Emmys 2012: What Should Win Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series? Take Our Poll!

Mad Men has taken home the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series in three of the last four years, and it’s certainly got a stacked deck in this year’s race.

Indeed, three-fifths of the 2012 nominees in the category are episodes from AMC’s accalimed period drama: “The Other Woman” (written by Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner), “Commissions And Fees” (written by Andre Jacquemetton and Maria Jacquemetton), and “Far Away Places” (written by Matthew Weiner and Semi Chellas).

The only two programs with a chance to upend Mad Men are newcomers to the category: Downton Abbey (nominated for “Episode 7,” written by Julian Fellowes) and Homeland (nominated for its “Pilot,” written by Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, and Gideon Raff).

What would you do if you had the power to honor one of these fine shows when the Emmys are handed out in September? Choose your favorite in our poll below — TVLine voting closes Sept. 14, so act now! — then hit the comments to justify your pick!

Every day for the next month, we’ll launch another “Who Should Win” Emmy poll, so come back to TVLine.com every day to weigh in on who’s most worthy of TV’s biggest honor, and to stay up to speed on all our races, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Bender says:

    Homeland should be the one to win this.

  2. Whatever says:

    Homeland !

  3. nick1372 says:

    Homeland’s writing is not its high point. But it’s still fantastic and should win.

  4. TigerNightmare says:

    Homeland. Also, it’s kind of annoying that they couldn’t just pick the best of the Mad Men episodes and nominate two other shows instead of 1/4 of their damn season.

  5. Kaulbach Kurt-James says:

    Hi Michael,

    I won’t vote on this one because I’ve yet to watch Mad Men’s fifth season, but isn’t it so EMMY-unfair to tout three separate episodes from one series as worthy of an award more than one episode from other remarkable series like ‘Boss’, ‘Justified’, ‘American Horror Story’, or ‘The Good Wife’, to name only a few? Emmy looks sillier and sillier each year, congratulating the same television as before while watchers wonder at the value of the prize-worthy programming that goes ignored. ‘Downton’ as a whole was OK this year, but sped up in pace, too hearty with the melodrama, and at times blazingly preposterous (OMG he wasn’t paralyzed after all!) I was let down and insulted. EMMY, your politics and policies undermine the legitimacy of your award. EMMY has ridden long on her longevity as the industry standard for quality television, but that nag is coming to the end of her relevancy.

    • Adam says:

      It isn’t unfair. Despite how the nominations are listed on website, the awards for this category are really going to the writers – who are different people, not one entity – for their work on the show, but not for the show itself. It would be more unfair to disqualify one writer solely on the grounds that their coworkers was arbitrarily recognized over their equally deserving work.

      • Kaulbach Kurt-James says:

        Of course all commendation goes to the writers here, but nominating three episodes of Mad Men, despite who or how many wrote each, is not a fair assessment of a broadening television landscape (I’m talking cable, mostly) where exceptional writing can be found in places you’d least expect (Who knew USA network would ever produce solid foods like ‘Political Animals’?) I love Mad Men, but do I believe the talent behind the scenes deserve three out of five nominations? Not when I’m differently impressed elsewhere, several times a year.

        • Michael says:

          I don’t think that the process is unfair. If the two best episodes in drama came from the same show and were written by different writers, so be it. I don’t think that the list is an accurate one but my taste in television is obviously different than the tastes of the emmy voters’. I think the show’s selection process is unfair and biased by nature. If all of the Emmy voters were forced to watch each and every submission, we might have a fairer assessment of the performances. Since we all know that the voters do not watch all of the shows or even the less time-consuming submissions, the nominations are bogus to begin with(I’m not saying that the nominees aren’t deserving, only that all of the potential nominees aren’t considered in the end.).

