Saturday, September 21, 2013

MTVP Emmys Coverage 2013: The Players

Well, folks, it’s late September. In my world, that means three things. My day job is starting to get a little hectic (to put it mildly), the leaves are falling off the trees, and most importantly, it’s Emmys weekend! The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards will be broadcast on CBS tomorrow night, and you can bet I’ll be watching. To be honest, I’m not especially psyched about the nominees this year. It’s a lot of the same stuff we saw last year, minus some “New Girl” folks. What has me excited the most is the return to CBS, because that means Neil Patrick Harris will be hosting the telecast for the second time. Any regular readers of MTVP (does such a person even exist?) know that I am an unapologetic Neil Patrick Harris fangirl, and I have been for many years now. He’s just a consummate professional and a great all-around entertainer. He also loves awards shows, and he has become known for being one of the best at hosting them. I know with Harris at the helm, we definitely won’t be bored.

As per usual, here’s my deal with these “The Players” posts. I’m going to highlight a few categories where I have an opinion on who I would like to see win. I’m not a professional Emmy prognosticator (go read the Hollywood trades for that), nor am I even a “real” professional TV critic who has seen all the nominated performances (go check out Allan Sepinwall and Dan Feinberg’s excellent work on HitFix for that). I’m just a fan writing about what I like. And like I said, this year I’m more excited about the telecast itself than the awards. So here goes nothing…

Outstanding Drama Series

The Nominees:

Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Mad Men

My Pick: Game of Thrones

Is this choice really a surprise at all? This season of Game of Thrones continued to suffer slightly from the disbursed storytelling that started in Season 2, but there were huge, iconic moments that got everyone talking. Red Wedding. Need I say more? And also, if you’re going to complain that’s a spoiler, it aired a few months ago. You had your chance. This past season was really well crafted, with a gradually building impending sense of doom. It became increasingly obvious that things were not going to go well for King in the North Robb and his new wife, and it’s also clear that the intrigue in King’s Landing is not going to end well for Tyrion and Sansa. I really felt for the characters this season, and for that reason, “Game of Thrones” gets my vote. It would also be kind of cool if “House of Cards” won, since as a Netflix production, it would be the first Internet-based series to win a major Emmy. Also, it films right here in my lovely state of Maryland.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

The Nominees:

Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)
Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey)
Claire Danes (Homeland)
Robin Wright (House of Cards)
Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)
Connie Britton (Nashville)
Kerry Washington (Scandal)

My Pick: Connie Britton

Is this also even a surprise to anybody who has read MTVP Emmy coverage before? I’m a big fan of Connie Britton from her “Friday Night Lights” days. On “Nashville,” she plays old-hand country music superstar Rayna James. I appreciate Britton’s bravery in taking on the role of Rayna. She was so critically lauded for playing Tami Taylor on “Friday Night Lights,” that she knew any role she would take in the future would be compared. Also, she has to sing quite a lot. Britton certainly gives the performance her all, and I commend her for that. “Nashville,” while good fun and quality entertainment, is no “Friday Night Lights,” so I don’t see Britton actually winning this year, but I had to throw kudos her way anyway! If Britton can’t win, I’d enjoy a surprise win by “Scandal’s” Kerry Washington. I watched the first season of “Scandal,” and Washington was really the standout of the cast.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

The Nominees:

Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire)
Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)
Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad)
Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
Mandy Patinkin (Homeland)

My Pick: Peter Dinklage

Another no-brainer for anybody at all familiar with my work here on MTVP (yeah, I know there’s not many of you…I can dream, right?). I love me some “Game of Thrones” and some Tyrion. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Tyrion is the clever, scheming uncle to the rather disgusting King Joffrey on “Game of Thrones.” I like Tyrion because he fights with his intellect, and he loves a good political game. In the most recent season, Tyrion found himself relieved of duty as Hand of the King, so most of his intellect was focused on survival. Dinklage had some great material to work with as he tried to navigate preserving his relationship with his lover Shae and being forced by his father to marry young Sansa Stark. Tyrion is the one Lannister with a good heart, and I appreciate that. Dinklage submitted “Second Sons” as his episode for consideration. Featuring Tyrion’s drunken wedding to Sansa, he really couldn’t do any better submission-wise.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

The Nominees:

Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
Jason Bateman (Arrested Development)
Matt LeBlanc (Episodes)
Don Cheadle (House of Lies)
Louis C.K. (Louie)
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)

My Pick: Jim Parsons

Let’s wrap this up with one more no-brainer of a choice. You all know I’m a Jim Parsons fan. I mention it every year. Last year, Parsons lost this award to Jon Cryer in an Emmys moment I’d really, really rather forget. But guess what? Jon Cryer is not among the nominees this year! Huzzah! Parsons’ submission this year is “The Habitation Configuration,” where his character, Sheldon, utterly fails to mediate a dispute between his girlfriend, Amy, and none other than Wil Wheaton. Wil Wheaton episodes of “Big Bang” theory are generally entertaining, and this one was funny enough. It may not be enough, however, to overcome the Academy’s urge to give Alec Baldwin an Emmy as a 30 Rock parting gift. Again, though, at least there’s no Jon Cryer!

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