With Emmy night approaching, let's break down the five things that absolutely need to happen.
The Emmys are notorious for doing their own thing and are generally very difficult to predict. While they are sometimes sentimental (awarding Breaking Bad in five of the top seven categories last year) they are also known to mostly shut out actors who are overdue (Steve Carell, Martin Sheen, Hugh Laurie etc.) for a trophy.
This year's Emmys opened up the voting further than ever before. Instead of the usual blue ribbon panels, the Television Academy now allows anyone who has voted on the nominees of a category to vote on winners as well. So with voting per category increasing, will we see more popular winners overall? Will they go with more character actors who have worked with everybody? Nobody knows but the Television Academy, but here are some things that absolutely need to happen this year in order to have a successful Emmy show.
1. Jon Hamm Needs to Win
For eight years, Jon Hamm has been nominated for playing Don Draper in AMC's Mad Men. For seven years, Jon Hamm has lost the Emmy to someone else. This is the final time the Emmys can award him for playing his iconic character, and the stars are lining up in favor. With no Bryan Cranston (of Breaking Bad) and very few big name movie stars outside of Kevin Spacey, it's looking good for Hamm. But voters have passed him over seven times before. Who's to say they won't just do it again? It would be a shame if they did.
2. Modern Family Needs to Lose
ABC's Modern Family is one of the best comedies on television. It's hard to say anything truly bad about it. But it needs to lose this year. The ABC sitcom has won the Emmy for Best Comedy Series the last five years, and it could very well win a sixth. But with bold, fresh comedies continuing to be produced every year, do we really need to keep giving Modern Family trophies? Give it to HBO's fresh political comedy Veep. Give it to Amazon's bold dramedy Transparent. Honestly, give it to any one of the other six nominees in that category, and we'd be happy.
3. Viola Davis Or Taraji P. Henson Need to Make History
For the first time in Emmy history, two African American actresses were nominated for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series this year. Davis, of ABC's How to Get Away With Murder, and Henson, of Fox's Empire, gave two of the most dynamic performances of the past television season. Both are highly respected actresses leading shows in roles they were born to play. And either one of them could make history if they win. If either Davis or Henson win, they would be the first African American actress to win the Drama Lead Actress Emmy in history. Let's make history happen.
4. Amy Poehler Needs to Win
For seven seasons, Poehler has led NBC's Parks and Recreation with true gusto. She has been nominated for the past six years and is now on her final nomination as Leslie Knope. Like Hamm, she has been passed over every single year up to this point. Leslie Knope may not be as important as Don Draper in the rank of all-time television characters, but it would be a crying shame if she went Emmy-less for such an iconic role. Plus, think of the potentially hilarious speech she would give. Unfortunately, she has tough competition in Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Amy Schumer, so while we're really pulling for Poehler, it may be more wishful thinking than anything else.
5. We Need Lots of New Winners
Let's face it, last year's Emmys was like a rerun we've seen time and time again. We had winners like Jim Parsons, Ty Burrell, Jessica Lange, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn and more, all of which already had Emmys on their respective mantles to begin with. While all of these actors are great at what they do, what we most want to see is new blood being rewarded. There's nothing like seeing an actor, director, writer or producer winning their first Emmy and delivering a truly emotional, grateful speech. Even if some winners come out of left field, let's see some new performances being rewarded.
Let's hope we have a great Emmy year to remember, honoring this fantastic past year of television.
The 67th Annual Primetime Emmys will air Sunday at 8/7c on Fox, hosted by Andy Samberg.