We were big fans of this year's Emmy nominations when they were announced last month. Based on the overall slate, it appears something will at last dethrone "Modern Family." The fact that it might be "Transparent" is enough to make us giddy. But will that streak translate to the other categories come Sept. 20? Or will voters wash their hands of all this dirty progressiveness in favor of repeat victors? Entertainment Editors Erin Whitney and Matthew Jacobs are here to offer their predictions, but let's not pretend this isn't a thinly disguised effort to inform the Television Academy of whom they should reward. Ballots opened on Monday, so we know you're listening, voters. Just let us be your Emmy sensei.
Nominees: "Louie" / "Modern Family" / "Parks and Recreation" / "Silicon Valley" / "Transparent" / "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" / "Veep"
Will win: If “Transparent” sweeping the Golden Globes is any evidence, then yeah, it’s got this.
Should win: The best comedy of the year doesn’t necessarily need to be the funniest. “Transparent” shouldn’t just be recognized for its groundbreaking writing, but for proving that stories about minorities are as important and inspiring to tell as any other.
Will win: Five-time winner "Modern Family" has never faced competition this steep. The Golden Globes favored "Transparent." Now we'll find out whether it's humorous enough to win over the Emmys, too.
Should win: "Transparent" was one of the most powerful and measured stories committed to television this year, but we're honoring the season's best comedy and that is "Silicon Valley."
Nominees: "Better Call Saul" / "Downton Abbey" / "Game of Thrones" / "Homeland" / "House of Cards" / "Mad Men" / "Orange Is the New Black"
Will win: It’s safe to say last year’s “Breaking Bad” will be this year’s "Mad Men."
While much of Season 7B was forgettable and flawed, it’s probably time for the Academy to recognize the series while it still can.
Should win: I have no shame (no pun intended, “GoT" nun) in praising Season 5 of “Game of Thrones” as one of the, if not the, best seasons of the series yet. While “Mad Men” and “OITNB" are worthy contenders, the fantastic writing, directing, performances and VFX on “GoT” have finally earned the Seven Kingdoms its golden statuette.
Win win: "OITNB" is in category purgatory, having been nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series last year. That means if the "Mad Men" swan song doesn't take this one, the gruesome and tragic fifth season of "Game of Thrones" will.
Should win: Pull yourself away from the "Mad Men" pedestal and recall that the second-half of the final season's first few episodes (ugh, this is so confusing) were about Diana the waitress and a random vixen who tries to seduce Stan and Peggy. Season 2 of "Orange Is the New Black" -- the one with Vee, remember? -- had no such lows.
Nominees: Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie" / Lisa Kudrow, "The Comeback" / Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep" / Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation" / Amy Schumer, "Inside Amy Schumer" / Lily Tomlin, "Grace and Frankie"
Will win: The Academy likes staying comfortable and sticking to what they know. Dare I say Julia Louis-Dreyfus is about to get her fourth Emmy for “Veep”?
Should win: I’m torn between Amy Schumer’s brilliant season of “Inside” and the sob fest that was the final season of “Parks.” I’d be happy to see either Amy win, but I think (President?) Leslie Knope deserves to go out with a bang. Amy Poehler for 2015.
Will win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus sounds like a no-brainer, but only one person has mastered a lead-acting category four consecutive times (Helen Hunt for "Mad About You"). I have a sneaking suspicion that it-girl Amy Schumer will pull off the win, but in truth, I could see any of these ladies walking away pleased.
Should win: If it's anyone but Lisa Kudrow, this year's entire Emmys will be for naught. This is not a hyperbole. I love Schumer as much as the next sane person, but she is not playing a character on "Inside Amy Schumer" and there's no argument to be made that her work is more nuanced than the other women on this list. Yet, in the words of Valerie Cherish, that's Hollywood for you.
Nominees: Anthony Anderson, "Black-ish" / Louie C.K., "Louie" / Don Cheadle, "House of Lies" / Will Forte, "Last Man on Earth" / Matt LeBlanc, "Episodes" / Jeffrey Tambor, "Transparent" / William H. Macy, "Shameless"
Will win: Jeffrey Tambor portraying Maura Pfefferman on “Transparent” was one of the most human, most vulnerable and most genuine characters on TV last year. Few actors have approached a television role with as much delicacy and respect for the community represented as Tambor did.
Should win: Jeffrey Tambor, no questions asked.
Will win: Jeffrey Tambor was so beloved on the first season of "Transparent" that this seems like one of the year's few locks.
Should win: We're reached a consensus on this one. No performance was as humane or as dynamic as Jeffrey Tambor's.
Nominees: Claire Danes, "Homeland" / Viola Davis, "How To Get Away With Murder" / Taraji P. Henson, "Empire" / Tatiana Maslany, "Orphan Black" / Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men" / Robin Wright, "House of Cards"
Will win: As I’ve said already, this is the year of “Mad Men," people. Give Elisabeth Moss an award to place next to Peggy’s erotic octopus art.
