The Emmys are here again! It’s been an incredible year in television, and so many of our favorite actors and actresses are nominated. The HollywoodLife.com staff has chosen between the 2015 Emmy nominees, and it wasn’t easy. Find out our picks now!
One thing is certain: TV hasn’t let us down this season. From Mad Men’s swan song to Empire’s takeover to another heart-stopping season of Game of Thrones, the small screen has dominated. In honor of the Emmys, airing Sept. 20, the HollywoodLife.com staff has gone through the nominations and picked out the actors, actresses and shows we think will take home the top prizes!
Outstanding Drama Series
House of Cards
Game of Thrones
Orange is the New Black
Better Call Saul
Emily Longeretta: I’m a serious sucker for Better Call Saul. With the absence of Breaking Bad, it filled the necessary void, and the cast (once again) blew everyone away. However, I know that Breaking Bad stole the spot from Mad Men again and again, so I wouldn’t be completely heartbroken if they won. (Plus, I think Bloodline totally got snubbed here.)
Lauren Cox: The third season of OITNB was hilarious, but also much darker than the previous seasons. The phenomenal cast really deserves to be celebrated for the character growth they display as the show continues, especially as their time in a women’s prison continues to affect their personalities.
Avery Thompson: I’ve watched Mad Men since the beginning, and it’s stayed with me. I still can’t stop talking about it. It didn’t need jaw-dropping twists to keep me interested. Every character was deeply-rooted in flaws that — let’s face it — we have in all of us. I see myself in these characters, and I didn’t want to let them go. Come on, Emmys, give Mad Men what it deserves.
Outstanding Comedy Series
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Parks and Recreation
Emily: Veep, veep, veep. Julia Louis-Dreyfus has won three years in a row, but it’s because she deserves it. Just try to watch it without laughing and/or smiling at the creative one-liners/plot/everything.
Lauren: Parks and Recreation, duh! And no, not just because it was their final season, but because the series itself was so underrated that now would be the best time to honor them with a very well deserved award. Not only did they deliver a wonderful season, but their final episode ever was filled with heartwarming and hilarious resolutions that many shows tend to lack.
Avery: Even after four seasons, Veep is just as sharp and strong as ever. The show had to do a bit of reworking with Selena being the actual President and not the Vice President anymore, but Veep has pulled it off and then some. The ensemble cast is pure perfection, and they nail every single scene.
Outstanding Actress in Comedy
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)
Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie)
Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
Amy Poehler (Parks and Rec)
Lisa Kudrow (The Comeback)
Amy Schumer (Inside Amy Schumer)
Emily: This is a tough one for me. As you can see above, my heart is with JLD — but Lily Tomlin’s game-changing Netflix role was a different kind of funny, that I haven’t seen in a while. I could say since Friends.
Lauren: Amy Poehler, for leading the charge and making P&R’s Leslie Knope one of the most beloved characters on television.
Avery: Give the people what they want — Julia Louis-Dreyfus needs another Emmy. Julia is razor-sharp as the now-President Selina Meyer and mixes just the right amount of bitchiness and light-heartedness to the role.
Outstanding Actor in Comedy
Louis C.K. (Louie)
Anthony Anderson (Blackish)
Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent)
Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth)
William H. Macy (Shameless)
Don Cheadle (House of Lies)
Matt LeBlanc (Episodes)
Emily: Matt LeBlanc is by far the best silver fox of all time, but Jeffrey Tambor has changed the game with Transparent. Sure, the transgender movement is “hot” right now, but that doesn’t change that his transformation is beautiful and impressive beyond belief.
Lauren: I have to go with William H. Macy on this one. Watching him as the troublesome Frank Gallagher is bittersweet in the sense you love him as much as you hate him. It’s incredibly hard to pull something like that off, and Macy’s got it in the bag. Fingers crossed.
Avery: There’s no doubt in my mind — Jeffrey Tambor will win. His portrayal of Maura is both hilarious and heartbreaking. He won this year at the Golden Globes, and he’s about to win again. I just know it.
Outstanding Actress in Drama
Robin Wright (House of Cards)
Taraji P. Henson (Empire)
Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder)
Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)
Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)
Claire Danes (Homeland)
Emily: If it’s not Tatiana Maslany, I’m out. Yes, Cookie’s great, sure, I can’t deny it. But come on. Not only has Tatiana been snubbed year after year, but she also continues to wow every single episode, every single season, as (nearly) every single character. End of sentence.
Lauren: I want to say Viola Davis because HTGAWM is one of my favorite shows. However, I feel like I’ve got to give this one to Tatiana Maslany. I’ve never seen an episode of Orphan Black (gasp, I know), but I see the hoopla over her being snubbed every year and have a soft spot for her regardless.
