Nerdy Girl Predicts: The 2013 Emmy Awards

Confession time: I don’t watch a lot of “critically acclaimed” television. My tastes aren’t exactly aligned with any years’ crop of Emmy nominees, but I was especially disappointed that some of my favorite shows and actors were overlooked this time around. However, I’m still going to attempt to predict how tomorrow night’s Emmy ceremony is going to go. I’m skipping the miniseries/TV movie categories because I have absolutely no knowledge of those nominees, but I hope my other picks (and the reasons behind them) might inspire you to fill out an Emmy ballot of your own.

DRAMA SERIES:
Breaking Bad, AMC
Downton Abbey, PBS
Homeland, Showtime
Game of Thrones, HBO
House of Cards, Netflix
Mad Men, AMC
My Pick: Breaking Bad. I could see House of Cards possibly playing the spoiler here (to call attention to the success Netflix is having with its original programming), but I really think the buzz around Breaking Bad is too high right now—and has been for the last year or so—for it to go unrecognized. I can’t believe it’s never won before, so I think its time has come.

LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey, PBS
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad, AMC
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom, HBO
Jon Hamm, Mad Men, AMC
Damian Lewis, Homeland, Showtime
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards, Netflix
My Pick: Bryan Cranston. The Emmys like to stick with what they know, and what they know is that Cranston is a force to be reckoned with. Spacey shouldn’t be counted out here, but I can’t see this award going to someone other than Cranston until Breaking Bad is done (which means, yes, I am already picking him to win next year’s Emmy, too).

LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:
Connie Britton, Nashville, ABC
Claire Danes, Homeland, Showtime
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey, PBS
Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel, A&E
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men, AMC
Kerry Washington, Scandal, ABC
Robin Wright, House of Cards, Netflix
My Pick: Kerry Washington. This is a diverse category of fantastic leading ladies, but Washington has the kind of star power that Emmy voters love to call attention to. She’s the center of one of the most talked-about shows on television, and she turns in consistently great work, even with increasingly crazy storylines.

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:
Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire, HBO
Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad, AMC
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad, AMC
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey, PBS
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones, HBO
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland, Showtime
My Pick: Mandy Patinkin. Homeland is probably going to win at least one Emmy tomorrow night, and I think it’s going to go to the man who was overlooked for any recognition last season. Patinkin’s restrained performance grounds a show that is known for its emotional breakdowns, hysterics, and crazy plot twists. I don’t know much about the character dynamics on Homeland, but it seems to me that Patinkin’s Saul is the steadfast glue holding the show together when it’s at its craziest.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad, AMC
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey, PBS
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones, HBO
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife, CBS
Morena Baccarin, Homeland, Showtime
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men, AMC
My Pick: Anna Gunn. If I know nothing else about Breaking Bad, I know that Anna Gunn has turned in a performance that’s controversial, powerful, and polarizing. But there’s no denying that this woman has talent and has held her own opposite her commanding costars. Plus, she wrote this fantastic New York Times piece about her character, and that kind of love for the role she plays earns her big points in my book.

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Nerdy Girl Predicts: The 2013 Critics’ Choice Television Awards

A week from today, television’s best will be in the spotlight as the fabulous Retta hosts the 2013 Critics’ Choice Television Awards. I was incredibly pleased with the nominees chosen by the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA); I feel like they’re a strong representation of what has been an outstanding year for television.

As is usually the case in the world of television awards, who I’d like to see win is often different from who I think will win—although that isn’t always the case. My predictions for these awards will include both the actor or show I feel is most deserving and the one I think the critics will most likely honor. However, I know practically nothing about the nominees in the “Mini-Series or TV Movie” categories, so I’m just going to pick who I think will actually win those after doing some intense research (aka going on Google for a couple of hours to read reviews from critics I trust).

Without further ado, here are my predictions!

