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Emmys 2013: Will this finally be the year for 'Breaking Bad'?

August 26, 2013|By Glenn Whipp
  • "Breaking Bad," starring Dean Norris and Bryan Cranston, might get some Emmy love because its final episodes are airing during Emmy voting, our panelists say.
"Breaking Bad," starring Dean Norris and Bryan Cranston, might… (Frank Ockenfels / AMC )

Leading up to the Emmys next month, we gathered The Envelope's Buzzmeter panelists — USA Today's Robert Bianco, TV Guide's Matt Roush, the A.V. Club's Todd VanDerWerff, the Los Angeles Times' Mary McNamara and Glenn Whipp, and, when the focus is on predictions, Gold Derby's Tom O'Neil — to hash over this year's nominations.

In this second installment of three (we debated "Modern Family's" place in the Emmy pantheon first), the Buzzmeter gang picks the winner of this year's competitive drama series Emmy race and shares their favorites from this year's nominees.

The drama series category appears wide open, more so than it has been in years. Which show do you think will win and why?

VanDerWerff: I'm betting on either "Game of Thrones" or "Breaking Bad" and leaning toward the former. It was very much the show of the moment in the spring, and HBO knows how to run a fearsome campaign. The only thing giving me pause is just how much "Breaking Bad" is in the news when voting is happening, but I still think the academy will honor it next year for its final season.

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Bianco: “Breaking Bad” because, while the episodes airing now shouldn’t matter, odds are they will. They’re pushing the show in front of voters on a weekly basis, and they’re a constant reminder that this astounding series, one of the best TV has ever produced, has yet to win the Emmy. Yes, voters have another year to give “Bad” its just reward, but I doubt they’ll wait. At least that’s what I think today. The race is close enough that I may change my mind tomorrow.

Roush: I think it's "Breaking Bad's" year. The voting is happening while the final episodes are airing to great and deserved fanfare, and it seems like perfect timing. While there's lots of industry love for last year's winner "Homeland," there is a sense it went too over-the-top in the last half of the season. But it's definitely a contender. The dark horse: "Game of Thrones," with a sensational third season that ended on a shocking note, much like the first. This would be the equivalent of when "Return of the King" finally won the Oscar for the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and there would never be a better time to reward this magnificent production. But "Breaking Bad's" the show to beat this year.

McNamara: "Game of Thrones" should win because it is a miracle of absurd plot-ambition and deeply nuanced character development. But "Breaking Bad" will probably win in part because it is a very good and important show that has never won best drama, in part because it is ending, and in part because AMC has been marketing the hell out of it this year. Seriously, I'm waiting for the "Breaking Bad" Happy Meal.

QUIZ: Test your 'GoT' knowledge

O'Neil: "Breaking Bad" has the highest Cool Factor right now among these nominees and it may benefit from being the only one airing new episodes during Emmy voting. And they happen to be the final episodes. Voters may be tempted to give it a farewell hug.

Whipp: When the Film Society at Lincoln Center celebrates your series, your time has come. "Breaking Bad" it is.

Which Emmy nomination made you the happiest?

McNamara: I have two, but for the same reason: Laura Dern for "Enlightened" and Vera Farmiga for "Bates Motel" because they are so fine and fearless and crazy great.

Bianco: Bob Newhart’s nomination for his guest stint on “The Big Bang Theory” because if he wins, it will be his very first Emmy, hard as that may be to believe. That’s reason enough to make it happen.

Roush: Vera Farmiga for "Bates Motel." She is a riveting riot in the sort of unsavory show that rarely gets Emmy love, especially in its first season. The only thing that would have made this more delicious is if she were going up against the season's other breakout performance: that of Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black, which apparently really was too "out there" for the Emmy voters to take notice, despite all of the considerable buzz. Maybe next year.

VanDerWerff: Absolutely Laura Dern. "Enlightened" was the best show on TV last season, and it made me very happy to see it recognized in some small way.

Whipp: Partially because my favorite guest spot turns -- among them, this year, Patton Oswalt on "Justified" and David Lynch on "Louie" -- usually go unrewarded, I'm happy that Melissa Leo's unforgettable, gonzo appearance on "Louie" was, in fact, remembered. She gave us a fearless, sympathetic, crazy-confident character who ushered Louie into the era of sexual reciprocity with a horror that was shocking and thought-provoking and, remarkably, more awkward than all the other terrible, no good, very bad dates Louis C.K.'s character has endured on the show.


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