It seems the Emmy nominations have snuck up on me again this year with them being announced only four days from now. But like last year, that's plenty of time to post my Emmy wishlists with regards to the actors and shows which impressed me the most this past TV season. These will not be predictions, because doing those will probably just make me depressed. I'd rather talk about those who should be honored. First up, guest actors and actresses!
Disclaimer: Only performances I have seen are qualified and I'm going to honor the category the actors have chosen to submit themselves in, even when I don't agree.
Guest Actor, Comedy
Matthew Bomer, The New Normal
Patton Oswalt, Parks & Recreation
Andrew Rannells, Girls
Seth Rogen, Mindy Project
Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live
Patrick Wilson, Girls
Oswalt was the first slam-dunk nominee for me starring in my favorite comedy and delivering a speech that turned into a viral hit. Meanwhile it was great chemistry with the lead actress that got me picking Rogen, Rannells, and Wilson. And say what you will about Timberlake, but no one hosts Saturday Night Live better than him in recent years. Finally, I don't really remember much about Bomer's stint on the New Normal except for him being shirtless and also wearing short shorts. So now that I think more about it, he really should also win an Oscar. Shout out to O'Malley in my honorable mentions since every year, like clockwork, he makes me cry with about 30 seconds of screen time.
Alternates: Mark Duplass (Mindy Project), Ron Howard (Arrested Development), James Marsden (30 Rock), Mike O'Malley (Glee), Martin Short (Saturday Night Live)
Guest Actress, Comedy
Elizabeth Banks, Modern Family
Kate Hudson, Glee
Lucy Lawless, Parks & Recreation
Octavia Spencer, 30 Rock
Elaine Stritch, 30 Rock
Kristen Wig, Saturday Night Live
Not gonna lie, I had a bit of trouble filling up this category, not to say that the names below don't deserve Emmy nominations, but I truly wasn't blown away by any of it. The closest someone came was shockingly Hudson who's tough love schtick really worked on me. I also found Spencer's over-the-top performance as "herself" pretty damn enjoyable. Wiig and Stritch were making return visits and both did solid jobs while I will probably always find an excuse to nominate Banks just because. Finally, I wish the show would give Lawless more to do, but I still love her and the show and thus here she is.
Alternates: Isla Fisher & Liza Minnelli (Arrested Development), Dot-Marie Jones & Sarah Jessica Parker (Glee), Jenny Slate (Parks & Recreation)
Guest Actor, Drama
Rupert Friend, Homeland
Eddie Izzard, Hannibal
Nathan Lane, The Good Wife
Derek Luke, The Americans
Dallas Roberts, The Walking Dead
Ray Stevenson, Dexter
The temptation to just nominate every guest actor in The Good Wife was tempting (see my alternates below), but I picked Lane because his journey this season to me was the most interesting. Izzard was just captivating to watch as a psychotic serial killer while Stevenson's performance was unexpectedly touching and nuanced for an antagonist in that show. Luke didn't have many scenes, but his chemistry with Russell was palpable. Finally, Friend and Robers really did outstanding work in shows that has such a rock solid ensemble. I also had to nominate Roberts since he appeared everywhere this season including, yes, on The Good Wife.
Alternates: Dylan Baker, Michael J. Fox, & TR Knight (The Good Wife), Harry Hamlin (Mad Men/Shameless), Michael Raymond-James (Once Upon a Time)
Guest Actress, Drama
Gillian Anderson, Hannibal
Alison Brie, Mad Men
Margo Martindale, The Americans
Carrie Preston, The Good Wife
Diana Rigg, Game of Thrones
Alison Wright, The Americans
Speaking of The Good Wife, I saw someone write about Preston as being the best recurring character in a show full of excellent recurring characters and I also truly believe that. As you can see, I just loved The Americans and some of that had to do with the excellent performances from Martindale and newcomer Wright. Then there's Brie whose ultimatum this season, you know the one, still sends chills down my spine. Finally, I can't even begin to write how great Anderson and Rigg are as additions to their already great shows. Shout out to Jefferies in my honorable mentions as her journey on the show was all over the place, but the strong acting was always there.
Alternates: Linda Cardellini (Mad Men), Sylvia Jefferies (Nashville), Bernadette Peters (Smash), Martha Plimpton & Jess Weixler (The Good Wife), Gina Torres (Hannibal)
So there you have it. Was there a performance I should've included in my shortlist? I wished my year-end picks Sebastian Stan (Once Upon A Time) and Oona Chaplin (The Hour) submitted themselves, but alas. Tomorrow, I'm going to try to narrow down my picks for supporting actors and actresses, which every year always feels like pulling teeth just because of the sheer number of worthy nominees.