Forecasting The Five Most Interesting Emmy Races of 2012

September 22, 2012 5:58 pm 2 comments

Emmy picks from a guy who watches enough TV to make an educated guess, but refuses to watch anything on CBS.

Matt Ford

A May article in The New York Times asked: “Is TV Stronger Than Ever, Or Becoming Obsolete?

Major networks are losing their audiences, digital media is picking up steam and the quality of the biggest-budget shows continue to disappoint.

But how can you say TV isn’t better than ever when you see the list of the nominees for best drama series? When shows like Girls invigorate cross-cultural discussions? And when actors like Bryan Cranston, Claire Danes and Glenn Close are getting nominated not for Oscars, but for Emmys?

It’s a golden age for television; the wealth is just getting spread around more.

So, without further ado, breakdowns for the five most intriguing categories of the 2012 Emmy Awards.

Best Drama Series:

NAME PIC HMGL’S TAKE ODDS
Boardwalk Empire Mad Men, but about guys in a better profession (gangsters > white collar execs) and a better decade (20s>60s). But has wayyyyy more Steve Buscemi sex scenes. 10/1
Breaking Bad The best show on television… ever? Worth a discussion when it wraps. Easily top-five already. 10/3
Downton Abbey Fact: I have never seen this show. Second fact: I had no idea what network this show is on until I looked it up (PBS). Third fact: This show’s working title was “The King’s Speech Two.” (That’s not true, but you believed me!) 5/1
Game of Thrones WHERE ARE MY DRAGONS?! I love this goddamn crazy show. 10/1
Homeland Think 24, but with no commercials, nudity, relevancy and great acting. The best show you’ve never seen. 9/2
Mad Men It’s my website so I can say what I want… Here goes. The most overrated show I’ve ever seen. “It was the 60s! Someone was… GAY?! Women wanted to … work?! WHAT!?!?!” We get it, they wore nice clothes and drank during the day. Calm down. 10/3

Front-Runner: Mad Men has won four years in a row. I know, just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not amazing.

Dark Horse: Homeland, which won the Golden Globe for Best Drama (though neither Breaking Bad nor Mad Men were nominated due to their shows’ timing). In my opinion, the second-best show of this list.

Perfect World: Breaking Bad. The opposite of Mad Men, it picks up the acting awards every year, but not the series awards. Season Four of Breaking Bad was the best season yet. Right, Hector?

Matt’s Pick: Breaking Bad. Simple: It’s unpredictable, brilliantly acted, and has already forever changed viewers’ expectations of the dramas they watch on television. Then again, perhaps the best TV show in history never won this Emmy either.

Best Comedy Series:

30 Rock A popular show, yes, but here’s the rub: Is this anyone’s favorite show? 9/1
The Big Bang Theory A show about smart people for dumb people! #FuckCBSComedies 11/2
Curb Your Enthusiasm The only show since Arrested Development to make me scream in laughter by myself. The ”Palestinian Chicken” episode deserves an Emmy of its own. 6/1
Girls Nothing fires up a generational disagreement than a conversation about this show, which leads me to believe crusty Emmy voters might vote for this show just to feel cool. 11/2
Modern Family The best comedy on TV two seasons ago. Note: every single adult cast member is nominated this season. ALL OF THEM! 9/5
Veep This show cleverly riffed on the getting-stale mockumentary form and has some great actors. But rightfully, is getting the longest odds. 13/2

(Aside: Half of the comedy series nominations are HBO shows. Impressive, considering only one HBO show has ever won Best Comedy Series (Sex and the City, ’01).)

Front-Runner: Modern Family. As (surprisingly?) unpredictable as this show was in Season One, it has become much less fresh over time. Still a good show, but third-best of this list.

Dark Horse: Girls. The most talked-about comedy show of 2012; perhaps over the past several years. Might be an “Eff You Hollywood, We Love Funny Young Women” pick.

Perfect World: Curb Your Enthusiasm is the funniest show of this year’s contenders. But it won’t win for three reasons. First: You either love Curb or you hate it. Second: It’s not a perfect show — it’s highly improvised and sometimes poorly edited. Third: This category isn’t called “Funniest Show.” It’s called “Best Comedy Series.”

