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2015 Entertainment Fuse Emmy Picks

"Who Should Win, and Who Will Win"

With the 2015 Emmy Awards set to air this Sunday at 8:00 et/7:00 ct on Fox, the TV staff here and Entertainment Fuse decided to take a stab at predicting this year’s winners. But, since we’ve all become accustomed to the wrong (at least in our minds) actors and shows winning year after year (we’re looking at you, Modern Family), we thought we’d also take a moment to give a special shout-out to those performances and shows we would love to see take home a statue this weekend- even if it might just be wishful thinking. So, without further ado, our picks for the 2015 Emmy Awards.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
SuppComedyActor
Adam Driver, Girls (HBO)
Ty Burrell, Modern Family (ABC)
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox)
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
Tony Hale, Veep (HBO)
Keegan-Michael Key, Key & Peele (Comedy Central)
Sarah Walters:
Who Should Win: Keegan-Michael Key, Key & Peele. It’s baffling that Jordan Peele is not also nominated. Key is half of TV’s funniest comedic duo. The two complement each other so well and can bounce ideas and performances off the other with ease. Key’s most memorable performance on the series has been as President Obama’s “anger translator” Luther, but Key has had many more hilarious roles as everyone from a fan-girly valet to a meditative wrestler to a rage-filled substitute teacher.
Who Will Win: Tony Hale, Veep. Hale is a great companion to Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ title character, and he will win the Emmy again this year.
Felicia Kudronowicz:
Who Should Win: Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Burgess really stole the show this season on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and that’s saying something considering he shared scenes with Ellie Kemper, Carol Kane and Jane Krakowski. He nailed every scene he was in and, let’s be honest, I still get ‘Peeno Noir’ stuck in my head on a weekly basis.
Who Will Win: Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Jean Henegan:
Who Should Win: Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. When you think back on the first season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, I have a feeling one of the most vivid characters within your memory is Titus. Whether it was delivering a withering one-liner with ease or singing about everyone’s favorite red wine, Burgess was the breakout star of the series, and pretty much stole the show by season’s end. I would absolutely love to see him take home the prize.
Who Will Win: Ty Burrell, Modern Family. Look, I am fairly certain the Emmys will finally move on from their unhealthy obsession with Modern Family this year, but I can’t see them completely shutting the show out. Burrell will likely take home the show’s sole major award this year.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
SuppComActress2
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Julie Bowen, Modern Family (ABC)
Niecy Nash, Getting On (HBO)
Allison Janney, Mom (CBS)
Jane Krakowski, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Anna Chlumsky, Veep (HBO)
Gaby Hoffmann, Transparent (Amazon)
Sarah Walters:
Who Should Win: Gaby Hoffmann, Transparent. Hoffmann plays the youngest Pfefferman daughter, Ali, who has the hardest time dealing with her father’s coming out and transition, and Hoffmann gives the character a believable realism. Ali struggles with her own identity issues and causes viewers to empathize with another member of this family.
Who Will Win: Julie Bowen, Modern Family. The Emmys usually love Modern Family, and this year will probably be no different.
Felicia Kudronowicz:
Who Should Win: Gaby Hoffmann, Transparent. Hoffmann’s performance on Transparent was stunning. She made me laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time. Her energy was captivating to watch and even though her character doesn’t always make the best choices, I still root for her.
Who Will Win: Allison Janney, Mom
Jean Henegan:
Who Should Win: Gaby Hoffmann, Transparent. Hoffmann absolutely killed it as Ali Pfefferman in the first season of Transparent. On a show full of self-absorbed characters, Hoffmann’s work as Ali turned the youngest Pfefferman into one of the most sympathetic. Also, Hoffmann is having quite the career resurgence lately, and an Emmy would be a fitting reward for that.
Who Will Win: Allison Janney, Mom. I adore Allison Janney, and the Emmys do too. Since she lost out on the Guest Actor in a Drama Emmy already this year, I have no doubt Janney will walk away with her seventh Emmy this Sunday.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
BestActorCom
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes (Showtime)
Louis C.K., Louie (FX)
William H. Macy, Shameless (Showtime)
Don Cheadle, House of Lies (Showtime)
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent (Amazon)
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish (ABC)
Will Forte, Last Man on Earth (Fox)
Sarah Walters:
Who Should Win: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent. Portraying a transgender character with this level of sensitivity and respect is admirable. Tambor delivers the best performance of his career in the title role as a transgender parent coming out to her family and identifying as her true, authentic self. There’s no shtick or gimmicks involved. Transparent is an authentic look into what it’s like for many LGBT Americans to come out to their families and friends. Tambor has rightfully called this role “life-changing.”
