In recent years, TV has become a highly-regarded entertainment medium. It went from being a stepping stone for a career, to the possible highlight of one. Every year, more and more quality TV shows are released either on regular television or streaming and range from White Collar to the on-going House of Cards.
To celebrate these astounding pieces of work, we have the Emmys, an annual ceremony that rewards the best and brightest shows, actors and actresses.
Now, it's time for the 68th Emmy Awards Ceremony and with that, comes a HUGE ballot with - what seems like - endless possibilities. Out of that ballot, I chose 10 actors/actresses who I believe are shoo-ins for nominations. So, sit back, read and enjoy:
1. OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA: FREDDIE HIGHMORE AS NORMAN BATES - BATES MOTEL
Reimagining the events prior to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho in a contemporary setting, Bates Motel takes a look at the earlier years of Norman Bates. In the series, Freddie Highmore plays the titular role in his teenage years and completely takes ownership of it.
While his performance seamlessly blends with the eerie and dark tone of the series, that's not the full extent of where he's able to take the role. He has the charisma to make you fall in love with Norman by being lovable and sweet, but also gives you a shock when his deranged persona takes over. So... nomination? I think so.
2. OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA: CHARLIE COX AS MATT MURDOCK/DAREDEVIL - MARVEL'S DAREDEVIL
After Marvel acquired the rights to Daredevil from Fox, an announcement was made that the hero would be getting his own TV series on Netflix. The reveal was met with as much doubt as excitement, with many wondering if it would be able to give the character the portrayal it deserved.
Fast forward to 2016 and one of the most praised aspects of Marvel's Daredevil is its star. Cox is able to perfectly portray Matt Murdock's duality: Is he the law-abiding lawyer from Hell's Kitchen or a desperate vigilante willing to go to extreme lengths to make his city a better place? His performance is one of the main reasons this show has been able to fly as high as it is, which makes me confident on his nomination.
3. OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA: KEVIN SPACEY AS FRANK UNDERWOOD - HOUSE OF CARDS
Netflix is the streaming service that's currently dominating the TV industry. One show that proves this more than any other is House of Cards: The political drama about Frank Underwood - portrayed by Kevin Spacey - a ruthless politician who is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure his position in power.
Kevin Spacey masterfully portrays Underwood's "don't cross me or I'll crush you" attitude. Whether he's throwing his former lover in front of an upcoming train or blackmailing other politicians, the actor gives us such a nuanced performance that he forces you to want to see him succeed regardless of how evil or cruel he gets. Do I need to explain more of why he's a no-brainer for an Emmy nomination?
4. OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE: IDRIS ELBA AS DCI JOHN LUTHER - LUTHER
Luther is an incredibly intriguing TV show. The premise alone gives you goosebumps and an unparalleled excitement to watch the series. What could make it even better? Idris Elba.
Through his portrayal, Elba makes you buy this ruthless inspector who, aside from his cruel methods and violent nature, is against killing. His stoicism, cleverness and unorthodox procedures make him an incredible and intriguing protagonist. All things that an actor has to be able to portray, something Idris does flawlessly.
5. OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE: CUBA GOODING JR. AS O.J. SIMPSON - THE PEOPLE VS. O.J. SIMPSON: AN AMERICAN CRIME STORY
More than two decades ago, O.J. Simpson proved that reality can be just as intriguing as fiction during his trial for the murder of his wife and her friend. Since then, the former football star has remained a part of everyone's minds over the years. And, because we are not just going to sit here without some form of adaption of the infamous case, we have The People Vs. O.J. Simpson.
In this short TV series, Cuba Gooding Jr. returns after years of a relatively low profile. And he RETURNS. Gooding Jr. commits to the role to a level where, while watching the show, I was completely immersed in his performance. I was able to believe that the man I was seeing in my TV screen was in fact, O.J. Simpson and if that doesn't guarantee a nomination, I don't know what does.
6. OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES: JANE KRAKOWSKI AS JACQUELINE WHITE - UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
When Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was announced, the only person I knew about from the cast was Ellie Kemper. Therefore, Jane Krakowski's Jacqueline White came as an incredibly pleasant surprise.
She makes her character instantly likable because of her ability to be funny while acting cruel. Then, as the series progresses and layers start to be taken off, Krakowski manages to portray a vulnerable woman who puts up a front so no one is able to hurt her. I don't know about you, but I've had a hard time finding that same quality in other comedies.
6. OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES: KRYSTEN RITTER AS JESSICA JONES - MARVEL'S JESSICA JONES
Having been a fan of Jessica Jones since 2006, I was incredibly excited to hear she was getting her own TV show. What got me even more excited? The casting of Krysten Ritter for the part.
Jones is a damaged character. Her life has been filled with misery and she tries to cope with it through self-destructive means, such as alcoholism. For that, you can't cast an actress that tries to strike a pose for the camera every five minutes so you remember she's hot. You need someone who feels natural: What you are seeing is what you are getting. And that's what Ritter is able to convey: She manages to be gritty and serious while at the same time being beautiful and not coming off as unnecessarily aggressive or unlikable. Doesn't that alone earn her a nomination?
7. OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES: HAYLEY ATWELL AS PEGGY CARTER - MARVEL'S AGENT CARTER
Back in 2011, Hayley Atwell stole our hearts with her incredible portrayal of Peggy Carter, Captain America's love interest. And while - I believe - none of us even thought of the possibility of that character getting her own TV series, Atwell stepped into the role once more.
The result? A fantastic mini-series carried by Atwell's strong, decisive yet... caring demeanor. Unfortunately, the series was cancelled after its second season so we'll just have to cross our fingers for Atwell to put on the shoes of the SSR agent once more.
8. OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES: KERI RUSSELL AS ELIZABETH JENNINGS - THE AMERICANS
Elizabeth Jennings and The Americans - Do I need to say more? Well... yes I do. If you follow this show, you know our protagonists' daily dire circumstances. Russell portrays a woman loyal to an extremely risky cause while having two children and being an extremely well-trained spy. And she does it in a completely believable way.
There hasn't been a second where Russell's portrayal takes me out of the story; in fact, it's the complete opposite, even after four seasons. Thanks to her, Elizabeth Jennings can be considered a fan-favorite character among audiences... Now do I need to say more?
9. OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES: DAVID HAREWOOD AS HANK HENSHAW/J'ONN J'ONZZ - SUPERGIRL
When Hank Henshaw was announced to be one of the main characters in Supergirl, many assumed he would be a secret villain, just as his comic book counterpart. Despite this, however, David Harewood made us like the character so much that made his inevitable turn to the dark side painful.
Fortunately, we didn't have to go through that, as he was playing a disguised J'onn J'onzz/Martian Manhunter all along. What am I getting at? That making a possible bad guy so damn likable makes him an instant nominee in my book.
10. OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES: LENA HEADY AS CERSEI LANNISTER - GAME OF THRONES
Game of Thrones is an incredibly heavy series. You can't just jump into the show in the middle of season four and expect to understand everything from that point. And that's not a bad thing because it's not only the story that has propelled the show into the hit that it is now, but also its actors and actresses,
And one actress that will surely receive an Emmy nomination for her work is Lena Headey. When I hear anyone clamoring for a strong female character on TV or film, I want to point my finger at Cersei. This character has been through... well... not very nice events, including a certain, literal walk of shame. And while those scenes are enough to make your stomach turn, Headey's performance elevates them, creating an incredible experience for audiences.
I've seen many people who consider the Emmys as a discounted Oscars ceremony but we have to remember this is the biggest award a TV star can receive. So even if anyone in this list is "just"nominated, that is a great accomplishment, which is why I was really disappointed to learn that Gran Gustin was not in the ballot.
And in case you are wondering, I picked these actors based on the strength of their performances and audience's popular opinion. With that said, they are all amazing and I hope they get the spot they deserve for their effort. But what about you?