But hey, the Car Periscope episode? Juicing? Redemption for Bill Buckner? This show has almost as many classic episodes as Seinfeld does, and is the longest-running show on premium cable. (Eight seasons!) Legitimately an all-time great, love it or hate it.

Matt’s Pick: Modern Family. Everyone’s mom’s favorite show; that’s who wins these things.

Best Actor: Drama

Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) He’s three-for-three as Walter White; one more and he’s closing in on GOAT status. 2/1
Damian Lewis (Homeland) An incredibly complex character — a returning POW who believably vacillates between patriotism and terrorism. Yet, perhaps the third-most complex character of this list. 4/1
Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey)  Thanks for playing, Hugh. Seriously, look at the other guys. 9/1
Jon Hamm (Mad Men) Wait, he’s never won an Emmy as Don Draper? Hamm running into Cranston four times is like Roddick running into Federer in four Slam finals. 9/2
Michael C. Hall (Dexter) At some point, Hall deserves an Emmy for making one of the most complicated characters in TV history so believable and likable. (In fact, so does Jennifer Carpenter.) But this is an increasingly tough group to compete with, and Season Six of Dexter didn’t blow anyone away until the last minute. 12/1
Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire) Two questions: First, is that a picture of John Clayton or Sam Cassell? Second, is that really the same guy who played these two roles? 10/1

Front-Runner: Bryan Cranston. He’s never not won the Emmy since he’s played Walter White.

Dark Horse: Damian Lewis. Homeland got nominated for all five major categories (lead actors, directing, writing, best show). Claire Danes is the favorite in her category, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Homeland picks up another Emmy somewhere.

Perfect World: Bryan Cranston. This is the deepest group of “Best Actor” candidates I’ve ever seen. Think about how much TV has changed in the last 10 years. Keifer Sutherland won this award in 2006 for screaming “CHLOE, THERE’S NO TIME!” 24 times. Would he even get nominated this year?

Matt’s Pick: Bryan Cranston. If Cranston doesn’t win, it would be a bigger upset than if Lindsay Lohan lived to be 75. Seriously, watch this scene and tell me someone else deserves this award. Watch it right now.

Best Actress, Comedy Series

Amy Poehler (Parks and Rec) Does she also get nominated for “Ruining My Confidence In Marriage” Award? 11/2
Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)  The most impressive thing about Falco’s nomination is that it means someone actually has watched Nurse Jackie. 9/1
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep) What a career. The only cast member to be successful after Seinfeld has been nominated for Emmys for three different shows, AND she was on SNL once. 10/3
Lena Dunham (Girls) Her acting was so underrated it’s now overrated. That’s the only way to describe it. I think this is more of a holistic “Lena Dunham Appreciation” nomination than an appropriate homage to her acting skills, but she might just pull out the W anyway. 13/2
Melissa McCarthy (Mike and Molly)  Last year’s winner (and Academy Award nominee) in one of those CBS shows no one who reads this site ever watches. 9/1
Tina Fey (30 Rock)

Betting against Tina Fey feels a little like betting against the Patriots at home against the Cardinals in your survival pools. One of those bets that, even if you’re wrong, you’d make it again.

(F*** you, Patriots! The one game I needed you to win! Come on!)

9/1
Zooey Deschanel (New Girl) The reason New Girl is a legitimately solid and underrated network comedy. 9/2

Front-Runner: Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the favorite according to the oddsmakers. Might she win the “Denzel Washington Wins For Training Day Slash Lifetime Achievement Award” here?

Dark Horse: Lena Dunham. Girls either wins a ton of awards or none at these Emmys.

Perfect World: Zooey Deschanel. You might not believe it but I watched the entire first season of New Girl. Not the most complex character out there, but the first of her kind I’ve seen on network TV.

Matt’s Pick: Tina Fey. Yup, I’ve learned nothing, and am picking the Patriots against the Cardinals.

Best Variety Series (no odds available):

The Daily Show
The Colbert Report
Jimmy Kimmel Live
 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon  
Real Time With Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live

Courtesy Poynter Institute

Front-runner: The Daily Show. A Poynter Institute study shows people who watch The Daily Show for their news are more likely to know what’s going on than people who watch CNN.

