TV Feature: Predictions For the 65th Annual Emmy Award Winners

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CHICAGO – The 65th Annual Emmy Awards, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will unfold on Sunday night and I’m back for that annual game of guess the winners. More than any other show, the Emmys seemed designed to make those of us who try to figure them out feel stupid.

Sure, there are a few very safe bets but there are some categories that just make you want to throw your hands up (or throw a dart at a board). Here are my best guesses along with what should win and what should have been nominated. Don’t bet the farm on any of it.

Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad
Photo credit: AMC

I feel pretty confident about this one since AMC and the team behind “Breaking Bad” were brilliant to air the current, incredible, highly-buzzed season during the voting window for last year. Picture the Academy voter with a ballot in his hand, hearing all about the last episode of “Breaking Bad” — it would be difficult to NOT have that influence the vote here. It helps that the recent winners — “Homeland” & “Mad Men” — were both down this year. Could “Game of Thrones” or “House of Cards” pull an upset? Anything is possible but I think this is the first year that Vince Gilligan’s creation gets the trophy it has long-deserved. (And next year is the last.)

Will/Should Win: Breaking Bad
Should Have Been Nominated: Hannibal

Perhaps it’s just a win-by-association instinct but what I said above about current “BB” influencing voters is going to extend to here as well. And, once again, it helps that the stiffest competition — Damian Lewis & Jon Hamm — are nominated for seasons that even they would agree weren’t their best. Cranston, on the other hand?

Will/Should Win: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Should Have Been Nominated: Hugh Dancy, Hannibal

No matter what anyone may say about some of the clunky writing on the last season of “Homeland,” none of the show’s flaws could possibly be traced back to the great Claire Danes, who won last year, will win this year, and is likely to win every year this show is on the air. Let’s be honest. It’s been tough to find consistency in this category given the still-weak state of writing for women on TV. Danes should dominate for some time, even if she wouldn’t get my vote, barely edged out by the fascinating Vera Farmiga, a woman who entered a franchise with a ton of history and a ton of expectations and made it feel like she belonged there all along.

Will Win: Claire Danes, Homeland
Should Win: Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel
Should Have Been Nominated: Keri Russell, The Americans

Photo credit: Showtime

Now here’s where things get interesting. Whereas anyone but Cranston or Danes would truly surprise me, NOTHING would surprise me here. Could Aaron Paul and Jonathan Banks split their own votes for “Breaking Bad”? I think that’s possible enough that Patinkin slips in for “Homeland,” although having nowhere else to recognize the great “Game of Thrones” might make Dinklage a likely winner here too. Sadly, the guy I would vote for isn’t really in the running given the perception that the third season of “Boardwalk Empire” was its weakest.

Will Win: Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Should Win: Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire
Should Have Been Nominated: Corey Stoll, House of Cards

Again, a category with a half-dozen winners that wouldn’t surprise me. And so I’m going with what so often happens in the dramatic categories — a sweep. Both Danes & Lewis won last year. This year they’ll go with Cranston and his long-deserving partner, Anna Gunn.

Will Win: Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Should Win: Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Should Have Been Nominated: Abigail Spencer, Rectify

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