Breaking Down the Emmy Awards Nominees: Outstanding Series

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Outstanding Comedy Series

The Big Bang Theory on CBS

LK:The Big Bang Theory is a monster. Not only is it one of the highest rated shows on television, even its constant reruns do better than premiere episodes of other programs. The main three stars, Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, and Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting recently negotiated to receive a cool million per episode. It’s insane. And yet this show has never won the top prize. No matter what happens though, it’ll always be a strong contender. Chance of winning:High.


MP: I’ve been making this argument all week. I don’t think Big Bang Theory is a bad show, I just think it knows what it is and it’s happy to stick to that. Why are we consistently nominating a show for doing the same thing year after year? I also think renewing it for 3 seasons is practically a death sentence, but good for CBS. Chance of winning:High.

Louie on FX

LK: While The Big Bang Theory has unreasonably high numbers, Louie easily has the most devoted fan base. People have wanted this FX hit to take this prize for so many years. It’s not like they need the validation because fans already consider Louie to be the best, but it would still be nice. Alas, the Academy most likely won’t pick this one. It just lacks the mainstream appeal we all know they love so much. Chance of winning:Average.

MP:Louie is a very funny show, that’s been getting some well-earned recognition this season. It’s different, and it’s well done, but I wouldn’t consider it the best comedy out there. I also wouldn’t peg it as the Academy’s choice. Chance of winning:Low.

Modern Family on ABC

LK: Okay, four times in a row has to be enough right? Is this show really better than literally everything else on television since 2010? People still believe it didn’t deserve the win last year. It honestly doesn’t this year either, but the Academy sure loves this ABC titan. It has a great chance of winning, and that’s awful. Chance of winning:Very high.

MP: I think this is finally the year Modern Family will be pushed aside for Orange is the New Black. Again, I still watch Modern Family and I still enjoy it. But it’s a lot of the same thing over and over again. Enough with all the awards. Chance of winning:High.

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Orange is the New Black on Netflix

LK: This nomination is a point of contention for many fans. Is Orange is the New Black more of a comedy or a drama? Many people believe it’s the latter, but we unfortunately live in a period when it only had a chance in the former. But in a way, this still works. OitNB has some incredibly funny moments and deserves to be up here with the best. In fact, I’d say it deserves the top prize, and can feasibly take it home. Chance of winning:High.

MP: I’d honestly rather see Orange is the New Black take home the award for Outstanding Drama, but I understand why Jenji Kohan put it up for comedy, and I’m glad it’s getting so much Emmy recognition regardless. I think it’s gonna win. As I mentioned earlier, OitNB is a cultural phenomenon. It’s a solid show with incredible character development, this is quite funny as well. It’s also the meatiest show in this category. I honestly don’t think Emmy voters quite get comedy – which is why more of a dramedy can thrive in the comedy category. Chance of winning:Very high.

Silicon Valley on HBO

LK: HOW. I legitimately don’t understand how this got in. Is it really that good? I find that hard to believe, but here it is. It absolutely won’t win though. Chance of winning:Very low.

MP: I have heard a lot of people responding to this nomination in a similar manner to Luke – but I effing LOVED Season One of Silicon Valley. Knowing the kind of material that the Academy generally votes for, I am not at all surprised that this made the cut – and it definitely deserves to be here. Silicon Valley has already garnered quite the cult following (I have seen many a reddit thread divulge into nothing but Silicon Valley quotes), and the mid-season death of the very talented Christopher Evan Welch only served to elevate its popularity and appeal. But truly, the intensely serious discussion, breaking down the complicated mathematics of how long it would take to jerk off every guy at the conference (we’re talking jerking off like hundreds of dudes) alone earns this show a nomination in my book. I don’t think it’ll win this year, but I do think it’s in the running. Chance of winning: Average.


Veep on HBO

LK: Like I said with my past commentary, I don’t watch Veep, but I definitely want to. Considering how spectacular Julia Louis-Dreyfus is, I’m shocked this show has never taken home this prize. Could it be because the acting is great but the story isn’t? I honestly cannot say, but surely this is a strong contender. Chance of winning:High.

MP: Again, I do think Veep is good, and it does make me laugh, but it does not keep me coming back for more. Mostly, I think it’s because I’m just not that into politics. I don’t think this show has a chance, with both Modern Family and Orange is the New Black in the running.