Note: If you had NO exposure to news AT ALL, you know more about the news than Fox viewers! –>

Moral of the story: The Daily Show is important.

Dark Horse: SNL just wrapped one of its best seasons in years. In a few years, we will look back at the 2011 cast of Wiig, Hader, Samberg, Sudeikis, Armisen and Thompson with reverence. And SNL hasn’t won since 1993!

Perfect world: The Colbert Report. If Jon Stewart breathes fire, Stephen Colbert breathes satire. Colbert is unequivocally funnier than The Daily Show, but it will always be the kid brother.

Matt’s Pick: The Daily Show. It’s won every year since 2003. One of these years, Colbert has to take down Stewart, but it’s not this year.

Other Predictions:

Best Actress, Drama: Claire Danes should pick up the W for Homeland, but she’s going against Kathy Bates and Glenn Close.

Best Actor, Comedy: Fucking Alec Baldwin will win, making me enraged after he beats Louis CK, Larry David, Don Cheadle and two guys on CBS. 

Best Supporting Actor, Drama: Aaron Paul/Jesse Pinkman edges Tyrion Lannister and Gus Fring.

Supporting Actress, Comedy: Kristen Wiig beats Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara in an upset.

Supporting Actor, Comedy: Ty Burrell wins another loaded category, which includes every adult Modern Family cast member, Bill Hader and Schmidt from New Girl.

Most Likely To Get Drunk And Scream To His Roommate About Mad Men Then Angrily Tweet About Breaking Bad: The Author.

Matt Ford is the Editor in Chief of Hire Me Grantland. He thanks you for still checking in on our site even though it’s been slow lately. We’ll be moving in full force soon again, promise!

Read about his shitty HMGL fantasy team here. Or see how he tried to get hired by Grantland here. Or read Justin’s breakdown of Las Vegas vs Atlantic City here. Or bring it on home

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Other News

  • Featured Stories NFL Podcasts Sports HMGL Super Bowl Recap: Podcast/Hangout

    HMGL Super Bowl Recap: Podcast/Hangout

    Justin, Neal and Matt put the Super Bowl in context: How good are the Ravens compared to other SB winners? Is Joe Flacco a top-5 quarterback? What is the next step with PED testing in the NFL?

    Once again, sports fans were treated to a memorable Super Bowl. The Ravens were thinking blowout until the blackout — did that affect their momentum? — and then the 49ers came all the way back to ultimately fall just short.

    Meanwhile, reverberations of Ray Lewis’ alleged use of PED’s forced sports fans to consider their values — does PED use really matter to us?

    And Joe Flacco emerged from a historic playoff run as an unquestioned franchise quarterback (what?).

    Hear our thoughts below, and enjoy Matt’s three solid minutes of embarrassing technical confusion at the beginning.

    Read more →
  • Featured Stories NFL Sports NFL Playoff Team fantasy draft: Justin, Matt and Neal’s standings

    NFL Playoff Team fantasy draft: Justin, Matt and Neal’s standings

    Note: This piece refers to the playoff draft on the last HMGL podcast. If you didn’t listen to it, check it out here.

    Wild Card Weekend Standings:

    (+1 point for advancing to the divisional round)

    Justin (3) — DEN +1, GB +1, BAL+1, IND 0
    Possible this week: 4 points (DEN/BAL, GB)
    Worst-case: 2 points (DEN/BAL) win, GB loses

    Matt (3) — NE +1, ATL+1, Hou+1, Cincy 0
    Possible this week: 4 points (NE/HOU, ATL)
    Worst-case: 2 points (NE/HOU) win, ATL loses

    Neal (2) — SF +1, SEA +1, WAS 0, MIN 0
    Possible this week: 4 points (SF, SEA both win)
    Worst-case: 0 points (SF, SEA both lose)

    Read more →
  • Featured Stories NFL Power Rankings Sports Ranking The NFL’s Hottest And Most Dangerous Teams: Playoffs 2012

    Ranking The NFL’s Hottest And Most Dangerous Teams: Playoffs 2012

    By Matt Ford

    Better to be lucky than good.

