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Somehow, the Emmys are already upon us. The telecast is airing nearly a month earlier than usual this year, and on a Monday (August 25 at 8pm on NBC), to boot. Although many of the nominees didn't quite satisfy our dream choices, we here at TV.com are still committed to making sure the best possible people and shows take home the shiny trophies. Over the next couple days, we'll be making our selections in all the major categories, kicking things off with the somewhat confusing miniseries and TV movie races. Is it all about Fargo and The Normal Heart, will an underdog challenger surprise us all? Regardless of the outcome, here's who we believe deserves some new hardware.


SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE


THE NOMINEES:

Matthew Bomer (The Normal Heart), Martin Freeman (Sherlock: His Last Vow), Colin Hanks (Fargo), Joe Mantello (The Normal Heart), Alfred Molina (The Normal Heart), and Jim Parsons (The Normal Heart)

RECENT WINNERS: 

James Cromwell (2013), Tom Berenger (2012), and Guy Pearce (2011)

OUR PICKS: 

Andy: N/A | Cory: Jim Parsons | Jen: Martin Freeman | Kaitlin: Martin Freeman

Nick: Martin Freeman | Noel: Matthew Bomer | Tim: Alfred Molina

WHY JIM PARSONS SHOULD WIN: As the nominee roster for this category suggests, The Normal Heart was full of showy, good performances. But the quiet gem at the center of all the crying and the yelling was the more internal grief expressed by Jim Parsons' Tommy Boatright. You know that Parsons is going home with a trophy for his work on The Big Bang Theory, but frankly, he deserves one for this performance even more. —Cory Barker

WHY MARTIN FREEMAN SHOULD WIN: It's not easy to play second fiddle to Sherlock Holmes, and it's especially not easy to work opposite someone as charismatic as Benedict Cumberbatch, but Martin Freeman manages to do it with an impressively gentle ease. What's more, he's not merely reacting to Cumberbatch—he's an active participant in their dueling dialogue. "His Last Vow" was a grand showcase of the many different sides of John Watson, spanning a range emotion from dangerously frightening anger to understated sadness. Freeman nailed every scene, and it's time he earned his due. —Kaitlin Thomas


SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE


THE NOMINEES:

Kathy Bates (AHS: Coven), Angela Bassett (AHS: Coven), Ellen Burstyn (Flowers in the Attic), Frances Conroy (AHS: Coven), Julia Roberts (The Normal Heart), and Allison Tolman (Fargo)

RECENT WINNERS: 

Ellen Burstyn (2013), Jessica Lange (2012), and Maggie Smith (2011)

OUR PICKS: 

Andy: Allison Tolman | Cory: Allison Tolman | Jen: Allison Tolman 

Kaitlin: Allison Tolman | Noel: Allison Tolman | Nick: Ellen Burstyn | Tim: Allison Tolman 

WHY ALLISON TOLMAN SHOULD WIN: First off, let's all agree that it's ridiculous that Tolman nominated herself (or was pushed into nominating herself) in the Supporting Actress category. Molly Solverson was the heart and soul of the dark, snowy world of Fargo's first season; from the way Tolman's eyes lit up as the plucky detective made a connection in the tangled Marlo case to her polite Midwestern anger in the face of other characters' doubt, the actress exuded intellect and compassion bundled with frustration and insecurities, crafting a recognizable human being instead a collection of character-type tics. Noel Kirkpatrick

WHY ELLEN BURSTYN SHOULD WIN: Everything Burstyn does is gold and you're a liar if you say otherwise. A dang liar. —Nick Campbell


LEAD ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE

THE NOMINEES: 

Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock: His Last Vow), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dancing on the Edge), Idris Elba (Luther), Martin Freeman (Fargo), Mark Ruffalo (The Normal Heart), Billy Bob Thornton (Fargo)

RECENT WINNERS: 

Michael Douglas (2013), Kevin Costner (2012), and Barry Pepper (2011)

OUR PICKS: 

Andy: Billy Bob Thornton | Cory: Billy Bob Thornton | Jen: Martin Freeman

Kaitlin: Mark Ruffalo | Nick: Idris Elba | Noel: Billy Bob Thornton | Tim: Martin Freeman

WHY MARK RUFFALO SHOULD WIN: We knew he could play angry (Hulk FTW!), but we never knew Mark Ruffalo was so adept at portraying anger, desperation, determination, and defeat all at once. To be honest, this isn’t even a contest. —Kaitlin Thomas

WHY BILLY BOB THORNTON SHOULD WIN: It shouldn't seem so natural for an actor to play a devil-like figure who has his own weird character tics and humanity without entering the Pacino Zone. But Billy Bob Thornton is not just any actor; he's one of the world's best, a fact we tend to forget until he turns in otherworldly performances, like he did as Lorne Malvo on Fargo. In Thornton's hands, Malvo was the most terrifying entity on the planet who happened to look like a true dweeb. —Cory Barker


