This Year's Emmy Nominations Surprises Like Lizzy Caplan & 'Silicon Valley' Shake Things Up

It's that time of year again, guys. Award season. Admittedly, award season never really ends. If you've ever been curious about how these kinds of things work, there's a behind-the-scenes look at the 2014 Emmy Awards that will help you out, but most people have just been waiting breathlessly for the nominees to be announced. Well, the wait is over. The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards will happen on August 25, 2014, but Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly announced the nominees on Thursday morning and there were some truly shocking names that made the list this year. Could it be that the likes of Lizzy Caplan and Silicon Valley are actually competing for an Emmy alongside giants like Kerry Washington and Modern Family?

Although Lizzy Caplan has been stealing the show as Virginia Johnson, one of the co-leads in Masters of Sex, she gets overshadowed by other, more buzz-worthy performances like, say, Kerry Washington every single time Washington dons the high heels and perpetual frown of Scandal's Olivia Pope. In fact, Downtown Abbey, Homeland, House of Cards, and The Good Wife have all been nominated for various Emmys before whereas Masters of Sex is a newcomer to the ceremony thanks to Caplan. While theoretically we all knew that Caplan had just as much of a chance to be nominated as anyone else, the fact still remains that she kind of stands out in the Lead Actress in a Drama Series category with the likes of Washington and Claire Danes. 

Then again, that's a good thing. If there's one thing we don't want the Emmys to be, it's predictable. What are some other nominations that took us by surprise?

Silicon Valley

Meanwhile, Silicon Valley is another newcomer to the Emmy Awards and is going up against some pretty huge names. The Big Bang Theory has been nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series for the last three years while Veep, Louie, Modern Family, and especially Orange is the New Black are so critically acclaimed and widely beloved that they would beat Silicon Valley based on sheer buzz alone. Silicon Valley is a great show, of course, but who can be bothered to pay attention to it when there's Veep and Orange is the New Black?

Jon Voight

Jon Voight also pulled an unexpected nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category as Mickey Donovan on Showtime’s Ray Donovan. This is Voight’s third Emmy nomination and his second as a Supporting Actor, but seeing Ray Donovan on the same list with supporting actors from Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland is more than a little jarring. All three of those shows get more press than Ray Donovan does and are nominated in a few other categories this year, so if Voight can pull a victory out of the ceremony in August then it would certainly be a pleasant surprise.

Kate Mara

Mara is a stranger to the Emmy Awards, but appearance as Zoe Barnes in House of Cards was apparently enough to turn the Academy's heads. She's competing against Allison Janney, Kate Burton, and Jane Fonda, so it's entirely possible that her chances aren't looking good. After all, Mara has been guest starring in television shows since 1997 and this is the first time she's been nominated for a Primetime Emmy. Still, there's a chance she might be the dark horse victory of her category; her 14 episode stint as Zoe Barnes definitely charmed a lot of people.

Reg E. Cathey

Cathy might be best known for his work on The Wire, but he's going to the Emmys this year for his reoccuring role as Freddy Hayes, the owner of Freddy's BBQ Joint, on House of Cards. Freddie's BBQ is part-restaurant, part base of operations, but the fact that Cathy only appeared in four episodes of House of Cards' second season didn't stop him from joining Joe Morton and Paul Giamatti on the list of potential Best Guest Actor winners. 

Katie Mulgrew

Of all the supporting actresses on Orange is the New Black, it was a bit of an eyebrow raiser to see an Emmy nod go out to the hardened, maternal kitchen boss Red, who experienced a pretty epic fall from grace before and after her prison sentence. It's one of those things that you never think of until it happens, really, because Mulgrew's storyline on Orange is the New Black has given her plenty of time to shine. Whether she can beat out Saturday Night Live's Kate McKinnon and Veep's Anna Chlumsky still remains to be seen.

Image: Showtime; Tumblr

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