Is ‘Breaking Bad’ too gritty to win Best Drama Series at Emmys?

Whoever thought that a show about a drug kingpin who poisons little children, watches a woman die of a drug overdose and sets up the execution of nine men in order to save his own skin would be in the Emmy conversation?

But it is.

And according to Gold Derby’s experts, editors and users, “Breaking Bad” could very well win its first Best Drama Series trophy this year thanks to several factors — none of which seem to be its gritty nature.

Currently the fan-favorite meth series finds itself cooking in second place in our poll with 27/20 odds, behind only last year’s winner “Homeland” with leading 8/13 odds. Coming in third is “Downton Abbey” with 10/3 odds, then “Game of Thrones” with 4/1 odds, followed by four-time champ “Mad Men” with 4/1 odds.

While the show has never earned an Emmy for writing, directing or Best Drama Series, it has taken home an impressive five statues in acting — three for Bryan Cranston as Drama Lead Actor and two for Aaron Paul as Drama Supporting Actor. Both men are predicted to prevail yet again this year according to our exclusive polling.

A top score of 99% at Metacritic for its most recent season places “Breaking Bad” as one of the best-reviewed shows on television. In addition, the series won the top prize at this month’s Critics’ Choice Television Awards and also scored at recent kudos like the Writers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America.

We took to the Gold Derby forum to find out whether or not “Breaking Bad” has any hope at the top prize this year. Below are just some of your many responses. (See the entire lively discussion here.)

“I actually think this is the show’s best shot at winning yet. The competition is all scattered now, and every other show has factors hurting their chances somewhat, even ‘Homeland,'” said Renaton. “Whether it happens this year or next year I’m not sure, but I think it’s the one show that has only built more and more momentum each season.”

Taloson wrote, “Breaking Bad’s season aired a year ago but the fact that it will be airing its final eight episodes during voting will certainly help. People will be talking about it again and I think there’s an overdue factor that may occur.”

Karl William added, “I don’t think it’s too gritty. I think it is more that the subject matter just doesn’t fall in line with the other Drama Series winners. It would stick out like a sore thumb if it won. Everything else that has won has some eltist appeal. Even ‘The Sopranos’ and ’24’. ‘Breaking Bad’ just doesn’t have that. Of course it still deserves to win.”

BTN chimed in, “A lead can be a killer as a mobster [‘The Sopranos’] or a terroritst [‘Homeland’] but not a drug dealer? BB is now perfect for an Emmy win! It just hasn’t won yet! Maybe it is just a tapes issue and not content at all! The content is perfect Emmy material in almost every way!”

Regarding why “Breaking Bad” never won the top prize until now, Icky deduced, “It’s had to compete with a network mate [‘Mad Men’] since the beginning of its run that’s much more Emmy friendly and got to the big prize early.”

Atypical agreed, writing, “‘The Sopranos’ winning the Drama Series Emmy twice has rendered this ‘too gritty/too violent/too dark to win’ argument moot for shows that have followed it for the most part. I think the issue is more about ‘Breaking Bad’ having to go up against its AMC counterpart ‘Mad Men’ all of those years with that show having more Emmy-friendly, standalone tapes to submit to panels.”

Find out if “Breaking Bad’s” dark subject matter will be recognized when Emmy nominations are announced July 18. Neil Patrick Harris hosts the 65th Primetime Emmys on CBS Sept. 22.

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