Recently, I sat down with the guys at Nowhere Plans to talk about the Emmy nominations, and this is the first in a series of articles is our thoughts and predictions on the nominees many of the major categories. This article was originally published and is reprinted with permission by Nowhere Plans.
by Jon Dimedio, Randy Dankievitch, and Mike Wilson
by Jon Dimedio (@jonnyd_)
Randy Dankievitch (@ProcessedMedia)
Mike Wilson (@MWilson10)
Outstanding Drama Series
Game of Thrones
My Pick: Homeland
My Prediction: Homeland
Man, this is tough. Plus the fact that I haven’t watched Mad Men (something I am currently remedying, by the way). I love Game of Thrones. If I were picking favorites here that’d be the easy winner. Breaking Bad is amazing as well, but I think I’ll go with Homeland, which has that new show smell and is also my most anticipated show of the fall off the strength of its first season.
I think it comes down to Homeland or Mad Men. I’m going to predict Homeland wins in a bit of an upset (and by upset, I mean in the sense that the show that won the Golden Globe for best drama could be an upset).
My Pick: Breaking Bad
My Prediction: Breaking Bad
These nominations get no arguments from me at all. These were the six best shows on television in the past year. Homeland is outstanding and was my favorite new show of the past year. Game of Thrones is excellent but season two had a bit of a drop-off from season one for me. The same can be said for Boardwalk Empire but these are still must-watch shows. I think this will come down to Mad Men or Breaking Bad. These are my two favorite shows so it is an extremely tough decision but, for me, the choice is Breaking Bad.
My Pick: Homeland
My Prediction: Mad Men
What can be said about Mad Men that hasn’t been said already? The historical drama is full of the visual style, historical significance, and powerful dramatic moments Emmy voters cream themselves over – and being the returning champ, there’s almost no way this show gets usurped by anything else on the list. Breaking Bad‘s going to get some attention next year as it enters the last half of its final season, but the experimental fourth season of Mad Men is going to easily win the award.
Should it? The problem with today’s dramas is that while many are really good television shows, none of them are truly ‘great’ in the sense of a show like The Wire or The Sopranos. Mad Men‘s fourth season was bold, but flawed, and Downton Abbey‘s second season had too many soapy, absurd plot twists – plus it’s too British to ever really win such a “prestigious” American Emmy.
The biggest hit of the bunch right now is Game of Thrones, and even that stumbled a bit through a sophomore effort that felt more like a bridge between the first and third seasons than a true journey for all of its characters. I think all the shows are worthy of nomination – with Justified‘s third season the only noticeable omission – but unlike other recent years, I don’t see a show that stands head and shoulders above the others.
And that’s why I picked Homeland; it’s daring, stylish, and features two of the most powerful lead performances on television. The show’s not just full of terrorist-packed action, it’s a surprisingly deep examination of ideals like family, loyalty, and the after-effects of traumatic experiences. It’s been a long time since Alias ended, and 24 jumped the shark by blowing up half of LA, and the TV landscape was ripe for a modern take on espionage. Homeland filled that hole in my heart, and while it’s got no chance of winning behind the AMC heavyweights, it was the biggest surprise of the television season for me, by far.
Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Curb Your Enthusiasm
My Pick: Parks and Recreation
My Prediction: Modern Family
I actually enjoy all of the nominees. I know that The Big Bang Theory gets a lot of (warranted) flack, but I still find it enjoyable. I actually thought Modern Family had a really strong season this year as well. I would say Girls had a better debut season than Veep. Veep was probably funnier, but I think it could also be because it set out to be. Girls is more my kind of thing anyway (I like high school/twenty-something shows). Curb Your Enthusiasm has the misfortune of being broadcast at the beginning of Emmy season so it’s not as fresh in my mind. I remember it being a really strong season (I can remember more moments from this season than some of the ones prior).
