Your 2012 Emmy Crash Course

With only three days left until the Emmys, we have some serious cramming to do. In order to prepare, we’ve mapped out the most important episodes to watch, based on nomination submissions, buzz, numbers, and a personal favorite or two. We realize ten episodes is a lot, but if you dedicate yourself to pajamas and Seamless (that wasn’t a plug), we believe you can get through these by Sunday (when the ceremony airs on ABC, 8pm ET). Have a favorite episode that you think should have been submitted or included on this list? Any predictions you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!

Mad Men: “The Other Woman” 

The AMC drama tied with American Horror Story for the most nominations, at 17, and is on the verge of making history. If Mad Men wins Outstanding Drama for the fifth year in a row, it will be the most a series has ever won in the category (surpassing Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, and The West Wing).

“The Other Woman” is often ranked alongside “The Suitcase,” and was certainly the most controversial episode of the year, spawning debates and discussion like wildfire over the question: Should Joan have done it? (Women, would you have?) At the same time, the episode marked the unforgettable departure of Peggy (see above clip). “The Other Women” earned the series Outstanding Writing and Directing nominations, as well as nods to Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, and Christina Hendricks. Remarkably, no actor or actress in the history of Mad Men has won an Emmy individually, but Hamm (who has been nominated every season the show has aired) and Hendricks’ odds are looking good. Up against Claire Danes of Homeland, Moss may be the long shot of the bunch.