Who Will Win: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent. He won a Golden Globe for this incredible role, and will win an Emmy too.
Felicia Kudronowicz:
Who Should Win: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent. Tambor is amazing on Transparent. He really brings the story of Maura Pfefferman to life. His portrayal creates such a multi-dimensional character that will make you laugh, cry, and gasp. He makes you really understand what it’s like to be in that situation and how you can accept it and be accepted.
Who Will Win: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
Jean Henegan:
Who Should Win: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent. Tambor is giving the performance of his career as Maura Pfefferman. It’s nuanced, layered, and never mocking in any manner. He has created such a complex and interesting character with Maura that I cannot imagine anyone else taking this category.
Who Will Win: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent. Out of all the categories in this year’s ceremony, this is the closest one to a sure thing. If Tambor doesn’t walk away with the statue, I will be shocked.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
BestActressCom
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie (Netflix)
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation (NBC)
Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central)
Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback (HBO)
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie (Showtime)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (HBO)
 Sarah Walters:
Who Should Win: Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation. Poehler has gone above and beyond to portray the heart of the series. Her brilliant comedic timing and range of emotional expressions is perfect for the ambitious and energetic Leslie Knope, a character with big dreams and an even bigger heart. Poehler has been amazing over the course of seven seasons showing Knope’s character development and her journey from a small-town parks department employee to the governor of Indiana, and possibly even the president of the United States. Poehler has been deserving of an Emmy for this role for a long time now, and this is her final chance to win an Emmy for the best performance of her career.
Who Will Win: Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation. It’s long overdue. The Emmys will finally come to their senses.
Felicia Kudronowicz:
Who Should Win: Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer. This show has made me laugh more than any other this year. Her sketches are not only hilarious, but they are poignant and include messages about feminism and sexism in media. She isn’t afraid to get in there and get a little messy.
Who Will Win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep.
Jean Henegan:
Who Should Win: Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation. Did you know that Poehler has never won an Emmy for her work on Parks and Rec? For seven season, Poehler was the heart and soul of one of television’s greatest comedies. She deserves to finally get her award for her fine work.
Who Will Win: Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer. To be honest, I can see this one going to Schumer, Poehler, or perennial favorite Julie Louis-Dreyfus, all of which would be excellent choices. But, like Melissa McCarthy back in 2011, I think Schumer will take it because she’s “so hot right now” and the Emmys occasionally like to seem hip.
Outstanding Comedy Series
Best Com
Transparent (Amazon)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
Parks and Recreation (NBC)
Louie (FX)
Modern Family (ABC)
Veep (HBO)
Silicon Valley (HBO)
 Sarah Walters:
Who Should Win: Parks and Recreation. It’s long overdue for television’s most heartfelt, poignant comedy series to finally win an Emmy. Over the course of seven seasons, fans have gotten to know these characters from small-town Pawnee, Indiana. Parks and Rec has had a lot to say about current events, all while exploring the American Dream and its ideal of a healthy balance between work, friends, and family, especially for its well-written female characters. Parks is a family sitcom at its core, albeit a hodgepodge family whose unifying force is the fact that the characters support one another’s dreams no matter what. A show this well-written and executed doesn’t come around very often, and it has left big shoes for NBC to fill.
Who Will Win: Parks and Recreation. The Emmys will finally do the right thing that they’ve been putting off for so long.
Felicia Kudronowicz:
Who Should Win: Parks and Recreation. I just really want Parks and Recreation to win an Emmy and this is their last chance, is that so wrong?
Who Will Win: Modern Family
Jean Henegan:
Who Should Win: Transparent. Rarely has a show been as strong, as balanced, and just so darn great in its first season. The Pfeffermans are far from a perfect family, but they are one of the most real families out there. They fight, are selfish, and not everything is solved at the end of the half hour. The series is one of the best currently on the air, and it’s uniqueness edges it out as my pick over the also very deserving Parks and Recreation.