    Or, more like it, better dangerous than solid.

    So who is the most dangerous team entering the 2012 NFL Playoffs?

    Category One: The Psy “Gangnam Style” Award for “Congrats for Making It To The Big Time! But Now That You’re Here, You’re Going Away Quickly.”

    Category Two: The Kwame Brown Award for “Just Look At Them! They Have To Be Better Than They’re Playing”

    Category Three: The Looking At The Google Analytics Of HireMeGrantland.com Award for “Why Is No One Impressed By Us?”

    Category Four: The Mumford and Sons Award for “Everyone Thinks We’re Underrated, But We’re Actually Overrated”

    Category Five: The 2007 LeBron James Award for “We’re playing … him? Uh Oh.”

    Read more →
  • Featured Stories NFL Podcasts Sports Hire Me Grantland Podcasts Are Up

    Hire Me Grantland Podcasts Are Up

    Without further ado: Matt and Justin’s discussion of the NFL playoff picture leading into the end of the regular season, with special guest Neal Suidan.

    All you have to do is click here and click “Listen” or “Download” once you get to our hosting site.

    Our first post is about the NFC Playoff picture leading into last week’s games. Listen to how wrong we were about San Francisco after last night’s result, Neal’s analysis of his hometown Bears (and Bulls), Matt’s pipe-dream of a Redskins playoff run and more.

    Our next pod is about the AFC, but includes a bonus round of which coaches should get fired (and Matt’s prediction of Chip Kelly to Carolina that he has been patting himself on the back for ever since), and Neal trying to Beautiful Mind his way through the muddy AFC North playoff picture. Justin’s breakdown of the Raiders, fortunately for you all, was omitted due to “microphone problems.”

    Shortly, these episodes will be available on the iTunes store (Apple has to screen them first before they unleash our idiocy on the unwashed masses).

    Read more →
  • Featured Stories NFL Sports Sports Betting Justin Elliott Would Not Win The Las Vegas Supercontest: Week 15 (Video)

    Justin Elliott Would Not Win The Las Vegas Supercontest: Week 15 (Video)

    (Nothing like a winless week to really make you want to show your face on camera.)

    Read more →
  • Featured Stories NFL Sports Sports Betting Justin Elliott Would Not Win The Las Vegas Supercontest: Week 14 (Video)

    Justin Elliott Would Not Win The Las Vegas Supercontest: Week 14 (Video)

    Justin Elliott’s Week 14 picks… on our NEW YouTube channel!!!

    Read more →
  • Featured Stories NFL Sports Is RGIII the Most Valuable Player… In Sports?

    Is RGIII the Most Valuable Player… In Sports?

    By Matt Ford

    Watching RGIII as a rookie is like the first time you heard OK Computer, or saw Louis CK’s standup a few years ago, or watched Barack Obama in the 2004 Democratic Convention. “Holy shit!” you think. “Do people know about this yet?”

    You form a special kind of relationship with an entertainer, athlete or politician after an experience like that — you realize: “Hey, this guy could be the real deal, and I think I just saw history.” Often, I find I become invested in people like that, rooting for history just to say in a few years, “I was there…”

    RGIII to the rescue. He is, by many accounts, the most exciting player in the league. He draws friendly fans to FedEx Field. His value to a shrinking fan base is unspeakable. It’s hard to root against him, even if your team is playing against him.

    Robert Griffin III has revitalized one of the most valuable franchises in the world. The value of hope is what Griffin brings to the table, in addition to all those other tangible assets.

    Read more →
  • Featured Stories NFL Sports Sports Betting Justin Elliott Would Not Win The Las Vegas Hilton SuperContest (Weeks 7-14)

    Justin Elliott Would Not Win The Las Vegas Hilton SuperContest (Weeks 7-14)

    By Justin Elliott

    Overall Record: 32-26-2

    As you can see, until Week 12 it has basically been feast or famine with at least four wins or losses for eight straight weeks.

    If I could only channel those good weeks I would have a chance at winning this thing. But the odds of that have to be like one in a million…

    If my odds are good enough for Lloyd Christmas, they’re good enough for me. So onward with my Week 13 picks.

    Read more →