Tag Archives: How I Met Your Mother

The 5 Stages of Getting Over the ‘HIMYM’ Finale

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER

SPOILERS ABOUND FOR THE HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER SERIES FINALE

Watching the terrible, awful series finale of How I Met Your Mother was a trying experience. I had hoped beyond hope that the writers wouldn’t do what they did, that the show would be better than it was. All of my hopes were dashed. Honestly, there’s no way it could have been worse.

And after watching the finale, I couldn’t help but realize I was grieving, grieving for a show I once would have called my favorite, that has been with me for so long. In fact, I kind of went through the five stages of grief in the past 24 hours.

1. Denial

They’re not going to do this, right? I’ve already said how they can’t do this. HIMYM is a fairy tale. The Mother is the happy ending, not Robin. They wouldn’t do this. They can’t do this. They can’t betray nine years of character development. We’ve heard over and over again why Ted and Robin don’t belong together. She had her chance, and she doesn’t deserve another. Not that Ted is some big catch or anything, but she could have said yes a bunch of times. Like, she could have said it when they broke up in season 2. She could have said it when Ted declared his love for her in season 7. She could have said it before she went to meet Barney on that rooftop. She could have not let Ted talk her into going through with marrying Barney. So they’re not going to somehow make it so that she wants Ted again and she gets him?

They’re not going to do this to the Mother, right? They’re not going to just make her be one in the long line of Ted’s love interests on his way to finally winning Robin. It’s not like her first kid with Ted was an accident so she’s just ends up being the love interest who finally stuck around. She’s not just here to be like, a functioning uterus so Ted can both have his perfect wife and kids and then get Robin too. They’re not going to kill her with a random disease with such casual blase and then have the very next sequence be a teenager convincing her father to bang her Aunt.

They’re not going to turn back the clock on Barney’s character development, right? They’re not going to have him and Robin divorce for like no good reason 3 years in and then estrange Robin from the group and make Barney this sad sack of a man. They’re not going to introduce a random baby and baby-mama for him to make him good again like some rom-com cliche. They’re not going to forget that Barney isn’t the Barney who wanted to bang Lebanese chics in the pilot.

They’re not going to have this weird theme where women’s careers are the source of all marital problems and unhappiness for men. Because that would be a bridge too far for a show that has too often relied on heteronormative tropes for humor. It’s not like the only reason Lily gets to go to Rome for her career is because she’s giving Marshall another baby, and then he is miserable for years because that choice ruined his career. Barney and Robin won’t end their marriage because Robin is pursuing a successful career as a journalist. They just can’t.

It’s not like HIMYM would do this to me, after I have been watching for all these years, right?

2. Anger

YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. TED AND ROBIN ARE BACK AFTER THEY UNCEREMONIOUSLY KILLED OFF THE MOTHER I’M NEVER FORGIVING THIS SHOW EVER, EVER AGAIN. I HATE EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE.

3. Bargaining

Please change it. I’ll do anything. I’ll watch NCIS. Give me a DVD extra. Tell me it was all a dream. Tell me they were in purgatory. Arrest everyone. Nine seasons and a movie! Show me a place where the Mother is still alive and Barney and Robin are still married and there aren’t implication that the only thing women are good for is their ability to bear children, and that women’s career won’t end marriages, and having babies won’t magically redeem characters. Please show me that place. I will give anything.

4. Depression

Guys like, why did we ever even watch this show? It’s the worst. Remember Zoey? She was the worst. And that stupid smoking episode from season 5. God I hated that episode. It was never good after season 4. Why did we kid ourselves and keep watching it for five more years? Of course they killed the Mother. They’ve been foreshadowing it since “The Time Travelers.” You know I thought the writers were better than this. I thought they wouldn’t turn around and ruin the entire concept on which their show was built. I should never expect good things from people. I thought the constant Ted and Robin harping was a red herring. I should have never fooled myself. I thought the Mother was the best thing to happen to the show in years. Of course they killed her. I thought Barney and Robin were better as a couple than Ted and Robin. Of course they divorced. I thought this show had one last chance to get it right. Of course it got it wrong.

5. Acceptance

Okay fine. It happened. I can’t do anything about it. But let me just say this: I’m probably not watching How I Met Your Dad. 

