Let's get serious for a moment, Emmy voters. -- Lead actor and actress in a drama series. (suggestions for outstanding comedy and drama series will be posted tomorrow.) Please use this list of recommendations as your own personal cheat sheet. Cool. Oh, and I will be checking the picks against the official nominations when they come out on July 16. You know, just to see.
Best Actor (Drama)
* Gabriel Byrne (In Treatment): He bared his soul as his shrink got shrunk.
* Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights): The series' heart and soul never punts. Ever.
* Michael Chiklis (The Shield): He made his character sympathetic right down to his final despicable act. That's art.
* Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad): I'm not a fan of reruns, but c'mon, last year's winner deserves a repeat.
* Hugh Laurie (House): He kissed Cuddy, lost Kutner, saw dead people, and got committed. 'Nuff said.
* Denis Leary (Rescue Me): Fired up about the show's creative resurgence? Thank the guy who fanned the flame.
Best Actress (Drama)
* January Jones (Mad Men): Played the ultimate desperate housewife with remarkable restraint.
* Regina King (Southland): Her complicated, compassionate cop is the standout in a top-notch ensemble.
* Jeanne Tripplehorn (Big Love): When her devout character was excommunicated, it was a religious experience for me, too!
* Glenn Close (Damages): So sharp, she cut clean through a scattered season 2.
* Evangeline Lilly (Lost): She parted ways with "son" Aaron and delivered the mother of all performances.
* Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men): Masterfully conveyed the quiet pain of giving up a child.