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Who doesn’t love seeing the little guy win?

With awards shows often feeling like popularity contests, it always seems like someone’s getting the cold shoulder. We’ve already pouted about the actors and shows we think were snubbed. Here are our dream winners who may or may not get their golden statue this year:

Best Drama Series: Downton Abbey
This British import was nominated in 16 categories, putting it second behind Mad Men and Homeland’s 17 nods. But being flush with nominations doesn’t guarantee a win. As much as we want this subtle yet stirring series to get some Stateside love, the competition in the form of wildly popular shows like Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones may prove to be too stiff.

Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Louis C.K., Louie
While it’s pretty certain that the Emmys will stick with the status quo in this category (Jon Cryer and Jim Parsons, we’re looking at you), it would blow us away to see our favorite curmudgeonly ginger win this year. With Louie, Louis takes self-deprecation to a new cringe-worthy level not seen since Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. But we get that his dark humor and uncomfortably honest story lines are not everyone’s cup of tea. It’s just the best cup of (comedic) tea on TV right now.

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Lena Dunham, Girls
Speaking of uncomfortable honesty, Lena may have the market cornered on being the female equivalent of Louis C.K. As the writer, director, and star of Girls, she doesn’t shy away from baring it all (quite literally) and allowing viewers a glimpse into her flawed but entirely relatable life. Plus, she’s a young woman with enormous creative control over a show, so awarding her with an Emmy would hopefully set a precedent for more of the like.

Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Season 5 was huge for Peggy Olson, Elisabeth’s Mad Men character. As Don’s right-hand woman for four years, Peggy both shocked and pleased us when she quit Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. It was the end of an era, but the beginning of a professional life not lived under Don’s shadow. We applaud her character’s ballsy decision and hope Elisabeth’s acting efforts are rewarded this time around.
 
Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
While Mad Men and Breaking Bad have dominated this category over the last few years, we think Steve has a shot at overtaking the usual suspects. As Nucky Thompson, Steve has successfully shed his awkward character actor persona to embody the cold and calculating don of Atlantic City. He received a Golden Globe in 2010 for his role, but we’d like to see someone besides the always-excellent Bryan Cranston win the Emmy this year.
 
Best Variety, Music or Comedy Series: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 
If your name isn’t Jon Stewart, it’s like murder trying to win this category. But we think Jimmy’s really come into his own since taking the late-night hosting gig in 2009. Not only has he slow-jammed the news with President Barack Obama, but he continues to be on the cutting edge of pop culture with his guests and musical performances. Any worries we had about his post-Saturday Night Live career have completely disappeared.

 

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