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The Top 15 Episodes of ‘How I Met Your Mother’

It’s been nine years, eight slaps and a lot of head-fakes in the making, but How I Met Your Mother is finally coming to an end. The show that’s had more than its fair share of ups and downs on Ted’s way to that Farhampton train platform. As I’ve said before, this final season hasn’t really done it for me, but recent failings do not in anyway erase the brilliance of the past. There was a good long while where I would have called HIMYM my favorite show on television, and it’s because of the truly great first four seasons (and also some good stuff in seasons 6 and 7). So to reflect back on the past nine years I’ve decided to offer everybody’s favorite thing, a list of the best episodes. It was pretty damn hard to narrow this down to 15, but I tried (I started at 10 and then added a few I couldn’t justify leaving off). Feel free to wildly disagree, there are certainly a lot of worthy contenders.

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15. “Blitzgiving” (Season 6, Episode 10) 

Let’s face it, season 5 of HIMYM was pretty terrible, and even the writers admitted it wasn’t their best. And while the show was never really able to regain the brilliance of seasons 1-4, season 6 was the closest it got. And while we might all want to forget Zoey ever existed, everything that didn’t have to do with her in this episode was classic HIMYM, right down to the creepy whisper of “blitz” as it passed from person to person. Also who doesn’t love a good “boom-a-wang” joke?

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14. “Arrivederci Fiero” (Season 2, Episode 17)

If HIMYM is remembered for anything, it will be for its constant and at times flawless execution of the modern TV flashback. The show is often at its best when the gang sits down together (mostly at the bar, here in a mechanic’s shop) and reminisce. This time the story surrounds Marshall’s dying car, and we get to see how Ted and Marshall became friends, how Lily and Robin became friends (complete with Pulp Fiction reference) and a softer side of Barney (well, a more terrified side anyways).

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13. “Swarley” (Season 2, Episode 7)

HIMYM has never been the pop-culture reference machine that say Community or 30 Rock is, but in this season 2 outing, most significant for reuniting Marshall and Lily, the show nods at two of its direct ancestors —  Friends and Cheers — first with the opening in the coffee shop and then with the closing rendition of “Where Everybody Knows Your Name.” What’s different about HIMYM is also highlighted here, with the induction of “crazy eyes” into the lexicon, the whacky play with Barney’s name and of course the romantic kiss on the apartment stoop. Marshmallow and Lily Pad, never leave us again.

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12. “Intervention” (Season 4, Episode 4)

One of the best things about this show has always been its running gags, and while some have been very much worn out as the show aged, it’s still great to go back and watch their introductions. The interventions have always been particularly good, and never so good as in the first outing. This episode also has a classic HIMYM structure, where serious issues (change is scary and hard) are paired with ridiculous comedy (Barney’s time-traveling old man bit).

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11. “The Pineapple Incident” (Season 1, Episode 10)

“Damnit Trudy what about the pineapple?!” This show has had no shortage of drunken escapades but Ted’s tropical fruit blackout takes the cake. In this early stab at the show’s signature non-linear storytelling we get to relive Ted’s night as he does, in bits and pieces from bystanders the morning after. Unless they decide to reveal the source of the pineapple in the finale (which, you know, they might) this remains one of the show’s best unsolved mysteries. Sometimes drunken stories are just drunken stories.

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10. “Wooo!” (Season 4, Episode 8)

You probably won’t find this particular one-off episode on many other best episode lists, but there’s something about this particular story that always brings me back. Maybe it’s the Dr. Suess-style rhyme exchanges between Robin and Lily (“I can woo” “That’s not true” “I can too” “It’s just not you”), or the eponymous Woo Girls, or the fact that it’s a great story about how friendships evolve. Sometimes the romantic stuff on this show could get in the way of the fact that these five people also have important platonic relationships to maintain. “Wooo!” is a good reminder of that.

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9. “Come On” (Season 1, Episode 22)

HIMYM has never been afraid of taking its characters to dark places, despite the fact that it’s a sitcom. It’s darkest place was probably in season 6 when Marshall’s father dies, but things were pretty bleak at the end of season 1 too, when Marshall and Lily split after an absolutely heart-wrenching fight. Ted best night is paired with Marshall’s worst. That’s how life shakes out sometimes. Plus, you know, Ted Mosby does a rain dance.

