Emmys 2012: should win, will win

The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards are being held this weekend - well, Monday afternoon (NZ time) - and will be hosted by late-night host Jimmy Kimmel. I thought now might be a good time to go on the record with a few picks in the major categories: Outstanding Drama, Outstanding Comedy, and four acting categories for each.

Make sure you play along at home: check out the full list of nominees here, and make your picks in the comments below. You can also check out my coverage of the nominees (and more than a few snubs) here. Here are my picks for this year:

Outstanding Drama Series
Should Win: Breaking Bad
Will Probably Win: Mad Men

Okay, I'll say it: Breaking Bad is my favourite television show being made right now, and I would love to see it win this award just once. The problem is that Mad Men has won this award for each of its first four seasons and, in my opinion, was even better this year than ever before: as I wrote at the time, this season was "the easiest to enjoy for enjoyment's sake", and was easier to follow than the previous subtext-heavy seasons. I also want to go on record as calling Downton Abbey a dark horse in this category. Emmy voters seem to love Downton this year. It wouldn't be surprising if it won a ton of awards.

Outstanding Comedy Series
Should Win: Modern Family
Will Probably Win: Modern Family

My three favourite comedy shows right now are probably Louie, Parks & Recreation and Community ... and not a single one is nominated in this category*. Besides, even if they were, could anything stop Modern Family winning its third here? I don't think anyone else has a chance in this category.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Should Win: Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Will Probably Win: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

A decade from now, you'll be telling a friend that Mad Men is the greatest television series ever made. Your friend will throw his/her hands up and yell back at you that the fact its lead actor never won a major acting award for his role actually hurts its claim as the greatest ever. I think Cranston wins this year, and next year probably, even though Hamm is coming off his best performance on Mad Men so far. (PS: I actually have a sneaking suspicion that Hugh Bonneville could win this category for Downton Abbey. Just know that if Downton sweeps the Emmy Awards, I was half-expecting it.)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Should Win: Claire Danes, Homeland
Will Probably Win: Claire Danes, Homeland

I think this picture sums things up better than I can. (By the way, in case you missed it yesterday, Homeland will be returning to TV3 on Monday, October 1, where it will be airing mere hours behind the USA; around 2pm in the States, then 8.30pm here in NZ. Nice one, TV3!)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Should Win: Louis CK, Louie
Will Probably Win: Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

That Louie missed a nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series is an absolute travesty; a win for Louis CK in this category would make up for it, at least a bit. Still, I don't have high hopes: I think Parsons owns this award from now until he decides to stop playing Dr Sheldon Cooper.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Should Win: Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation
Will Probably Win: Zooey Deschanel, New Girl

Like Louis CK, a win for Poehler here would make up for the fact that Parks & Recreation missed out on an Outstanding Comedy Series nomination. Yet, despite the fact that last year's winner, Melissa McCarthy, is nominated again, I think this one goes to Deschanel: she was better than McCarthy on a better show, and New Girl proved a hit with viewers (one of the few hits from the 2011-2012 season).

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Should Win: Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Will Probably Win: Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

This is the toughest category to pick since there are four great performers here (these two, plus Giancarlo Esposito from Breaking Bad and Jared Harris from Mad Men) and two nominees from Downton Abbey. Assuming the Downton sweep is not in full effect, I think Dinklage takes this one - he won last year for the first season of Thrones, and only got better in Season 2. I'd still like Aaron Paul to take it though. Why Paul isn't a bigger star is truly baffling.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Should Win: Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Will Probably Win: Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife

This was the toughest category to pick since there are no clear favourites and last year's winner (Margo Martindale) isn't nominated. I've picked Gunn as my choice, but that could just be my Breaking Bad bias talking. Archie Panjabi has won this award in the past, so let's just give it to her.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Should Win: Max Greenfield, New Girl
Will Probably Win: Ty Burrell, Modern Family

Honestly, I think Schmidt - as played by the brilliant Max Greenfield - might be the funniest character on any comedy show right now; he's at least on the shortlist with Danny Pudi's Abed (Community) and Chris Pratt's Andy Dwyer (Parks & Recreation). But since those shows can't buy an award nomination, this one will probably go to the incumbent, Ty Burrell, and I would add that the fact that Modern Family has four nominations in this category is just ridiculous.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Should Win: Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Will Probably Win: Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory

The era of Amy Farrah Fowler has begun - and I, for one, welcome our new socially awkward, supporting-actress overlord.

Who are your favourites? Who do you think will win? Post your picks in the comments section, below.

(*) I mean, is it me? Do I like bad comedy shows? Or do Emmy voters just not like good comedy shows?

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