Emmys! Television's highest honors (after the Peabodys and the TV Guide Awards) will be doled out on Sunday night to an approx. three million lucky TV actors and creators. Who will win? Who should win? Let's take a look!
For the full list of nominees please go here. For now, we'll just mention the gonnas and shouldas.
Outstanding Drama Series
Will Win: Because the Academy loves it and so does basically everyone else, Mad Men will likely take the prize. Possible upset goes to HBO's funereal Boardwalk Empire.
Should Win: Given that it closed its beautiful run with such a lovely little season, it'd be great to see Friday Night Lights go home with the gold. But if The Wire was only ever nominated for one Emmy, Friday Night Lights will never actually win anything.
Will Win: Emmy voters like nothing more than white people being funny, so to the white people of Modern Famiily it will go.
Should Win: There are some of non-white people (but also lots of white people) on the terrific and broadly weird Parks & Recreation, which is also nominated in this category. But really Louie, which is not nominated, deserves top billing.
Lead Actor, Drama
Will Win: Jon Hamm has never won an Emmy! But with all the sad Don Draper stuff that went down on the most recent season of Mad Men, this is probably his year to clinch it. Plus Bryan Cranston isn't on the list because there was no new Breaking Bad last season.
Should Win: Tough to say that Hamm doesn't deserve it, but I'll again have to go with my Dillon football loyalties and say that the stern whisperings of Kyle Chandler ought to be singled out.
Lead Actress, Drama
Will Win: Lots of folks are saying Julianna Margulies for The Good Wife and it's tough to disagree with them. Elisabeth Moss could sneak in and upset, but everyone else nominated (Kathy Bates, Mirielle Enos, Connie Britton, the indomitable Mariska) doesn't stand a chance.
Should Win: Tami Taylor! Tami Taylor! Tami Taylor! Yeah, Friday Night Light's Connie Britton was such a beautiful, gentle force of nature on that show that it is a crime that her next project is some psychosexual horror dump with Dylan McDermott Mulroney and Ryan Murphy.
Supporting Actress, Drama
Will Win: My guess is that Kelly Macdonald's Irish mumbling on Boardwalk will grab the trophy, mostly because I don't think they'll give the prize to Steve Buscemi but the Academy will want to give someone from the show a piece. And that somebody won't, sadly, be Gretchen Moll. (Who deserves it!)
Should Win: Are you kidding me, Margo Martindale? Were you really just so good on Justified? Yes, you really were. Man were you good on that show. And in everything ever.
Supporting Actor, Drama
Will Win: This category is sort of wide open. But I'll say, for the same reasons as Kelly Macdonald (in that one way to recognize a show as a whole is to recognize one actor), that Peter Dinklage will steal the bacon for his perfectly suited work on Game of Thrones. You're a lovable little fucker, Tyrion Lannister.
Should Win: Kit Harington from Game of Thrones should win an Emmy because he's always happiest when he wins awards which is good for me when he gets home (we live together and are in sex-love), but he's not nominated, so I'm gonna say that actually Dinklage deserves it too.
Lead Actress, Comedy
Will Win: Ugh, because the Emmys have never met a quirky Showtime ladymedy (lady comedy? I don't know) they haven't loved, the great but misused Laura Linney will probably win for the once-sorta-good but now egregiously terrible The Big C.
Should Win: Amy Poehler, a proud fellow Boston College Eagle, should absolutely win this for being, quite frankly, the best actress on television right now no matter the genre. She's really goddamned good on Parks & Recreation.
Lead Actor, Comedy
Will Win: Steve Carell has never won an Emmy! But now that he has awkwardly fumbled his last awkward fumble on The Office, I suspect the Academy will give him a big pointy gold pat on the head.
Should Win: Hard to argue that Carell doesn't deserve at least one stinking Emmy for what was a truly great sustained performance. But also Louis C.K. deserves more than accolades for his work on Louie. Yeah he's not really an actor per se, especially on the first season, but the guy does everything on that damn show. And since there is no Best Guy Who Does Everything On That Damn Show category, let's give him this one.
Supporting Actress, Comedy
Will Win: Since she's hosting and all, it might be hard to not give this to Jane Lynch from Glee. Yeah they didn't give it to Neil Patrick Harris when he hosted, but still. Everyone loves Jane Lynch.