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8. “Something Borrowed (Season 2, Episode 21)

Lily and Marshall’s nuptials bring about one of the funniest fall-out-of-your-chair-laughing sequences in the show’s run, or really on any show. Stuck with a 90s boy band dye job, Marshall panics on his wedding day and shaves the middle of his head. It’s ludicrous, yes, but the general ridiculous aura the show curated over two seasons meant that the bit worked. The humor is matched with a truly romantic intimate wedding ceremony with just the gang that feels just right. As far as wedding episodes go, this one is one of the best (and certainly better than Robin and Barney’s wedding season).

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7. “Right Place, Right Time” (Season 4, Episode 22)

One of the things I love about this show is that it has always categorically argued that everything works out in the end. The fact that Future Ted is talking to his kids from his happily-ever-after vantage point makes this an inherently optimistic show, despite its forays into pain and grief. This is why I will never, ever forgive the show if it turns out the Mother is dead in 2030, as it goes against what I believe to be the core of the series. This theme is revisted several times throughout the show’s run, but never more so than in this episode where Ted tells three stories to explain how he ended up on a street corner one day. A bunch of little things had to happen to give him this one big thing, and without that, he might never have met the Mother. It’s heartfelt and important, but also incredibly funny. (“Here’s a pie chart of my favorite bars! Here’s a bar graph of my favorite pies!”)

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6. “Sorry, Bro” (Season 4, 16)

HIMYM would often return to the basic episode structure where the group is sitting around the bar telling a story that unfolds in several flashbacks. This structure is never done better than in “Sorry, Bro,” which has Ted explaining how he’s gotten back together with his college girlfriend, Karen. The rest of the gang’s subplots are effortlessly weaved around Ted’s, from Robin’s sleep-eating to Marshall’s shredded pants. And in a series that’s all about storytelling, it’s fun to see the significant moments hinged on how Ted chooses to tell his story, qualifying that he only kissed Karen once “in the restaurant” and accidentally revealing that he knew too much to have said goodbye to her forever.

HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER

5. “Atlantic City” (Season 2, Episode 8)

Season 2 is hands-down the show’s best, perhaps due in part to the fact that Ted and Robin are together and so there is no time wasted on pushing and pulling them together and apart over and over. Putting Ted and Robin aside also gives Marshall and Lily’s romance a chance to stand out, and after “Swarley” brings them back together “Atlantic City” makes them whole again. They’re in it for the long haul, for all the hard parts, and they can’t cheat by eloping on a dingy boat. Plus we get Barney’s gambling  problem and the insane Chinese casino game.

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4. “Ten Sessions” (Season 3, Episode 13)

Ted Mosby is often my least-favorite character on the show. That may just be the consequence of creating a person with “douchiness” as a fundmental character trait, and who also is destined to be alone or unhappy for much of the show’s run. So it’s sometimes easy to forget that Ted is a genuinely romantic guy with good intentions. “Ten Sessions” is Ted Mosby at his absolute best, using his over-the-top tendencies in a perfect way. When he takes busy working-mom Stella on the just two-minute date that she has time for, the one-shot sequence is one of the show’s best and most romantic. Just ignore the fact that Britney Spears is in there playing Stella’s receptionist.

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3. “Okay, Awesome” (Season 1, Episode 5) 

It pretty much only took HIMYM five episodes to find its own comedic sensibility. This involves utilizing its storytelling structure, emphasizing relationships be they romantic or friendship, dealing with the struggles of growing up and being heartfelt and simultaneously hilarious. “Okay Awesome” does all of this so early on in the show’s run. What’s most significant is that the episode takes full advantage of the storytelling structure a bunch of times, most effectively when Future Ted freezes the action to tell the audience Marshall went to the dentist that day, and it’s really important to the story, and he’s can’t believe he forgot that part. It’s the sort of joke that only HIMYM could do.

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2. “How I Met Everyone Else” (Season 3, Episode 5)

When introducing people to Doctor Who, another show I love, I often have them start with an episode from season 3 called “Blink” which is told from the perspective of an outsider who meets the Doctor, thus introducing the character and the viewer to the sci-fi world. If I were to find a comparable episode of HIMYM, it would have to be “How I Met Everyone Else” which introduces the audience to each character by showing how they got introduced to each other. It’s got a classic MacClaren’s setting, a great Barney bit with the “Hot/Crazy scale” and the storytelling joke where Future Ted can’t remember his date’s name so he calls her “Blah Blah.” It also introduces my absolute favorite running gag, the “eating a sandwich” euphemism. That’s a gag that, while it may not outright make me laugh after they overuse it, definitely makes me smile.

