Best Drama Series: What Will Win?

18 critics take on Breaking Bad vs. True Detective.

by | August 25, 2014 | Comments

The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards are here and we’ve been asking our esteemed Rotten Tomatoes critics to weigh in with their predictions. For the category of Outstanding Drama Series, there are six nominees: Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Mad Men, and True Detective. But you wouldn’t know it based on the 18 predictions below.

Breaking Bad will win and Breaking Bad should win. I think there’s maybe an outside chance that True Detective becomes the shiny new thing and it takes it, but I feel like there’s been enough backlash against True Detective in the last few months.Alan Sepinwall, HitFix

It was a real event. It’s the one season with these characters and this cast.Bonnie Stiernberg, Paste Magazine

Because it’s Breaking Bad‘s last year, it’s definitely going to go to them.Drew Grant, New York Observer

Even though it’s been over for a while, the voters understand that it is one of the best series of all time and they will want to be on the right side of history.Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe

I hate to use the cliche “stuck the landing,” but that’s what Breaking Bad did with its powerful finale.Lori Rackl, Chicago Sun-Times

I love Game of Thrones and True Detective was one of the best break-out series of all time, but Breaking Bad was one full movie from episode one of season one until the last episode of season five. So it was a complete series. It was the best written show in the history of television. It has to win.Kristian Harloff, Schmoes Know

It’s pretty close between True Detective and Breaking Bad. I have a feeling that True Detective might win just because there’s been so much chatter and they did give it to Breaking Bad last year.Michelle Stark, Tampa Bay Times

It’s going to be between Breaking Bad and True Detective. I think most people are predicting Breaking Bad, and that’s what my official prediction would be to win, but I’d much rather see True Detective pull it off. I just don’t think that any other show is going to come out that’s going to be like that again, even in its second season, so I’d like to see it honored for what it is this year.Ben Travers, IndieWire

It’s going to be really close and if True Detective wins, I will not be surprised. It’s going to come down to whether the number of people who have forgotten that Breaking Bad was on in the last TV season will be greater or smaller than the number of people disappointed by the True Detective finale. Todd VanDerWerff, Vox Media

One last chance to award a program the Academy has clearly loved in the past, and maybe True Detective wins it next year.

Brian Tallerico,

Breaking Bad: the most brilliantly structured, cast, written and directed novelistic television of the year.Joanne Ostrow, Denver Post

The ending of Breaking Bad is the best ending of a series I’ve ever seen, but I think True Detective is going to win because it has so much buzz and because it McConaughey is so popular.Eric Deggans, NPR

With True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto dogged by hardly specious accusations of plagiarism, the question becomes not whether the series can win over Breaking Bad’s incredible swan song, but whether it will even return for a second season.

Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine

You could have a spoiler in the form of Game of Thrones or House of Cards or True Detective. But if I were doing a pool, I would go with Breaking Bad.

Betsy Bozdech, Common Sense Media

This race is a tough one to call, to be sure. It comes down to the star power and novelty of True Detective vs. the legacy of Breaking Bad. Yes, it won last year. Yes, it aired so long ago. But I’m going with my heart on this one, and giving the edge to Breaking Bad.

Debra Birnbaum, Variety

Newbie True Detective and old hand Game of Thrones are formidable contenders, but the final eight episodes of Vince Gilligan’s masterpiece are in a league of their own.

Tim Goodman, Hollywood Reporter

True Detective might be the buzziest show, but the ending was polarizing, and a recent plagiarism controversy could hurt its chances. Plus, it’s hard to beat the near-universal love for Bad, which finally won its first series Emmy last year and will never get that chance again.Melissa Maerz, Entertainment Weekly

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