AMC shows Breaking Bad and Mad Men will square off for the top TV honors again when the 64th Annual Emmy Awards airs on Sunday night from Los Angeles.
Although Mad Men took almost two years to return for a fifth season, the popular AMC series picked up where it left off and found its groove with fans. Still one of the best and most acclaimed shows on the air, Mad Men is set for yet another Emmy victory as the top drama in television.
Or is it?
After one of the most intense seasons in the show’s history, Breaking Bad may finally take the top honor away from its AMC counterpart. Although Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston has been an Emmy favorite over Mad Men’s Jon Hamm in recent years, neither actor won the Lead Drama award last year. Instead, Kyle Chandler won for Friday Night Lights.
But that was then and this is a new Emmy season.
The burning Emmy questions surrounding Breaking Bad and Mad Men are:
- Will Breaking Bad finally win Outstanding Drama over Mad Men?
- Will Mad Men win the top Drama award for a fifth time in a row?
- Will Jon Hamm finally win for Lead Drama Actor?
- Can Bryan Cranston regain Lead Drama Actor after last year’s ineligibility?
- Will Christina Hendricks win Best Supporting Actress over Breaking Bad’s Anna Gunn?
- Will Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul beat Breaking Bad guest star Giancarlo Esposito for Best Supporting Actor?
- Should the Best Supporting Actor award go to former Mad Men actor Jared Harris?
- Will director Vince Gilligan beat Mad Men helmer Phil Abraham?
Beyond the Emmy showdown between Cranston and Hamm, there are a few interesting match-ups. Breaking Bad co-star Aaron Paul goes up against guest actor Giancarlo Esposito who played manager and drug dealer Gus Fring. Although Esposito was (and is) amazing, it’s hard to believe he’d win the Emmy over Paul. But, as we’ve come to find out over the years, you never know.
After getting much more screen time in the role of Joan Harris, Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks may be the one to beat in Supporting Drama Actress. Joan had several dramatically emotional moments this past season as a newly single mother, including a deal to become a Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce partner by sleeping with a client.
But it’s hard to count out Breaking Bad’s Anna Gunn who has spent the past four seasons as Skyler, the wife of Cranston’s Walter White. After an affair, much more mental anguish, the discovery of money, and a plea to have her family back, Skyler went through hell this season. As an actress, Anna Gunn is no less deserving of an Emmy.
Also within the Mad Men camp, actor Jared Harris finally got the respect he deserves for his portrayal of troubled Englishman Lane Pryce. Although Lane’s descent into finacial difficulty was hard to watch, Harris’s exit from the show was nothing short of shocking. He’s our pick for Supporting Drama Actor.
Although there’s still much heat and momentum around Mad Men and Breaking Bad, shows like Downtown Abbey, Boardwalk Empire and Homeland could ruin the party for both longstanding Emmy heavyweights.
Perhaps a true gauge of whether Mad Men is still as powerful at the Emmys will be the result of the Writing for a Drama Series in which Dowtown Abbey and Homeland compete against three Mad Men nominations in the same category.
Can the Mad Men writers really beat one of the best writers in the world in Julian Fellowes? If Fellowes comes out on top, or even Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon & Gideon Raff of Homeland, it may be a sign that the Mad Men tide has turned.
But since no Breaking Bad writers were nominated and three were for Mad Men, that could be a good indicator as to which show will come out on top this year at the Emmy Awards.
However, with Downtown Abbey, Boardwalk Empire and Homeland in play, the Emmy party could be over for Breaking Bad and Mad Men.
What do you guys think?