2014 Emmy Wish List: Why These Drama Underdogs Need to Be Nominated
2014 Emmy Wish List: Why These Drama Underdogs Need to Be Nominated
Jennifer Lind-Westbrook
Jennifer Lind-Westbrook
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Long gone are the days of rabbit ears antennas and three channels. TV is packed with quality dramas, and Emmy voters, like fans, tend to have their favorites (Mad Men). There's little doubt that with this being two series final seasons, many great shows are going to go unrecognized, and many casts won't be walking the red carpet. Here are some drama dark horses, and why they deserve their moment in the spotlight.

The 2014 Emmy nominations will be announced Friday July 10. Here are my picks for the Emmy underdogs of drama. Fingers crossed each one snags a nomination.

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Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Nicole Beharie, Sleepy Hollow

Lt. Abbie Mills.jpgThe dashing war hero of Fox's supernatural reimagining of Washington Irving's classic tale is a far cry from the writer's gawky protagonist. And while this Crane has embraced that the world is at risk of being swallowed up by things that go bump in the night, his level-headed partner and police officer Lt. Abbie Mills is, or was, more skeptical. Beharie's portrays Mills as a loner, but only as a tool for self preservation. Her relationship with Crane has grown more intimate slowly and realistically. Beharie, distant at first, began to exude more warmth towards her partner once the two bonded over their mutual destiny, and the realization that they have been tied, in one way or another, to each other for centuries. Beharie is somber without being dreary and still has a great sense of comedic timing. Behari and Mison have an interesting dynamic. There are no romantic undertones, and while their bond is familial, they have forged a connection that doesn't quite fit into the category of siblings either.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Andrew Lincoln, The Walking Dead

Rick Grimes.jpgIn The Walking Dead's first season, police officer Rick Grimes was always a man with a plan. First, find his family and second, get answers regarding the mystery virus turning the residents of Atlanta and surrounding rural areas into zombies. But, unlike the virus, Rick is now showing signs of slowing down. Lincoln's portrayal of a man burdened with the responsibility of the lives of not only his own family, but of other survivors as well, manifests in his physical appearance and posture. Each battle he loses, his psyche becomes a bit more unraveled. His chemistry with Chandler Riggs, who plays Grimes' son Carl, has undergone a metamorphosis that could only be described as an overly exaggerated version of the struggles that fathers and sons face over time. Carl, young and arrogant, thinks he's surpassed what his father can teach him. Lincoln's desperation to keep his son close and still try to instill in Carl a sense of morality in this new world has become a recurring storyline. Every time Carl is dismissive of his father's advice, viewers can see the heartbreak and disappointment in Lincoln's eyes.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones  

Arya Stark.jpgBoth of the Stark daughters are survivors, but while Sansa, the eldest derives her strength from duty, Arya is fueled by vengeance and justice. Williams has transformed from a mere tomboy to a warrior and a survivor. Williams  has become consumed by this character from her unisex appearance to her complete loss of innocence. There is not even a hint joyfulness about Williams' demeanor. She stands out among actors much older than herself. Williams' possesses a level of maturity that mirrors her character's expedited journey into adulthood.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Walton Goggins, Justified

Boyd Crowder.jpgWalton Goggins has the unique visage of a villain; the incredibly white teeth and the shock of black hair, but his portrayal of criminal Boyd Crowder is so much more complex. Yes, he's a drug dealer, a murderer, a blackmailer and he owns a brothel. Goggins' gift is that he's still likable. Crowder is smart, philosophical and well read. He is loyal; he can't even bring himself to kill his nemesis, Raylan Givens, because of an emotional tie formed between the two as boys. Goggins' has swagger, and a confidence not born out of arrogance but just common sense. Crowder is usually a step ahead, and if not, finds ways to creatively extricate himself from trouble. The relationship between Crowder and Givens is multi layered, and Crowder overall is a chameleon. Sometimes he's a sidekick; sometimes a hero; sometimes a lover; and sometimes a fighter. Goggins conveys an inner depth often void in the "bad guy."

Outstanding Drama Series: Bates Motel

Bates_Motel Emmy Drama.jpgThe creators of Bates Motel have accomplished a Herculean task. They've taken an iconic film character, Norman Bates, and made him the focus of a successful, modernized prequel. Even though fans of the movie know the outcome of its primary characters, Bates Motel has established itself and stands on its own. Yes, viewers get to see how a young "nice" boy evolves into a serial killer, but the show has evolved into so much more with an abundance of rich characters, and a town full of secrets. Still, at the heart of the show is the relationship between Norman and his mother, Norma. Her refusal to come to terms with her son's mental instability tempered by her instinct to protect him in spite of his wicked deeds.

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What do you think? What drama and which actors should get a 2014 Emmy nomination? 

Check back Friday July 10 for the complete list of 2014 Emmy nominations.

(Images courtesy of FOX, AMC, HBO, FX and A&E)