welcome in terms of quality since it's first season. Other shows I feel should be nominated are Broad City, Review and Shameless in the places of Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory and Silicon Valley which while great suffers from first season problems.

Favorite Nomination in Any Acting Category? Just because I was not expecting it but hoping for it Kristen Wiig in The Spoils of Babylon who is comedy genius on the miniseries and deserves to be on that list of women.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEoin Daly

Ryan -- well, where do Dramedies go then? I don't consider it category fraud really. The show is often very funny.

August 9, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

So, my answers:

Best Drama: Given that the best season of a drama got no nomination (I second the Good Wife love here!) - and the 2nd (The Americans) and 3rd (Hannibal) also got zilch - I'm supporting Game of Thrones. Not because I think it was its best season (I'd wager on season #2), but because that show's dizzying switcheroo of plots and places constantly surprises me (and I've read the books) and every element of the show works. Breaking Bad would probably be the best - and will probably win, too.

Best Comedy: I'm all for Veep to steal Modern Family's crown, which they should already be carrying from last year, mind you! Orange is the New Black is probably the stronger contender and if anyone beats the Frasier (cough) Modern Family team, it's them. They'll look amazing up on stage so I'm betting OITNB wins. And even though it's a dramedy, it's a very good one.

Best Acting Nomination: Not to bang on that drum again but, Tatiana Maslany! Oops, not there. Ok, so... Matthew Rhys? Oops, not there. Well, maybe... Michael Sheen? Ok, i'll stop. Oh Emmy voters, how I love you so.

From the field of nominees, I have to say I'm happiest for Caplan, who nailed a very tough role (and the expectations that came with her transition to drama, etc etc - not that we here at TFE weren't already aware that Lizzy is a winner in any form or genre). And for Josh Charles, which I thought would never get to come back from being dropped last season for a Sup Actor nomination (you know how Emmy goes), for a brilliant performance this season.

And I'd give third place... To Julia Louis Dreyfus. That performance continues to amaze me. She already has Elaine Benes as a once-in-a-lifetime character, now she gets to add Selina Kyle to the mantle? Not fair, people. Not fair. What can't that woman do?

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

The actors of Mad Men, always, foolishly at this stage.

Don't worry Jon Hamm, you have the emmy of my heart!

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSVG

Yes to:
-Uzo Aduba and Frances Conroy plus Amy Poehler, Bryan Cranston and Peter Dinklage
-Breakind Bad (last season is as good as two seasons so I don't even care at this point)
-Fargo as miniseries or please please please Treme
-And most of all, to Bob's Burgers for being the funniest comedy of last year (relegated to animated show)
No to:
-Absolutely any nominations for SNL
-The head-scratching nominations for OITNB (Kate Mulgrew instead of Taryn Manning and Natasha Lyonne instead of Michelle Hurst, excessive nominations for season 1 when season 2 is the real deal)
-The comedy acting nominations (Supporting actress and leading actor)

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMe34

However, I'm with Anne Marie and Adam and I'll start to throw pies at the voting members if Uzo Adobe Flash Player doesn't win.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMe34

I'm still here feeling excessively salty that The Good Wife didn't get a best drama nom.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDerreck.

I'm not defending Modern Family, but I don't think it ever pretended to be "subversive."

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W

Television has as much good content as film. You are a film person who will look at lesser film content because you think seeing as much film content as possible is important. If you cared about your time you would be more selective about the things you subject yourself to whether a live show, a TV series, or a movie. Movies were never seen as an art form in the beginning. Get off your high horse.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Why I support Breaking Bad for Outstanding Drama Series- In the context, the final eight episodes easily could be streamlined into one 8 hr. long program although not for the faint of heart. While people insist the finale was safe and people think it should have stopped at Ozymandias (what nonsense, Granite State was great and unsettling as a follow-up even if Felina wasn't your jelly), I sensed a more demonic level of mutually-assured destruction. Walter White is the great svengali of this show's universe and no way must this world of blue meth continue without him. Fitting that Jesse's hell of the lab is his final resting place. I do love me some Mad Men and while that seventh season was a plot-heavy as I have ever seen it be, Breaking Bad is still king for this category.

Why I support Veep for Outstanding Comedy Series- A show I always admired from the beginning but seemingly as far more serious/dramatic shows about DC pop up, Veep, despite being a comedy, is far more realistic, damming, and unrepentantly cynical about DC politics in a while not still have that power-trip and fetish those shows like House of Cards has. The Debate episode, the Detroit episode, and finally 2-part finale with Selina and Gary in the bathroom show a comedy series perhaps willing to shed skin while remain one of the best shows on TV throwing some fastballs that I am not seeing from other comedies on network or cable.