Luke’s Pick: I’m picking Orange is the New Black. Not only do I think it deserves it over all of these shows, the idea of a fifth consecutive Modern Family win makes my brain hurt. Don’t let it happen Academy.

Marla’s Pick: I would be very surprised and also quite sad if Orange is the New Black didn’t win.

Who Marla Thinks Should Have Been Nominated: I’m sure this is quite obvious to anyone whose been reading along all week, but I would literally give my non-existent left nut to see either Brooklyn Nine-Nine or Parks and Recreation win the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy.

Outstanding Drama Series

Breaking Bad on AMC

LK:Exactly like the acting categories, Breaking Bad is the clear show to beat in this category. They handily won this award last year and, when you consider how much better the final eight episodes were, clearly deserve it again this year. 2014 can easily be the year of Breaking Bad with sweeps all around, and this top prize will be the ultimate capper. Chance of winning:Very high.

MP: America’s Sweetbitch makes meth, and meth is cool now. Chance of winning:Very high.


Downton Abbey on PBS

LK: People love this show. A lot. The Academy once did too when it was labeled as a miniseries. Since it was moved into the drama category though, things haven’t been great. The show always receives nominations in many categories but it very rarely wins. Really, it doesn’t have much of a chance winning this year either. Chance of winning:Low.

MP: One time I tuned into this show and there was just a piece of cotton blowing around for twenty minutes. Chance of winning:Low.

Game of Thrones on HBO

LK:Game of Thrones is one of the best shows on television by far. I’ve never seen a program balance such a massive cast filled with incredible acting with so much deftness and poise. Sure, it stumbles at parts, but the show still works so well. It’s basically a work of art by this point. The idea of picking a fantasy show as the best drama is likely beyond foreign for the Academy though. This should should be a top contender, but it tragically is stuck in the middle. Chance of winning:Average.

MP: Sword fights. And not in the porn way. But sometimes yes, in the porn way. Chance of winning:Average.

House of Cards on Netflix

LK: I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it: this show is crazy. The only reason it still works is because Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are so good at what they do. If they weren’t so compelling as the leads, this show would’ve failed so quickly. And yet here it is with a second nomination. The truth is, both Spacey and Wright have a much greater chance of winning than the show itself does. There’s just too much people don’t like about it that’s holding it back. Chance of winning:Low.

MP: A political asshole on Netflix. Chance of winning:Low.


Mad Men on AMC

LK: After winning this award for four straight years, Mad Men was beaten by both Homeland and Breaking Bad. Many people didn’t particularly like the most recent season, but the show will always be a strong contender for this award. The Academy loves it and will likely love it again immensely next year when the show is done. Chance of winning:High.

MP: Drinking and smoking and drinking and smoking. Sexism. Chance of winning:High.

True Detective on HBO

LK: It’s honestly between Breaking Bad and True Detective to take this prize home. People were especially obsessed with this HBO smash hit earlier this year. It was basically the biggest thing since sliced bread. The acting was top notch, the story was intense, the writing was impeccable, and the show as a whole was completely engrossing. It has everything it needs to win this award. Honestly, if Breaking Bad wasn’t here, you’d be looking at the winner right now. Chance of winning:Very high.

MP:  A Cowboy and an Indian solve crimes. …Wait, no. That’s not right. Chance of winning:Very high.

Luke’s Pick: This is not an easy choice, but I’m giving my full support to Breaking Bad. Say what you will about True Detective. It just wasn’t better.


Marla’s Pick: I think there would be outrage if Breaking Bad didn’t win for it’s final season, but I don’t think True Detective is totally out of the running. It’s actually a toss up between these two for me.

Who Marla Thinks Should Have Been Nominated: I just think that the Academy’s definition of drama is so narrow. These shows are all a very specific kind of drama, which is why I don’t care for any of them. There are a lot of off-the-beaten-path dramas and genre dramas that are doing great things and just not getting taken seriously because they’re not on a certain networks, and I think that’s a bit of a tragedy.

I would love to see some of these put aside so that shows like Orange is the New Black and Shameless could run and be nominated as dramas, because I believe these shows have some amazing and intense character development and they deserve recognition for those qualities. Orphan Black blows me away with every episode, and is far more interesting and original than anything on this list.

I’m glad that other awards shows are opening up to these shows, but I just wish the Emmy’s would follow suit and stop being a snorefest.

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