Ben & Chad Pick the Emmys

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

2012 WinnerJon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)

Other 2012 Nominees: Alec Baldwin (30 Rock), Louis C.K. (Louie), Don Cheadle (House of Lies), Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)

Ben Morse: I’ve never gotten the appeal of Two and a Half Men, and I feel like that sentiment overrode this year, so I would not be shocked to see last year’s winner, Jon Cryer, get blanked here. Perennials Jim Parsons and Alec Baldwin will definitely remain, and hopefully Don Cheadle, who anchors the underrated House of Lies with a bravura performance. Not sure who steps up to fill the holes here, as a lot of ensemble comedy folks enter themselves as supporting performers. Johnny Galecki maybe? Somebody from The Office? Eh, not a lot of my favorites in this one.

Chad Campbell: No Curb last year so Larry David is out. Baldwin, Louis, Parsons, and Cryer seem like locks for me. Feeling out the rest of the nominees I see one of either Don Cheadle or Matt LeBlanc getting nominated. I don’t like either of their two shows but they are household names. 

The last nominee and the person I am pulling for to win maybe even more than Louis is Jake Johnson from New Girl. New Girl season two took a dramatic step up in quality from season one and the season being centered around the plight of Nick Miller is a big reason why. I think Johnson did by far the best comedy acting work on television in the past year.

Ben Morse: I agree with you on Johnson, but I’ve got him pegged for Supporting since that’s where Max Greenfield landed last year.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

2012 WinnerJulia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)

Other 2012 NomineesZooey Deschanel (New Girl), Lena Dunham (Girls), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Tina Fey (30 Rock), Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation)

Ben MorseVeep’s second season wasn’t as strong as its first, but Julia Louis-Dreyfus was still tremendous and deserves to remain in the hunt. I’m not the biggest Zooey Deschanel backer, but I’d say she’s safe money as well. I can’t see Tina Fey, Melissa McCarthy or Amy Poehler getting moved out, but maybe Edie Falco and particularly Lena Dunham via backlash. Mindy Kaling feels like a good fit here and Casey Wilson—the Happy Endings cast member with the most mainstream appeal—would be a nice coda. My wife is pulling for Katie Aselton, but the Emmys have never recognized The League.

Chad CampbellI like Veep season two better than one so JLD is an easy nominee here and the favorite for the win. I think Fey, Poehler, McCarthy, and even Deschanel seem assured of nominations leaving one spot open. 

Edie Falco was fine in Nurse Jackie but after season four brought real consequence to the series, we took a step back in season five when everyone was friends again. I don’t know if she had enough emotional scenes with backbeats on comedy to get nominated. Ditto for Dunham. I would love Casey Wilson being nominated but see you yourself, Ben, having a better chance. 

Ben Morse: Thank you! I worked really hard this year.

Chad Campbell: I think it comes down to a coin flip between Dunham and Falco and see Dreyfus winning for the second year in a row.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

2012 WinnerAaron Paul (Breaking Bad)

Other 2012 NomineesJim Carter (Downton Abbey), Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey), Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), Jared Harris (Mad Men)

Ben MorseMuch like with Bryan Cranston, I think Aaron Paul gets the lifetime achievement here for Breaking Bad, an assured nomination if not the win. Peter Dinklage also seems Games of Thrones’ nominee designate for as long as that show runs. Giancarlo Esposito and Jared Harris are both out of the mix, so two open slots there. I won’t even pretend to know how Downton Abbey will figure in here as I’m two seasons behind. I’d like to see Vincent Kartheiser slip into Harris’ vacated slot as I don’t think he’s ever been better on Mad Men. My wife has sung the praises of Zachary Quinto on American Horror Story, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Emmys want to give that show at least a little love.

Chad CampbellHere we go with the toughest category in the field.  More than a dozen people could get nominated here and I wouldn’t bat an eye or feel robbed. I think Dinklage is assured a nomination. It will be interesting what happens with Paul as the two time winner was mostly in the background for season five part one of Breaking Bad. I still say it will be tough to leave him off the ballot. These two actors are competing with other individuals from their own show. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau had a breakout season as Jaime Lannister and Jonathon Banks was the most lovable prick of all time on Breaking Bad. 

