Tim Goodman's Emmy Picks: More Desire Than Prognosticating One Day Before Nominations

There's plenty of time for will win/should win analysis. Now's the time for wanting your favorites to get nominated.
Amanda Friedman
What if Tatiana Maslany was nominated twice -- at least -- for her roles in "Orphan Black" on BBC America?


It’s such a pretty little greedy word. And when it comes to Emmy nominations, I tend to skip it in favor of the less personal “should win/will win” analysis, or the words “hope” or “deserves” – all things wrapped in a studied appraisal of who has the likeliest chance to get nominated and which series is the odds-on favorite to win.

Well, enough of that.

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One day before the Emmy nominations are announced – I’m already girding for disappointment but crossing my fingers – I’m going to enjoy the freedom to want. No rhyme, no reason, no calculating odds or ruling someone or some show out because a miracle would be necessary for them or it to be nominated. No, this is column about what I want. I’m not saying I’ll be outraged if less than half of it actually happens. Or even none of it.

I’m only wanting.

And wanting has no rules or reason, so some of the people I pick may be in the wrong category (supporting instead of lead, etc.). I don’t care. I just want them nominated. Besides, these were the best shows and best actors I watched all year.

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The only rule I’ll try to stick to is matching the number of nominees to each category, which means that even a lot of actors and shows I want to get nominated just won’t. Which is painful, because there was a lot of greatness to go around (and I even missed some of it when it came to miniseries/movies). But I guess I want the following nominees the absolute most.

So here goes:

* I want these shows to be nominated for best drama: Breaking Bad (AMC), Mad Men (AMC), Game of Thrones (HBO),The Americans (FX), Rectify (Sundance Channel) and Orphan Black (BBC America).

* I want these shows to be nominated for best comedy: 30 Rock (NBC), Arrested Development (Netflix), Veep (HBO), Girls (HBO), Parks and Recreation (NBC) and Louie (FX).

* I want these shows to be nominated for best miniseries/movie: Top of the Lake (Sundance Channel), Restless (Sundance Channel), The Hour (BBC America), Behind the Candelabra (HBO), Phil Spector (HBO) and Moone Boy (Hulu) -- which isn’t really a miniseries, but it was a Hulu exclusive series and there were only six episodes and if the Emmy voters can be duped about American Horror Story and such, why not let this slide in for no good reason other than it was brilliant?

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* I want these people nominated for best actor in a drama: Jon Hamm (Mad Men, AMC), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, AMC), Aden Young (Rectify, Sundance Channel), Kevin Spacey (House of Cards, Netflix), Kelsey Grammer (Boss, Starz) and Matthew Rhys (The Americans, FX).

* I want these people nominated for best actress in a drama: Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black, BBC America), Keri Russell (The Americans, FX), Claire Danes (Homeland, Showtime), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men, AMC), Emmy Rossum (Shameless, Showtime) and Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy, FX).

* I want these people nominated for best supporting actor in a drama: Mandy Patinkin (Homeland, Showtime), Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad, AMC), Michael Cudlitz (Southland, TNT), Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones, HBO). Walton Goggins (Justified, FX), and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones, HBO).

* I want these people nominated for best supporting actress in a drama: Tatiana Maslany (yes again, and separately – she was that good: Orphan Black, BBC America), Regina King (Southland, TNT), Abigail Spencer (Rectify, Sundance Channel), Khandi Alexander (Treme, HBO), Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter, Showtime) and Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men, AMC).

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* I want these people nominated for best actor in a comedy: Jason Bateman (Arrested Development, Netflix), Don Cheadle (House of Lies, Showtime), Louis C.K. (Louie, FX), Alec Baldwin (30 Rock, NBC), Garret Dillahunt (Raising Hope, Fox) and Chris O’Dowd (Family Tree, HBO). OK, it turns out that two episodes in the eligibility window isn't enough and O'Dowd can't be nominated. To that, I say bollocks. Do it anyway.

* I want these people nominated for best actress in a comedy: Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation, NBC), Tina Fey (30 Rock, NBC), Lena Dunham (Girls, HBO), Martha Plimpton (Raising Hope, Fox), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep, HBO) and Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project, Fox).

* I want these people for best supporting actor in a comedy: Will Arnett (Arrested Development, Netflix), Adam Driver (Girls, HBO), Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development, Netflix), Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation, NBC), Ty Burrell (Modern Family, ABC) and Tony Hale (Veep, HBO).

* I want these people for best supporting actress in a comedy: Jessica Walter (Arrested Development, Netflix), Julie Bowen (Modern Family, ABC), Jane Levy (Suburgatory, ABC), Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls, CBS), Nina Conti (Family Tree, HBO) and Olivia Munn (look, she’s got to get in somewhere for her work on HBO's The Newsroom, and I want her right here). Conti has the same problem as O'Dowd. She's not eligible. Tell that to her monkey, Monk. And see what happens.

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* I want these people for best actor in a miniseries/movie: Al Pacino (Phil Spector, HBO), Michael Douglas (Behind the Candelabra, HBO), Benedict Cumberbatch (Parade's End, HBO), Toby Jones (The Girl, HBO), Kenneth Branagh (Wallander, PBS) and Dominic West (The Hour, BBC America).

* I want these people for best actress in a miniseries/movie: Elisabeth Moss (Top of the Lake, Sundance Channel), Helen Mirren (Phil Spector, HBO), Hayley Atwell (Restless, Sundance Channel), Laura Linney (The Big C, Showtime), Sienna Miller (The Girl, HBO) and Charlotte Rampling (Restless, Sundance Channel).

* I want these people for best supporting actor in a miniseries/movie: Peter Mullan (Top of the Lake, Sundance Channel), Matt Damon (Behind the Candelabra, HBO), Rufus Sewell (Restless, Sundance Channel), Ben Whishaw (The Hour, BBC America), Thomas Wright (Top of the Lake, Sundance Channel) and Jeffrey Tambor (Phil Spector, HBO).

* I want these people for best supporting actress in a miniseries/movie: Rebecca Hall (Parade's End, HBO), Sigourney Weaver (Political Animals, TNT), Michelle Dockery (Restless, Sundance Channel), Janet McTeer (Parade's End, HBO), Holly Hunter (Top of the Lake, Sundance Channel) and Carla Gugino (Political Animals, TNT).

I want a lot of things, obviously. Whether I get them Thursday is another matter. But after the fact, no more dreaming. I'll just have to pick from the hand I'm dealt as I shift from wanting to analyzing.

E-mail: Tim.Goodman@THR.com
Twitter: @BastardMachine