2011 Emmy Nominations Predictions – BEST DRAMA and COMEDY SERIES

emmy 2011 predicitions series drama comedy

July 14th Joshua Jackson from Fringe and Melissa McCarthy from Mike And Molly will grace our screens at an ungodly hour of the morning and let the world know the nominees for the 63rd Emmy Awards. Without doubt it will be the most important event happening in the next six months, likely to shake the foundations of the earth to its core. The survival of humanity likely rests on the decisions of the members of the Television Academy to pick the correct nominees.

But, as Kyra Sedgwick, James Spader, Mariska Hargitay and Tony Shaloub can attest, the fine members of this academy don’t always choose the best. They often settle for the goodest. That’s not to say that they’re wrong (though they are), it’s just to say that they can be exceptionally lazy and afraid of change and often forget that the most amazing television shows ever produced are being produced right now.

So here I’ve decided to share my Emmy picks for Best Drama Series and Best Comedy Series, in descending order.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
 
#6 FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
 

Friday Night Lights

The last season for the football show that was never really about football. Whilst it lacks the orgies of True Blood‘s second season, it makes up for such shortcomings with raw emotional storytelling, a distinct visual style and acting as powerful as anything on television.

#5 BOARDWALK EMPIRE
 

Cool, stylish and this year’s Golden Globe and SAG winner, I’ll eat my computer if it doesn’t get Martin Scorsese an Emmy for directing the pilot. More than any show on the list it’s advisable to watch this show twice-the plot is so freaking confusing, but once you realize that the balding guy with the high forehead is actually four different characters, you’ll appreciate how good this show actually is.

#4 JUSTIFIED
 

JUSTIFIED For Blood or Money Season 2 Episode 4

For a show not only to offer us Timothy Olyphant in a cowboy hat but to come out of the barn after a very fine debut season galloping into a blaze of brilliance in its second season, this has very quickly become one of televisions’ glorious delights. The acting is a joy to watch, the characters are smart and mean and rich and complex and wonderful, the show is disarmingly funny and the lines are so weird and off kilter; it is a show to be savoured.

#3 THE GOOD WIFE
 

THE GOOD WIFE (CBS) Killer Song

The best network show on television and the best legal drama in years, The Good Wife is network’s only hope for the gold, but it’s a damn fine hope. Like Justified, this show uses its procedural formula merely as a backdrop for its juicy dynamics between characters: everyone on this show has a motive, everyone has secrets, everyone is smart and clever. This season Robert and Michelle King took the show to a whole new level. In particular, the Kalinda and Alicia duo has evolved and joins Walter White and Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad as my favorite onscreen team.

#2 MAD MEN
 

Mad Men "The Beautiful Girls"

Don’t count this show out. Four seasons in, Matthew Weiner turned in one of the best episodes of television ever with “The Suitcase”. The outstanding cast is only as good as its writers, and the quality of writing of this show is somewhere in the stratosphere. With three consecutive wins already under its belt, could Mad Men join the ranks of Hill Street Blues, LA Law and The West Wing and become the fourth drama series ever to go four for four at the Emmys?

#1 GAME OF THRONES
 

game of thrones hbo dragons

Look at that picture! Look at it! Could you imagine a scenario where the show that produced such a fine spectacle could get snubbed by the Television Academy? No, good. Then you and I are on the same wavelength. Dragons and direwolfs and phenomenal effects and visuals (the Eyrie) brought George RR Martin’s world to life, but the acting and writing made me care about these wonderfully twisted characters, sometimes even more than I cared for them on the page. For the most ambitious first season ever to grace the television screens, Benioff and Weiss nailed it. It’s one of the best adaptations I’ve ever seen. To quote Mordern Family‘s writer Danny Zuker: ‘Tell Don Draper: “Winter is Coming”‘

 

Sorry to say it didn’t make the cut: Lights Out. FX’s boxing drama had a few too many problems, but they were problems which could have been easy to fix had they been given a second season. They weren’t, which is a pity, since Holt McCallany gave such a terrific performance and the show had promises which could easily have been fulfilled given another season to work out the kinks.

Have I snubbed any of your favorites? Let me know in the comments below, because now we must move on the Best Comedy series.

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
 
#6 THE BIG BANG THEORY
 

I don’t watch enough comedies, I’m first to admit it, but I’ll be damned if I give this spot to Glee or Hot In freaking Cleveland, and as much as I loved 30 Rock this year, let’s face it: it’s got a truckload of Emmys, The Big Bang Theory has never even been nominated, and this season the show greatly improved thanks to some much needed nerdesses. Give the nerds some love.

#5 COUGAR TOWN
 

What is comically regarded as the worst named show-possibly ever- Cougar Town is really a wacky show seemingly about nothing but really about friends and family and love and alcohol. It’s hilarious and hurting and totally deserving of some Emmy love.

#4 MODERN FAMILY
 

MODERN FAMILY (ABC) Mother's Day

A show you can actually watch with the family. The episodes are constructed with such mastery as to appear seamless. The cast chemistry is wonderful and Julie Bowen’s Claire Dunphy is one of the funniest straight man characters ever to grace the screen.

#3 COMMUNITY
 

Dan Harmon and his writers are brilliant. Community is a heartfelt show with jokes flying in from every direction and a magnetic (and attractive) cast. Somehow this show manages to do the impossible: change its format every week. In the second season the community college was often less of a setting, more of just a reason for why these people are hanging out. It’s a must-see for culture junkies.

#2 LOUIE
 

LOUIE (FX) Season 2 (15)

Louie is sweet and poignant and awkward. Louie is a slice of absurdity and realism. Helmed by a true television auteur Louie C.K, this is a show that sounds like nobody’s cup of tea. However, once you sit down and watch it, you’ll think it’s tailor made to confront and explore your own deep seated insecurities through CK’s hilarious and candid fearless writing and acting. It defies the genre and embraces it, it’s stylistic and gritty, it’s a mishmash of pessimism and optimism. Louie is truly one of a kind.

#1 PARKS AND RECREATION
 

Don’t let those befuddled faces fool you. When was the last time watching television was like hugging a big fat teddy bear? That’s exactly what Parks and Recreation feels like. Sweet, funny, poignant, awkward, hilarious, this is a show that exists to make people happy. What more could you ask for from a comedy?

 

Shows that didn’t make the cut: 30 Rock. It’s awesome, and this season had some classic episodes, but alas there are only six places.

This is my Emmy nominations ballot for Best Series. What’s yours? Sound off in the comments below.

Follow me on Twitter @CiaraMoyna