The Emmy nominations come out on Thursday, and being a bit of a TV junkie, I’m looking forward to hearing them. And there are a few people I’m particularly hoping will get nominated.
Before I give you this list, there are a few things I need to make clear. First, there are some shows I love that have already been honored. Breaking Bad will totally deserve any nominations and wins it gets for the final half of its last season, but since the show, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, and Anna Gunn have already won, I don’t feel super strongly about it. Similarly, the show Veep, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and all the supporting actors are all great, but again, they’ve been honored already. Second, I don’t watch Game of Thrones or The Big Bang Theory, couldn’t get into Louie or Girls, liked the first two seasons of Homeland but not the most recent one, and don’t like House of Cards at all. Third, I think everyone from Orange is the New Black is great and many of them should get nominations, but while I acknowledge that the show is very well-done, it’s just not one of my favorites. I feel the same way about True Detective.
So here we go:
Cristin Milioti, Best Guest Actress in a Comedy, How I Met Your Mother
As disappointing as the ending was, Cristin Milioti’s performance as the mother (Tracy) was never disappointing. She was adorable, sweet, and interesting, and in the episode “How Your Mother Met Me,” which is told from her point of view, she was particularly impressive.
Jennifer Carpenter, Best Supporting Actress in a Drama, Dexter
The last season of Dexterwas an absolute mess, but Jennifer Carpenter as Dexter’s foul-mouthed sister Deb has always been the best thing about the show, and I have no idea why she’s never gotten an Emmy nomination. Even when the material she was working with sucked, she’s always done an incredible job with it. I’ve said for a long time that she should have her own show, so I’m really disappointed that a pilot she filmed wasn’t picked up!
Cat Deeley, Best Reality Show Host, So You Think You Can Dance
Okay, I may be a bit biased because SYTYCD is the only reality show I’m currently watching, but Cat Deeley is freaking awesome. She’s either very warm, funny, and genuine or really good at pretending that she is, and I can’t imagine the show without her. She’s been nominated a few times but has never won.
Tatiana Maslany, Best Actress in a Drama, Orphan Black
Tatiana Maslany is the best actor on any TV show right now, period. I feel totally comfortable making that sweeping statement, which makes it even more outrageous that she wasn’t nominated last year. I talked about her here, but for a quick summary, she plays several clones who are all very different from each other and does so pretty much flawlessly. Wake up, Emmy voters. Tatiana rules the universe.
Joanne Froggatt, Best Supporting Actress in a Drama, Downton Abbey
I have mixed feelings about the most recent season of Downton Abbey, but no mixed feelings about Joanne Froggatt’s work this past season. Her upsetting but sadly believable storyline involved her character, a lady’s maid named Anna, being violently raped by a visiting servant. Watching her dealing with the rape and its aftermath was devastating, but Froggatt was excellent with difficult material.
Kiernan Shipka, Best Supporting Actress in a Drama, Mad Men
Here comes another sweeping statement: Kiernan Shipka is the best child actor on TV today, period. She’s wonderful on Mad Men as Don and Betty’s daughter Sally, whom we’ve watched grow up over the course of the series. Sally’s growth as a character has been one of the most rewarding storylines on Mad Men, and I can’t wait to see where things go with her in as the show wraps up.
Jon Hamm, Best Actor in a Drama, Mad Men
I have made no secret of how much I love Jon Hamm or how brilliant an actor I think he is. I’m really afraid that Matthew McConaughey or Woody Harrelson will keep him out of the running this year for the Emmy he deserves so much. Can he at least get a win for Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries for A Young Doctor’s Notebookif that happens?
Amy Poehler, Best Actress in a Comedy, Parks and Recreation
Last year at the Emmys, Amy Poehler and Jon Hamm had a party for the Emmy losers—winners could only attend if they donated to charity. They were the perfect people to host that party, seeing as they’ve both been nominated several times but never won. So I really hope this is Amy’s year, and I’m encouraged by the fact that she finally won a Golden Globe this year.
Nick Offerman, Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy, Parks and Recreation
If I’m mystified that Amy Poehler has never won for Parks and Rec, I’m even more mystified that Nick Offerman has never been nominated. Ron Swanson is such an awesome character, and Nick Offerman is just perfect playing him. There have been some great Ron Swanson moments this past season, too—I particularly love the episode where he introduces his colleagues to his new baby, John [middle name redacted] Swanson.
Ed O’Neill and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy, Modern Family
I think there’s been a bit of a backlash toward Modern Family after it won Best Comedy Series four years in a row…but you know what? The show is still good and I still love it. Half of the adults on the show have won Emmys now, but Ed O’Neill and Jesse Tyler Ferguson are still waiting. (So is Sofia Vergara, but nothing she did this past season really stood out to me.) The storyline that came to a head at the end of the season—Cam and Mitchell’s impending wedding brought up some old resentments about Jay’s discomfort with Mitchell being gay, ultimately resolved when Jay comes to the rescue after a series of misfortunes befall the wedding—allowed both of them to do some great work.