2014 Emmys: Katey Sagal, Lizzy Caplan, Mariska Hargitay top CarterMatt Drama Actress picks

The latest -The great thing about the Actress in a Drama Series category for the Emmys this year is that for the first time in the past few years, it really feels like this is a genuinely open race. Claire Danes owned this category, but with “Homeland” season 3 being polarizing, there is not one runaway favorite to take the trophy this time.

Therefore, it’s certainly possible that one one or two of our list of CarterMatt favorites below receive actual nominations, given that there are so many other great contenders out there. Kerry Washington had another big year on “Scandal,” and then you have Julianna Margulies on “The Good Wife” and Robin Wright from “House of Cards” … along with many others.

Lizzy Caplan, “Masters of Sex” (Showtime) – We actually thought after this performance as Virginia that Caplan would be a front-runner rather than someone fighting for a spot on the list. There was so much emotion in what she did; not only did she challenge other characters, but she challenged us as a viewer.

Mariska Hargitay, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (NBC) – While we made some of our qualms about the William Lewis storyline clear in the season, there is no debate from us that this was Mariska’s best season of “SVU” in years. She poured everything into these scenes, and after all she has done with this show we can only imagine how hard it must have been for her to turn the table and become a victim.

Diane Kruger, “The Bridge” (FX) – Kruger would probably be taken more seriously as a contender if her show had more viewers, and her performance was a little less subtle. But playing someone with as little emotion as Sonya Cross is no easy task, and she found a way to still pull humanity into her.

Tatiana Maslany, “Orphan Black” (BBC America) – To us, this is a given, and after the travesty last year, it would be almost revolt-worthy if Maslany is not given some love this year. She basically is “Orphan Black.” Her characters (yep, plural) and performance set the tone for everyone else.

Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men” (AMC) – Is this one of Moss’ best performances on the show to date? If nothing else, we’d say that it was one of her top three seasons as Peggy Olsen as we finally got a chance to watch her have a victory, and one that came after a tireless amount of work.

Katey Sagal, “Sons of Anarchy” (FX) – If Maslany needs someone to talk to about being unfairly snubbed from the Emmys, it’s Katey, who has been unfortunately robbed for pretty much her entire career. The fact that she has so little love in between this show and “Married … with Children” is something we cannot even comprehend. This is not even a legacy choice by us this time; Gemma is terrible, heartbreaking, and powerful all at the same time, and it’s Sagal’s performance that pulls these emotions out. Our favorite year for Sagal since when she won the Golden Globe.

This is where you come in. Who did you like the best this year? Share in the poll below, and head over here to see the rest of our Emmy picks for the year.

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