Mad Men
Mad Men - Great show, but doesn't deserve to win this year.
Don Draper, so suave and sharp when we first met him in 1960, is becoming an old man by Mad Men's sixth season set in 1968. On one level the show knows this, contrasting Don's old-fashioned ways with his younger wife Megan and even his daughter Sally. But the sixth season of Mad Men also suffered terribly by standing by Don Draper, who was once again cheating and once again coming up with brilliant ways to bring in business, but seemed completely removed from the actual compelling narratives of the show. Introducing characters like Bob Benson, and following Peggy Olson through her own ill-fated affair, Mad Men kept suggesting ways to expand its story beyond the enigmatic moods of Don Draper, then reverting right back to Don's increasingly wheel-spinning story. The season finale, in which Don deliberately blew the Hershey's pitch and was forced into a leave of absence from the company, seemed to suggest a willingness to move beyond him-- but then the episode ended with him showing his kids the brothel he grew up in, another dip into the Dick Whitman well of diminishing returns. Mad Men is still a good show, but an Emmy win for this myopic season would send its creators the wrong message as it heads into its final 14 episodes.

Homeland - Great show but shouldn't have been nominated in the first place.
There are more than a few series (like Boardwalk Empire or The Americans, to name a few) that deserve Homeland’s Outstanding Drama nomination so much more than last year’s winner. They should have done what they did to Lost, give it the trophy for the excellent first season and then (in this case, rightfully) snub it the following year. Okay, it’s still a fine drama but outstanding, it is not. Homeland does features three outstanding performances, however, there was a significant drop in the quality of the storytelling between Seasons 1 and 2. Well, more like five or so episodes into last season, right about when the kids in the Showtime (spy romance, family melo)drama committed vehicular homicide.

Of course, carping about the small narrative diversion into the daughter’s ridiculous troubles might seem like nitpicking with a show that is so consistently intense and features stellar turns from nominees Claire Danes, Damian Lewis and Mandy Patinkin (Rupert Friend was also nominated for his guest spot) but this award is for the best drama and a few of Homeland’s competitors are pretty much perfection. The Golden Globes, however, named the second season the ‘Best Television Series - Drama,’ so there’s obviously a lot of critics who were still captivated by the events. They certainly wouldn’t call it a ‘sophomore slump.’ Then again, the Globes nominated The Tourist for ‘Best Picture, Musical or Comedy,’ they’re clearly clueless. Homeland is a good show (even great, at times) but it isn’t the year’s most ‘Outstanding Drama.’

Which series do you want to win Outstanding Drama at this year's Emmys?

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