          • Kaulbach Kurt-James says:

            You brought it home for me with your last line, so we’re in agreement. I tend to be outraged by poor representation and it annoys to know the “highest honor in television” does not represent all of television. The ceremony also can’t afford to betray the “major” networks by ignoring their programming, so benign, harmless retreads can suck up the nods too. Ugh, are there no institutions on this planet uncorrupted, unbought? I don’t believe anyone ever tried to tout television as an honest medium, but evolution is always on the table.

    • nick1372 says:

      AHS is a miniseries, therefore not eligible for episode-specific awards

  6. MikeyM says:

    So…so tired of Madmen. Give it to someone else.

  7. buffy522 says:

    So many jaw dropping episodes of Breaking Bad, and no noms. Crazy.

  8. sandy holl says:

    where is hart hanson from Bones’, that is the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • J14 says:

      lol, yeah right. Bones nominated for anything haha

    • Jaime says:

      I know everyone has different tastes, but IMO you can’t compare a well-done, albeit generic, procedural with some of the incredibly nuanced writing in these nominated episodes.

      Just my opinion, but I hear a lot Bones fans screaming that its the best show on TV (Not something that you did, just a general observation in the internet), which is really not true.

  9. Matt says:

    The Other Woman was fantastic, that should win!!!!!!

  10. godzilla's foil says:

    I might be out on a limb here, but I guess the general audience would vote for the series, not for the writing in a particular episode in something like this. It’s difficult for “us” to remember partial, specific plots in a serialized show and most series don’t show the name of the episode beforehand, so we never remember what episode was what exactly. For the life of me, I watched the whole of Mad Men and still have absolutely no idea of which those three episodes are in the long run. It’s much easier to vote for the pilot of Homeland, then.

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      I think it’s easy enough to know the episodes, but maybe that’s just me. (SPOILERS coming if you’re not interested in seeing them people. Are you ready? Are you sure you’re ready? Is this enough of a warning to stop reading?) Commissions and Fees: Lane kills himself! The Other Woman: Joan prostitutes herself! Peggy quits the firm! Far Away Places: Roger takes LSD! Don abandons Megan in a strange city with no money! Peggy lets a stranger unload on her in a movie theater! (exclamation points done in the style of TVLine Mad Men episode descriptions.)

      • godzilla's foil says:

        Thanks for the aptly done recaps, Britta Unfiltered. Of course in a way I was just being lazy and could have looked online for the main plots in each episode. Still, I think it’s hard for most of us to particularize the actual writing in this or that episode as outstanding — was it the dialogue? the tied-up situations? the approach of a subject? the main plot(s)? that particular twist in the end — or maybe the cliffhanger? You see, it’s not easy to identify. The best we (I) could do is say “the writing in Mad Men is truly great”.

  11. Britta Unfiltered says:

    I feel pretty torn between the Homeland pilot, The Other Woman, and Commissions and Fees. Far Away Places was okay, but that scene with Peggy giving the hand job to a stranger in the movie theater was too gross for words, and I wouldn’t vote for it just based on that. The Other Woman was such an interesting episode in the controversy that it created among the fans and it was a game changer of an episode for more than a few characters on the show; Joan, Peggy, was the beginning of the end for Lane, and took Pete to new heights of sleaziness. Homeland is of course a spectacular show, but I’m surprised to see the pilot is the episode the Emmy voters chose to represent the series. Why not The Vest or The Weekend or Marine One? In the end I voted for Commissions and Fees. Before nominations were announced, that and The Other Woman were the two drama episodes I wanted to see get nominated for writing and direction the most. (Okay, that and Crawl Space and Salud for Breaking Bad, but neither of those made it in since the Emmy voters are choosing to include that soap opera Downton Abbey instead. Barf.) Commissions and Fees I went back and rewatched a couple of weeks ago. It still makes me cry. I think The Other Woman might take the award for reals though.

  12. Marsaili says:

    Nothing from Game of Thrones? NOTHING?

  13. lucaltair815 says:

    Voted for Homeland’s Pilot, but Breaking Bad should be there with Hermanos or Crawl Space.