10 Times Someone Should Have Won an Emmy For Mad Men

With AMC’s Mad Men now at a close and the Emmy Awards just around the corner, it ought to be necessary to explore the various nominations the cast has received over its 8 year run. Despite currently being tied with The West Wing with 4 wins as the most decorated Drama Series of all time, Mad Men currently has a curse upon it and has one more chance to break it come September 20th: The show has managed to grab 34 acting nominations without any of them ever becoming a win. This is a Primetime Emmy record. While this may be so, there are many instances when cast members who were nominated SHOULD have won, or very easily could have won, with the submission episodes they gave to the voting committee.

Below are 10 of examples of when a Mad Men cast member should have, or easily could have won the Emmy:

Jon Hamm The WheelYear: 2008
Category: Jon Hamm for Best Actor in a Drama Series
Episode: Season 1, Episode 13: The Wheel
Why: Don’s speech during his wheel presentation for Kodak is enough to make the toughest of individuals have their heart break with Don when he realizes mid-speech that his marriage ultimately won’t last.
Lost to: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

Elisabeth Moss MediationsYear: 2009
Category: Elisabeth Moss for Best Actress in a Drama Series
Episode: Season 2, Episode 13: Meditations in an Emergency
Why: Peggy finally comes to accept her past and her actions in this episode in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis, but more astounding for Peggy in this episode is her “confession” scene with Pete Campbell. This will forever be one of the most extraordinary scenes in the history of Mad Men.
Lost to: Glenn Close, Damages

Christina Hendricks Guy WalksYear: 2010
Category: Christina Hendricks for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Episode: Season 3, Episode 6: Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency
Why: This episode is Joan at her most vulnerable in the series, to which she had to maintain her poise that all was well despite the realization she has unnecessarily sacrificed everything she has ever loved for a false reason.
Lost to: Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife

Jon Hamm The SuitcaseYear: 2011
Category: Jon Hamm for Best Actor in a Drama Series
Episode: Season 4, Episode 7: The Suitcase
Why: This will forever be the pinnacle of insulting award losses associated with Mad Men due to the caliber of raw acting Jon Hamm provided in this episode. “The Suitcase” is undoubtedly the best episode of the series primarily because this is the episode that blatantly answers the question of ‘who is Don Draper.’ More telling is this is the episode that we as the audience see Don at his lowest and most vulnerable. Why? Because he has lost the only person who ever loved him for him.
Lost to: Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights

Elisabeth Moss The SuitcaseYear: 2011
Category: Elisabeth Moss for Best Actress in a Drama Series
Episode: Season 4, Episode 7: The Suitcase
Why: In order for the episode to work with Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss needed to be in top form to be his equal in this episode. Just like Don, Peggy experiences loss and has the realization that she isn’t as smart as she believes herself to be. Yet what makes her performance so profound in this episode is how, despite their complicated past, she stands by and emotionally supports Don, almost as a sister would a brother.
Lost to: Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

John Slattery Hands and KneesYear: 2011
Category: John Slattery for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Episode: Season 4, Episode 10: Hands and Knees
Why: The episode that Roger Sterling loses the one account that is the very foundation of Sterling-Cooper is perhaps one of the most telling episodes for the series, to which Roger’s incompetence and utter inexperience clearly is unveiled. Roger’s groveling is almost embarrassing to watch. This was Slattery at his finest in the series.
Lost to: Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

Randee Heller Mad MenYear: 2011
Category: Randee Heller for Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Episode: Season 4, Episode 9: The Beautiful Girls
Why: Heller’s Mrs. Blankenship was perhaps one of the most hysterical and memorable characters in the history of recurring Mad Men characters. While her presence was brief on the show, Heller was the perfect opposite to Don Draper and what he was commonly accustomed to with his secretaries. Heller’s blunt, and sometimes offensive, remarks only made audiences crave more of her.
Lost to: Loretta Devine, Grey’s Anatomy

Jared HarrisYear: 2012
Category: Jared Harris for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Episode: Season 5, Episode 12: Commissions and Fees
Why: No words can convey the level of tragedy and heartbreak Jared Harris instilled into this episode that has carried over for the remainder of this show. He may have lost to a worthy adversary in this award year, but that award should have had Harris’ name on it.
Lost to: Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad

Christina Hendricks Other WomanYear: 2012
Category: Christina Hendricks for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Episode: Season 5, Episode 11: The Other Woman
Why: Joan makes the ultimate sacrifice in this episode for the company, to which her very demeanor, and how others perceive her, forever changed on the show. Hendricks’ acting in this episode is extremely subtle, but so profound by how she was able to repress her emotions, while also conveying humiliation and shame in her body language. This episode currently stands as Christina Hendricks’ best work on Mad Men.
Lost to: Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Robert Morse WaterlooYear: 2014
Category: Robert Morse for Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Episode: Season 7, Episode 7: Waterloo
Why: Robert Morse was always a presence as Bert Cooper in Mad Men since the beginning of the show but never was his presence more relevant and notable in the season 7 finale. What especially was flawless in this episode was Morse’s song-and-dance number that concluded the season, which clearly utilized Morse’s past as a Broadway actor. Click the video below to see the dance number.
Lost to: Joe Morton, Scandal

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