Friday, August 22, 2014

Emmy Predictions 2014: Outstanding Drama Series

The nominations are in for the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards. Over the next few weeks, I'll be going through several of the major categories and offer my predictions on who will win this year. Next up, Outstanding Drama Series.

The nominees are: AMC's Breaking Bad; PBS' Downton Abbey; HBO's Game of Thrones; Netflix's House of Cards; AMC's Mad Men; and HBO's True Detective.


The final eight episodes of the now classic drama were heart-pounding and emotionally dynamic. When it concluded last fall, the show seemed like a lock to take home the top prize for the second year in a row. That still seems very likely - although not as big a certainty as it was in the fall. "Ozymandias" alone should be enough for the series to emerge victorious.


If anything is going to upset Breaking Bad, it's going to be True Detective with its movie star leads and close-ended narrative. It was such a specific tale that benefitted greatly from writer Nic Pizzolatto and director Cary Joji Fukunaga working on every episode. What may be working against it is the controversy about plagiarism and casting in the last few months.


Fans of the HBO fantasy series claim that the series will never win because Emmy voters don't appreciate genre shows. That's simply not true. It's one of the most nominated series and has picked up wins in more than just the technical categories. It manages to get into this highly competitive race every year! How is that not a sign of support? Because it likely won't win is why those complaints keep popping up. It continues to produce great moments. I wouldn't be angry if it won. I just think it's more likely one of the top two will win.


It feels like Mad Men's time has passed. It may be able to pull out one more win in this category - but that will surely be for next year's final episodes. While "The Strategy" and "Waterloo" are amongst the strongest episodes the show has ever produced, it still seems highly unlikely the 4-time past champ will walk up to the podium again this year.


There's four dramas I would easily nominate before I would ever consider Downton Abbey or House of Cards for best drama from this last year (Masters of Sex, The Americans, The Good Wife and Hannibal). But Downton Abbey still has across the board support from the voters. I doubt it will lead to a win. But it's still a possibility.


Season 2 was just so bad. And yet, it still stands out to voters because of its Netflix and movie star sensibilities. That's not enough for a win.