The 2013 Emmy nominations are officially here! Time for another year of fruitless pining for Elisabeth Moss’ deserved win. Also general exasperation that Modern Family is still a thing. Give it a rest. We kicked you off the zeitgeist train like two years ago.
The Emmys are hands-down my favorite night of the entire year. And Neil Patrick Harris is hosting again, setting the stage for my childlike delight. For me, Emmy time is filled with as much reverence as your typical Passover (minus that year when my mom came up with the musical parody “In Haggadah Da Vida” and kept repeating “Haggadah get outta here!” Not a lot of reverence that year).
So, Pesach style, when the Emmy noms come out, I like to ask myself four essential questions. This year’s edition…
1. On all other nights, no one watches reality competition shows. It’s not 2002. Why do we still reward their existence?
2. On all other nights, I really thought Linda Ellerbee was dead. Why did I ever stop getting my information from Nickelodeon News?
3. On all other nights, I dip my vegetables in the salt water of Game of Thrones tears. Why don’t we start a new category for Best and Worst Feels?
4. On all other nights, Elisabeth Moss is fucking amazing. WHY HAS SHE NOT WON YET?
Lots of deep thoughts to address. Whether you’re wise, wicked, simple, or do not know enough to ask (ALERT: INSIDE JOKE FOR JEWS), here are my picks for the 2013 winners. These are biased and what I think should happen, rather than will. I accept that these all might not come true. On Emmys night, blind seething rage is part of the fun!
**Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Although it had its moments, this season of Mad Men was not great. GoT captured the public’s heart and squeezed it like a vice, and BB‘s last season was a master class.
OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Connie Britton, Nashville
Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel
**Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Kerry Washington, Scandal
Robin Wright, House of Cards
I’m Peggy Olson, and I want to smoke some competition.
OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
**Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
**Damian Lewis, Homeland
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Cranston’s been knocking Mr. White out of the park, but Damian Lewis’ steely-vulnerable Sgt. Brody should not be overlooked.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Morena Baccarin, Homeland
**Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Full disclosure, I do not watch Downton, else I might pick Dame Smith. Otherwise, this category is really bare, save Christina. Morena Baccarin? Really? I’ve seen lawn flamingos with better cryface.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire
**Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Several imaginary readers just gasped because I did not automatically choose Patinkin. That’s a conflict of interest because we’re lovers. Will be. Lovers. Someday. I call him Patinky and he likes that. Anyway, Jonathan Banks is stunningly good.
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Margo Martindale, The Americans
Diana Rigg, Game of Thrones
Carrie Preston, The Good Wife
**Linda Cardellini, Mad Men
Jane Fonda, The Newsroom
Joan Cusack, Shameless
Linda Cardellini really impressed me this year. I was ready to dismiss her as Don’s cuckolding mistress until the episode where she freaked the fuck out and pounded the bed. Fists o’ fury, girl.
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA
**Nathan Lane, The Good Wife
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife
Rupert Friend, Homeland
Robert Morse, Mad Men
Harry Hamlin, Mad Men
Dan Bucatinsky, Scandal
I caught Nathan Lane’s turn on TGW. He really has never lost his gift for sad-eyed snark. Another weak category, so he should take it.
The Big Bang Theory
30 Rock may win because this was the last season, and while the season sucked, the show was ever so innovative and glorious. I support a courtesy victory for my beacon Tina Fey.
OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
**Laura Dern, Enlightened
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Oh, so we’re just nominating 20-something girls for crying and eating Cool Whip and accidentally lobotomizing themselves with Q-tips? Where’s my Emmy?
OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A COMEDY
**Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Jason Bateman, Arrested Development
Louis CK, Louie
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
I know, I know. But I think Alec Baldwin has serious comedic chops, and should not be punished for his piglet ways offscreen. Jack was one of the best parts of this lackluster final season.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Jane Lynch, Glee
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
**Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Anna Chlumsky, Veep
Merritt Wever is everything. Her timing is impeccable.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY
**Adam Driver, Girls
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live
Tony Hale, Veep
God, Adam Driver is underrated. He brought so much pathos and history to a role that could have easily been really grating. Even with the face of an old-timey criminal.
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Molly Shannon, Enlightened
Dot-Marie Jones, Glee
Melissa Leo, Louie
**Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Elaine Stritch, 30 Rock
Just give Melissa McCarthy every single award that exists and then freeze her cryogenically so future generations will know the mechanism of hysterical laughter.
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Bob Newhart, The Big Bang Theory
Nathan Lane, Modern Family
Bobby Cannavale, Nurse Jackie
Louis CK, Saturday Night Live
**Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live
Will Forte, 30 Rock
Sue me! I think JT is awesome! I like him as a guest star because he brings back triple-threat variety, and a spontaneity and joy that’s often missing on modern SNL.
OUTSTANDING REALITY SHOW HOST
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
Betty White, Betty White’s Off Their Rockers
**Tom Bergeron, Dancing With the Stars
Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, Project Runway
Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance
Anthony Bourdain, The Taste
I get weird feelings in my nethers for Tom Bergeron, so that’s about the long and short of it.
OUTSTANDING REALITY SHOW COMPETITION
The Amazing Race
Dancing With the Stars
So You Think You Can Dance
Arbitrary. Who cares.
OUTSTANDING VARIETY, MUSIC, OR COMEDY SERIES
**The Colbert Report
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Real Time With Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
Colbert has been killing it lately. Jimmy Fallon will never win this category. Can we nominate ?uestlove instead?
OUTSTANDING TV MINISERIES OR MOVIE
**American Horror Story: Asylum
Behind the Candelabra
Top of the Lake
I want to choose Behind the Candelabra, but I’ve been a fruit fly since the womb and I know feigned gayness when I see it. I’ll do my Michael-Douglas-as-Liberace impression for you if you want. It’s scarily accurate. But I digress: AHS was absolutely spectacular this season. I haven’t caught up on Top of the Lake, but I have a hard time supporting it because of all the cast’s different and incorrect approaches to an Aussie accent.
LEAD ACTRESS IN A TV MINISERIES OR MOVIE
**Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum
Laura Linney, The Big C: hereafter
Helen Mirren, Phil Spector
Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals
Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake
And AHS only succeeds on the inestimable merits of Queen Lange.
LEAD ACTOR IN A TV MINISERIES OR MOVIE
**Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra
Matt Damon, Behind the Candelabra
Toby Jones, The Girl
Benedict Cumberbatch, Parade’s End
Al Pacino, Phil Spector
A terrible category, but now that I’ve started thinking about Michael-Douglas-as-Liberace I can’t stop. “AH MY GAAAAD.”
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TV MINISERIES OR MOVIE
**Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Asylum
Imelda Staunton, The Girl
Ellen Burstyn, Political Animals
Charlotte Rampling, Restless
Alfre Woodard, Steel Magnolias
I might need to cool it on the AHS love, but how can you deny Sarah Paulson? She’s fucking brilliant. She played extremes of terror and humor and cold manipulation with utter commitment.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TV MINISERIES OR MOVIE
James Cromwell, American Horror Story: Asylum
Zachary Quinto, American Horror Story: Asylum
**Scott Bakula, Behind The Candelabra
John Benjamin Hickey, The Big C: hereafter
Peter Mullan, Top of the Lake
Was Scott Bakula even in Behind the Candelabra? Wait, are we talking about Rob Lowe as the wax sculpture of Scott Bakula? Someone seems to be confused at the Academy.