LEAD ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE

THE NOMINEES:

Helena Bonham Carter (Burton & Taylor), Minnie Driver (Return to Zero), Jessica Lange (AHS: Coven), Sarah Paulson (AHS: Coven), Cicely Tyson (The Trip to Bountiful), and Kristen Wiig (The Spoils of Babylon)

RECENT WINNERS: 

Laura Linney (2013), Julianne Moore (2012), and Kate Winslet (2011)

OUR PICKS: 

Andy: Kristen Wiig | Cory: Jessica Lange | Jen: Kristen Wiig | Kaitlin: Sarah Paulson

Nick: Helena Bonham Carter | Noel: Sarah Paulson | Tim: Kristen Wiig

WHY KRISTEN WIIG SHOULD WIN: The Emmys' flexible interpretation of "miniseries" has landed Wiig in the Lead Actress category alongside the likes of drama heavyweights Jessica Lange and Helena Bonham Carter, but her goofball performance in IFC's farce is every bit as award-worthy as her competition's. The experimental Babylon relied heavily on the gusto of its actors, and Wiig went full-on bananners as Cynthia Morehouse, handily upstaging all her costars. She won't win the trophy, but her perfect overacting and bellowing toward the heavens prove that she definitely belongs here. —Tim Surette

WHY JESSICA LANGE SHOULD WIN: Lange's material on AHS: Coven was probably a little more ostentatious than what she had to work with on Asylum, and we all know that the Emmy voters love ostentatious. Say what you want about Ryan Murphy's brand of glib genre alchemy, but few other performers could consistently turn in such strong and winking (but not overdone) work like Lange. Cory Barker


OUTSTANDING TV MOVIE

THE NOMINEES:

Killing Kennedy, Muhammad Ali's Greatest FightThe Normal HeartSherlock: His Last Vow, and The Trip to Bountiful

RECENT WINNERS: 

N/A; this category returns in 2014 after three years of being combined with Outstanding Miniseries

OUR PICKS: 

Andy: N/A | Cory: The Normal Heart Jen: Sherlock: His Last Vow

Kaitlin: The Normal Heart | Nick: The Normal Heart Noel: The Normal Heart 

Tim: Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight

WHY THE NORMAL HEART SHOULD WIN: Admit it: You were a little scared to see what Ryan Murphy, he of Glee and American Horror Story fame, would do with such an important and gravely serious story like The Normal Heart. Thankfully, Murphy's best tendencies—the ability to pull great performances out of his cast and truly key in on the raw emotions of any situation—defeated his more problematic ones and the result was this year's clear winner in an admittedly weak category. Noel Kirkpatrick

WHY SHERLOCK: HIS LAST VOW SHOULD WIN: Oh, great, I get to be the jerk who argues against an excellent movie full of excellent performances about AIDS that has virtually no chance of losing whatsoever. Here goes: Even though Sherlock's inclusion in this category is a stretch, its merit shouldn't be discounted just simply because it's weirdly positioned. The more I think about the whole of Season 3, the more I'm impressed with its various plot turns and all-around brilliant performances. This is a series that can still surprise its viewers, and its central bromance is one of TV's finest. Plus, that wedding episode was a masterpiece. —Jen Trolio


OUTSTANDING MINISERIES

THE NOMINEES: 

AHS: CovenBonnie & ClydeFargoLutherTreme, and The White Queen

RECENT WINNERS: 

N/A; this category returns in 2014 after three years of being combined with Outstanding TV Movie

OUR PICKS: 

Andy: Fargo | Cory: Fargo | Jen: Fargo Kaitlin: FargoNick: Treme Noel: Treme

Tim: Fargo 

WHY FARGO SHOULD WIN: Like Hannibal before it, Fargo proves that ideas that sound terrible on paper when they're first announced sometimes turn out to be the most successful. Putting aside some of the show's misguided meditations on masculinity near the end of the season, there's very little to dislike about Fargo. Noah Hawley and the show's directors (Adam Bernstein, Colin Bucksey, and a few others) did a masterful job of adapting and expanding the Coen Bros.' world for the small screen, and the cast turned in the best collective performance of the year. Cory Barker

WHY TREME SHOULD WIN: There are few shows on television that are able to capture the spirit of a city as a character like Treme does for New Orleans. The show's actual human characters are difficult and unlikeable sometimes, and there's a decent amount of moralizing, but it emotes the Crescent City in a way that will make you fall in love with the place while also mourning it and feeling indignant about it. Try to find another series that makes you feel so strongly about its setting. —Nick Campbell


Who do you think should win in this year's miniseries and TV movie races?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 8/25/2014

Season 66 : Episode 1

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