The thing is, my favorite comedies on television were snubbed. Community, Parks and Rec and Louie are nowhere to be seen here. Community had one of the best episodes of any show I’ve ever seen this past year, Parks and Rec had an amazing arc this season with Leslie Knope’s run for City Council and was the show I found myself laughing outloud the most at over the year (sorry, Community, you had a great run, and there’s always next year… damnit, now I’m sad about Dan Harmon) and Louie continues to be unpredictable and one of the more captivating shows on television. I’m not sure how much longer these shows can fly under the awards show radar until they have long been off the air, and those annoying people who seem to only watch highly-rated cancelled shows start raving about them (where were you when they needed the ratings?).
My Pick: Girls. My three top picks all were not nominated (Parks and Rec, Community, Louie) so this is the best of the rest.
My Prediction: Modern Family. It’s hard to pick against last year’s winner. Especially when it continues to get so many nominations.
HBO is going to see this as a massive success. Getting Curb, Girls and Veep all nominated is big for them as they aren’t especially known for comedies due to how fantastic their drama series have been. The biggest snub here is Parks and Recreation. That has been the best comedy on television for the past two seasons and it not getting nominated is a shame. Community and Louie would both get nominations if I had a ballot but, unfortunately, neither are the type of show that gets recognition from the Emmys.
My Pick: Louie
My Prediction: Modern Family
The Outstanding Comedy Series is always the most frustrating – Emmy voters tend to ignore what shows are making the most intelligent and consistently funny forms of comedy, instead wasting time on what gets deadbeat critics and the average person excited. So seeing Girls and Veep both nominated for an Emmy was a little surprising, even though we know how much the Emmys enjoy stroking HBO’s throbbing programming division.
First of all, The Big Bang Theory is a piece of shit, and doesn’t belong in this category. At all. It’s not funny, and is full of unbelievably thin characters and tired sitcom story lines. 30 Rock is way past its prime, something the amazingly unfunny second live show proved. The runaway winner here, of course, is Modern Family, which makes all of network television feel good about shunning and making jokes about gay people for 40 years. This show doesn’t deserve to be in the category, after it became clear in season two they’d run out of story lines already (how many car accidents have happened on the show?)
I do think NBC got shafted in the Outstanding Comedy Series to replace the ones nominated: the infinitely genius Community and Parks and Recreation, which is by far and away better than any of the network shows listed, in terms of stories, characters, and/or general level of funny material. Community will be always be ignored, and it’s too bad the three seasons of Dan Harmon’s genius will go unheralded by the TV Academy as he exits the show.
In all honesty, I didn’t think Girls was consistent enough to make the list, although it had some promising moments and grew as it continued. Of the three HBO entries, Veep is by far the strongest, and if I picked a winner from the six on the list, my vote would go for Armando Ianucci’s beautiful, hilarious political satire. Can we just agree that Curb Your Enthusiasm is still funny, but has run for way too long already?
I would’ve rather seen the slots for Curb and the overly-lauded Girls to go to Louie and Archer on FX, which are easily the best two comedies on television right now. Archer wasn’t even nominated in the Animated Series category, even though it’s undeniably better than any other animated show being produced right now – and probably the hands-down funniest show on television right now.
But I’d still give the award to Louie, because what Louie C.K. Is doing with his show is transcendent of both its genre and format, and one of the most amazing creative, original works we’ve had the opportunity to watch on television in the last 20 or so years. There’s nothing quite like Louie on TV, and watching the thoughts of a comedian settling into the middle of his life play out in the artistic, jazz-laden fashion he does it in, is not only redefining what a single-camera comedy can do, but paving the way for other shows like Girls to give intelligent minds the funds and freedoms to express themselves, in any way they feel.
What did you think of our predictions? Feel free to share your thoughts and own predictions in the comments below. Part 2 will publish later this week, and cover the dramatic performance categories. Don’t forget to like Processed Media and Nowhere Plans on Facebook, and check us out on Twitter @processedmedia and @nowhereplans for future updates.