Last year was a terrific TV season. And what's not to love about that? The only issue: The better the shows, the harder it is to predict the Emmy Award winners! Lost versus Mad Men? It's like having to betray a dear friend for the sake of another.
So I'm glad that I don't really, actually have to vote. Sure, I'll be watching the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards (NBC, Aug. 29, 8 p.m. ET) with my microwave popcorn and my personal, printed ballot in hand. But only my husband will know which boxes I've checked. Matthew Fox will never have to find out that I overlooked him. (Oh, Matthew! I did love your Lost character! There's just something about Don Draper…) Read our predictions for who'll walk away winners on TV's top night.
Best Lead Actress in a Drama
Nominees: Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), Glenn Close (Damages), Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer), January Jones (Mad Men), Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights)
Our Vote: Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife)
All season long, Margulies had to act with her eyes and her facial expressions, because her buttoned-up character on The Good Wife, Alicia Florrick, either couldn't or wouldn't make the obvious remark. The other women in this category are all stellar, but in my opinion, Margulies did the most with the least.
Best Lead Actress in a Comedy
Nominees: Tina Fey (30 Rock), Lea Michele (Glee), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (The New Adventures of Old Christine), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), Toni Collette (United States of Tara), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
Our Vote: Lea Michele
The women in this category are like apples and oranges and kiwis and nectarines. All are talented and on good shows; not one is alike. How can you say that what Lea Michele does on Glee is better than what Edie Falco does on Nurse Jackie? You can't. But a box must be checked, and at this moment, I'm leaning towards Lea Michele's Broadway star wannabe Rachel Berry.
Best Lead Actor in a Drama
Nominees: Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Hugh Laurie (House M.D.), Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Matthew Fox (Lost)
Our Vote: Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
This is a tough category. To vote for Hamm is to vote against Kyle Chandler, whose long-suffering Coach Taylor has been passed over by the Academy several times over. And to deny Matthew Fox seems needlessly cruel, after the metaphysical journey we've all taken with him. But when Jon Hamm as Don Draper is on screen, you just can't look away. And seeing Hamm play goofy in his 30 Rock guest spots last year, I was reminded that Don's cool swagger is all in the acting.
Best Lead Actor in a Comedy
Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Alec Baldwin (30 Rock), Matthew Morrison (Glee), Steve Carell (The Office), Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory), Tony Shalhoub (Monk)
Our Vote: Steve Carell (The Office)
Alec Baldwin always seems to win this one (well, twice anyway), and for good reason. His character, Jack Donaghy, is unlike any other on TV. As much as he grates, he also endears himself. But after all those years of Michael Scott being Michael Scott, Steve Carell has never won -- and that needs to change. The news that he's leaving The Office has me missing him already.
Best Drama Series
Nominees: Breaking Bad, Dexter, The Good Wife, Lost, Mad Men, True Blood
Our Vote: Mad Men
It received 17 nods all together -- and deservedly so. After winning this award at last year's Emmys, Mad Men continued to be in fine form. I don't agree with those who say that the story drifted too far from the office last season. Don (Jon Hamm) and Betty's (January Jones) deteriorating marriage was just as intriguing as Don's boozy business lunches.
And even though it's a shame that a Mad Men win would rob Lost of its only opportunity for an Emmy triumph (especially since its last season was thrilling and thought-provoking), the series ended with too many perplexing questions. The entire Ben Linus/Charles Whitmore storyline? Can someone please explain this? Sorry, Lost. But unless I get some answers, I'm sticking with Mad Men on this one.
Best Comedy Series
Nominees: 30 Rock, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Glee, Modern Family, Nurse Jackie, The Office
Our Vote: Modern Family
How can I throw Glee to the curb? Only by reminding myself that Modern Family is more of a traditional comedy series. It fits the category better, and so the award makes more sense. I hate that Glee's own originality would preclude its chances to win. But I also think Modern Family has managed to be fresh and funny within the confines of a straightforward comedy series. And that in itself is a great feat.
The Primetime Emmy Awards airs Sunday, Aug. 29 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC
Which shows and actors are you rooting for at the Emmy Awards this year? Chime in below!
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