The 2014 Emmy nominations ballots are out, which means it's time to decide whose names we'd like to hear called on Thursday, July 10 when the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences announces the shows and actors who're officially in the running for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards.
I asked some of my fellow TV.com staffers to join me in choosing our dream nominees, and after hours of internal debates and monologues that would make even Scrubs' JD tell us to shut up already, we've boldly narrowed down our picks—and as you'll see at the bottom of this page, we're prepared to defend them, too!
Each day for the next couple weeks, we'll be bringing you our highly sought-after, well-respected, and very prolific thoughts and opinions on which shows and actors should make the cut. We've already revealed our selections for Supporting Actress in a Comedy, Supporting Actor in a Comedy, and Lead Actress in a Comedy, and today we're discussing leading men.
Editors' Note: You may notice that some of our nominees don't match up with the official Emmy ballots. That's not a mistake; we've taken a few liberties because we're only "dreaming" about the 10 "major" categories, and we didn't want to leave out deserving performers based simply on their submission strategies and our coverage plans. In come cases you may see folks from the miniseries and guest-star races in our lead and supporting wish lists.
WHY ADAM SCOTT: Every great comedy needs a straight man, and no one does the job better than Adam Scott as Parks and Recreation's Ben Wyatt. Pawnee, Indiana might be one of the kookiest places on Earth, populated with the merriest band of crazies we've ever seen, and Scott excels at allowing Ben to fit in while also appearing more normal and levelheaded than most of his friends and coworkers. He can deliver deadpan reaction shots like nobody's business (especially when it comes to Li'l Sebastian... or holograms of Li'l Sebastian), while also selling Ben's geekier side (via the invention of Cones of Dunshire, his adoration of Game of Thrones, and more) so it feels like you're laughing with him, not at him. Plus, he's also really great at all the emotional stuff, too. — Kaitlin Thomas
WHY CHRIS MESSINA: The Mindy Project's titular character isn't the only one swooning over Danny Castellano. He's a strong guy with strong convictions, and Messina's portrayal of him is delightfully antagonistic—he really owns the role of "curmudgeon with a heart of gold." The actor expertly marries Danny's machismo and pride with all the vulnerabilities and quirks that make him so lovable, from an extreme sense of loyalty and some pretty heavy relationship baggage to his penchant for wearing little red reading glasses and his unparalleled skill in building gingerbread houses. Since the start of the series, Messina has toned down Danny's initial gruffness and evolved the character from stock grump to a warmhearted goofball with grump tendencies, and The Mindy Project is all the better for it. Also, the dude can dance. — Jen Trolio
Who would YOU nominate for Lead Actor in a Comedy?