Avery: I love me some Elisabeth Moss, and she more than deserves recognition for her solid portrayal of Peggy Olson. However, I’m going to have say this could be Taraji’s year. In just one season, Cookie Lyon has become one of the most iconic television characters ever. Despite Cookie’s over-the-top personality, Taraji’s performance never seemed too much. Taraji’s performance cannot and should not be ignored.
Outstanding Actor in Drama
Kevin Spacey (House of Cards)
Kyle Chandler (Bloodline)
Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom)
Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul)
Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan)
Emily: For years, I couldn’t look past Walter White, but now that it’s over, I’m going to say Jeff Daniels. As many people were turned off by the Aaron Sorkin drama, Jeff really showed his serious yet comical acting chops and I can’t see any reason he wouldn’t win. Runner up, for me, goes to Kyle Chandler.
Lauren: Jon Hamm. No explanation needed.
Avery: The final season of Mad Men revealed multiple layers of Don Draper and gave us a Don Draper we never knew existed. Don’s final phone calls with Peggy and Betty were simply magnificent. Jon’s acting was superb. Even though some fans clamored for more time with other characters, Matthew Weiner seemed to know what he was doing letting most of the final season rest on the sturdy shoulders of Jon Hamm. If Jon Hamm doesn’t win, then I don’t believe in anything anymore.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in Comedy
Niecy Nash (Getting On)
Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
Allison Janney (Mom)
Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live)
Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory)
Gaby Hoffmann (Transparent)
Jane Krakowski (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
Anna Chlumsky (Veep)
Emily: Anna Chlumsky is absolutely hilarious. Her outrage last season was absolutely on point and her acting has impressed year after year — but now more than ever, she’s shining.
Lauren: Oh man, this is so hard. All of the women in this category are flawless queens of television and I feel like I’m betraying them by picking one over another. But, okay, I pick Kate McKinnon. If only for her hilarious Justin Bieber impression. It’s one of the last few good things about SNL!
Avery: Amy’s freak out on Selena is possibly the best and funniest moment in Veep history. Amy finally hit her limit with Selena in season four, and she went off. It was epic. Anna Chlumsky aced this scene. She has long since been due for some recognition for her hilarious portrayal of Selena’s wicked smart (former) right-hand woman.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in Comedy
Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Adam Driver (Girls)
Keegan-Michael Key (Key & Peele)
Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
Tony Hale (Veep)
Emily: I’ve gotta be honest on this now — I’m not crazy for any of the nominees. I guess Ty Burrell would be my favorite of the moment, even though Modern Family is a favorite to the TV Academy, so he’s probably already got it in the bag.
Lauren: Adam Driver is an odd little treat on each and every episode of Girls. He brings a strange but totally fresh perspective to the show with his angsty millennial persona.
Avery: It wouldn’t surprise me if Ty Burrell walked away with another win, but I’m placing my bets on Tony Hale. This was his best year yet on Veep. He still manages to make me laugh out loud with just the slightest nuances.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama
Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey)
Lena Headey (Game of Thrones)
Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones)
Christina Hendricks (Mad Men)
Uzo Aduba (Orange Is the New Black)
Christine Baranski (The Good Wife)
Emily: If there’s ever been a year for Lena Headey, it’s now. Right now. Cersei Lannister did that walk this season, and let’s be honest, that beats pretty much anything you’ve seen this year on TV.
Lauren: Yeah, I’m gonna have to go with another OITNB pick here. Uzo Aduba took on much more of a lead role in the show’s third season, and her character’s crazy-beautiful temperament is so enjoyable to watch.
Avery: This is Lena Headey’s time to shine. Watching Cersei’s downward spiral over the course of the season was fascinating and gripping. Regardless of whether or not you watch Game of Thrones, Cersei’s walk in the season five finale is singlehandedly one of the most intense scenes in recent television history.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama
Jonathan Banks (Better Call Saul)
Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline)
Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
Michael Kelly (House of Cards)
Alan Cumming (The Good Wife)
Emily: I’d have to say that Bloodline is one of the most binge-worthy shows of the year, and it’s mostly because of Ben Mendelsohn. He showed his acting chopped by playing a seriously flawed man, flawlessly.
Lauren: How could it not go to Peter Dinklage?
Avery: Honestly, Peter Dinklage should have won last season. His performance during Tyrion’s trial for Joffrey’s murder was superb. In season five, Peter managed to give another magnificent performance. Tyrion spent some time in captivity, but Peter’s performance transcended Tyrion’s confines. Plus, no one can forget when Tyrion came face-to-face with Daenerys.
HollywoodLifers, who do you think will win at the Emmys? Let us know!