Should win: All five nominees are more than worthy of winning, but stop and ask yourself which of those women played a total of 12 characters on one series. Tatiana Maslany, period. (Go ahead, Academy, start cloning those statues.)
Will win: Cookie Lyon and Annalise Keating will make this the year's most fun category. My money is on Viola Davis, who has more overall industry clout.
Should win: This is the last chance to award Elisabeth Moss. Peggy Olson was the true hero of "Mad Men," and we cannot ignore that fact any longer.
Nominees: Kyle Chandler, "Bloodline" / Jeff Daniels, "The Newsroom" / Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" / Bob Odenkirk, "Better Call Saul" / Liev Schreiber, "Ray Donovan" / Kevin Spacey, "House of Cards"
Will win: The Academy will likely give “Mad Men” a proper send-off with a slew of awards, with the most obvious winner being Jon Hamm.
Should win: Eight years and Jon Hamm didn’t get any Emmy love. Mr. Draper might have reached Enlightenment and bought us a Coke, but we owe him the award he’s long deserved.
Will win: Jon Hamm has lost to Bryan Cranston (four times), Kyle Chandler, Damian Lewis and Jeff Daniels. I wouldn't be babmboozled if Bob Odenkirk steals this victory lap from him. But for now, a Hamm triumph seems like a guarantee.
Should win: How embarrassing would it be if the TV Academy hands Jon Hamm hardware for his guest spot on "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" but snubs his "Mad Men" work for the eighth time?
Nominees: Mayim Bialik, "The Big Bang Theory" / Julie Bowen, "Modern Family" / Anna Chlumsky, "Veep" / Allison Janney, "Mom" / Jane Krakowski, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" / Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live" / Niecy Nash, "Getting On" / Gaby Hoffmann, "Transparent"
Will win: Hopefully Allison Janney has room on her awards mantel for a seventh Emmy.
Should win: Gaby Hoffmann gave a moving performance as Ali Pfefferman, but with “Kimmy Schmidt,” Jane Krakowski proved she could be more than just Jenna Maroney. It’s Jacqueline Voorhees’ turn.
Will win: This category is too loaded for its own good, which should work out in favor of the always wonderful Allison Janney.
Should win: You haven't seen heart, soul and sass until you've seen Niecy Nash on "Getting On."
Nominees: Tituss Burgess, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" / Ty Burrell, "Modern Family" / Andre Braugher, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" / Adam Driver, "Girls" / Keegan-Michael Key, "Key & Peele" / Tony Hale, "Veep"
Will win: If the past several years' “Modern Family” domination is any indication, Ty Burrell is due for his third Emmy.
Should win: The majority of the laugh-out-loud moments on the premiere season of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” were mostly thanks to Tituss Burgess' mix of unabashed confidence and charm. If “Peeno Noir” can’t win a VMA, at least give it an Emmy.
Will win: Assuming the "Modern Family" burnout is legitimate, Tony Hale seems like the obvious choice, except "Veep" didn't give him much to do in Season 4. Could Tituss Burgess actually make off with the grand prize? If voters watch his submission episode, which includes the "Peeno Noir" bit, he may seal it up.
Should win: Burgess is a delight, but I'm gravitating toward Andre Braugher's deadpan delivery on "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." They're opposite performances with the same effects.
Nominees: Uzo Aduba, "Orange Is the New Black" / Christine Baranski, "The Good Wife" / Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones" / Joanne Froggatt, "Downton Abbey" / Lena Headey, "Game of Thrones" / Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men"
Will win: When Joan wants something, she gets it. Christina Hendricks ended “Mad Men” as a true champion. She's what will be missed and remembered most from the show.
Should win: Lena Headey had her finest “Game of Thrones” moment with the Walk of Shame, and Christina Hendricks and Joanne Froggatt continued to be fantastic. But in Season 2 of “Orange Is the New Black,” Uzo Aduba’s Crazy Eyes exemplified the fusion of the series’ comedy and drama as both the comic relief and the heart of the show.
Will win: The grievous Walk of Shame in the "Game of Thrones" season finale could push this one toward Lena Headey's court.
Should win: Remember Joan's reaction when she snorted that coke in the "Mad Men" finale? It's Emmy-worthy, as is everything Christina Hendricks did on the show.
Nominees: Jonathan Banks, "Better Call Saul" / Jim Carter, "Downton Abbey" / Alan Cumming, “The Good Wife" / Peter Dinklage, "Game of Thrones" / Michael Kelly, "House of Cards" / Ben Mendelsohn, "Bloodline"
Will win: With Aaron Paul and “Boardwalk Empire” out of the running, it looks like Peter Dinklage will get the acclaim.
Should win: As much as I champion Dinklage, this year allowed Jonathan Banks to show a more vulnerable side to “Breaking Bad’s” tough cleaner Mike Ehrmantraut.
Will win: Peter Dinklage may be the populist choice here, but Jonathan Banks is riding the "Breaking Bad" wave into a celebrated first season of "Better Call Saul."
Should win: Ben Mendelsohn is at once terrifying, loathsome and sympathetic 0n "Bloodline." This should be his year.
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