Let’s get to other candidates. Mandy Patinkin was surprisingly left off last year for Homeland. I see that being corrected this year and is well deserved. Bobby Cannavale played his character big in Boardwalk Empire but it was very effective. Noah Emmerich was fantastic as a conflicted man between his job and drifting further away from his family in The Americans. Corey Stall was the breakout star of House of Cards.  Mads Mikkelsen reinvigorated a character everyone thought was dead. Walton Goggins is always fantastic as Boyd Crowder.  Finally, both Vincent Kartheiser and Michael Cuddlitz deserve recognition for the great work they have been doing for years. I see Dinklage getting the nod here but the real victory is just being nominated in this insane field.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

2012 Winner: Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)

Other 2012 Nominees: Christine Baranski (The Good Wife), Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey), Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife)

Ben MorseI may not be watching Downton Abbey currently, but I know better than to bet against Maggie Smith. I’ve never seen The Good Wife, I’m not a big fan of Christine Baranski and I don’t know Archie Panjabi, but they seem to be perennials. Anna Gunn benefits from the Breaking Bad final season effect and Christina Hendricks had some great moments on Mad Men. Assuming the other lady from Downton Abbey drops and leaves only space for one newcomer, I think there are a lot of deserving candidates: Olivia Munn who has found the perfect character for her on The Newsroom, Mae Whitman who is consistently excellent—if sometimes underutilized—on Parenthood and Hayden Paniettiere, who is the best part of Nashville.

Chad CampbellA little less stout than the male category, but still very strong. Maggie Smith is an establishment and will be nominated again. Hendricks didn’t do a whole ton in Mad Men this year but deserves to be nominated just for her scene standing up to Don leaving the conference room. I see one of the two individuals from the Good Wife getting a nomination. I am unsure where the other nominations will go but Monica Potter submitted herself in this category, and even though I don’t watch Parenthood, I have heard she was fantastic.

Ben Morse: Chad, I was going on about Monica Potter in Best Actress category and you said nothing. You are trying to make me look the part of the fool, sir.

Chad Campbell: The winner for me would be Anna Gunn. The scenes with her and Walter White have only strengthened since Breaking Bad begun. The confidence displayed in Skyler’s character is mimicked in Gunn’s growth as an actress.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

2012 Winner: Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family)

Other 2012 Nominees: Ty Burrell (Modern Family), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), Ed O’Neill (Modern Family), Max Greenfield (New Girl), Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live)

Ben MorseThe Modern Family category. All those guys will get nominated again as they always do; if one of them wins, I hope it’s Ed O’Neill, who had a great year and has amazingly never received an Emmy. If Max Greenfield is going to repeat for New Girl, I’d like to see Jake Johnson get a nod as well since I find him funnier and think he’s got the tougher role. I don’t think there were any standouts on Saturday Night Live this year other than maybe Taran Killam, but he needs more to do. Tony Hale is amazing on Veep, and alters his Arrested Development character just enough that I feel he deserves recognition.

Chad CampbellI like Modern Family, I really do. Enough is enough though. Honestly my favorite actor from the show at this point is Nolan Gould. I still see at least three out of the four eligible to be nominated along with Max Greenfield. Bill Hader feels like he should get one last nod also. It will be interesting to see if Rainn Wilson gets a final nomination. In the end, someone from Modern Family will win and no one should be surprised.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

2012 Winner: Julie Bowen (Modern Family)

Other 2012 NomineesMayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory), Kathryn Joosten (Desperate Housewives), Sofia Vergara (Modern Family), Merritt Wever (Nurse Jackie), Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live)

Ben MorseTwo more generally assured spots taken by Modern Family; I enjoy the show despite the fact I feel it may be a bit too “safe” to rack up the big awards, but there’s no denying the talent of the individual performers. This is one race in which I’m really not sure how to lean as there aren’t any surprise picks or newcomers who pop up on my radar.

Chad Campbell:  This category has some room for movement with Joosten and Wiig exiting. Both Modern Family contingents will be nominated again and it felt like this season was geared to give Vergara the Emmy with her pregnancy arc. Merritt Wever is cute as a button in Nurse Jackie so I am pulling for her. Betty White could easily slide into Joosten’s spot. I would argue for the last two spots to be filled by Jenna Fischer and Jane Krakowski in their final seasons.  This is a weak category overall.

Ben Morse: So there you have it! We’ll see how right we are on July 18 and then be back in a few months to pick us some winners.