Emmy nominations are less than a month away, which means that in just under a month I (along with all TVAddicts) will be whining and complaining about the actors and shows that did not make the ballet. So to help Emmy voters and give attention to the less-noticed contenders, I have compiled my list of Dream Nominations.
It is important to state here (before you sound off about it in the comments) I do not watch most HBO/Showtime shows or Mad Men so you will not find any of those below. But Mad Men and HBO/Showtime get enough attention as it is so this is more about the underdogs (along with some heaving hitters). The lists will also be uneven because … well because there are some actors/shows that I watch that haven’t earned a spot on my Dream List; I tried to have at least 3 in each category. Feel free to angrily tell me who or what I missed in the comments.
Outstanding Drama Series
- The Blacklist
- The Good Wife
- Vampire Diaries
These four Dramas may be the best shows on network television. The Blacklist managed to handle the overarching questions/themes of the show well within their “Baddie of the Week” episode style. By the time they brought up the “Is Red, Elizabeth’s father” question, I had completely eliminated it from my head because of the other crazy storylines going on. And now that that questions is pretty much answered, I cannot wait to see where season 2 goes. The Vampire Diaries may be a CW show and it may not have been its best season to date but that is only based on “The Vampire Diaries Curve.” TVD is putting out some of the best seasons of television and its a shame that it will never get recognized for that achievement. But the real winner of this list (and hopefully on Emmy night) is The Good Wife. The Good Wife had one of the best seasons in the history of television. I agree with their Emmy campaign, it is a lot harder to create invigorating television for 22 episode than for 7 or 8 or 12. Hopefully the Emmys do the right the thing and give this series the Best Drama award it very much has earned.
Outstanding Comedy Series
- The Mindy Project
- Parks & Recreation
- The Big Bang Theory
- Playing House
- Orange is the New Black
Comedy has had a pretty great year, I think it maybe the strongest category and any comedy, on my list or not, could win. The Big Bang Theory is in its 7th season and it still is holding strong as the best comedy out there. I believe this is the year that it will dethrone Modern Family (which you’ll notice is absent from my list). Parks & Rec also had a strong season and I wouldn’t be surprised nor upset if it ran away with the Emmy. OITNB was the surprise hit last TV season and it had one of the strongest first seasons in recent history. The Mindy Project did a facelift this season from a pretty chaotic first season and really focused in on what was great about this show, Mindy and her crazy dating life. For the reimagining of the show alone it deserves an Emmy nod. Playing House is the best comedy show that no one is really talking about and hysterical. I’m not sure if it actually eligible for the Emmys, but if it is I hope it gets a nod.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
- James Spader, The Blacklist
- Jonny Lee Miller, Elementary
- Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Spader was the main reason I watched The Blacklist and I wasn’t disappointed in his performance. He brought so many different levels to this already very complicated character. He may not win this year but look for him to run away with the category once the juggernaut of Bryan Cranston is no longer in this way. Speaking of Cranston, so much as been said about his performance in the last season of Breaking Bad so I will not add to the praise, I will just say that there is no way that he doesn’t win this year. Miller is very underrated for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes on Elementary. Miller is the show; if he didn’t bring forth everything he has and lose all inhibition this show would not be the same. Miller deserves an Emmy nod (which he will definitely not get, at least this year) because he could play Sherlock the same way that every other actor plays Sherlock but he doesn’t. He gives Sherlock emotion and depth and his friendship with Watson (played by Lucy Lui, who did not have the best year) is something to see and surprises me on almost a weekly basis.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
- Chris Messina, The Mindy Project
- Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
- Louis C.K., Louie
Messina has completely figured out the character of Danny and if this season is any indication of what is come, you can expect Messina to be nominated for the foreseeable future. C.K. has some of the freshest stand-up sets to date and he brings all of that to his show. C.K. could take away the prize if it weren’t for Parsons. Sheldon made some of the biggest leaps in his development this season and Parson played all of them perfectly. He will most certainly be nominated and I’d put my money on him to win.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
- Julianna Margulies, Te Good Wife
- Nina Dobrev, Vampire Diaries
- Mariska Hagitay, Law & Order: SVU
- Tatiana Masslany, Orphan Black
This season Mariska Hagitay proved to us why we all get sucked into SVU marathons; not only are the storylines gripping but whatever the writers throw at her she hits in out of the park. Olivia went through one of her darkest periods and Hagitay was believable in her struggle to work through everything and come out the other side a stronger person. Dobrev is probably doing some of the best acting out there on the little watched Vampire Diaries. She played multiple characters before it became cool by Masslany and if you can get through her goodbye to Damon in this year’s finale without crying then you are dead inside. But the real standout and hopefully the real winner come Emmy night is Julianna Margulies. If Margulies doesn’t win this year, I literally will lose all faith in the Emmy process; I wish there was a better word than perfection or fantastic because those words just don’t do her performance this season justice.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
- Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation
- Mindy Kaling, The Mindy Project
- Julia Louise-Dreyfus, Veep
- Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer
- Taylor Schilling, Orange is the New Black
Ladies in comedies is at an all time high and there are multiple other contenders that could make this list. Kaling in The Mindy Project has my favorite comedic timing ever maybe. When she said the line about the information on a driver’s license being goals, I laughed for well over 10 minutes. And she was perfect in the finale, especially the bathroom scene when she said that she would be the stupidest person on the planet if she fell for Danny again. I almost left Schilling off this list and it wasn’t until I rewatched season 1 before watching season 2 of OITNB that I realized how good she was. While Piper can be annoying and infuriating, I still root for her and she just nails everything that is given to her. Poehler has always shown her A game for Parks and this season was no different. Hopefully she can ride her Golden Globe win into an Emmy win as well.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
- Alan VanSprang, Reign
- Daniel Gillies, The Originals
- Josh Charles, The Good Wife
Reign is suppose to be a show about the young Mary, Queen of Scots and all her young friends; well that is what the show is about but the youngsters weren’t what kept me coming back week after week. It was the adults; VanSprang portrayed King Henry perfectly and his progression into madness was heartbreaking and scary all at the same time. Gillies as Elijah is one of the best things about The Originals. He is classy, terrifying and loving. He’s speech in the finale this season about letting Hailey into his heart was heartbreaking and deserved multiple watchings. The Originals is about Klaus most of the time but it is Gillies portrayal as Elijah that steals most scenes. Josh Charles could take this prize based on the “Hit the Fan” episode alone, he was fantastic in the scene when he confronted Alicia and knocked all her stuff off her desk.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in Comedy Series
- Chris Pratt, Parks & Recreation
- Nick Offerman, Parks & Recreation
- Taran Killam, Saturday Night Live
Parks & Rec has the best male supporting cast out there. This list could have easily had Aziz Ansari or Rob Lowe on it as well. I picked Pratt and Offerman because they are the most consistent and they annoy me the least (sorry to say it but Tom and Chris can be very annoying most of the time). Saturday Night Live is definitely in a rut but whenever Killam is involved in a skit it immediately gets better and he should be applauded for doing his best with not so much to work with.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
- Christine Baranski, Good Wife
- Megan Follow, Reign
- Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy
- Archie Panjabi, Good Wife
Sandra Oh left Grey’s the right way and because of that Shonda Rhimes gave Christina the best goodbye any actor could hope for. We knew it was coming all season and it was still the most emotional thing to happen on Grey’s in a long time. I thought Christina’s goodbye was great, made sense and very much deserving. Oh acted the hell out of everything she was given especially her confrontation with Burke and hopefully will receive an Emmy nod on her way out as well. Megan Follow is the best thing that happened to the CW. Her one liners are up there with the best of them and somehow can keep me laughing and only wanting good things for her while also trying to kill almost everyone else in the show. The two supporting ladies on The Good Wife were fantastic this season and it is honestly hard to pick who deserves the win more, although my money is on Baranski this season.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
- Laura Prepon, Orange is the New Black
- Allison Janney, Mom
- Mayim Bialik, Big Bang Theory
- Aubrey Plaza, Parks & Recreation
- Uzo Abuda, Orange is the New Black
OITNB has maybe the best supporting cast of any show right now so any of their ladies could have made this list. Prepon and Abuda are my picks because they brought the most to their characters. Abuda was not used that much during season 1 but when she was able to show her acting chops, she did not disappoint. Abuda’s bit about performing Shakespeare during a Scared Straight demonstration, that would keep anyone out of jail and please rewatch when she sings “Vanilla and Vanilla, swirl .. swirl ..” to Piper and Alex because it’s best thing that ever happened to me. Prepon was great as Alex Vause and managed to make a character that is a pretty terrible person sympathetic and likeable. Mayim Bialik may be the most underrated cast member of BBT and deserves an Emmy nod more than anyone else in the cast.
Kelly Thompson has been addicted to television for as far back as she can remember and the addiction has only grown as she’s getting older and television is becoming more readily available. Two of the most important things in her life are Netflix and her DVR. When she isn’t watching television, she is normally ranting about it to anyone that will listen and now that includes TheTVAddict readers. You can also read her rants on twitter @TVwithKelly.