2013 Emmy preview: Why ‘Bates Motel,’ ‘Homeland,’ ‘The Newsroom’ deserve love

EmmysEmmy fans, rejoice! We have finally arrived to that time of year again, where we start to take a look at the possible candidates for what we consider to be television’s biggest night in the Primetime Emmy Awards.

This year, we’re really taking the show in stages. We’re beginning the series today, by focusing on the deserving nominees in each category (one per day). It’s all based on personal opinion, which we like to translate into “a great forum for discussion.” Love our choices? Hate our choices? We just want to hear from you! Also, we’ll have polls at the bottom of every article for you to voice your opinion.

We’re going to go big from the get-go with this article, and start with what has to be what is frequently considered to be the most-important award of the night: Outstanding Drama Series.

Our picks

“Bates Motel” (A&E) – A sharp, terrifying series that is totally going about this Emmy promotion the wrong way. While Fera Farmiga is fantastic, the true star of the show here is Freddie Highmore’s brilliant take on a young Norman Bates. We know that this is not an Emmy-friendly genre, but it’s about time that someone puts forth the effort to try and make it trendy.

“Downton Abbey” (PBS) – This was honestly the show we put in last on the list, mostly because our debate this year was between it, “The Americans,” or even a ho-hum season of “Mad Men.” The way in which Matthew’s death was constructed took some of the air out of our tires, but the rest of the season was just so good that it had to be on the list.

“Breaking Bad” (AMC) – Still one of the best shows on TV, as evidenced by the fact that even Mike’s problematic death is not enough to take away its spot on the list of deserving shows. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul were brilliant as always, but you cannot discount the amazing performances from the supporting cast.

“Game of Thrones” (HBO) – Right now, our frontrunner. It has done everything right this season (just look at the gut-wrenching Red Wedding). There’s no out-of-character decision or bad episode among the bunch in season 3, and just look at some of the improved performances (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Michelle Fairley) to go along with the costume design.

“Homeland” (Showtime) – “Homeland” season 2 is to us much like “Breaking Bad” season 5: A season worth of near-perfection marred somewhat by one episode. (In this case, it’s Brody killing the Vice-President with so many holes in logic included.) To discount the rest of the show’s achievements would be foolish, though as this is a triumph, and pound-for-pound one of the smartest shows that currently airs.

“The Newsroom” (HBO) – Here we go again, ready to go to bat for a show that drove a good percentage of its audience insane. Was “The Newsroom” perfect? No, and you just have to look at Mackenzie trying to work a cell phone as evidence. But what we look for with our Emmy picks are compelling shows that excite us and make us think, and during this show’s high points, we were doing that more than almost anything else out there. It’s a relevant drama with something to say, and it’s not always the same doom-and-gloom you see elsewhere.

Want to read more of our Emmy preview pieces? Be sure to bookmark the link here, as we’ll have plenty more coming up in the next few weeks.

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