Here are a list of all the contenders for the biggest categories in the 2014 Emmy Awards with our predictions of who should win as well as who is most likely to win next Monday…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
The 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards are less than a week away with the gold statues being handed out on Monday night, August 25 starting at 8pm ET and we will have full event coverage on NerdcoreMovement.com. But before the awards get here, there’s still plenty of discussion to be had about the categories and the nominees up for a chance to win.
First time shows like ‘True Detective’ will go up against final year nominees like ‘Breaking Bad’ while a slew of actors and actresses will be vying for awards with a few past favorites out of contention this year. All told this could be one of the most tension wrought years for the Emmys because there are several categories that would normally be a slam dunk to pick a winner but it’s not so with a huge list of potential candidates all poised for potential victory or letdown.
So today I will focus on the key categories for the 66th annual Emmy Awards and give my thoughts on who will win, who should win, and maybe even a few snubs along the way. No better way to start than to examine the best actress on TV to kick off the show.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:
Michelle Dockery — Downton Abbey
Claire Danes — Homeland
Robin Wright — House of Cards
Lizzy Caplan — Masters of Sex
Kerry Washington — Scandal
Julianna Margulies — The Good Wife
Who Should Win? — Robin Wright — who put on a stellar performance in ‘House of Cards’ this season as her character took center stage amidst an abortion controversy and her husband’s meteoric (albeit heinous) rise to power. Oh and there was that three way stuck in the middle of everything else.
Who Will Win? — Julianna Margulies — Admittedly, I don’t watch ‘The Good Wife’ but all of my esteemed colleagues in the press seem to peg her as the favorite in this category. There’s no doubt from her past work that Margulies is a tremendous actress so it’s not a surprise that she would win any number of awards for her performances.
Dark Horse: Lizzy Caplan — rave reviews for her role in ‘Masters of Sex’
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:
Bryan Cranston — Breaking Bad
Kevin Spacey — House of Cards
Jon Hamm — Mad Men
Jeff Daniels — The Newsroom
Matthew McConaughey — True Detective
Woody Harrelson — True Detective
Who Should Win? — Matthew McConaughy — This might be the most stacked category for any list in Emmy history and honestly anything could happen here. There’s no denying, however, that McConaughey stole the show in 2014 portraying troubled cop Rust Cohle in the breakout HBO hit ‘True Detective’. He was pitch perfect from start to finish in all eight episodes and it takes a huge performance to steal the spotlight from names like Cranston and Spacey, who were both really, really good this year.
Who Will Win? — Matthew McConaughey — As tough as it is to pick the best actor, the odds are all in McConaughey’s favor, especially after he pulled off an Oscar win earlier this year. He looks primed to pull off the rare film/TV best actor combination in 2014 and you know what? He deserves it. That said, don’t be shocked if there’s an upset in this category the award could go to Bryan Cranston as Emmy voters say goodbye to ‘Breaking Bad’ one last time. Still, considering McConaughey’s turn on ‘True Detective’ was for only a single season, chances are he’s going home with the gold.
Dark Horse — Woody Harrelson — he was damn good in ‘True Detective’ and held his own in every scene beside McConaughey.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Anna Gunn — Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith — Downton Abbey
Joanne Froggatt — Downton Abbey
Lena Headey — Game of Thrones
Christina Hendricks — Mad Men
Christine Baranski — The Good Wife
Who Should Win? — Lena Headey — In a cast that is the biggest on television, Lena Headey still stands out playing Queen Cersei Lannister. Her conniving schemes are nothing new, but the impassioned shriek she bellowed as she watched her son die this season was a new level of spectacular for her.
Who Will Win? — Anna Gunn — Listen, Anna Gunn deserves a lot of praise for her portrayal of Skyler White and chances are she’ll take home the trophy. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, but it would be nice to see another actress get a nod this year.
