Emmys Wishful Thinking

The nominations ceremony for this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards will take place next Thursday morning (July 16th) at 8:35 EST, beginning two months of speculation about who should, and who actually will, win each award. Three-time nominee Chandra Wilson (Grey’s Anatomy) and Jim Parsons of The Big Bang Theory will join the Television Academy chair for the live ceremony. However, before the big announcement, fellow TV enthusiasts and journalists are creating their own lists of nominees, ranging from which actors and actresses they believe will actually receive an Emmy nod to the underdogs they would like to see recognized.

Everyone makes predictions, not an impossible task because the Emmys often follow the old saying and stick to what they know while shutting out deserving newcomers, but what I find more interesting are the underdog lists of those actors and actresses who probably don’t stand a chance. Here is one more TV enthusiast’s list, comprised of both deserving underdogs and favourites who might just get that shot at a golden trophy.

Before I begin my list, I have a confession to make. I don’t get cable. No doubt this contributes to my enjoyment of the Emmy awards, which have recently chosen to honour shows originating on Showtime, HBO, and AMC. The trend towards cable keeps me somewhat out of the loop for although I had the opportunity to watch the first season of True Blood over the summer, and I’ve seen the first two seasons of Dexter, I haven’t seen so many of the critically acclaimed shows often nominated, including Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and Damages.

For anyone eager to create their own list or take a look at the potential nominees, a list of all the possible actors and actresses who submitted their names for consideration can be found here.

Oustanding Drama Seriesdrama

The Possibles: House M.D. may have fallen off the rails this year with the decision to put Thirteen front and center, but I loved the controversial season finale, hallucinations and all, and I believe it’s still one of the best dramas on television. Due to my lack of cable I haven’t seen this season of Dexter, so I’m cheating a little bit here by sticking it on my list anyway. The first two seasons were some of the best written I’ve ever seen and I can’t imagine that three would be poor enough to take it out of the running. Although I haven’t always been a big Lost supporter, I have to admit that this season really stepped up the quality of the show and I think it deserves a place here.

The Longshots: With both my picks already cancelled I’m sure Hell would have to freeze over before either of these two were nominated but I fell in love with the shortlived Kings and found its politically manipulative drama fascinating. Although I found the first season of Eli Stone to be stronger overall, I love this sentimental show and wish that it would get some deserved recognition as well.

Outstanding Comedy Seriescomedy

The Possibles: I don’t watch many comedies, but there are two exceptions. Although this was probably its weakest season to date, How I Met Your Mother remains one of my favourite shows and episodes like “Intervention” and “Three Days of Snow” demonstrated its ability to combine heart and hilarity. But if I had my way, the show taking home the trophy this year would be The Big Bang Theory. The cast is fantastic and the writing is laugh out loud funny. It’s often hard to believe it was created by the man behind Two and a Half Men.

Outstanding Lead Actor/Actress in a Drama Seriesactor-actress-drama

The Possibles: It never fails to amaze me that Michael C. Hall hasn’t won an Emmy for his role as Dexter Morgan. I haven’t seen the third season so I don’t know if this is his year but the man is certainly deserving. Given what Hugh Laurie’s Doctor House went through this year I think it’s a safe bet that the best non-American doing an American accent on television will be nominated. Those last five minutes of the season finale where he realised everything was a hallucination is more than enough to convince me.

The Longshots: I would love to see Ian McShane nominated for his work in Kings. He’s a huge part of what makes the show so engaging. Although other lists have Simon Baker (The Mentalist) listed as possible, I find it hard to believe that a procedural actor will be nominated against the giants of cable. All the same, I’m rooting for the Australian underdog to get a nomination. The Mentalist wouldn’t have worked without him.

By now you’ve probably realised that I don’t have any picks for Oustanding Lead Actress. To be honest I just do not have a preference. I’m much more interested in this year’s Supporting Actress category.

Supporting Actor in a Dramasupporting actor

The Possibles: Michael Emerson is consistently creepy as Ben on Lost and he absolutely deserves to be nominated again. I would also love to see Josh Holloway (Lost) get a much needed Emmy nod for his fantastic work this season as Sawyer.

The Longshots: As Lafayette, Nelsan Ellis steals every scene he’s in on True Blood so I’m hoping he’s more of a possible than an unlikely choice. Meanwhile, from the “not unless Hell freezes over” group are Sebastian Stan (Kings) whose closeted Prince has become a far more engaging character than Chris Egan’s David, and Glenn Fitzgerald (Dirty Sexy Money). His conflicted Brian Darling is what I’ll miss most about the show.

Supporting Actress in a Dramasupporting actress

The Possibles: Chandra Wilson’s Bailey is one of the bright spots of Grey’s Anatomy and I’d much rather see her take home the prize than the more likely option of Katherine Heigl for her tumor/hallucination storyline, but in a perfect world the Emmy would go Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost).

The Longshots: I think Julie Benz’s Rita’s (Dexter) growth has been one of the more interesting subplots on television and I would love to see her recognised for it. Lisa Edelstein (House) was given a lot more to do this season and made the most of it, while Rutina Wesley played Sookie’s troubled best friend Tara to perfection in True Blood

Outstanding Lead Actor/Actress in a Comedyactor comedy

The Possible: If Jim Parsons isn’t nominated for his fantastic work in The Big Bang Theory I might just give up on television altogether. With my other favourite comedic talent in the supporting category the door is open for Jim Parsons to walk away with the gold.

The Longshots: I would love to see Billie Piper nominated for Secret Diary of a Call Girl, although I don’t see it happening. Although Jim Parsons should win the award, co-star Johnny Galecki deserves a nod as well. I just don’t think there’s room for both of The Big Bang Theory leads in this category.

Supporting Actor/Actress in a Comedyactress comedy

The Possibles: If I had my way Neil Patrick Harris would be nominated in this category every year that How I Met Your Mother is on the air. Barney Stinson is a character that could so easily be unlikeable. That he is so beloved is a testament to Harris’ skill.

The Longshots: Although Pushing Daisies is often a little too sweet for my tastes, Kristin Chenoweth is adorable as Olive Snook and deserves a nomination for Supporting Actress, although I don’t know that she will actually receive one. Again from the “when Hell freezes over” category are Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory), who is wonderful as Raj, and Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) as Robin.

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that most of my picks for this year don’t stand a chance at being nominated but I’ll be content if Jim Parsons, Michael C. Hall, and Neil Patrick Harris receive nominations.  I’d love to hear any other opinions on longshots or possible nominees you’d like to see recognized this September, and I’ll be back next Thursday with my thoughts on the nominations.

The nominations ceremony takes place July 16th at 8:35 a.m. EST
The 61st Annual Emmy Awards airs September 20th on CBS.

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