Favorite nomination(s):
Adam Driver, Girls for Best Supporting Actor- When my favorites like Dean Norris somehow get ignored for nomination and Elisabeth Moss gets kicked out of her category (still steaming from that), Driver is a shining light for me. It still amazes me a character I was genuinely repulsed by is now one of my favorite characters in all of television. Shame though he picked a real downer for a submission episode (the finale for those asking).

Woody Harrelson, True Detective for Best Actor- He has no shot given it is McConaughey's year if not Cranston's final farewell but given how much he rose above all the formulaic ickiness Marty Hart got in being a ladies man and still managed to be a needed foil for Rust Cohle, and Nic Pizzolatto's writing frankly, I think he's really underrated in this category.

Jon Hamm, Mad Men for Best Actor- He has no shot but I can dream.

Kristin Wiig, The Spoils of Babylon for Best Actress the for a TV Movie Mini-Series- As one of 12 people who watched this show, I feel blessed. She's really great and frankly who I would vote for in this category.

Natasha Lyonne/Laverne Cox/Uzo Aduba for Best Guest Actress in a Comedy for OITNB- Okay, this is such category fraud but Emmys are such a wild, wild west for this so these ladies are all great and cool. Good for them.

Kate Mulgrew for Best Supporting Actress in OITNB- CAPTAIN JANEWAY 4EVER

Louis CK for Elevator Part 6 on Louie for Best Directing- Should win, probably won't. I hope Jodie Foster at least beats him to make it worthwhile.

Moira Walley-Beckett for Best Writing for Ozymandias- Aside from that insanity of no Rian Johnson for Direction of this show, this show gets underrated for its writing and MWB has written some of the strongest episodes in the series. Vince Gilligan may get it or UGH Nic Pizzolatto, but as far as episode quality, let it be her.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

First off, Breaking Bad, for nailing the landing the whole series was leading up to. (Compare it to, say, Battlestar Galactica which started off brilliant but really couldn't tie it together.) They always pick the same shows year after year. Give it to BB again, and let their autopilot work for us.

The category fraud makes me conflicted about Best Comedy. OITNB is the better show, but Veep is the funnier one by far, so I'd vote for the latter methinks. Maybe OITNB should take on Downton in Best Dramedy and beat it going away.

My favorite suprise nom is for Lena Headey, and I hope she pulls it off. Maybe the most humane portrayal of a straight-up bitch I've seen in a while.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMarsha Mason

Maybe it is just kill the categories as some categories- like Best Actor in a Comedy- have become a genuine weak spot for the last 5-10 years and make it about Best Series and just best Actress and Actor and Supporting categories. Perhaps too bold as it will certainly go the way of the Oscars and lean toward drama almost always but Emmys to me have ten times the category problems of the Oscars and the Oscars are not perfect whatsoever to begin with.

TV has been an art since teleplays in the 50s and when Fassbinder, Kieslowski, and Bergman got some of their best works on television. People who insist TV surpassed film or that TV is the new super-movie act like it is a new phenomenon are as bad as the people who deny there is art in making a TV program. American film from big studios to indie becoming a pasture for medium-sized films that would have been made in a major studio are in a state of flux certainly but don't tell me you can get an Under the Skin let alone even a major budget film like Snowpiercer on television.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Lena Headey!! Thank you Marsha for remembering me.

Although hers isn't the flashiest performance from the Game of Thrones women, the Academy must have been blind last season when she - and Michelle Fairley - were running circles around the rest of the cast!

But no, Emilia Clarke got the nom last year. Well, at least they rectified it this year.

It's my "Favorite Acting Nomination in which the Academy shows they've been blind before" ;) I'm hoping for Maslany next year.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

I'm rooting for Game of Thrones, though I'll be fine with Breaking Bad winning.'

I'm rooting for Veep, though I'm surprised at how good Modern Family was this year and Orange is the New Black was superb.

My favourite acting nomination is, by default, Lizzy Caplan, because they ignored so many of the best performances of the year.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

CMG, I think your comment sorta underlines the fundamental weakness in the "television was always great" argument, actually, and I'd argue that we would get televisual equivalents of "Under the Skin" or "Snowpiercer" on television without a doubt. The amount of misconceptions in this debate is almost hilarious.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

I'm pulling for Futurama in Animated Series because that finale episode is just stunning.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

Why I'm Rooting for _______ in Drama Series?

Me: Breaking Bad! When was the last season of a television show EVER this good. Don't agree with team TFE picks. I've always been a bit meh on Game of Thrones and Mad Men, which is usually great, was not at it's best this year. True Detective would be my runner-up.

Why You're Rooting for ________ in Comedy Series?

Me: Orange is the New Black. With Veep as a close second.

Favorite Nomination in Any Acting Category

Lizzy Caplan without a doubt. Runner up: Janey. Because the both deserve it so much and I wasn't expecting it. Although if Tatiana was nominated, she very well could have been my answer here.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

Drama: Mad Men. Forever and always.