Who Will Win: Transparent. Something has to finally break Modern Family‘s ridiculous winning streak, and I think Transparent will be the one to do it. Remember how I said the Emmys occasionally like to be hip? Well, they also like to be able to pat themselves on the back for being groundbreaking, and honoring a show about a transgender woman transitioning would certainly check that box (says the cynic within me).
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
SuppActorDrama
Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul (AMC)
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife (CBS)
Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline (Netflix)
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey (PBS)
Michael Kelly, House of Cards (Netflix)
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones (HBO)
Sarah Walters:
Who Should Win: Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones. Dinklage won an Emmy for portraying this character in 2011 and deserves to win again this year, even more so. Everyone’s favorite Lannister was abroad fifth season, unjustly accused by his very own sister, Cersei Lannister, played by fellow Emmy nominee Lena Headey, and far beyond the wall of King’s Landing. Dinklage perfectly portrayed the scorn and rage that Tyrion felt when he was betrayed.
Who Will Win: Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul. Better Call Saul will sweep most of its categories this year.
Felicia Kudronowicz:
Who Should Win: Peter Dinklage, Game Of Thrones. Dinklage plays one of the best characters on Game of Thrones. His performance is powerful, hilarious and even relatable, which is really saying something considering the content of this show. His scenes leave a lasting impression in a sea of characters and plots.
Who Will Win: Peter Dinklage, Game Of Thrones
Jean Henegan:
Who Should Win: Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul. I love several of these performances, but I don’t know how anyone could have watched Banks sob out “I broke my boy!” and not immediately decide he earned himself an Emmy. Banks, who has been toiling away as a character actor for decades, gave a soulful and superb performance on Breaking Bad, and he’s only improved on the character of Mike Ehrmantraut during his first season on Better Call Saul.
Who Will Win: Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul. Again, “I broke my boy!” won Banks this statue.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
SuppActressDrama
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey (PBS)
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife (CBS)
Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black (Netflix)
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones (HBO)
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones (HBO)
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men (AMC)
Sarah Walters:
Who Should Win: Lena Headey, Game of Thrones. Headey plays Cersei Lannister, the sister of Tyrion Lannister, played by fellow Emmy nominee Peter Dinklage. This season, Headey gave gravity and humanity to the immoral widowed queen. Both of the Emmy-nominated Lannisters deserve to win.
Who Will Win: Christina Hendricks, Mad Men. It’s Mad Men‘s final season, and the Emmys will recognize both of the show’s two leading ladies.
Felicia Kudronowicz:
Who Should Win: Christina Hendricks, Mad Men. I’m really rooting for Christina Hendricks this year because it is her last chance to be recognized for her work as Joan Holloway. She has been overlooked year after year, even though her performance has been outstanding throughout. Her character might be the strongest, and the one that has come the furthest during the run of this show, and she makes it look effortless.
Who Will Win: Uzo Aduba, Orange Is The New Black
Jean Henegan:
Who Should Win: Christina Hendricks, Mad Men. Hendricks has never won an Emmy for her work as Joan Holloway, a character who grew into one of the most complex characters on the series. While Hendricks didn’t have nearly as much to do in the show’s final run as I would have liked, Joan still had just enough major moments to earn Hendricks a well-deserved Emmy.
Who Will Win: Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black. All of Orange is the New Black‘s nominations this year are for its second season, rather than its uneven third, and Aduba had a lot more to handle in season two than three. Add that to the fact she took home the Guest Actress in a Comedy award last year (back when the show was considered a comedy . . . the Emmys are weird like that), and I think voters will stick with who they know.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Best Actor Drama
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan (Showtime)
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards (Netflix)
Kyle Chandler, Bloodline (Netflix)
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul (AMC)
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom (HBO)
Jon Hamm, Mad Men (AMC)
Sarah Walters:
Who Should Win: Kevin Spacey, House of Cards. Spacey perfectly portrays a demented and diabolical politician with a thirst for power that knows no bounds.
Who Will Win: Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul. He plays the main character on the prequel to Emmy favorite Breaking Bad. What’s not for the Emmys to love?