Dark Horse — Lena Headey — Let’s not kid ourselves, this is Anna Gunn’s award to lose.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Aaron Paul — Breaking Bad
Jim Carter — Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage — Game of Thrones
Mandy Patinkin — Homeland
Jon Voight — Ray Donovan
Josh Charles — The Good Wife
Who Should Win? — Peter Dinklage — While there’s no doubt Peter Dinklage could win this award every single year, his portrayal as Tyrion Lannister literally fighting for his life in this past season of ‘Game of Thrones’ was nothing short of breathtaking. Maybe his best scene all year was one where he didn’t even say a word as he listened to Pedro Pascal reveal the monstrous nature of his upbringing and he just sat there with lips quivering and sullen eyes soaking in the pain. Masterful.
Who Will Win? — Aaron Paul or Peter Dinklage — The love affair with Breaking Bad could still end up winning Aaron Paul a trophy in this category and his final few moments playing Jesse Pinkman were really damn good. That said, Peter Dinklage also received a huge amount of praise for his part this year as well so this category is a big toss up come show time.
Dark Horse — Jon Voight — ‘Ray Donovan’ has been hit or miss at times, but Voight steals the show in every episode.
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Diana Rigg — Game of Thrones
Kate Mara — House of Cards
Allison Janney — Masters of Sex
Kate Burton — Scandal
Margo Martindale — The Americans
Jane Fonda — The Newsroom
Who Should Win? — Diana Rigg — Her deliciously wicked and funny portrayal of House Tyrell matriarch Lady Olenna was fantastic once again this season (although short lived and only in a few episodes) but we saw how effective and powerful this lady can be as well. She’s far from the old lady she portrays and she gave a great showing this season on ‘Game of Thrones’.
Who Will Win? — Diana Rigg — She seems like a shoe in this year but there are some other contenders who could end up as a surprise winner
Dark Horse — Margo Martindale — ‘The Americans’ doesn’t pull in the ratings or attention it deserves as one of the best shows on television currently.
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Paul Giamatti — Downton Abbey
Reg E. Cathey — House of Cards
Robert Morse — Mad Men
Beau Bridges — Masters of Sex
Joe Morton — Scandal
Dylan Baker — The Good Wife
Who Should Win? — Reg E Cathey — Listen I’m confident enough to admit that this is one category I am woefully unprepared to judge because I haven’t seen a few of the shows on the list. That said, I did watch ‘House of Cards’ and Reg E. Cathey was great and considering he’s not likely to return, it would be nice to see him win on the way out
Who Will Win? — Anybody’s Guess — Even doing research, this seems to be a category up in the air although the reality is the person who I would vote and who seemingly deserved not only a nod but a win is ‘Game of Thrones’ actor Pedro Pascal, who stole the show this year with his portrayal of doomed Dornish prince Oberyn Martell.
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Who Should Win? — True Detective — In a year of outstanding shows, ‘True Detective’ still stands out because of the performances from the entire cast led by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson and some of the best writing that’s ever been done on television for an eight episode run. This show was taut with suspense, filled with mythology and was absolutely must see TV for the two month run it was on HBO.
Who Will Win? — Breaking Bad — It seems to be written in the stars for ‘Breaking Bad’ to take home another Emmy and the show deserves a huge standing ovation and a dozen awards just like this. The reason why I don’t like the show winning again is because the final season being split in two seems like a cheap way to end up in two award seasons over two years with neither run being an actual full slate of the show. ‘Breaking Bad’ cleaned up in 2013 and will likely do the same this year. Is that bad? No. Is it a little unfair? Maybe.
Dark Horse — Game of Thrones — Possibly the best year for the series (although all of them have been good) but it’s a tall order tackling ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘True Detective’.
OUSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Jessica Lange — American Horror Story
Sarah Paulson — American Horror Story
Helena Bonham Carter — Burton and Taylor
Minnie Driver — Return to Zero
Kristen Wiig — The Spoils of Babylon
Cicely Tyson — The Trip to Bountiful
Who Should Win? — Sarah Paulson — She was outstanding this year in ‘American Horror Story’ going from embattled and emotional school teacher to strong and proud leader by the end of the season. This was the best year yet for ‘American Horror Story’ and Paulson deserves a nod for her amazing performance
Who Will Win? — Jessica Lange — It seems like a forgone conclusion with ‘American Horror Story’ in this category that Jessica Lange will win almost every year. In reality she should be vying for best actress in a drama series, but she’ll likely take home the award in this category much easier than going up against a slew of A-list actresses (although Jessica Lange is superb).