BEST COMEDY SERIES
• The Big Bang Theory – CBS
• Louie – FX
• The Middle – ABC
• New Girl – FOX
• Parks and Recreation – NBC
• Veep – HBO
Should Win: As much as I love Parks and Rec, New Girl was both the funniest and most emotionally honest comedy on television this year.
Will Win: Louie is loved by critics and fans alike, and I don’t see it losing to any network comedy. Veep is the only show I could see giving it a run for its money as far as awards go.

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
• Don Cheadle (House of Lies) – Showtime
• Louis C.K. (Louie) – FX
• Jake Johnson (New Girl) – FOX
• Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) – CBS
• Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) – NBC
• Jeremy Sisto (Suburgatory) – ABC
Should Win: Jake Johnson was one of the best actors on television this year in any genre. Whether he was dancing to Taylor Swift, delivering an emotional eulogy for his father, or kissing Jess “like a man” on more than one occasion, Nick Miller surprised me as a viewer every week, and thanks to Johnson’s charming, hilarious, and surprisingly sexy screen presence, it was always a pleasant surprise.
Will Win: Louis C.K. is hilarious, and he’s a critical darling. While this category is stocked with some great names (Adam Scott’s inclusion makes me especially thrilled), no one’s beating him.

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES 
• Laura Dern (Enlightened) – HBO
• Zooey Deschanel (New Girl) – FOX
• Lena Dunham (Girls) – HBO
• Sutton Foster (Bunheads) – ABC Family
• Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep) – HBO
• Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) – NBC
Should Win/Will Win: I’ve been burned with this prediction many times before, but I think it’s finally Amy Poehler’s time to win. Parks and Rec is loved by so many critics, and it wouldn’t be anywhere near as entertaining without Poehler’s sunny and smart presence at the center of it. This was a big year for Leslie Knope—she became a city councilwoman, got engaged, and got married—and Poehler made us laugh, cry, and smile along with this character through all of it.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
• Max Greenfield (New Girl) – FOX
• Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) – CBS
• Alex Karpovsky (Girls) – HBO
• Adam Pally (Happy Endings) – ABC
• Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) – NBC
• Danny Pudi (Community) – NBC
Should Win/Will Win: There’s no character on TV right now like Schmidt, and I really think critics are going to find some way to reward New Girl for its excellent sophomore season. These two factors should combine to give Max Greenfield some well-deserved love from the BTJA. Greenfield’s talent for playing the world’s most lovable douchebag has made him a critical darling even when the rest of the cast was struggling to gain recognition. While I think he had less to do this season than last season, his unique combination of quirky overconfidence and genuine vulnerability were still put to excellent use.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY 
• Carly Chaikin (Suburgatory) – ABC
• Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory) – CBS
• Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) – ABC
• Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory) – CBS
• Eden Sher (The Middle) – ABC
• Casey Wilson (Happy Endings) – ABC
Should Win: Sarah Hyland has always been an underappreciated force to be reckoned with on Modern Family, and I’m so happy to see her getting the recognition she deserves.
Will Win: It wouldn’t be a TV award show without The Big Bang Theory winning something, so my money’s on the charming Kaley Cuoco to take home the show’s obligatory award.

BEST GUEST PERFORMER IN A COMEDY SERIES 
• Melissa Leo (Louie) – FX
• David Lynch (Louie) – FX
• Bob Newhart (The Big Bang Theory) – CBS
• Patton Oswalt (Parks and Recreation) – NBC
• Molly Shannon (Enlightened) – HBO
• Patrick Wilson (Girls) – HBO
Should Win/Will Win: Molly Shannon is always a treat whenever she shows up onscreen—and I think most critics would agree with me. ‘

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Nerdy Girl Predicts: The 2013 Oscars

kristen bell so excited

It’s finally here! After months of going to see movie after movie (my credit card will thank me when award season is finally over), analyzing critical reactions, and watching every award show possible leading up to tonight, it’s finally time for the culmination of the 2013 movie awards season: The Oscars.

