Emmys Countdown: A Chat About Best Drama

In the lead-up to the announcement on Emmy nominations on July 10, Celebuzz will be looking at the past year in outstanding television and analyzing what will be recognized and what, what should be recognized and what should not. Today, Robert Kessler and Matt Russoniello discuss Outstanding Drama Series.

Robert Kessler: Alright today we’re talking about the Best Drama category.

Matt Russoniello: That’s the frowny mask, not the smiley one.

RK: This year has a lot of great new potential nominees like Masters of Sex, True Detective and Hannibal (which is technically not new, but this would be its first nomination).

MR: Hannibal was apparently very good this year. I have only seen a few episodes from the first season.

RK: It sure was. But, honestly, I just don’t see too many things changing from last year. Sorry new guys.

MR: I mean Breaking Bad is going to win. That’s just that. Conversation over?

RK: That’s sort of the problem. There are so many spots already filled with perennial nominees like Breaking Bad, Mad Men and Game of Thrones. All three will be nominated again.

MR: This is true. But this is kind of a good problem to have. The Golden Age of Television. (Are people still saying that?) So much quality. All three of those shows deserve a nom.

RK: Then there’s Downton Abbey, which I can’t imagine nominating again, but the Academy went ahead and did it last year too so I wouldn’t be surprised if it got in there again.

MR: I feel like everyone is over Downton, and my understanding is that the most recent season was not very strong at all.

RK: No it was pretty bad in fact. But the one before that was pretty shaky too, and there it was, nominated like always. I just don’t think the Academy knows how to quit Downton Abbey.

MR: Well, I hope it’s not nominated. Make room for the good stuff. Like The Americans!

RK: It would be so great to see The Americans nominated.

MR: I kind of feel like it will happen. It deserves it. It was an amazing season.

RK: It would also be great to see The Good Wife in there, which was crowded out last year but had a pretty crazy resurgence in terms of quality and buzziness this season.

MR: Yes, I think it definitely had a moment this year. Which is impressive because it’s been around for a while.

MR: Here are some things that I don’t think will get noms, or that shouldn’t: Homeland, Scandal, House of Cards, and Orphan Black.

RK: My opinion about House of Cards is pretty unpopular (read: I don’t like it) and Homeland has pretty thoroughly jumped the shark but I could see either getting in there. I don’t
think Scandal was strong enough this season for a nomination and something about Orphan Black to me feels like it’s just always going to be an outsider.

MR: I think House of Cards lost a lot of… something… in the last year. It was a big deal last year, but people did not seem to care very much this time around. Rightfully, IMO. The second season was lame.

RK: While the first season’s biggest offense were its ridiculous Philadephia accents (has anyone on that show even been to Philly?), the second season’s biggest offense was everything but Robin Wright, especially how they just assumed viewers wouldn’t question any decision the show made.

MR: Accuracy! No lies were told.

RK: Like, sure, a cell phone-addicted 20-something would definitely go meet a man she’s blackmailing without telling anyone. And then, sure, a dude with a fedora pulled over his head definitely would not raise any suspicions and/or be seen on any security cameras on the subway platform.

MR: And, like, have you ever been on a train platform? No one walks away from that without getting chased at least.

RK: And, sure, a journalist would just take a police officer’s word that it was suicide without investigating any further. Checks out! What a ridiculous show.

MR: It also became very clear very early on where it was heading, and then it went there, and it all felt very anticlimactic and also like… there is nowhere left for the show to go? It’s the anti-Lost. It resolved everything way too quickly, and now there’s no reason to care.

RK: Yes let’s tune in to season three to see if Frank Underwood will be a divisive and manipulative president. Oh wait? He will? Sounds good.

MR: I think I’m out of town for forever and won’t be able to watch when season three is released, unfortunately.

RK: Ahh that’s too bad

RK: You can just check my twitter feed where I’m sure I’ll delight in spoiling every plot twist as I watch.

MR: That sounds preferable.

MR: Now, True Detective was submitted for this category, yes?

RK: Yeah (which is absurd but whatever).

MR: And that’s basically a lock for a nomination, I feel like?

RK: Yes it is. I think it’s going to be neck and neck between True Detective and Breaking Bad for the win.

MR: Not Game of Thrones?

RK: It was a great season, but I just can’t see it overcoming the juggernauts of Breaking Bad’s final season and the one-time-only television pairing of Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.

MR: Fair points. I think that, obviously, Breaking Bad was a phenomenon, and the last season was excellent (and it will win). Game of Thrones, though, has kind of become that kind of can’t-miss phenomenon too. True Detective had that a little bit, but I feel like slightly less. I also got the impression that maybe some people were a bit let down with how it ended.

RK: Ultimately, yeah, if I had to guess now I’d say that it goes to Breaking Bad. But we’ll see how much Emmys press McConaughey does. No one can resist the McConaissance.

MR: I feel like it might become a “We’ll give McConaughey the Best Actor, then Breaking Bad the Best Drama” or vice versa kind of thing.

RK: I can see that happening. The Academy’s subtle way of saying, “Look an Oscar winner did TV! All Oscar winners should do TV!”

MR: I admire that subtle trickery. And to be fair it has worked. So many movie stars have had great TV runs in the last 5 years even.

RK: Oh yeah

MR: Are there any shows you really want to see nominated but know won’t be?

RK: Here on the drama side I think Hannibal is the only one for me.

MR: If it stays good, maybe during a less crowded year. But let’s all take a moment to just raise a glass to Bryan Fuller. Is this his first series that has made it to a third season?

RK: Do you count the Dead Like Me movie where only half the cast came back as a third season?

MR: I prefer not to talk about the movie, which, like the Sex and the City movie, actually made me dislike the series retroactively.

RK: The Dead Like Me movie is the moody person’s Sex and the City movie.


RK: Anyway pour one out for Bryan Fuller who has never made a bad television show and we keep failing to recognize him. Any other shows you wanted to talk about?

MR: The Newsroom, OBVIOUSLY. JK. Overall, I think this category is pretty cut-and-dry. The frontrunners and the frontrunners and for good reason.

RK: That’s a good way of putting it. Congratulations to Breaking Bad/True Detective!

MR: Sorry, literally everyone else! (Especially Mad Men, which had an awesome half-season. R.I.P.)

RK: Better luck next year, Grimm!

MR: Crossing my fingers for The Killing in 2015!


Robert Kessler

Breaking Bad
True Detective
Game of Thrones
Mad Men
The Good Wife
House of Cards

Matt Russoniello

Breaking Bad
Game of Thrones
Mad Men
True Detective
The Americans
House of Cards