2013 Emmy Awards: TV critic picks what should win

TV addicts are more discerning, more demanding, more involved. This year’s Emmy nominations (8 p.m. Sunday, CBS) in the major categories reflect the sort of passion that sets Twitter aflame every Sunday night. No one feels halfway about their favorite shows anymore. (I can’t imagine who would even watch the Emmys when the penultimate episode of “Breaking Bad” is on at the same time.)

Drama series

Nominees: “Breaking Bad”; “Downton Abbey”; “Game of Thrones”; “Homeland”; “House of Cards”; “Mad Men”.

Hank would give it to: The successive panic attacks I’ve been having on Sunday nights would unanimously vote for AMC’s unerringly brilliant “Breaking Bad,” but I’d love nothing more than to see the Emmy go to HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” the sprawling, lose-yourself-in-it fantasy epic.

Actor (Drama)

Nominees: Hugh Bonneville (“Downton Abbey”); Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”); Jeff Daniels (“The Newsroom”); Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”); Damian Lewis (“Homeland”); Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”)

Hank’s pick: Jon Hamm. Because there’ll be one more chance to give another Emmy to Bryan Cranston in 2014 for this unforgettable final season of “Breaking Bad” and because Matthew Rhys of “The Americans” wasn’t nominated, I’m tempted to throw Hamm a career-achievement Emmy for holding it together during the flattest and least enjoyable season of “Mad Men.”

Actress (Drama)

Nominees: Connie Britton (“Nashville); Claire Danes (“Homeland”); Michelle Dockery (“Downton Abbey”); Vera Farmiga (“Bates Motel”); Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men”); Kerry Washington (“Scandal”); Robin Wright (“House of Cards”)

Hank’s pick: Kerry Washington. There’s a reason half of America hyperactively and saucily live-tweets “Scandal” as it airs – without the other half even realizing what they’re missing. It’s Washington’s steely strong performance as Olivia Pope, the ultimate D.C. fixer.

Supporting Actor (Drama)

Nominees: Jonathan Banks (“Breaking Bad”); Bobby Cannavale (“Boardwalk Empire”); Jim Carter (“Downton Abbey”); Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”); Mandy Patinkin (“Homeland”); Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”)

Hank’s pick: It should really go to Mandy Patinkin, who wears the part of Saul Berenson on “Homeland” like a heavy but dutiful coat. Also, he was overlooked during “Homeland’s” many wins last year.

Supporting Actress (Drama)

Nominees: Morena Baccarin (“Homeland”); Christine Baranski (“The Good Wife”); Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones”); Anna Gunn (“Breaking Bad”); Christina Hendricks (“Mad Men”); Maggie Smith (“Downton Abbey”)

Hank’s pick: I’d pick Anna Gunn in just about any season as Skyler White on “Breaking Bad” (she’s been nominated twice already), but she’s been so great in these final few episodes that it seems like she should get it next year. Let’s not chance it – give it to her now.

Comedy series

Nominees: “30 Rock”; “The Big Bang Theory”; “Girls”; “Louie”; “Modern Family”; “Veep”

Hank’s pick: I’m still a staunch supporter of “Veep,” for not once reining in its vicious nature and also for pushing its story forward as Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) preps for a presidential run.

Actor (Comedy)

Nominees: Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”); Jason Bateman (“Arrested Development”); Don Cheadle (“House of Lies”); Matt LeBlanc (“Episodes”); Louis C.K. (“Louie”); Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”)

Hank’s pick: It’s hard to get terribly excited about these choices. Maybe I’ll give it to Matt LeBlanc, just for being him. (Ha ha.)

Actress (Comedy)

Nominees: Laura Dern (“Enlightened”); Lena Dunham (“Girls”); Edie Falco (“Nurse Jackie”); Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation”); Tina Fey (“30 Rock”); Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”)

Hank’s pick: In a go-big-or-go-home world, I can’t think of many performances as lovely and unsettling as Laura Dern’s two seasons as the idealistic anti-corporate whistleblower on HBO’s cancelled “Enlightened.”

The Washington Post