Tuned In

In Which I Predict the Emmy Winners, Probably Incorrectly

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The 2011 Emmy Awards are this Sunday night; I’ll be live-tweeting them as usual, and I’ll have some sort of writeup on the awards the next morning. There are several very competitive categories this year, with, for instance, the ineligibility of Breaking Bad opening space in the drama categories.

Who will win? Who should? After the jump, my picks for both, in the series and lead-acting categories (not supporting, because I can only type so much). Caveat: I have never won an Emmy pool. If you base your bets on my prognostications, you do not deserve your money. Read on, and let me know your picks:

COMEDY ACTRESS
Laura Linney (The Big C), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), Melissa McCarthy (Mike and Molly), Martha Plimpton (Raising Hope), Tina Fey (30 Rock)

Should win: Poehler, not just because Parks was the best thing in comedy this season, but because she made Leslie Knope a rounded comic and emotional character in a season about her professional ambition and personal life.

Will win: Linney. Because movie actress and cancer.

DRAMA ACTRESS
Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights), Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU), Mireille Enos (The Killing), Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), Kathy Bates (Harry’s Law)

Should win: Enos. I’d be happy to see Britton for five great years on FNL or Moss for a strong season (and knockout performance in “The Suitcase”). But whatever my problems with how The Killing played out, Enos was continually compelling in showing Sarah Linden’s doggedness and chafed emotions. All in some of the thickest sweaters modern woolenry can provide.

Will win: Margulies–who I’m also just fine with. Bates is an outstanding actress over her career, but if it’s her, I’m going to my shoe store and getting my gun.

COMEDY ACTOR
Matt LeBlanc (Episodes), Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory), Steve Carell (The Office), Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory), Louis C.K. (Louie), Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)

Should win: Carell, for his wide-ranging comic-dramatic performance in Michael Scott’s swan song.

Will win: Carell, as a gold watch for seven years as Michael Scott.

DRAMA ACTOR
Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire), Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Hugh Laurie (House), Timothy Olyphant (Justified)

Should win: Hamm, who–even if Bryan Cranston were eligible this Emmys–had his best performance year in season 4, and in “The Suitcase” in particular.

Will win: Buscemi, on the movie-guy-does-TV rule, though I am not rock-solid confident in this pick.

BEST COMEDY
Glee, Parks and Recreation, The Office, Modern Family, 30 Rock, The Big Bang Theory

Should win: Parks and Recreation–the best comedy of the year, excepting maybe Louie, which wasn’t nominated. (There are others that should have been nominated too—Community and Archer, for instance—but Parks was still tops.)

Will win: Modern Family, last year’s winner. Its critical favor dropped a notch in season 2, but it’s still popular and funny, and I don’t see it going anywhere soon.

BEST DRAMA
Boardwalk Empire, The Good Wife, Mad Men, Friday Night Lights, Dexter, Game of Thrones

Should win: Mad Men. Though I’d be delighted too for a first-time nod to Game of Thrones or a (unlikely) gold watch for Friday Night Lights; the only choice that would really disappoint me would be Dexter.

Will win: The Good Wife. This is my upset pick, and it’s based on nothing except the fact that it had a strong year critically, and that Emmy voters, many of whom came up in broadcast TV, would love to give the award to a broadcast show again. Though I would not count out Boardwalk Empire, which has been racking up early award wins, should Mad Men fail to four-peat.

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