Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Emmy Predictions 2011: Outstanding Drama Series

"Jusified" should be nominated for an Emmy
Credit: FX
This post is a part of a series on the 2011 Emmy nominations. I have finished my coverage of the major acting awards and now I move on to the series categories. My thoughts on the category "Outstanding Drama Series" are after the jump.

Part 1: Last Year's Nominees
"Mad Men" *Winner
"Breaking Bad"
"The Good Wife"
"True Blood"

There are at least two open slots in this category. Breaking Bad isn't eligible this year and Lost has gone into the light. The Emmy voters might also come to their senses and not nominate True Blood, but that might just be TV critic wishful thinking.

Part 2: My Predictions
"Mad Men"
"The Good Wife"
"Boardwalk Empire"
"Game of Thrones"
"True Blood"

Mad Men, Dexter, and The Good Wife are all certain to return to the field, being nominated last year. Boardwalk Empire has pretty much everything going for it. It has enough buzz that I will be extremely surprised if it wasn't in the field. Game of Thrones is not certain to be nominated, but it's the fantasy series that is most likely to overcome Emmy voter bias. Being on HBO, I think it has a chance. I decided to go conservative with the last slot, and give it to True Blood. I could see something like The Walking Dead taking the slot, but that probably won't happen.

Part 3: If I Had an Emmy Ballot...

As always, my first choice should be obvious from the picture. Justified was one of the strongest dramas on television this season. There was rarely a point where I was bored watching Raylan Givens work. One way I could sum up exactly how amazing this season would be with two words: Mags Bennett. She made the perfect antagonist and she is what made this season of Justified so freaking brilliant. I was very surprised by this show when I started watching this season, this drama ended up being one of my favorites of the season.

If there's one drama where preair reviews had me worried about the quality of the show, it was Game of Thrones. After watching a season, I realize that I shouldn't have been worried. The George RR Martin books were fantastic and HBO series had a lot to prove. This was one of the few adaptions that was able to separate itself from the source material. Sure, I loved the books, but the TV series created a new kind of love for this story. The way that the performance came alive was something brilliant and something that I was not expecting. Also, the way the series built up over time is something that is very difficult to do. This is a serious candidate for my top 10 at the end of the year, let alone my Emmy ballot.

My next choice is one where if it's on top, there's very rarely anything better. Parenthood is a drama that I didn't take to seriously when it debuted. It was a lot of fun and it had great acting, but it was rarely appointment television for me. Around the middle of this season, that completely changed. The intensity of the episodes that aired during February sweeps was something that I would have never expected from the show. It came alive, which is something that I must reward.

I am limiting myself to dramas which I have seen every episode of the shows season. This means that I have only one more show that I feel comfortable listing, and that show is TNT's Men of a Certain Age. This is a series where I am definitely not in its target demographic, yet I found myself enjoying each and every episode of the show's winter run.  When it's not being serious, it's incredibly fun to watch Ray Romano, Andre Braugher, and Scott Backula work. When it is being serious, it's one of the best damn shows on television. This is a show that will probably be on this list a year from now because it just finished a great summer run. This is a damned good show and it deserves an Emmy nomination. Now, can TNT please renew it?

That's a wrap on this category. If you have some thoughts that you would like to share on my predictions/picks, or some predictions/picks of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Tomorrow: I take a look at the category "Outstanding Comedy Series".

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