Comedy: Louie was amazing this year. I like Orange too, but I think I prefer the second season.

Favorite nom: Love that Lena and Adam got in for Girls considering the lack of respect for the show. Also Allison Janney and Kate Mulgrew, great ladies.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Without Good Wife in drama and Maslany.............sucks.

Breaking Bad was brilliant, I just rail that they broke one season into two out of greed. But it was brilliant and I'm happy to see it win.

Not much for comedies. I'll go with OITNB because it is shaking things up and we need that from time to time.

Lena Headey. One of he most vile characters written and yet we still find a part of ourselves identifying and sympathizing with her and that comes from the performance more than the writing. No easy feat. If not her, anyone from Good Wife.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Drama: The Good Wife. I mean, Breaking Bad given the options, and it's the only show currently riding its best (incredible) season. But The Good Wife blows everything else away. (Love hearing people call it out!)

Comedy: Orange is the New Black, but if I'm honest, I don't care that much. I kind of hope Modern Family loses for its own sake - I'm sad to say it doesn't work for me as much these days.

Best Acting Nod: It feels cheesy to say Margulies or Baranski, since they're such regulars. Janney's also a great choice for Masters of Sex. I'd have to go with Len Headey though. I've been so confused why she has been left off the last few years, and I'm really happy she can be added to the list of names rewarded from the show.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Game of Thrones and Joanne Froggatt (she rose above that bad storyline and I think she deserves the love)

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBia

Margo Martindale brings a little bit more AWESOME to The Americans. Granted, she was in it for 14 seconds in season 2. But I like to think of this nomination as a dual nomination for seasons 1 and 2.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCharlieG

Arkaan- I personally find the debate insufferable as both sides can come off defensive about it. Then again I also think people on the TV side having no idea about a Berlin Alexanderplatz when they spout more inane platitudes so I really often get buyer's remorse for defending their side.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

I am rooting for:
Drama Series : Game of Thrones, because it's totally amazing and Lena Headey need to be on the stage at some point or another.

Comedy Series : Modern Family, F**k me right?

And I want Christine Baranski to win this year!

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercraver

The Good Wife deserves best drama but since that can't happen, I too would give the Emmy to Game of Thrones. But I would hang tough for some recognition for the fine actresses of The Good Wife. Either give Christine Brasinski the supporting Emmy, or Julianne Marguiles the best actress, to thank them for depth, subtlety, and intelligent acting.

OITNB has impressed me completely this year, and I hope Kate Mulgrew gets a well deserved Emmy. I would be happy for any of the OITNB actresses, but the character of "Red" is a vivid creation brought to life by Mulgrew. I love watching her, she covers such a wide range of emotions - it's just a terrific part.

I am just so tired of Modern Family and Breaking Bad getting so over-rewarded, I hope to see some other programs get some well deserved recognition.

August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

This "which is superior, tv or film" argument is.........well.......

On one side you have All about Steve, Battleship and the last six Adam Sandler comedies (especially the one where he played his sister). On the other you have Partners, Cleo 2000, a plethora of reality competition and talk shows and the upcoming Bad Judge. Neither side can try and claim supremacy without looking delusional.

And those are just recent entries.

August 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Comedy Series: "Orange Is the New Black"

I'm ready for "Modern Family" to be taken down. There's no need for them to tie "Frasier." And it's time for a dramedy to win here again. But since no one really submitted worth a damn, it's gonna be "Modern Family" again for the win.

Drama Series: "The Good Wife" "True Detective"

With my first choice wrongfully snubbed, why not for HBO sensation "True Detective"? I don't feel a pressing need to ever reward "Game of Thrones" in Drama Series. Don't watch "House of Cards" (nor would I ever voluntarily choose to watch seasons of Kevin Spacey's "work"). "Breaking Bad" was already rewarded for Part 2 last year airing concurrently as Part 1 won the Emmy. Over "Downton Abbey" a long time ago. Let's hold off and reward "Mad Men" for its final season.

Favorite Acting Nominations: Julianna Margulies, Claire Danes, Matthew McConaughey, Cicely Tyson, Kristen Wiig, Jon Hamm, Matt Bomer, Allison Janney (both of 'em), Jane Fonda, Uzo Aduba, and Louis C.K. (awful tape submission however).

August 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAdrien


I love Martindale's performance in The Americans, but she got a guest nomination for the first season as well.


I sorta understand the defensiveness of both sides. And ultimately the idea of one being better than the other doesn't really make sense at it's core. But I think there are so many aspects to the debate that should be respected and discussed that get trussed aside for said platitudes and empty rhetoric.

August 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

Calling OITNB being a comedy "category fraud" is fraud in itself! Most people just don't have a sick sense of humor but season 1 (which is what was eligible for this Emmy year) was hilarious. It was more funny than dramatic. Get over it.

August 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterA.J

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