Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Mad Men has never won an acting Emmy (0-19). Crazy, right? Hendricks is most well-positioned to end that dubious streak this year. It’d be easy to purely make Joan the office sexpot, but Hendricks has layered the redhead single mom with poise and confidence, and she was at the center of one of the most polarizing twists this season: Joan prostituting herself to secure the Jaguar account and a partnership stake. Regardless of your feelings about that development, we can all agree that Hendricks acted the hell out of that story line.