I’ve been watching the Oscars since I was a little kid. I remember Ben Affleck and Matt Damon winning and thinking they were my new Hollywood crushes (some things don’t change). I remember Halle Berry’s very emotional (and very long) acceptance speech for Best Actress. I remember that fantastic feeling you get when the first time a movie you actually saw in theaters wins Best Picture.

I’m a movie fanatic—always have been, always will be. Movies hold a special spot in my heart; there’s nothing quite like sitting in a theater with a bunch of strangers, experiencing the same emotional highs and lows but knowing that this one film can touch each person in this theater in a unique way. I know more about film history than I do about American history; I can probably name more Best Picture winners than I can name presidents. And I can’t wait to watch history be made again tonight.

Enough waxing poetic about my lifelong love affair with the silver screen. Here are my picks for who’s going to be taking home an Oscar tonight:

Picture: Argo
After the way it’s swept the rest of the major awards so far, I can’t see anything beating this film—and that’s more than okay with me. Although I thought Silver Linings Playbook was a better film overall, I wouldn’t be disappointed in this slightest to see Ben Affleck and the rest of the team behind this filmmaking tour de force win for this inspiring adrenaline rush of a film.

Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
No one else stands a chance, as sad as that makes me as a fan of both Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper’s great performances. This has been Day-Lewis’s Oscar since the day Lincoln opened in theaters.

Actress: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
I just saw this film for the third time yesterday, and every time I see it I walk away even more impressed with the level of maturity, depth, and detail Lawrence put into her performance. She is this movie’s igniting force, the spark that intensifies the performances of everyone around her.

Supporting Actor: Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)
De Niro delivered his best work in years in this film, and I think he’s going to get recognized for that. His performance in this film is nuanced, surprisingly subtle, and grounded in a warmth that infuses the film with the sense of deep, familial love that makes it so beautiful.

Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables)
Like Day-Lewis, this has been Hathaway’s Oscar from the start, with the first trailer that was released for this film. And she more than earned it with her incredible physical dedication to the role and her gut-wrenching performance.

Director: David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
In what should have been Ben Affleck’s category to lose, I’m picking the man who I felt got the most out of his actors and crafted the most heartfelt, quietly powerful movie of the year. In order for Silver Linings Playbook to resonate so strongly with audiences, it needed a director who could bring truly great performances out of all of his cast, and Russell certainly accomplished that—with four acting nominations for his cast to testify to that fact.

And here’s what the rest of my ballot looks like:

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Nerdy Girl Predicts: The 2013 Screen Actors Guild Awards

Tonight marks another important stop on the road to the 2013 Oscars: the SAG awards. This is one of my favorite award shows of the year because I love actors; I love acting. Everyone has their criteria for judging the merits of a film: Some make cinematography or direction their first priority; others care most about the merits of the script. For me, I’m always drawn to performances. The actors—the way their voices break, the way their eyes light up or go dark, the way they are able to create chemistry just by standing next to each other—are the ones who draw me into a film and make me care about it. So naturally, I love the award show that is all about my favorite aspect of moviemaking.

Just like I did for the Golden Globes, I’ll be live tweeting the red carpet and the ceremony starting at 6 p.m. on the NGN Twitter. And I’ll have a recap of the ceremony along with my best and worst dressed stars tomorrow.

Now it’s time to make some picks for tonight’s winners. (Hopefully I’ll be a little bit more accurate than I was for the Golden Globes.)

FILM

Male Actor, Lead
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables
Denzel Washington, Flight

My Pick: Daniel Day-Lewis. DDL’s triumphant march to Oscar glory will continue tonight. There’s almost no doubt about that.

Male Actor, Supporting
Alan Arkin, Argo
Javier Bardem, Skyfall
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

My Pick: Robert De Niro. While I think the award could definitely go to Tommy Lee Jones, I think De Niro is going to be rewarded by his peers for his nuanced, beautiful return to form as a father struggling with his son’s bipolar disorder and his own demons. His performance was heartfelt, layered, and very honest, which is something I think his fellow actors will appreciate more than any other voting body.