Dark Horse — Sarah Paulson — she gets overlooked thanks to her co-star, but she was the best in show this year and deserves recognition. Maybe she’ll pull the upset.
OUSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE:
Chiwetel Ejiofor — Dancing on the Edge
Martin Freeman — Fargo
Billy Bob Thornton — Fargo
Idris Elba — Luther
Benedict Cumberbatch — Sherlock Holmes
Mark Ruffalo — The Normal Heart
Who Should Win? — Billy Bob Thornton — What an homage to the original film ‘Fargo’ without ever actually having any input from the Coen brothers to make this show happen. Billy Bob Thornton stands head and shoulders above everyone else in this category and he should go ahead and prepare his victory speech right now
Who Will Win? — Billy Bob Thornton — He was the best of the best this year along with Matthew McConaughey on ‘True Detective’. Maybe we can get these two to team up at some point down the road?
Dark Horse — Ildris Elba — Probably doesn’t stand a chance but ‘Luther’ was an extremely well done series.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Angela Bassett — American Horror Story
Frances Conroy — American Horror Story
Kathy Bates — American Horror Story
Alison Tolman — Fargo
Ellen Burstyn — Flowers in the Attic
Julia Roberts — The Normal Heart
Who Should Win? — Alison Tolman
Who Will Win? — Kathy Bates
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Colin Hanks — Fargo
Martin Freeman — Sherlock Holmes
Jim Parsons — The Normal Heart
Joe Mantello — The Normal Heart
Alfred Molina — The Normal Heart
Matt Bomer — The Normal Heart
Who Should Win? — Colin Hanks
Who Will Win? — Colin Hanks
American Horror Story: Coven
Bonnie & Clyde
The White Queen
Who Should Win? — Fargo — But I say that with a heavy heart because ‘American Horror Story’ really did have its best year yet with the fun and campy ‘Coven’ season but there’s no denying ‘Fargo’ was one of the top shows and deserves this one.
Who Will Win? — Fargo — Oh ya, you betcha.
Dark Horse — American Horror Story: Coven — Maybe the witches can cast a spell on this category?
Sons of Anarchy — Every year this show is a commercial and critical success, and in my humble opinion one of the best (if not the best) show on television yet somehow the Emmys always seem to leave ‘Sons of Anarchy’ out in the cold. At this point it’s almost like a joke that the series doesn’t even get nominated and truth be told it’s the Emmys who lose out because they look like a laughable awards show for not even considering this series when they are nominating much lesser shows for bigger awards.
Maggie Siff for OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS — Her portrayal of Dr. Tara Knowles has always been good, but this year she was off the charts. She could go toe-to-toe with Anna Gunn or Lena Headey and not only did she deserve a nomination, I believe she deserved to win.
Pedro Pascal for OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR — This is another mind boggling decision because Pedro Pascal was one of the real stars of ‘Game of Thrones’ this year and he doesn’t even get a nomination? Are you kidding me?
Vera Farmiga for OUSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS — She really does an amazing job on ‘Bates Motel’ and this is another show that got shut out completely at the Emmys
Walton Goggins for OUSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR — There’s not much better on TV right now that Goggins’ performance as Kentucky bad boy Boyd Crowder on ‘Justified’. Sure, he probably stood no chance of winning going against Peter Dinklage and Aaron Paul, but he deserved to stand amongst them as the best of the best for the year. And while we’re at it Charles Dance from ‘Game of Thrones’ should have been there as well as Dean Norris for ‘Breaking Bad’.
Emma Roberts for OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE — She was so great in this season of ‘American Horror Story’ as the bitchy, privileged Hollywood star turned witch and she deserves a nomination for her line ‘surprise, bitch’ alone.
The Walking Dead — For anything, I mean seriously it’s the biggest show on television and there wasn’t one thing that stood out this year? Nothing? Listen I’ve been as critical about this show as any person writing about ‘The Walking Dead’ but still it’s impossible to deny some standout performances, particularly Melissa McBride in the supporting actress category.
There you have it folks the 2014 Emmy Awards — tune in next Monday night to find out all the winners and then come back to Nerdcore Movement for all the coverage and reaction you could possibly want!