How I Met Your Mother

1. “Slap Bet” (Season 2, Episode 9)

Was there any other episode that could be number 1? Besides introducing the titular long-running bet this episode is also the glorious debut of Robin Sparkles, Robin’s teen Canadian pop star alter-ego. You’re right Robin, porn would have been less embarrassing. This is the episode where the show said hey, we’re willing to really just go for it. Is Robin Sparkles ridiculous? Yes. Is she hilarious? Absolutely. The slaps and Robin Sparkles would reappear all over the rest of the series’ run, right down to the last slap being doled out as Barney was waiting for Robin at the alter. It’s in this episode that so much of the show’s history was created that would shape it over the years. And if you ever needed proof that Ted and Robin don’t belong together, see their opposite picks for slap choices, Ted going for 10 now and Robin going for 5 over all of eternity. Barney goes with Robin’s choice, so make of that what you will.

Why Modern Family Makes Me Uncomfortable

Recently for a class I watched an episode from season 4 of Modern Family called “The Future Dunphys.” In class we were focusing on portrayals of motherhood in drama over the years and were using the show as a contemporary example. I was intrigued by this sitcom that I just never got around to watching and decided to dive in from the beginning.

What I found was a show that was ostensibly “modern” and “progressive” in that it featured a gay adoptive couple and a May-December relationship that included divorce. But the central family, the Dunphys, featuring an infantile real-estate agent father, a blonde stay-at-home mother, a beautiful and idiotic teenage daughter, a brilliant and bespectacled tween, and a mischievous and clueless young son, seemed to be the epitome of the status quo of the not-too-distant past. Which would be fine, if the roles and plots of the show’s female characters didn’t subtly preach to it’s millions of viewers every Wednesday sexism when it comes to the value of women.

I suppose I should begin with the disclaimer that I’m only about three-quarters of the way through season 2, but I should also admit that I am having a lot of trouble continuing to watch. I just can’t stand what this show, which so far has had very little in the way of forward motion or character development, does to its women.

Take Alex, for example. Alex is the middle child of the Dunphys, smart and driven to the point where receiving a B in class deeply troubles her. She also very proud of herself, especially given that her two siblings hardly break the intellectual bank. This could potentially give her the status, as Gawker put it in an article on sexism and Modern Family, as the “Daria of this generation” but instead, the show takes pains to constantly lampoon her two main characteristics. She’s too smart. She looks down on her parents for attending bad blockbuster movies and not being more intellectual in their lives and careers. They’re plain-folksy and she’s a snob. She is constantly berated by her siblings for having “no friends” or her inability to catch a boy  (which Modern Family seems to think is the most important goal of a woman, how modern indeed).

She’s also too driven, her worried parents attempting to stop her from studying to the point where they lower her grades. They are trying to protect her happiness but end up causing her grief when she doesn’t get what she wants and could have had (the A). The writers seem hell-bent on reminding impressionable 13-year-old girls that striving for academic excellence will cause you to be ridiculed by your siblings, your parents, and the world. You’d be much better off leaving all those silly books behind and curling your hair.

Of course Modern Family‘s original sin is Claire Dunphy, the homemaker and central figure of the show. She gave up her career to raise her family, something that is in no way wrong or problematic for any woman to do. However, on a show so popular in this day and age, that touts itself as a new vision for how families work, how hard would it be to show a successful home with two working parents?

The world the way it is and the economy the way it is, there are a lot more working parents these days then there used to be. I grew up with two working parents, which some childhood friends thought was weird and others saw as normal. Either way, I am sensitive to these portrayals and would love to see one where both parents work and the kids are alright (even in that movie Julianne Moore’s character couldn’t keep a job).

