The 42nd annual NAACP Image Awards are just hours away, and we thought we’d expand a bit on our initial excitement about this year’s nominees. So what better way to do it than with fantasy picks? We took a look at just a few of the categories and picked our favorites. Some might be shoe-in’s, others might be stretches. But an editorial team can dream, can’t it? Have others? Leave them in the comments.

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series: Vanessa Williams on Desperate Housewives. Because who isn’t still having Wilhelmina Slater withdrawals?

Outstanding Comedy Series: 30 Rock. Tracy Jordan’s bid for “serious actor” legitimacy is hilarious.


Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series: Regina King in Southland. Her performance is so measured and smart. She’s the most underrated actress in Hollywood.

Outstanding Variety: Black Girls Rock! For the “Four Women” tribute and bcs…Black girls rock.

Outstanding Reality Series: Um, where’s Real Housewives of Atlanta?

Outstanding New Artist: Willow Smith. Because child labor laws notwithstanding, that Smith family’s really going places.

Outstanding Male Artist: Cee Lo Green. We generally dig everything he does. And apparently, we’re not alone.

Outstanding Female Artist: Sade. It’s Sade!

Outstanding Duo: John Legend and The Roots. John Legend may have some questionable positions on education reform, but this collabortion was pretty hot. And available to listen to free.

Outstanding Song: Un-thinkable (I’m Ready) Alicia Keys

Outstanding Music Video: Willow, Whip My Hair. We, too, whip our hair on occasion. And even if we don’t have any, we make it work.

Outstanding Literary Work (Non-Fiction): The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. by Michelle Alexander. Puts our wretched criminal justice system into political perspective.

Warmth-of-Other-Sun_571052c.jpgOutstanding Literary Work (Debut Author): The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson. Beautifully written. Exhaustively researched. Probably one of, if not the most, important books of the year.

Outstanding Motion Picture: For us, the jury’s still out on Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls.

Outstanding Independent Motion Picture: La Mission. As Julianne Hing wrote back in January, it’s a beautiful film, heartbreaking and honest. And it’s based in San Francisco, which is only the greatest place on earth.