Should Win: Though she's not nominated (and likely never will be), Pamela Adlon did dark, funny (albeit brief) work on Louie. Of the nominees, I'd go with Kristen Wiig for SNL. I know some of her bits get annoying for some, but she's holding that damn thing up on her shoulders and that's a feat worth recognition.
Supporting Actor, Comedy
Will Win: Seeing as all the white guys from Modern Family are nominated, I'm guessing it will go to one of the white guys from Modern Family. Either Ty Burrell or Ed O'Neill, though probably tie goes to the longest distance runner, which would be beloved veteran O'Neill. The possible upset is shiny gay angel Chris Colfer, for his work on the After School Special St. Kurt of Ohio.
Should Win: Jon Cryer for Two and a Half Men! Haha just kidding, that show and everyone involved with it should be buried under Mt. Rushmore and never spoken of again. In the meantime, that Charlie Day from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia hasn't been nominated yet is a crime. A terrible, shameful crime.
Outstanding Reality Competition Program
Will Win: Good grief, do I have to pick one? Uh, The Amazing Race always seems to win, so let's say The Amazing Race. It is actually a pretty good show!
Should Win: Top Chef, especially with its All-Stars season, is a smart and diabolically entertaining show. Three zombie roars for Padma Lakshmi, a known zombie!
Outstanding Reality Host
Will Win: PROBST.
Should Win: Seacrest. Seriously. That guy is fucking brilliant at what he does.
UPDATE: Ooooops. This prize was already given out at the Creative Arts Emmys and Probst did, in fact, win again.
Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series
Will Win: Probably The Daily Show? I mean doesn't that always win? They had the mid-terms and all that stuff this year. So yeah, The Daily Show.
Should Win: As The Daily Show has grown precariously smugger, The Colbert Report has gotten even gonzo-ier, which is a fun, good thing.
Outstanding Mini-series or Movie
Will Win: Because of its lush design, big-star patina, and HBO association, look for Todd Haynes' Mildred Pierce to pierce through the competition mildredly.
Should Win: I mean I sort of disagree with it being in this category because there's going to be a second season so it's not really a miniseries, but good god was/is Downton Abbey a supreme entertainment. Funny, sad, sexy, and smart, it has, to be hackneyed about it, revived the costume drama for a whole new generation. And thank Dame Smith for that!
Lead Actress, Mini-series or Movie
Will Win: There is no way in heaven Kate Winslet is not going to win this for Mildred Pierce. It's basically preordained. She will win, she will do her usual Winsletty faux humble thing, and then we will think about her in Contagion and... Well, go see the movie.
Should Win: Let's give it to that old bitch Jean Marsh for Upstairs Downstairs.
Lead Actor, Mini-series or Movie
Will Win: This is the award for terrible Kennedy accents, right? Then Greg Kinnear and Barry Pepper are a lock for the much-maligned Reelz Channel (for real) miniseries The Kennedys. If, for some reason, this isn't an award category for busted Boston braying, it's a good bet that Edgar Ramirez will snatch this for the movie-turned-miniseries Carlos.
Should Win: Idris Elba is pretty great on/in Luther, and he actually might take the prize. Someone who wasn't nominated is Tim Robbins, who did good, subtle-when-it-needed-to-be work in the otherwise splishy-splashy Cinema Verite.
Supporting Actor, Mini-series or Movie
Will Win: Paul Giamatti did his usual capable Giamatti thing in Too Big to Fail, and giving him the trophy could be a good way to say well done all around to that docu-drama. I think he'll take it. Guy Pearce from Mildred Pierce (musta been confusin'!) is also a viable candidate.
Should Win: Well, I'd say Downton Abbey's Rob James-Collier even though he's not nominated, but he's pretty tuckered out after last night. He, Kit Harington, and I were up pretty late drinking wine and listening to Joni Mitchell and doing... other things... so let's just let him rest.
Supporting Actress, Mini-series or Movie
Will Win: Nobody can say no to Maggie Smith as a bitchy old British lady, so she will snatch this for Downton Abbey.
Should Win: Like I said, nobody can say no to Maggie Smith as a bitchy old British lady, so she should snatch this for Downton Abbey.
[Image via Getty]