I set out to try to find any examples of families on television with two working parents, or even with a working mother at all. It was quite the fool’s errand. Breaking Bad comes to mind, except who could possibly think of that household as successful? How I Met Your Mother just introduced a baby to Marshall and Lily’s marriage and furthered Lily’s career, while at the same time possibly relegating Marshall to stay-at-home Italian dad after his law firm essentially went bust (a very problematic storyline as Vulture noted). On Parenthood Julia recently left her career for the home. Bones and Grey’s Anatomy featured working couples later in their runs that met in the workplace, and Blue Bloods recently sent a wife back to work, but the examples are few and far between (I am probably missing some, and please correct me if I’m wrong).

I won’t even get into Modern Family‘s treatment of Gloria or Cameron, as this post would be obscenely long. Alex and Claire are only the tip of the sexist iceberg on the show. Although I do know that later in her storyline, Claire decides to run for city council, which is a start. Again I have no problem with stay-at-home moms or dads. I only know that there are more options than that in the truly modern family. I can only wish that as pilots begin to role in this May, we can get some more nuanced treatments of mothers and daughters.

The Nanny Diaries

How I Met Your Mother Season 8 Episode 3 “Nannies” Recap and Review
Oh Nanny! Last night’s episode, in true HIMYM spirit was all about transitioning without really changing at all. Lily and Marshall are dealing with the new baby and their old lifestyle, Barney’s dealing with being single again after having decided to settle down, and Ted and Robin are dealing with relationships for the sake of being in a relationship. Ready, break!

Let’s start with Barney. Poor Barney. Seven years later, even though he has gotten over his incredible fear of commitment and took the plunge and proposed to Quinn (read, now that he and Quinn have broken up every single character has been in an engagement that fell apart), he doesn’t know how to deal with his emotions. He couldn’t do it when Robin and he split, he couldn’t do it when he met his father, and he can’t do it now. Enter “Bangtoberfest” and a t-shirt gun (yeah I want one of those), and Barney’s quest to pick up women in bigger and better ways, not being satisfied with the old reliables like dressing up as a policeman and telling girls he can “get them off.”

Meanwhile, Lily’s dad has shown up again, after he blew up the house (it’s unclear if the house is his own house or Marshall and Lily’s house on Long Island or if it’s another one). Marshall and Lily are in a desperate search for a Nanny, since Lily’s maternity leave is almost up, and Grandpa is desperate for the job, but Lily is not a fan. They find the perfect nanny, a regular old Mary Poppins, who they cannot remotely afford. As the search continues, there aren’t a lot of qualified candidates in their price range, until they find a young lady from St. Cloud! Marshall is already in love. Until she turns them down after she fell in love with a single dad/billionaire she met later that day, who turns out to be, you guessed it, Barney!

His latest gag to get girls? Interviewing Nannies and then sleeping with them. Very exciting. And very much screwing Marshall and Lily after their Minnesotan nanny leaves in a huff. Barney apologizes by hiring the perfect nanny for them (and giving Marshall some hotwheels), but it turns out, Lily isn’t ready to let go, figuratively and quite literally. She storms off to Marvin’s room and promptly falls asleep. When she wakes up Marshall’s home and Lily is holding a monkey instead of Marvin! But it’s okay, LIly’s dad is actually Mr. Mom! When he was being a deadbeat when Lily was younger, he was also a stay-at-home dad. If only he had never gone to the track races that first time. Lily hires him, and from the photos that flash afterwards, it looks like Chris Elliot is going to be around for awhile.

While all this is happening, Ted and Robin have a fight over who is in a better relationship, despite the fact that Nick is too emotional for Robin and Victoria is quite the slob. When they see how crazy Barney gets after the nannies find out about his scam and beat the crap out of him, they cling to their not-perfect relationships even tighter, although older Ted has told us that both relationships aren’t going to last that much longer.

What makes this show so great is its ability to roll with the times. Much of the episode was baby-centric, but it didn’t lose anything. It still had its snarky humor, it’s over-the-top twists and turns, and a lot of yuppies in a bar. Baby Marvin isn’t going to kill this show, which is a relief. Babies have in the past (I’m looking at you, Emma). Oh and also a hilarious bit at the end where Barney sleeps with the super-nanny. This show is still on fire.

2012 Emmy Nominations and Thoughts

Does it feel like the end of network television to you? It kind of does to me. Mad Men and American Horror Story tied for the mostSource: http://www.kpbs.org/news/2011/jan/06/masterpiece-classic-downton-abbey-part-one/ nominations and Downtown Abbey came in second. As an avid Downton fan I love the love it’s getting from Emmy, especially now that it’s been moved out of the mini-series category. It’s just slightly disappointing they did that this year, for a season that had so many ups and downs. I’m also incredibly excited for Game Change, which, despite being a TV movie, was one of the best films I’ve seen all year.

