September 19, 2011 12:00 PM

>When the trophies are handed out Sept. 18 on FOX, these winners would send me to bed happy

DRAMA

GAME OF THRONES

I wasn’t looking forward to HBO’s fantasy epic, thinking it would be a weekly dose of J.R.R. Tolkien glop. Instead it was a human-driven tale of strife and war, with a crown set in play and many, many heads sent rolling. Narrative TV at its best.

ACTRESS, COMEDY

MELISSA MCCARTHY, MIKE & MOLLY

McCarthy’s nutty, unblinkered turn in Bridesmaids may win her an Oscar. First, though, she deserves an Emmy for the sweet, warm naturalism of her performance as a teacher in love.

COMEDY

PARKS AND RECREATION

Amy Poehler’s NBC sitcom, both send-up and celebration of small-town America, has developed a comic sensibility that’s gently giddy. Key episodes of the past season hinged on a miniature horse named Li’l Sebastian. Who died.

ACTOR, DRAMA

STEVE BUSCEMI, BOARDWALK EMPIRE

This may be Mad Man Jon Hamm’s year, but Buscemi elevated a skinny, sourpuss crook out of Atlantic City to heroic stature. If that’s not worth a prize, what is?

ACTOR, COMEDY

LOUIS C.K., LOUIE

C.K.’s performance on his FX show is so bleakly minimal, it scarcely seems like acting. So just give him a trophy and call it best non-actor. He’s a sad goldfish staring out from the bowl, certain the water won’t be changed.

ACTRESS, DRAMA

JULIANNA MARGULIES, THE GOOD WIFE

Alicia Florrick, the nobly demure attorney Margulies plays on CBS’s sterling legal drama, was whipsawed by betrayal and romance in season 2—and finally showed how she felt.

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