'Hart of Dixie' Wins! How the Emmys Would Look If We Were Honest About Our "Guilty Pleasures"
I firmly reject the term "guilty pleasure" — after all, why should you ever feel guilty for liking what you like? It's like saying that you should feel badly for enjoying fried Oreos — yes, they're terrible for you, but why should you possibly feel bad for what your taste buds adore? The same goes for television. I watch a lot of it, but I don't always gravitate towards the "critically acclaimed" show du jour. Sure, Downton Abbey is a great show, but sometimes I want to watch a drama where things don't happen at a glacial pace. (Sorry, PBS.) Whether your so-called "vice" is scripted television that doesn't get its fair share of acclaim in the mainstream media or reality TV shows with "Real Housewives" in the title, you shouldn't be embarrassed about anything that you're watching. You just shouldn't expect these shows to win any Emmys, either.
The list of nominations for the 2014 Emmys is out, and even if you haven't taken a look at the list, you can probably imagine what and who is on it. Breaking Bad, True Detective, Mad Men, and Downton Abbey occupy nearly the entire list. That's totally acceptable — these shows are the cream of the crop — but it also makes the Emmys, well, kind of predictable. Imagine if the Emmys were occupied by a different set of shows — the ones that are often labeled simply unacceptable for award shows. Some of the shows below are critically panned, while others simply don't get the attention that they deserve due to their youth-skewing networks. (Troian Bellisario of Pretty Little Liars wrote an excellent essay about how the Emmys should give teen shows a shot.) So what would happen if the Emmys pandered to our so-called "guilty pleasures?"
Here's what a few of those categories might look like in an alternate universe.
Outstanding Lead Actress
Troian Bellisario, Pretty Little Liars
Nothing to be guilty about here: Troian's a true talent. Just check out her WIGS web series, Lauren, if PLL isn't enough evidence for you.
Candice Accola, The Vampire Diaries
Caroline Forbes is everything.
Kathryn Prescott, Finding Carter
If you watched Skins, you already know that this girl does a perfect American accent.
Rachel Bilson, Hart of Dixie
Zoe Hart is the next best thing to Summer Roberts.
Abby Lee Miller, Dance Moms
And you thought Walter White was an anti-hero.
Naya Rivera, Glee
Because the thought of watching another minute of Glee without Santana Lopez is too depressing for words.
If a reality star deserves an Emmy, it's Khloe. She writes all of those digs at Kim herself!
Outstanding Supporting Actress
Sasha Pieterse, Pretty Little Liars
She's like Regina George with superpowers on PLL.
Janel Parrish, Pretty Little Liars
Because she is able to make me legitimately afraid of an 18-year-old girl.
Ariel Winter, Modern Family
Modern Family is always nominated at the Emmys, but the younger cast is totally snubbed. At the end of the day, aren't we all Alex Dunphy?
Claire Holt, The Originals
If only we got to keep Rebekah a little bit longer. Sigh.
Amber Riley, Glee
Remember how Mercedes is flawless and is like, never on the show anymore? I'm just saying.
Kendall Jenner, Keeping Up With the Kardashians
She's clearly the rising star of the Jenner/Kardashian Klan. Whether or not that's a good thing is definitely TBD.
Outstanding Lead Actor
Nev Schulman, Catfish
I would never catfish you, Nev. Nev-er.
Avan Jogia, Twisted
Beau Mirchoff, Awkward
I'm still waiting for Matty to get his stuff together.
Ian Somerhalder, The Vampire Diaries
Whether you're Team Delena or Team Stefena, you can't not be Team Ian.
Dylan O'Brien, Teen Wolf
Tyler Hoechlin, Teen Wolf
Because you need the other half of Sterek.
Outstanding Supporting Actor
Keegan Allen, Pretty Little Liars
Scott Disick, Keeping Up With the Kardashians
Someone give Scott as spinoff already.
EJ Johnson, Rich Kids of Beverly Hills
His Instagram makes me want to hate him but he's kind of a riot, no?
Shawn Ashmore, The Following
The Following hardly ever gets love from the critics, but Shawn Ashmore's performance is constantly solid.
Colin O'Donoghue, Once Upon a Time
And you never thought you'd find Captain Hook attractive.
Outstanding Comedy Series
This show is ridiculous. And you totally love it.
Rich Kids of Beverly Hills
These 30-year-old kids have everything else, why not an Emmy nod?
Girl Meets World
Nostalgia is a powerful thing. Don't pretend like you didn't watch the pilot.
Real Housewives of Orange County
At the end of the day, this show is better than a sitcom.
Keeping Up With the Kardashians
It's The Brady Bunch, 2.0.
Outstanding Drama Series
Pretty Little Liars
Even if we never find out who A is, this deserves a place on the fantasy Emmys nomination list.
Once Upon a Time
Frozen is coming, so it's about time we all got onboard the OUAT train.
Did you see the Season 3 finale? It's getting good again!
A compelling kidnapping storyline and lots of eye candy? Why aren't you watching?
Literally more stressful than watching an episode of Breaking Bad.
Images: ABC Family; Getty Images; Disney