The Emmys  are here! Ever since the nominations  came out months ago, we've been speculating about who will take home those golden statuettes this year. With Netflix original series now competing, the race is tight. If you're planning on participating along with the show, make sure you print out a ballot  and pay close attention to the following picks!
—Additional reporting by Shannon Vestal
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Bryan Cranston lost out on the Emmy last year to Damian Lewis, but I don't see that happening again this year. Homeland season two wasn't quite so hot as season one, and it broke Cranston's three-year winning streak. That streak has been long for a reason; Cranston is one of the best actors in TV today, and I expect voters to get back on the bandwagon this year.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Modern Family is still one of the Emmy dominators, and the hilarious Julie Bowen is likely to keep her post as winner. This would be her third time in a row if she does win, and it would be well-deserved; the show is still one of network TV's funniest series, and Bowen continues to crack us up.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
It'll be tough to beat the men of Modern Family, but I think Girls' Adam Driver can do it. His character, Adam, may be complicated and polarizing, but Driver really got a chance to show what he could do in season two, when we got more insight into Adam and his alcoholism, his feelings for Hannah, and who he really is.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Anyone who tuned in for the first season of Bates Motel knows Vera Farmiga does a bang-up job as the fiercely protective mother to budding murderer Norman Bates. With a quick look, she transforms Norma from caring mama bear to disturbed shrew. Now that we've seen what Farmiga can do with Norma, it's impossible to imagine anyone else in the role.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Louis C.K. plays a guy who's pretty sad on Louie. At times he's apathetic about his kids, frequently inappropriate, and he'd like to get laid, but mostly he really just wants to be comfortable. Louis C.K.'s talent as creator, writer, producer, and star elevates what could be a completely unsympathetic character to a guy who everyone relates to, whether or not they want to admit it. Behind the camera or in front of it (but mostly in front of it), Louis C.K. deserves to be holding a trophy this year.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Julia Louis-Dreyfus  does such a pitch-perfect job as Vice President Selina Meyer that it's easy to forget that Louis-Dreyfus was best known for Elaine Benes. Selina is a selfish mess, but with Louis-Dreyfus at the helm, she also manages to be endearing, goofy, and one of TV's most watchable political characters of all time.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Can Aaron Paul bring home his third Emmy for Breaking Bad? I think so, especially considering that Paul just seems to get better, and appreciation for him as an actor also seems to be growing. The only man who could stand in his way? Homeland's Mandy Patinkin.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
At the center of Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra, Michael Douglas commands the spotlight. As the famously closeted entertainer, he plays the piano feverishly, coos at his lover (Matt Damon ), and sparkles on stage. While Damon (who's also nominated) is great, Douglas is brilliant as he positively transforms himself.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Maggie Smith truly has perfected the sophisticated but judgmental Dowager Countess during her tenure on Downton Abbey. Though at times steely and — dare I say — uppity, Smith provides a slight but visible tenderness when it comes to the Crawley family. It's the kind of depth that only Smith can provide, and she deserves a third Emmy for the role.
Outstanding Miniseries or Movie
Top of the Lake is dark, unsettling, and simply fascinating. The mystery from Jane Campion is as captivating as the characters, some of whom are as strange as they could possibly be. The show succeeds as a mystery, but also in creating its own unique world.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Did we mention how good the performances in Top of the Lake are? Elisabeth Moss  leads the cast as a detective on the case of a missing child. Now back in her hometown, she's also wrestling with her own demons from a horrific event in her past. Mad Men's Moss has shown she has chops before, but this powerful role proves she's no one-trick pony.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
As scene-stealing as she is in season one of American Horror Story, Sarah Paulson really ups her game for Asylum. She also has a much meatier role: a roving reporter who goes undercover at an institution, only to become trapped by even darker forces of evil than the nuns patrolling the hospital. Paulson manages to be broken yet cunning in a fascinating performance.
Outstanding Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Top of the Lake may not have been at the top of a lot of DVRs, but given the fantastic performances, it should have been. Peter Mullan pulls off an award-worthy performance as a local bully grieving the disappearance of his young daughter. Even while it looks like he may have had something to do with the incident, Mullan keeps the audience guessing.
Outstanding Comedy Series
Girls is nominated for outstanding comedy series for the second year in a row, and I think it has a great shot at winning this year (and beating Modern Family). Season two is better, deeper, and funnier than the first, and audiences had more of a chance to let the show (and its sometimes irritating characters) grow on them. Plus, they're coming off the big wins at the Golden Globes earlier this year, which might indicate that the tides are turning in Girls' favor.
Outstanding Drama Series
We'll give credit where credit is due: House of Cards totally blew up this year, and not just because of its standout performances. The writing is superb, the cinematography is artful, and the characters are well-rounded and believable, though extreme at times. The show isn't just impressive because it's one of Netflix's first forays into original programming, it is impressive because it is outstanding.