As far as snubs and surprises, you can read about them elsewhere. My problem with the Emmys has always been that the shows I watch never get nominated. Or at least are under-nominated. Where’s the love for the rest of the Game of Thrones cast? Didn’t Cobie Smulders have a superb year on How I Met Your Mother? The Emmys have six spots per category, you think they could spread the love a little bit.

Best comedy
The Big Bang Theory
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Girls
Modern Family
30 Rock
Veep

Best drama
Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Homeland
Mad Men

Lead actress in drama
Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law
Glenn Close, Damages
Claire Danes, Homeland
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

Lead actor in a drama
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damian Lewis, Homeland
Michael C. Hall, Dexter

Best competition reality show
The Amazing Race
Dancing with the Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
The Voice
Top Chef

Lead actress in a comedy
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Lead actor in a comedy
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis C.K., Louie
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Best supporting actress, comedy
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live

Best supporting actor, comedy

Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Max Greenfield, New Girl
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live

Best supporting actress, drama
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Best supporting actor, drama
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad
Brendan Coyle, Downton Abbey
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Jared Harris, Mad Men 

Best miniseries or movie
Game Change
American Horror Story
Hatfield & McCoys
Hemingway & Gellhorn
Luther
Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia

Best variety series
The Colbert Report 
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Real Time With Bill Maher 
Saturday Night Live 

Best animated program
American Dad
Bob’s Burgers
Futurama
The Penguins Of Madagascar: The Return Of The Revenge Of Dr. Blowhole
The Simpsons

Best non-competition reality program
Antiques Roadshow
Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution
MythBusters
Shark Tank
Undercover Boss
Who Do You Think You Are?

Best reality show host
Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
Betty White, Betty White’s Off Their Rockers
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With The Stars
Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance

Best guest actress in a comedy
Dot-Marie Jones, Glee
Maya Rudolph, Saturday Night Live
Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live
Elizabeth Banks, 30 Rock
Margaret Cho, 30 Rock
Kathy Bates, Two and a Half Men

Best guest actor in a comedy
Michael J. Fox, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Greg Kinnear, Modern Family
Bobby Cannavale, Nurse Jackie
Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live
Will Arnett, 30 Rock
Jon Hamm, 30 Rock

Best guest actress in a drama
Martha Plimpton, The Good Wife
Loretta Devine, Grey’s Anatomy
Jean Smart, Harry’s Law
Julia Ormond, Mad Men
Joan Cusack, Shameless
Uma Thurman, Smash

Best guest actor in a drama series
Mark Margolis, Breaking Bad
Dylan Baker, The Good Wife
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife
Dickie Bennett, Justified
Ben Feldman, Mad Men
Jason Ritter, Parenthood

Best lead actress in a miniseries or movie
Connie Britton, American Horror Story
Julianne Moore, Game Change
Nicole Kidman, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Ashley Judd, Missing
Emma Thompson, The Song Of Lunch (Masterpiece)

Best lead actor in a miniseries or movie
Woody Harrelson, Game Change
Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys
Bill Paxton, Hatfields & McCoys
Clive Owen, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Idris Elba, Luther
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia

Best supporting actress in a miniseries or movie
Frances Conroy, American Horror Story
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Sarah Paulson, Game Change
Mare Winningham, Hatfields & McCoys
Judy Davis, Page Eight (Masterpiece)

Best supporting actor in a miniseries or movie
Denis O’Hare, American Horror Story
Ed Harris, Game Change
Tom Berenger, Hatfields & McCoys
David Strathairn, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Martin Freeman, Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia (Masterpiece)

Best writing for a comedy
Chris McKenna, Community
Lena Dunham, Girls
Louis C.K., Louie
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Michael Schur, Parks and Recreation

Best writing for a drama
Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey
Alex Gansa, Gideon Raff, Howard Gordon, Homeland
Semi Chellas, Matthew Weiner, Mad Men
Andre and Maria Jacquemetton, Mad Men
Erin Levy, Matthew Weiner, Mad Men