Felicia Kudronowicz:
Who Should Win: Jon Hamm, Mad Men. Now that Bryan Cranston is out of the running, it might finally be Jon Hamm’s year. His performance as Don Draper has also been a haunting and powerful one. He deserves an Emmy just for creating that Coke commercial, am I right?
Who Will Win: Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Jean Henegan:
Who Should Win: Jon Hamm, Mad Men. Hamm has never won an Emmy, and that is a damn shame. Don Draper will go down in history as one of television’s iconic characters, and the fine work Hamm did in bringing this flawed but interesting character to life should finally be rewarded with an Emmy.
Who Will Win: Jon Hamm, Mad Men. Yes, Emmy voters appear to have a strange hatred for Hamm, but I can’t see them not recognizing his work in their last chance.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Best Actress Drama
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder (ABC)
Taraji P. Henson, Empire (Fox)
Claire Danes, Homeland (Showtime)
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black (BBC America)
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men (AMC)
Robin Wright, House of Cards (Netflix)
Sarah Walters:
Who Should Win: Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black. Maslany’s performance as not one, but four, incredible main characters, each with unique accents, mannerisms, body language, and personalities, would be a lot to demand of any actress. But Maslany pulls off this feat of epic proportions with nuance and subtlety. The technical aspect of portraying a four-clone scene in the season three finale would be a daunting and almost insurmountable task for any actress. But Maslany is not just any actress. She has played nine different clones throughout the three seasons of Orphan Black, and every performance is believable and memorable. The show would not work without her.
Who Will Win: Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men. The Emmys love Mad Men, usually, and this year they will recognize both of Mad Men‘s two leading ladies.
Felicia Kudronowicz:
Who Should Win: Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black. Maslany is more than deserving of this award. She plays more than five different characters every season, and each character is so unique that I am constantly forgetting they are all played by one person. If she was nominated for every character, she could sweep this entire category.
Who Will Win: Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Jean Henegan:
Who Should Win: Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men. I adore Tatiana Maslany, but season three of Orphan Black just wasn’t strong enough to give her my pick. Moss, on the other hand, was handed some of her best stuff in the final run of Mad Men. I can’t believe we’ll never get to see Peggy Olsen grace our televisions again, and I would love to see Moss get one final award for her excellent work.
Who Will Win: Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder. This is a really tricky category, and I could see several of these women winning. But I think the Emmys are going to want to bestow at least one statue on a “movie actor” who is “slumming it” in television, and Davis is going to be the lucky one. How to Get Away With Murder was mainstream and buzzy (while Empire was as well, I think it is a bit too out there for most voters to reward it), and giving Davis the award will help voters feel hip and with it.
Outstanding Drama Series
BestDrama
Homeland (Showtime)
Downton Abbey (PBS)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
Orange Is the New Black (Netflix)
House of Cards (Netflix)
Better Call Saul (AMC)
Mad Men (AMC)
Sarah Walters:
Who Should Win: Orange is the New Black. Netflix’s best series is a look into the lives of inmates at a women’s prison and their daily struggles. The cast is incredible, the storytelling is compelling, and the real-world issues discussed in the show make for an overall Emmy-worthy contender.
Who Will Win: Better Call Saul. The prequel to Breaking Bad has all the tried and true ingredients for an Emmy win.
Felicia Kudronowicz:
Who Should Win: Mad Men. This is the last year Mad Men will be nominated, and I think this show really went out on a high note and deserves one last Best Drama Emmy. This show made a huge impact on the history of television and I really can’t imagine anyone else winning this category this year.
Who Will Win: Mad Men
Jean Henegan:
Who Should Win: Orange is the New Black. The second season of Orange is the New Black was absolutely phenomenal, and I would love to see it recognized. My main worry is that voters might be swayed by the third season’s uneven nature (the show’s third season was available to stream while voters were making their decisions), and will hold that against the series. The arc with Vee, and the lack of Piper, made season two a masterful exercise in drama.
Who Will Win: Mad Men. The Emmys have long loved giving Mad Men Best Drama awards, and I can’t see them stopping for the show’s swan song. And, really, I can’t blame them either, as the series really was one of the greatest to ever air.

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About / Bio
TV critic based in Chicago. When not watching and writing about awesome television shows, I can be found lamenting over the latest disappointing performance by any of the various Chicago sports teams or my beloved Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Follow me @JeaniusIsMe on Twitter.

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