The Emmy Awards are just around the corner — Sunday, September 22 — and we are biting our nails in anticipation. There is some seriously stiff competition happening here!
If you were the Emmys committee, who would you choose? Vote in this superpoll below, and let us know why in the comments!
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
There are a ton of hot contenders in this category, but only one can take home the trophy. So who's it going to be? Kerry Washington for holding things down on Scandal? Elisabeth Moss for taking Peggy Olson on Mad Men through another stage of her career in a man's world? Claire Danes just because you think she deserved one for My So-Called Life? (It's probably OK if you're a Homeland fan, too.)
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Obviously the critical darling this year is Breaking Bad, and it makes sense to shower Emmys upon the noble head of Bryan Cranston. But is he too obvious of a choice? Jeff Daniels has been drawing praise as the lead of The Newsroom, and Jon Hamm as Don Draper in Mad Men is always a reliable — and handsome — performance.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
While it's hard work being the Mother of Dragons, as Emilia Clarke is in Game of Thrones, it might be harder being Skyler White in Breaking Bad. Actress Anna Gunn doesn't play a very popular character, and her commitment to a strong, albeit unpopular, woman is admirable.
But then there's Maggie Smith, and who doesn't love the Dowager Countess? So many decisions!
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
While we have to admire the astonishing complexity of Jonathan Banks's character, Mike Ehrmantraut, in Breaking Bad, Aaron Paul turned Jesse Pinkman on his head throughout five seasons of the same show.
Then again, where would Game of Thrones be without Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister to do stuff like, I don't know, provide the only glimmers of hope for human decency? And he does so with not only a wink and a smile, but a convincing one.
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
We love the guest categories because they really celebrate arcs! We loved Freaks and Geeks's Linda Cardellini as Sylvia Rosen on Mad Men this season! But it might be worth it to give it to Diana Rigg, or Olenna Tyrell on Game of Thrones, because her Emmy nomination brought to our attention that Grandma Tyrell was Emma Peel on The Avengers.
These categories are also fun because we get some pretty A-list actors that might not have been able to sign onto a full leading or supporting role, like Joan Cusack (Sheila Jackson, Shameless) and Jane Fonda (Leona Lansing, The Newsroom).
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
It's kind of a bummer that Robert Morse (Bertram Cooper, Mad Men) has retired to a guest role, but the man certainly anchors those partner meetings with his I'm-too-old-for-this-sh** insight. But Michael J. Fox crushed it, as usual, on The Good Wife. We have options.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
This is the hardest category to pick for. Every single one of these women gives a jaw-dropping and hilarious performance in their respective shows.
Tina Fey has one last shot at a second 30 Rock Emmy for her almost genre-breaking performance. Laura Dern has a chance to get some credit for the criminally underrated HBO series Enlightened. Lena Dunham's up for her always brave, body-and-soul baring series Girls. Nurse Jackie was canceled, but that doesn't mean we can't give Edie Falco an Emmy for a job well done. Amy Poehler swiftly made Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation a career-defining role, and she continues to grow the character even into Season 6. And Julia Louis-Dreyfus brings back her sick burns we got used to seeing on Seinfeld, only with a little more linguistic freedom, on Veep.
Seriously. Hard choices.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Jason Bateman dug up his old Arrested Development character Michael Bluth after nearly a decade and jumped right back into the role, even giving him some extra (hilarious) vulnerabilities. Louis C.K. has become a pessimistic voice of a generation on Louie. Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory) is certainly a fan favorite. Don Cheadle continues to hold it down as Marty Kaan on House of Lies. We had forgotten that Episodes existed. Sorry, Matt LeBlanc. Friends reunion soon?
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Jane Lynch is one of the funniest gals in showbusiness (have you seen Party Down?), and even if Glee's not your cup of tea, an Emmy would be well-deserved. Although Glee probably is exactly your cup of tea, because you're reading Wetpaint. Mayim Bialik balances being a neurosurgeon and a mom in addition to her role as Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory. Speaking of former child stars, Anna Chlumsky (Amy Brookheimer, Veep) has only gotten cooler since My Girl.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
If you're a Modern Family fan, you have a difficult decision ahead, with Ty Burrell (Phil Dunphy), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Mitchell Pritchett), and Ed O'Neil (Jay Pritchett) all up for a well-deserved award. They're pitted against Tony Hale, who demonstrates that he's not just Buster Bluth as Gary Walsh on Veep, Bill Hader for his work on SNL (he deserves an Emmy for Stefan alone), and Adam Driver of Girls.
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Elaine Stritch was always hilarious as Colleen Donaghy (RIP) on 30 Rock, but when she's pitted against the fabulous Molly Shannon (Eileen Foliente, Enlightened), Melissa Leo (Laurie, Louie), and SNL guest-hosting gigs from Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, the decision gets pretty difficult.
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
If you don't like Bobby Cannavale for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, you can make it up to him here for his guest role as Dr. Mike Cruz on Nurse Jackie. Also up for the award are Will Forte for his role as Jenna Maroney's perfect match, Paul, on 30 Rock; Nathan Lane as Cameron and Mitchell's wine-swirling buddy, Pepper Saltzman, on Modern Family; and Justin Timberlake for his amazing work on SNL. But Bob Newhart (Arthur Jeffries/Professor Proton, The Big Bang Theory) might take this one home on legacy alone.
Why do you think your picks deserve the big win? Weigh in below!