Photos (clockwise from top left): Michael Desmond / Showtime; Jan Thijs / BBC America; Neil Jacobs / USA; Patrick Harbron / FX

The Emmys Should Nominate Forty Best Actresses

Marks Blankenship and Peikert discuss their hopes for this year's awards.

Our Players

Howdy Y'all, I'm Mark Blankenship.
Hello, I'm Mark Peikert.

The Talk

Well, Mark, as you know, the Emmy eligibility window is just about to close for another season, so obviously, we need to predict the nominees. I'd like to begin with the acting categories, and at the risk of becoming Negative Nancy, I'm expecting to be disappointed. There are so many amazing women who deserve nominations this year, and if history holds, none of them will be recognized.
I am ready to be not only disappointed but outraged if Tatiana Maslany doesn't get a nomination for Orphan Black AGAIN. But as we know all too well, awards shows loooove reruns, so they may never make room for her.
Cut to Candice Bergen and Tyne Daly getting nominated again and again and again. And yes, Maslany tops my list of the deserving. She's probably giving the best performance on television right now.
And I know you love the show and her, but Edie Falco for Nurse Jackie?
Oh, I hear you, sister. She's great on the show, but she's already won. Plus, the series is past its prime.
(I love that we've gone straight to the women, BTW.)
(Please. What are we gonna do? Talk about Jim Parsons?) Who would you put in the Comedy Actress slot instead of Edie?
When it comes to comedy, Emmy doesn't like to look for women outside of the Big Four or the Cable Big Two of HBO and Showtime. In my dream world, I'd love to see actresses such as Kaitlin Olson (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) recognized. Or Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair for their next-level work on USA's Playing House.
Oh my God. Playing House.
Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair should tie. They should both win.
Crass, brash, and genuinely heartfelt without spilling over into syrup. (Sorry Parks & Rec!)
Those performances are sensational. They perfectly balance the mania of a trippy comedy like 30 Rock with the more genuine feeling of a domestic sitcom.
I feel compelled to say here that this was the year that I cut loose a bunch of long-running series, Parks & Rec included.
This was not the best year for my beloved Pawnee. The characters hardened into caricatures.
Exactly! And though it's tonally the polar opposite, this was also the year that Scandal's insanity stopped being entertaining for me.
If Amy Poehler finally wins an Emmy, I'll still be happy, but it will be more of a lifetime achievement award than a recognition for what happened on the show during this particular year.
But we need to say something Important at this point. If Julia Louis-Dreyfus wins AGAIN...I won't be mad.
Sigh. I would be BORED if she won again, but she really is flawless on Veep.
She keeps finding new layers to what could quickly become a cardboard shrew. And speaking of shrews, I have a question!
Oh, wait. First, I need to say that JLD's performance in the Silicon Valley episode is maybe my favorite of that series, so if she wins for that, then I can't be too upset.
OMG yes! It was genuinely funny, it was one of the few times we are firmly on Selina's side, and it was a contrast to the bro-y Silicon Valley.
Agreed. But you were going to ask about shrews?
Well, you know I love a shrew. But my question is this. AHS: Coven: great acting or ENTERTAINING acting? Because there's an important distinction.
Oooh. We're shifting to miniseries. Or "miniseries."
We're just in keeping with the Emmy free-for-all this year!
If I may keep it real with you, I didn't love Coven the way I loved Asylum. On Asylum, the acting was legitimately excellent. But as you suggest, on Coven, it was much showier.
I feel like witches just gave free rein to Ryan Murphy et al. to let loose their campiest impulses.
Correct. That said, I won't be mad if Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett get tapped for serving Prime Grade bitch.
And whatever gravitas Fiona had this season was due solely to Jessica Lange.
She really made something of those scenes with the ax murderer. I actually bought that she wanted happiness with him, as much as she could ever have it.
Just reread that statement and tell me she shouldn't get a nomination.
When you put it that way...I concur. Speaking of shows with strange genre classifications. Did you know that Shameless is a comedy now, and so is Orange Is The New Black? That gives us about 300 more actresses that deserve nominations.
At least La Kohan was upfront about the classification, saying that the comedy people say it's not funny enough and the drama people think it's too funny. It's all very Ally McBeal circa 1990-something.
On Shameless, you like that Emmy Rossum, right?
I do! I'm not a huge fan of that show (poverty porn doesn't do it for me), but she's really come a ways since Phantom Of The Opera.
Would you give her a slot on our Comedy Actress ballot?
If Edie Falco can actually win, then absolutely, Emmy deserves a nom.
With that, I'd like to pivot to Supporting Actress in a Drama, if I may.
Please do, ma'am.
I've said this to you privately, but now I must declare it to the world: Allison Janney's performance on Masters Of Sex is basically the best thing ever, and if she doesn't get nominated for it, then I don't even know what. If they choose someone on a network procedural over her, then I may lose my mind.
What's funny is that I was just trying to think of network dramas and I came up with...Scandal? Nashville? The Good Wife? There must be more, right?
The Blacklist. James Spader is the best thing about that maddening show, so I'd say he's a lock.
Oh, definitely. A repeat nominee in a new drama means nominators get to have their stale cake and eat it too
But if he makes it, then I hope Matthew Rhys gets in for The Americans.
Actually, we need to talk about The Americans. Because in addition to Maslany, that across-the-board snub was the biggest genuine shock of last year's crop of nominees.
They didn't even get nominated for wigs and hairstyling! Such a crime. And there are three Emmy-worthy performances there, if you ask me: Rhys, Keri Russell, and Noah Emmerich.
Not to mention any number of guest star spots (hey Margo Martindale!).
Oh God, Margo! Just like Janney, she can't appear as often as I'd like on a superior cable drama because she's committed to a ghastly CBS sitcom. My nightmare is that they get nominated for The Millers and Mom instead of The Americans and Masters Of Sex.
"Guys! Don't worry, network TV is still where everything's at!"
So...any final praises you want to sing?
I would be remiss in not mentioning Robin Wright for House Of Cards.
OOOOOH. I love that show, and I especially love HER on that show.
So do we just not care about men? Because I'm fine with that.
I mean...
As usual, the men are vastly inferior to their female co-stars.
I'm trying to think of male performances I'm really excited about. There are the dudes on The Americans, of course. I like Kevin Spacey a lot. And naturally Bryan Cranston, though he's gotten more than his due. That's four. Which is roughly one tenth the number of performances I love on OITNB ALONE. How about you?
I know! Let's eliminate all the male categories this year and just double the actress nominees. All problems solved!
Sorry, Jon Cryer!