Female Actor, Lead
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
Naomi Watts, The Impossible

My Pick: Jennifer Lawrence. This is the race I’m most torn about. While Jessica Chastain has huge amounts of critical acclaim and a lot of respect from her peers on her side, I just think Lawrence’s performance is too emotionally gripping to ignore. What she was able to do with the character of Tiffany—the maturity, the powerful stillness, the believable but intense range of emotions, the total vulnerability, the surprising humor—is acting at its finest. In Silver Linings Playbook, she did what great actors are supposed to do; she made me feel for this woman in a way that made me forget she was a fictional character.

Female Actor, Supporting
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy
Maggie Smith, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

My Pick: Anne Hathaway. Her dedication to this role is something no one can deny, and her passion for making Fantine feel like a real woman rather than just a tragic symbol of the downtrodden gave her performance a raw edge that has become many viewers’ lasting impression of Les Mis. Hathaway—like Daniel Day-Lewis—is on her way to well-deserved Oscar glory this year, and tonight’s results will almost surely confirm that.

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Nerdy Girl Predicts: The 2013 Golden Globes (Film)

On Friday, I made my picks for the Golden Globe winners in each television category. Now, I turn my attention to the world of film. When I was in high school, I dreamed of being a film critic, so I began trying to see as many critical darlings as I could. That passion for movies and the awards that are given to them has never faded, even though the film critic dream ended a long time ago.

So without further ado, I present the movies I think will be big winners at the Globes.

Best Picture, Drama:
Argo
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Zero Dark Thirty

My Pick: Zero Dark Thirty. Though Lincoln now has all of the buzz going into the Oscars, the votes for the Globes were cast before the Oscar nominations came out. At that time, the buzz belonged to Zero Dark Thirty—and for good reason. It’s one of those movies that shines a light on our current world in a fearless way, and it’s done so with great critical and audience acclaim.

Best Picture, Musical or Comedy:
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Les Misérables
Moonrise Kindgom
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Silver Linings Playbook

My Pick: Les Misérables. This category is one of the hardest for me to choose a winner for because both Les Misérables and Silver Linings Playbook are so good in such different ways. Ultimately, though, I think the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will be drawn to the spectacle and power of Les Misérables and reward all of the work that went into making this musical translate so well to the big screen.

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Nerdy Girl Predicts: The 2013 Golden Globes (TV)

This Sunday ushers in one of my favorite seasons of the year—awards season! And here at NGN, I’m prepared to cover the major award shows (Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and Oscars) for you with the well-trained eyes and finely tuned opinions of a girl who’s been watching these things since she was in elementary school. Expect predictions, reactions, fashion opinions, and more live tweets than a sane person should probably expose themselves to. (Seriously, I’ll be live-tweeting on Sunday from the start of red carpet coverage at 5 p.m. until long after the ceremony is over. To say I’m excited is the understatement of the week.)

To kick off NGN’s Golden Globes coverage, it’s time for some predictions! Today I’ll tackle the television nominations, and sometime before the ceremony I’ll have my movie predictions for you, too.

Best Television Comedy or Musical:
The Big Bang Theory
Episodes
Girls
Modern Family
Smash

My Pick: Modern Family. This show continues to be a critical darling as well as a consistently funny, mainstream hit. That seems to be a recipe for Globes success. However, the critical hype around Girls could end up making it a dark horse in this race.

Best Television Drama:
Breaking Bad
Boardwalk Empire
Downton Abbey
Homeland
The Newsroom

My Pick: Homeland. This seems to be about as sure a bet as there is at these awards. Though it seems to have fallen from grace this season to some extent, when it’s at its best it has a reputation for genius, compelling storytelling that goes beyond any of the other nominees.

Best Miniseries or Television Movie:
Game Change
The Girl
Hatfields & McCoys
The Hour
Political Animals

My Pick: Game Change. The attention around it, the subject matter, and the cast of famous faces make this a fairly easy pick based on what the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has been known to gravitate towards in the past.

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