I watch a lot of TV -- like, a lot. But unless I become a time traveler (like some people on my favorite shows), it is impossible to keep up with all the great TV out there right now. But, man, was I lucky to see the shows and performances I did this season.
Jane The Virgin
Inside Amy Schumer
Broad City was one of the funniest shows on TV, and the stories Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer told of living in New York City as two 20-something best friends had me cringing and crying -- from laughing so hard. Their show is so surprising and refreshing, and on top of that, their clothes are mad cute. Abbi and Ilana created the show and also star in it, and in my dreams they are also my best friends. It's unconventional and brilliant, and I would love to see it get a nomination. Jane the Virgin was so sweet, funny, and original, and the more recognition it gets, the better. Also, The CW has some really excellent shows, and I'd love for it to get some legit accolades. I think Inside Amy Schumer actually falls under variety show instead of comedy, but it's my dream ballot so I pick the categories, and either way it should definitely be nominated. Amy Schumer is so sharp and funny, and her show is one of the smartest shows on TV.
Outstanding Drama Series
Orange is the New Black
Russian spies living in America, inmates in a women's prison, a music mogul running a family and a business, a time traveling Englishwoman who falls in love in the 1700s, and a well-to-do psychiatrist who also happens to be a serial killer and a cannibal: all of these shows are so different, but each one tells stories that couldn't work on any other show.
Empire was a breakout hit last year and for good reason. It's soapy and dramatic and wonderful, and each actor and performer on the show is insanely talented. Plus it introduced the world to Cookie Lyon -- is there an award just for that? Hannibal is one of my personal favorites because its style of storytelling is so unique. More dreamlike than logical, more artistic than horrifying, it tells a story of a killer and a cannibal and makes it beautiful to watch. (As Jaime mentioned in her ballot, Hannibal isn't eligible for the Emmys this year, but in my heart, it's nominated for sure.) The Americans has some of my favorite performances of the year and was so wonderfully intense I could hardly bear to watch it. Orange is the New Black broke the mold for telling stories about women on TV, and I care about each character so deeply. Outlander's romance is anything but cliche, and the way it portrays sex and love in a medium that so often exploits both should be lauded.
Lead Actor -- Drama
Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser (Outlander)
Matthew Rhys as Philip Jennings (The Americans)
Matthew Rhys gave such a stunning performance as Philip Jennings in The Americans as a spy who is fighting for his life and fighting to hold onto his sense of self. There are so many layers to Philip's life, and Matthew was able to incorporate all of them into one complex man. Grant Gustin and Stephen Amell give life to superheroes on The Flash and Arrow -- two shows that are so fun to watch and have so much heart. Both of these series have raised the bar, not only for superhero shows, but dramas in general, and much of that comes from their outstanding leads. Sam Heughan similarly makes Jamie on Outlander a worthy match for Claire and compelling all on his own.
Lead Actress -- Comedy
Abbi Jacobson as Abbi Abrams (Broad City)
Gina Rodriguez as Jane Villanueva (Jane the Virgin)
Ilana and Abbi are both such strong, creative performers on Broad City, and it would be so fun to see them get the recognition they deserve. Gina Rodriguez is a dream to watch as the careful Jane who found herself in a situation she never could have planned for. Her performance is so touching and brings so much emotion to a show that celebrates family and love while playing with fun, telenovela twists. That's a lot to ask of one show and one actress, but both make it look easy.
Lead Actress -- Drama
Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall (Outlander)
Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings (The Americans)
Tatiana Maslany's many performances on Orphan Black are what truly make the show. I can't imagine any other actress being able to create so many unique and distinct characters so different that they feel as if they're being played by different actresses. Maslany has been (rightly) praised far and wide, and she deserves every bit of it. Eva Green is so powerful on Penny Dreadful that even on a show full of great performances, she steals the show every time she's on screen. Every character is a bit in love with her, I think, and so am I. Caitriona Balfe on Outlander, Lizzy Caplan on Masters of Sex, and Keri Russell on The Americans all portray wonderfully independent women who don't quite fit into the worlds they find themselves in. And Taraji P. Henson's Cookie Lyon fills Empire's world with her huge personality.
Supporting Actress -- Comedy
Kate McKinnon (SNL)
There are so many other worthy actors, shows, and Emmy categories. Who do you think should get nominated or win?