When I think about who I would grant an award to during Sunday nights 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards it is based on my personal preference. I assume the voting members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences use a more precise, less biased method.
But I bet most of you at home do as I do and root for your favorites.
Which can be a problem when you have multiple favorites up for the same award.
As a big fan of Mad Men, Dexter and Boardwalk Empire, this is a dilemma Im currently working through.
Ill save my predictions for my blog and focus on what might be the most hotly-debated category this year: Lead Actor in a Drama.
Bryan Cranston, who has won the last three years for his portrayal of chemistry teacher-turned meth cooker Walter White on AMCs Breaking Bad, isnt eligible for the top prize this year because the series fourth season didnt air during the 2011 eligibility period.
With him out of the way, many are calling this the year for Mad Mens Jon Hamm, which, given his stirring portrayal of Madison Avenue ad man Don Draper in the series fourth season (notably the submitted episode The Suitcase), would be well-deserved.
However, after Boardwalk Empires impressive showing at last weeks Creative Arts Emmys (it picked up seven awards), HBOs prohibition-era drama starring the enigmatic Steve Buscemi may prove a formidable opponent.
Also in contention are Michael C. Hall, whos been playing the titual character on HBOs Dexter for five murderous seasons; Hugh Laurie, whos been passed over for seven seasons as Dr. Gregory House on the FOX medical drama House, which begins its eighth season next month; Kyle Chandler for Friday Night Lights; and Timothy Olyphant for FXs Justified.
Is it obvious Ive never watched the last two?
Regardless, a case can be made for each of these actors -- which is precisely why theyre nominated in the first place.
Amid the talk of this being Hamms year, its important to note that Boardwalks Buscemi won both a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of Enoch Nucky Thompson, the boot-legging treasurer of 1920s Atlantic City.
Ill conclude with an exemplification of why I wouldnt make an effective critic/award-panel voter:
As much as I adore Mad Men and Jon Hamm, Dexter and Michael C. Hall, just thinking about how much I enjoyed the first season of Boardwalk Empire and Steve Buscemis performance makes me positively giddy. (I rely far too heavily on feelings.)
Well see what happens at 8 p.m. Sunday when the Emmys show, hosted by Jane Lynch, airs on FOX.
Katie McCarthy, features writer, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-571-8515.