By Karl Delossantos
There is no mistaking that we live in the Golden Age of television. No matter what network, medium or genre, the programs that have been produced in the last few years have been some of the most acclaimed and talked about in a long time. However, this is the very same reason that makes predicting front-runners for this year’s Emmy awards so difficult.
On Sunday, Sept. 22, we will find out who is the toast of Hollywood in today’s hottest industry. But here, we get a sense of who has the edge, and who should maybe stay home this year.
Arguably one of the intense races of the night has to be the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. I wouldn’t be surprised to see any five of the six nominees make the walk up to the stage. However, I am giving the edge to three-time winner Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad.” Despite losing last year to “Homeland’s” Damian Lewis, who is competing for the same award, Cranston has the buzz of the final season and a strong episode submission to back his campaign. But let’s face it, no one wants to see Heisenberg lose anyway.
Lewis’s co-star Claire Danes has yet to lose a major award for her portrayal as a bipolar CIA agent on “Homeland,” but Vera Farmiga may be the one to end her streak. Farmiga plays the infamous Norma Bates on the “Psycho” prequel “Bates Motel.” Her Oscar nominee status coupled with a tour-de-force submission performance gives her a slight edge over Danes.
Other expected winners in the drama category are “Breaking Bad’s” Anna Gunn, who just edges out the legendary Maggie “stay-at-home” Smith and “Homeland’s” Mandy Patinkin. Patinkin was egregiously snubbed of a nomination last year, and the cycle could repeat on Sunday.
As one of the greatest drama series ever created comes to a close, we realize that they have never won the top prize. “Breaking Bad” has a lot going for it this year: the buzz from their final and most acclaimed season, a relentless and loyal fan base, and the fact that they have somehow never won in the Best Drama category. If they are going to win, it’s clearly now or never, and I’m thinking it’s now.
Another series that is in its final year is also in contention on the comedy side. “30 Rock” won three consecutive years in a row, but now they have to take down three-time winner and current champ “Modern Family.” It’s unlikely for “30 Rock,” but “Louie” may be the dark horse in this race. Louis C.K. is also poised to take the award for Lead Comedy Actor from just under Alec Baldwin’s nose.
As the bumbling vice president in “Veep,” actress Julia Louis Dreyfus is all too perfect to pass up for a nomination, and the Emmy’s didn’t. As reigning champ, she does have a slight lead, but Amy Poehler and Tina Fey won’t go down without a fight. Poehler is probably one of the most overdue actors/producers/writers, so her triumph this year would be gratification to an industry that obviously cherishes her. Fey returns for one last shot in the same category, and with the series finale backing her nomination, she has quite a good chance.
Jane Krakowski from “30 Rock” and Ed O’Neill from “Modern Family” may also get their dues for their supporting performances, but neither is close to a lock in these tight races.
All in all, this is going to be an unpredictable Emmy ceremony. With Neil Patrick Harris at the helm, we are at least ensured an entertaining show. But will the winners be satisfying? We try to predict the winners as best we can, yet voters seem to always go with what’s familiar. Hopefully that changes this year and we get a new crop of fresh-faced Emmy winners.