The AfterEllen.com Huddle: Our Emmy nominees

I had one request for this Huddle about deserving Emmmy nominees: Not everyone can pick Tatiana Maslany. Obviously we all think Tat deserves to win all the awards, but she has to have some competition, doesn’t she? And there are other areas to win awards in, too!

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OK, ya’ll: Who should most definitely get nominated for an Emmy this year?

Jill Guccini: Parks and Rec deserves all the comedy awards—best show, best writing, best actors. No show has made me laugh out loud or smile ’til my face hurt as much as their season finale did last season. The only real criticism I’ve heard about it is that it seemed like more of a SERIES finale than a season finale, which essentially translates to, “That episode was so good I don’t understand it,” which is not a very bad criticism to have. And as much as I love me a good dark, time-beaten, cynical heroine, Leslie Knope is a completely different kind of heroine on TV—one that kills her foes with kindness, who gets beaten down time and time again but still manages to ultimately believe that people are good and that trying to help them is what we should all do. I also would have found this show extremely refreshing as a kid, as my small town often felt exactly like Pawnee, Indiana, and I often felt very alone. But Parks and Rec offers the hope that even when everything around you feels like bullshit, you can still find people like you. It’s also not a coincidence that so many young comics on the show have boomeranged to stardom —Retta, Billy Eichner, Aziz Ansari, Aubrey Plaza…like literally everyone.

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I also need to give a shout-out for Julianna Margulies, even though I know she’s received her fair share of accolades before. Her performance on The Good Wife this season was absolutely phenomenal. Just thinking about that scene when she’s yelling at Big, and she shouts, “When I cheated, it mattered,” her hair all askew and her eyes all crazy with grief—still gives me chills.

Dorothy Snarker: Everyone in Orange is the New Black (though, because nominations will be based on the first season only, special love goes to Laverne Cox, Uzo Aduba and Taryn Manning). All 17,000 Tatiana Maslany characters. Gillian Anderson for The Fall (probably not eligible because it was on the BBC). Maisie Williams, Gwendoline Christie, Emilia Clarke and Lena Headey for Game of Thrones. AMY FREAKING POEHLER.

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Ali Davis: A Best Actress nod has to go to Robin Wright as Claire Underwood on House of Cards. She’s been giving series-stealing performances and this season she made Claire fun, creepy, and incredibly layered. She had amazing moments in Season 2 when her mask would slip and a little bit of her past self would come roaring up. Watching her subdue it and then turn back into the Claire she had so carefully created was one of the great shivery pleasures of this season.

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There is one and only one reason Frank Underwood got to where he is: Fear of Claire. And he and the writers of the show know it. Plus if they don’t give her an Emmy nomination, Claire will start destroying people until she gets one.

Kim Hoffman: Uzo Aduba deserves one giant ass Emmy-nod this year, no doubt about it. I still have two episodes left of OITNB (I can’t really handle this tension/all my emotions) and I am completely perplexed in the best of ways at the evolution of her character, Crazy Eyes/Suzanne. Her backstory is really mysterious and compelling, and the ways she has changed so much from the first season, coupled with that EPIC video Uzo did for Funny or Die where she spoofed on all the show characters, really shows her incredible range. Hell yeah, Uzo. I’d throw a pie for (and at) you, too.

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Valerie Anne: My obvious choice is Tatiana Maslany, but apparently it’s too obvious a choice (though for real, you do not want to be within 100 miles of the tantrum I will throw if Tatiana doesn’t win AT LEAST one Emmy this year). Since we’re all agreed she’s a shoe-in, I’ll go with Emmy Rossum. Shameless is one of the most real and raw shows on television, now or ever. And whether she’s light or dark, in love or pissed off, happy or sad, high as a kite or more broken than a human should be, you feel everything Fiona Gallagher feels because Emmy Rossum takes you there. And looks good doing it.

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Plus she has been interviewed alongside Tatiana, which makes her awesome by association: (I swear I didn’t pick her just to loop back around to Tatiana. It just worked out that way!)

Bridget McManus: I was going to pick Tatiana but since Trish is a bully I’m going with Eva Green on Penny Dreadful. Green gets the most screen time of the few female characters on the show (though Billie Piper is brilliant as a dying prostitute) and she is absolutely outstanding as Vanessa Ives. In one scene, Green is possessed and levitating and in the next she’s working her best eye-acting skills to portray lust for another character. Green has levels that are out of this world. Not only does Green deserve an Emmy, she should get all the Emmys and she should be Hillary Clinton‘s running mate for 2016. Is that too much?

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Dana Piccoli: Lorraine Toussaint was absolutely epic in Orange is the New Black this year. She was so commanding and compelling to watch. Not to mention she drives a majority of the action in Season 2. I’d love to see her get a nod for Outstanding Guest Actress.

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Elaine Atwell: Orange is the New Black for best — well you could make a case for drama or comedy — so how about best show? Seriously, it does everything that we ask for in great television; it makes us laugh, cry, think, swoon, and it opens our eyes to new worlds. It shows us our commonalities with people to whom we would never speak in our day to day lives. It respects its characters of color, older characters, LGBTQ characters, and it finally, firmly establishes that THERE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE AN EQUAL RATIO OF MEN TO WOMEN ON A SHOW. Orange is the New Black is the most important show of our time. Maybe an Emmy win would help us see more shows like it.

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Grace Chu: Lorraine Toussaint or Kate Mulgrew from OITNB. Both are forces of nature on the show, but I’ll give a slight edge to Toussaint, whose performance actually made my ovaries shrivel.

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Trish Bendix: Broad City‘s Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson deserve to tie for their being boss ass bitches and comedy geniuses.

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Who deserves an Emmy nod this year?

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