Kennedy and Moye Predict the Emmys: Drama

And here’s the fourth and final hunk of Emmy predictions from Clarence and me. Check out the comedy picks here, the movie/miniseries picks here and the variety/reality/animation picks here and don’t forget our very own McLachlan and Moser who made their picks here.


Outstanding Drama Series

Moye: I’m not going to grumble about True Detective being a drama series when they’ve already indicated Season Two will be a completely different show AND the Emmys recognize American Horror Story (same construction) in the mini-series category. You may be surprised that I’m including The Good Wife here, but its latest season has been uniformly acclaimed as one of its best. Plus, I suspect some people will use the show as their “traditional broadcast TV” vote, if such a thing exists. Mad Men is most vulnerable, but it’s gotten a lot of press out of starting its march to the end. I don’t see Downton Abbey, Masters of Sex, or Homeland picking it off. Personal Wish: Masters of Sex evolved beyond its initial “aren’t the 50s and sex hilarious” demeanor. It deserves recognition here because it isn’t afraid to draw its central relationship between Masters and Johnson in an ugly and realistic light.

  • Breaking Bad
  • Game of Thrones
  • House of Cards
  • Mad Men
  • The Good Wife
  • True Detective


Kennedy: I agree that Masters of Sex progressed nicely. The first couple of episodes just wanted to be Mad Men with sex, but it grew up quickly and really tackled sexual politics in interesting ways. I like it so much, I’m going to go out on a limb with it. I feel too like Mad Men is vulnerable, but I really liked the most recent season. It’s probably madness to exclude Downton Abbey, but it’s time to put that show on the shelf as far as I’m concerned. Too much good competition. I’m actually happy with True Detective in this category where I think it belongs. American Horror Story is chickenshit. If you have multiple seasons of a show with the same name, it’s not a miniseries in my book. Roots is a miniseries (yes, I know there were sequels, but that’s different).

  • Breaking Bad
  • Mad Men
  • The Good Wife
  • True Detective
  • Masters of Sex
  • Game of Thrones


Moye: We’ve never talked about House of Cards season two, but I see you didn’t include it here. I thought it was far better than season one because it course-corrected in two very specific areas. It gave us a meatier role for Robin Wright (that she knocked out of the park) and it largely eliminated the journalist subplots that never seemed to work in the first place. It gave me exactly what I wanted out of it – more Machiavellian / near-Shakespearean power plays by F.U. (Frank Underwood). Still, I can’t argue with Masters of Sex, which is a personal favorite of mine. This is the toughest category in all of the Emmys because, barring one or two exceptions, most of these shows deserves to win

Kennedy: House of Cards improved on season one in many ways but fell back in others. Overall I liked it better, but I just don’t think it holds up to these other shows. I also felt like there was a little backlash against the show this year because it’s not as serious-minded as people seemed to think it was going to be. It’s more of a guilty pleasure.


Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Moye: Personal Wish: Freddie Highmore never gets the credit he deserves in Bates Motel. His is the most complicated role: depicting Norman Bates in a way that his both modern and his own interpretation of a budding serial killer that needs to remain faithful to the spirit of Anthony Perkins.

  • Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
  • Jon Hamm, Mad Men
  • Woody Harrelson, True Detective
  • Matthew McConaughey, True Detective
  • Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
  • James Spader, The Blacklist


Kennedy: Mikkelsen and Rhys are both wishful thinking on my part. If there is a benevolent TV god out there somewhere smiling down on us, maybe one or the other will get in, but I’m not holding my breath. A bigger mystery for me is whether Cranston will get a valedictory win or if he’s already been rewarded enough. As much as I love the show and loved him in the final season, I won’t be sad if they go another way (coughcoughMcConaugheycough). It pains me to exclude Harrelson who I think is actually an underrated part of the show. He plays a relatively “normal” character so it’s easy to overlook him and I fear the voters will.

  • Matthew McConaughey – True Detective
  • Bryan Cranston – Breaking Bad
  • Jon Hamm – Mad Men
  • Mads Mikkelsen – Hannibal
  • Matthew Rhys – The Americans
  • James Spader – Blacklist


Moye: I didn’t have the guts to predict Mads Mikkelsen, partially because I haven’t seen Hannibal Season Two yet and partially because what I have seen of Season Two has convinced me no Emmy voter would make it very far. Matthew Rhys is a nice addition as well. I do sense weakness around Woody Harrelson in True Detective, but I would be mildly shocked if Kevin Spacey weren’t on the list. He was in the Ellen Oscar selfie after all…

Kennedy: It’s a little depressing to me we both have Spader because that show is kind of silly. He’s fine in it though I guess. I regret not putting Spacey on the list. That seems like a huge error on my part, but whatever. No guts, no glory.


Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Moye: Personal Wish: My wish is that the Emmys do not waste a nomination on Kerry Washington’s awful performance in the awful Scandal. There are so many real actresses worthy of a nomination over her: Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex), Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), or Keri Russell (The Americans). I’m hoping Caplan pulls through.

  • Claire Danes, Homeland
  • Lizzy Caplan, Masters of Sex
  • Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel
  • Julianna Marguilies, The Good Wife
  • Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
  • Robin Wright, House of Cards


Kennedy: It’s not going to happen, but I had to make room for Maslany. I just had to. There’s no point in doing this if I can’t go out on a limb for the shows and performances I think are genuinely worthy. It’s probably stupid to leave off Claire Danes, but once again my personal biases are showing. I stopped watching that show after the first season and I’m always surprised to learn everyone else has stuck with it. I wanted to include Keri Russell for The Americans, but like Woody Harrellson in True Detective, she has the less flashy part and I’m already stretching it by including Rhys with the actors.

  • Tatiana Maslany – Orphan Black
  • Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife
  • Kerry Washington – Scandal
  • Vera Farmiga – Bates Motel
  • Elisabeth Moss – Mad Men
  • Robin Wright – House of Cards


Moye: No matter how deserving she is, I can’t see Maslany getting into the top six for the same reasons Sarah Michelle Gellar didn’t all those years for Buffy. If Michelle Dockery gets in over her for Downton Abbey (which I don’t think will happen), then I anticipate a mighty Twitter rant from you.

Kennedy: You see right through me. My Maslany pick was all about setting up my social media rage when she ultimately gets screwed. I’d also like to see Caplan get in and I’m not sure why I didn’t make room for her considering how I love the show.


Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Moye: Personal Wish: There are great ensemble shows filled with so many memorable supporting performances that they’re often overshadowed by bigger names. I’d love to see some love for Charles Dance (Game of Thrones), David Morrissey (The Walking Dead), Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead), or Gerald McRaney (House of Cards). It’s going to be very difficult for any of those to crack that powerhouse six.

  • Josh Charles, The Good Wife
  • Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
  • Dean Norris, Breaking Bad
  • Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
  • Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
  • Jeffrey Wright, Boardwalk Empire


Kennedy: I would’ve loved to include Charles Dance or Nikolaj Coster-Waldau or Rory McCann from Game of Thrones, but I feel like Dinklage winds up representing them all. He’s great, but those guys are all spectacular too. There’s no way Goggins is getting in, especially now that Justified is on the wane, but that cat should’ve had an Emmy already.

  • Dean Norris – Breaking Bad
  • Aaron Paul – Breaking Bad
  • Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones
  • Walton Goggins – Justified
  • Jack Huston – Boardwalk Empire
  • Mandy Patinkin – Homeland


Moye: I have always thought it a shame that Jack Huston didn’t receive more attention for his quiet work in Boardwalk Empire, but I went with Jeffrey Wright as the Emmys went with a villain last year as well. I fully expect Paul to repeat this year unless Norris splits the vote.

Kennedy: Huston is yet another one of my patented wishful thinking picks. The dude owned every scene he was in with only half a face.


Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Moye: I’ve heard a lot of buzz about Young’s performance in Scandal, so I’m going out on a limb for that. I’m flipping a coin between two Downton Abbey actresses who faced significant hurdles this season: Maggie Smith almost died and Joanne Froggatt dramatically punished herself for her rape. I’m going with the bigger name that voters are more likely to check off. I love Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones, but I’m not convinced Daenerys was given enough to do this year.

Personal Wish: The women of Game of Thrones ruled this season with Lena Headley, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, and Natalie Dormer all turning in series-best work. But my heart belongs to Melissa McBride (The Walking Dead) who ripped me apart with her towering performance in The Grove. All of the other nominations save Anna Gunn’s work in Breaking Bad seem silly compared to McBride who will undoubtedly suffer for a bias against the gory show.

  • Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
  • Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
  • Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
  • Michelle Monaghan, True Detective
  • Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
  • Bellamy Young, Scandal


Kennedy: As with the Supporting Actor category, I could easily have filled all the slots with actresses from Game of Thrones. Even more than the men, the women rule this show. Alas, like Dinklage, Clarke has been anointed as the stand-in for all her castmates. Another good candidate for the non-existent ensemble category.

  • Anna Gunn – Breaking Bad
  • Christina Hendricks – Mad Men
  • Christine Baranski – The Good Wife
  • Emilia Clarke – Game of Thrones
  • Maggie Smith – Downton Abbey
  • Michelle Monaghan – True Detective


Moye: How much teeth gritting transpired for you to write Maggie Smith down here? We mostly matched up here, and I am probably missing the boat on including Clarke. I suspect you have this category right.

Kennedy: If you’re going to give Downton Abbey anything, Maggie Smith deserves to have it. I’d rather just rewatch her in Gosford Park, but whatever. I’m a little surprised we both included Michelle Monaghan. I thought I was going out on a little bit of a limb with that one.

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