WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2015 – The 2015 Emmy Awards are Sunday night, and the nominees this year made the job of picking a winner just about impossible. I’m just glad I’m a mild-mannered reporter and not a member of the judging panel.
Outstanding Drama Nominees: House of Cards, Game of Thrones, Orange is the New Black, Mad Men, Homeland, Downton Abbey, Better Call Saul
My pick: Game of Thrones. I know Mad Men is the sentimental favorite, but for sheer jaw-dropping drama, GoT really delivers. Cersei’s walk of shame and Jon Snow’s fate were the talk of the newsfeeds for weeks.
Outstanding Comedy Nominees: Modern Family, Veep, Louie, Transparent, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Parks and Recreation, Silicon Valley
My pick: As much as I like the Family, I think I’m going with Parks & Rec. Think of it as their gold watch at the retirement party. Also, I can’t go against my man Chris Pratt.
Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Nominees: Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), Lisa Kudrow (The Comeback), Amy Shumer (Inside Amy Shumer)
My pick: Amy Shumer. She’s unstoppable this year. If there were a runner-up, I’d pick Lisa Kudrow.
Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Nominees: Louis CK (Louie), Anthony Anderson (Blackish), Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent), Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth), William H. Macy (Shameless), Don Cheadle (House of Lies), Matt LeBlanc (Episodes)
My pick: Don Cheadle. Let’s remember he also received critical acclaim for the lead role in Hotel Rawanda, so he has serious range. He’s my movie equivalent of onion powder– add him and whatever he’s in will be better.
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Nominees: Robin Wright (House of Cards), Taraji P. Henson (Empire), Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder), Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), Claire Danes (Homeland)
My pick: Even though I love Robin Wright and Viola Davis, I have to go with Taraji P. Henson. I haven’t had this much fun watching a character in ages. Imagine a fight between Cookie and Alexis from “Dynasty” back in the day. (My money is still on Cookie.)
Outstanding Actor in a Drama Nominees: Kevin Spacey (House of Cards), Kyle Chandler (Bloodline), Jon Hamm (Man Men), Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom), Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan)
My pick: While all the nominees are incredibly gifted actors, I’m going with Jeff Daniels. I was binging on The Newsroom and my youngest walked in during the episode about the Gabrielle Gifford shooting. His jaw dropped as he watched Will McAvoy. “But…but…he was in Dumb and Dumber!”
Any actor who can impress a 14-year-old boy who adores Adam Sandler deserves recognition.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Nominees: Niecy Nash (Getting On), Julie Bowen (Modern Family), Allison Janney (Mom), Kate McKinnon (SaturdayNight Live), Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory), Gaby Hoffman (Transparent), Jane Krakowski (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Anna Chumsky (Veep)
My pick: Allison Janney. She’s just an all-around excellent actress. As a side note, it’s so cool to see so many names here from the ’90s. I think I would die if they put Amy in a Blossom hat.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Nominees: Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Adam Driver (Girls), Keegan-Michael Key (Key & Peele), Ty Burrell (Modern Family), Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Tony Hale (Veep)
My pick: Even though Andre Braugher needs something for keeping a straight face around Andy Samberg, how can you not pick Keegan-Michael Key? Maybe next year, Tituss.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Nominees: Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey), Lena Headey (Game of Thrones), Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black), Christine Baranski (The Good Wife)
My pick: I love Christine Baranski’s work, but Lena Headey deserves it this year. I hate Cersei, I feel sorry for her, and then I hate myself for feeling sorry for her. It takes real skill to bring a character like that to life and make viewers feel so many emotions.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Nominees: Jonathan Banks (Better Call Saul), Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline), Jim Carter (Downton Abbey), Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Michael Kelly (House of Cards), Alan Cumming (The Good Wife)
My pick: Alan Cumming. He’s just delicious to watch, but unlike Food Network, I don’t feel like cooking afterwards.
The Primetime Emmy Awards air on Sunday at 8/7C on Fox. Share your predictions, and reasons, in the comments below!