The Emmys are Sunday. I have thoughts.
Will Win - Mad Men
Should Win - Breaking Bad
If There's an Upset - The Good Wife
Mad Men had a terrific year; its best season, and probably I've written someplace that it's the best show on TV. It's not that it's clearly behind Breaking Bad; it's more of a horses for courses situation - I'll take the emotional punch of the stripped down, barebones Breaking Bad over the more stylized Mad Men. They're solidly the two best dramas on television; were Mad Men to win, that would be 3 straight - only two dramas have ever won 4 straight (guess! guess what they are! it's guessing time! All right, fine. Hill St. and West Wing.)
If there is an upset - I think the portion of the electorate desirous of a mainstream network drama to win the award might be able to sneak through a Mad Men/Breaking Bad splinter vote and give the trophy to the Good Wife. It's not likely - Mad Men is at even money, but there's value in the Good Wife at 9-1.
Will Win - Modern Family
Should Win - 30 Rock
30 Rock's won 3 straight (Fraiser won an unconscionable 5 straight) it's still the best comedy on television, despite the pretty clear desire to annoint a new king, and I'd vote it first and Curb second, were I to have a ballot. But Modern Family is pretty darn good and has a truckload of nominations - it would be a solid surprise if it didn't win.
Best Actor - Drama
Will Win - Michael Hall
Should Win - Er...ah...I'm going to say Jon Hamm
Bryan Cranston's won consecutive years, and three straight for a show no one watches seems a little heavy, but it wouldn't break my heart. I'm rooting for Kyle Chandler; he won't win, but FNL has a little engine that could aspect I appreciate - Hugh Laurie and Michael Hall get to do the most scenery chewing and neither has won; I'd lean Hall takes the prize, but Laurie would be almost as likely to walk across the stage. I'd vote for Hamm - he's Don Draper; too often the more subtle performances are overlooked in favor of histrionics, his is the heartbeat of the most awarded drama on the air.
Best Actress - Drama
Will Win - Juliana Marguiles
Should Win - Connie Britton
Britton has no chance to win, but this is an easy category for me; FNL is a decided step behind the two AMC shows in quality, but that puts it a step ahead of the rest of the field, and this is the recognition that I'd like to see it get. Glenn Close has won consecutive years; she doesn't win again - it's a two horse race between Marguiles and Kyra Sedgwick; I'm going to say the full force of the networks comes into play here to give it to Marguiles.
Best Actor - Comedy
Will Win - Tony Shalhoub
Should Win - Steve Carell
The appeal of Monk is lost on me - but not on voters who have given Shalhoub 3 previous Emmys and I'm going to say he takes a 4th. Carell has no chance, but his was a more consistently funny performance to my eyes this season than was Baldwin's and they're really the only two contenders for my vote. I picked Parsons last year, and if Shalhoub doesn't win he will; he's good, Big Bang is good, but it's too broad to compare, for me, to the elite performances in the category.
Best Actress - Comedy
Will Win - Edie Falco
Should Win - Amy Poehler
-Is Nurse Jackie a comedy? Falco's going to win; she'll be the first woman ever to win for leads in both comedy and drama - I wouldn't vote for her as a thirty minute show should no more automatically be considered a comedy than a 60 minute show (like Glee) should be considered a drama. Collette won last year; if Falco somehow doesn't win (which strikes me as really, really unlikely) she does. Poehler gave the best comedy performance of the group, and Parks went by the Office this season as the number two network comedy; it's not a hard vote for me.
And the rest:
Supporting Comedy - Jane Lynch, Eric Stonestreet
Supporting Drama - Terry O' Quinn, Christina Hendricks
Reality Comp - Amazing Race
Late Night/Variety - The Tonight Show w/Conan
TV Movie - Temple Grandin
Mini Series - The Pacific
TV Movie Actor - Al Pacino
TV Movie Acress - Claire Danes
TV Movie Supporting - Patrick Stewart, Susan Sarandon