Predicting the Emmy Races You Care About (Dramas)

The Emmys are quite near, and we watch a lot of television, so we thought it’d be nice of us to share some thoughts regarding the major categories whose winners will be announced next Monday. I won’t go through every category; not even I am capable of knowledgeably discussing every aspect of every show, and I cannot claim to have fully watched any of the major miniseries nominees. I will also shy away from discussing snubs, or else we would be here forever. I’ll give potentially biased picks for “should win” and slightly less biased picks for “will win” in each category. Anyway, to the ones you care about!


Outstanding Lead Actress, Drama

Claire Danes has won the last two trophies for Homeland (not to mention one in 2010 for Temple Grandin), but she faces strong competition all around. Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex) brings the momentum of a newly beloved show, and Robin Wright’s Claire Underwood (House of Cards) is delectably evil. Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) is the last non-Danes winner in this category, but it does not seem like she can overcome the aforementioned favorites. Likewise, Kerry Washington (Scandal) and Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) both delight in vastly different “guilty pleasure” shows, but they do not yet have the sway to overtake the competition. Caplan and Wright are on the rise while general Homeland fan morale is low, seemingly eliminating Danes from the race. Caplan will continue to garner praise as Virginia Johnson, but House of Cards has dug too deeply into the conscience of the masses for Wright to lose. Caplan and the others will have more chances, and Wright has earned this victory.


Should Win: Wright

Will Win: Wright


(Contemplating how to end you.)


Outstanding Lead Actor, Drama

Talk about an absolutely LOADED field. Hamm vs. Cranston vs. Spacey vs. the boys of True Detective vs. The Newsroom sucks! Breaking Bad is sadly gone forever, which means Cranston has the “WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH AND WISH YOU WOULD KEEP PLAYING WALTER FOREVER” card going for him, but Spacey has captivated viewers as ruthless Frank Underwood. I am an unabashed Mad Men diehard, but even I admit Hamm’s chances will be better next year as Don Draper bids farewell. Jeff Daniels snuck in and stole this one for The Newsroom last year. Some people think he deserved it and that the show is wonderful. I am not one of those people. Both Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson were spectacular in True Detective, though the former has generated far more buzz. Cranston’s blitz to the finish of BB may be unbeatable; McConaughey’s performance was incredible, despite Rust’s intermittent ridiculousness, and a victory would make his one of the most memorable years ever for an individual performer, but if I sit back and think about their characters free from bias and buzz, Cranston comes out on top. Of course, who really knows? When Cranston won three straight in this category a few years ago, it looked like he might stay on top forever. Now, things having changed, he’ll at least get to end up there.


Should Win: Cranston

Will Win: Cranston


Can’t stop looking at this…


Outstanding Drama Series

We’re truly #blessed to have so many great shows running at the same time. It can be overwhelming to try to keep up with all of them, but we should recognize the vast array of entertainment standing before us. I won’t pretend to be a Downton Abbey fanboy, but the show is inarguably filled with great acting and production. Game of Thrones has a huge following now, though I don’t think it will be nearly enough to topple the other giants in this category. True Detective, having battled to be recognized as a series rather than miniseries, gets the honor of going up against two shows that will go down as a couple of the greatest dramas OF ALL TIME, in Breaking Bad and Mad Men. And of course there’s House of Cards, notable but perhaps a victim of its release setup, with buzz having died down in recent weeks or months. Like with Hamm, I think Mad Men will be a stronger contender once we witness Don’s fate next spring. So, for me and many others, it comes down to TD and BB. At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about Rust and company sneaking into the race with the big boys, but now that it’s here I’ll try to put those thoughts asideBB deserved to win last year, and I think it deserves the title again. Unfortunately, TD‘s timing and brevity seem to be helping its cause, and I think it will partially darken Vince Gilligan’s Monday night.


Should Win: Breaking Bad

Will Win: True Detective


Still not satisfied.


So there are your three big ones for drama. Below you’ll find quick picks for second-tier categories, and stay tuned for our picks for the comedy series categories later this week!


Supporting Actor

Jesse Pinkman’s final moments were heartbreaking and beautiful, and he’s just too likable and deserving.

Should Win: Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad

Will Win: Paul


Supporting Actress

I love Maggie Smith, and Christina Hendricks looks primed to win next year, but Gunn finished strong as Skyler. Really a wide open race.

Should Win: Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad

Will Win: Gunn


As for writing, directing, and guest acting, we’ll leave those to the voters (We don’t care as much about those ones….Shhhhh.).






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About Author: Brian McMahon

Brian is an author and co-founder of GoodWillWatching. He likes to write and is deathly afraid of bugs. His Great American Novel, not yet titled or existent, will be shocking the world some time or another. He once stayed up for two days straight because of poor information regarding the arrival of Halley’s Comet, which was not due for approximately 57 years. You can follow him @bm1313 on Twitter, or in real life from a safe distance.



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