66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

Emmy Drama Guest Actress

Hi there. You’re still reading Tit for Tat’s 66th Emmy coverage. After analyzing the comedy guest actress and drama guest actor tapes earlier this week, let’s move on to their counterparts by beginning this one with the Guest Actress Drama category. it is interesting to note that three of last year’s nominees are back again but without current champ Carrie Preston of The Good Wife to defend her throne. As a matter of fact, it seemed like CBS’ plan backfired as they only had Preston as the sole guest actress of the show to be considered and the Emmys snubbed it altogether. Anyway, as for the nominees.

The Emmys continue its stupid decision of ignoring The Americans outside of Margo Martindale. This year, she gets her consecutive nod for her performance as Claudia for the show. While she clearly lacks in screentime in her submission Behind the Red Door, her only moments happened at the near start and the near end of the episode, so that might work for her, but while her reveal at the end was dramatic, it was a bit low key or calm to elicit a winning performance for this nomination.

On the other hand, another consecutive nominee Jane Fonda was all shouts and all sparks in her submission Red Team III for The Newsroom as she gave a five minute speech and lecture to boost the whole news team after they submitted their resignation. That said, she’s hurt by the new policy that guest tapes aren’t edited down since her only appearance happens in the last five minutes so those not fan of the show will have to endure the first 54 minutes or so before they’ll witness Fonda’s moments in this episode.

After a seven year hiatus, Allison Janney comes back with a bang by picking up two nominations for her performances in two different genres in two different shows. Like her on-screen husband Beau Bridges, she’s also nominated for her turn in Masters of Sex, and while her episode Brave New High isn’t necessarily the type of tapes that win here, she provides a very devastating and poignant take of a woman who never had an orgasm. It was heartbreaking and emotional, and I think she nailed her submission.

From a snub for her season-long performance last year, Kate Mara gets herself a nomination for a short stint in the sophomore season of House of Cards. While she only has Episode 14 as her sole submission, it is that one episode that heavily involved her character in it. And I think that’s more than enough. After all, that same episode was just nominated in Writing and Directing for this year, so it clearly has its fans in the panel.

Receiving her third nomination in this category (for another Shonda Rhimes show), Kate Burton was on fire in her episode A Door Makred Exit. The cold open actually begins with her story, and it is scenery chewing at its finest. She continues to get this big scenes one after the other and I guess it all depends on the panel assigned in this one if they prefer the soap opera melodrama of the show because if they do, then an Emmy on her way is really feasible. To be fair to Burton, she’s one of the only two people in the ensemble (the other being Emmy snubbed(!!!) Bellamy Young) who clearly has a grasp of what the show’s nature is about, so there’s that.

Last but certainly not the least (or well maybe she really is) is Dame Diana Rigg for her role as Lady Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones. I will not be surprised if voters who will watch the tapes will be surprised that there isn’t really anything about this submission or her season long performance that deserve a nomination, but at this point, the only thing supporting her is if the Emmys has a real (and I mean really hard, Viagra hard) hard-on for Game of Thrones. Otherwise, it is a filler nod at most.

Last year, I predicted Jane Fonda with her speech and her status in the industry, and while I don’t think she was  shoo-in then, I really don’t think I’ll put myself in the same position of predicting her again. As a matter of fact, the three repeater nominees this year are the three weaker contenders in this race. I think I’ll call this the battle of the wives with gay husbands. Whether they’ll go with out outlandish histrionics of Kate Burton or the subtle and more quiet approach by Allison Janney, I won’t really be surprised. It’s too close, but I’ll be giving this one to Allison Janney. This year is her major TV comeback, and I’m sure Emmy(s) would be the cherry on top of her cake. Dark horse position goes to Kate Mara though. She can push herself to a win (pun intended) especially if there is a strong love for the House of Cards train (sorry I can’t help it :D)

Prediction: Allison Janney, “Masters of Sex
Alternate: Kate Burton, “Scandal

Full Rankings:
01. Allison Janney, “Masters of Sex
02. Kate Burton, “Scandal
03. Kate Mara, “House of Cards
04. Jane Fonda, “The Newsroom
05. Margo Martindale, “The Americans
06. Diana Rigg, “Game of Thrones

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

Emmy Drama Guest Actor

Hi there! You’re still following Tit for Tat’s 2014 Emmy coverage, as I discuss and predict the people whose names will be called come the Emmy ceremony next month. Last week, we focused on the longform categories, but this week is all about the guest actors and actresses. For this particular post though, let’s put the spotlight on our drama guest actors.

Dylan Baker continues his alternate pattern of getting Guest Actor nominations for The Good Wife in its odd seasons after picking up nods for Seasons 1 and 3. For his third bid, he submitted the episode Tying the Knot where he meets path with Alicia again. However, it seems like he was an extra in this episode as the focus was on Alicia’s participation in the trial and he was mostly in reaction shots for the entire episode.  He had better episodes before and if he can’t win for those, I doubt things will change this time around.

Despite winning four Best Drama Series and being nominated for 32 nods collectively, Mad Men still hasn’t won any acting award. Robert Morse in his last bid in this category (and his fifth one) tries to finally bring the show’s first one. In the season finale Waterloo, we see this long time character bid farewell to the show in his last episode. There’s nothing much that has happened for the duration of his episode until the last five minutes where he performs “The Best Things in lives Are Free.” It is arguably the most memorable performance from all the nominated reels, and I won’t be surprised if he siphoned votes for it, but I think it’s still low key in the context of his competition.

Prior to the nominations, it was current champ Dan Bucatinsky who was expected to make a comeback in this category and even a run for a back to back victory. Come announcement though, it was co-guest star Joe Morton who sees his name in the running for this year. Playing Olivia’s manipulative father, Morton’s Papa Pope is every inch competitive in his submission “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” It shows the history of his character with lots of confrontation with Kerry Washington’s character. This has range and is a very showy performance, and if we look at the history of this category, they tend to favor this type of acting here.

Speaking of father, House of Cards Reg E. Cathey was one of this year’s surprise nominees. His nomination basically came out of nowhere. But if you watch his submission, you know he’s every inch competitive in this race. In Chapter 22, his friendship with Francis Underwood’s character was put into jeopardy when issues involving Freddy’s son pop up and that it might affect and cost Underwood any negative publicity. I think it is an advantage to him that his episode showed his complete arc and that eh was very sympathetic in it. While he wasn’t totally shouty in his delivery, it still has a huge impact given the context of his submission.

While Oscar winner Shirley Maclaine was snubbed for the second year in a row, Oscar nominee Paul Giamatti did not have any problems earning another Emmy nomination for his turn in Downton Abbey. As Harold Levinson in his submission Episode 8, this American visiting Downton Abbey, he wasn’t really given much to do. He has a really small arc botched in random parts of the episode, and he’s not even the stand out of it, so I think it’s a case of name checking. That said, it can also put him to an advantage being the most “prominent” name in this line up, which is a bad scenario to think.

Last but certainly not the least is Beau Bridges earning his 15th career Emmy nod for Masters of Sex. By now, its pretty obvious that he is some sort of a favorite with 3 wins already under his belt. In his submission, the season finale episode Manhigh, Bridges finally reveals to his wife a well kept secret of his youth. He also gets another moment in his episode when he was put under pressure for some hospital decisions. It was mostly a calm performance, and even his admissions scene wasn’t fireworks-y, but his association in his episode was naturally integrated and he blends in well with the whole ensemble.

Months ago, I was certain that Beau Bridges would easily win this race. Don’t get me wrong, I still think he’s in the race and his last Emmy win was 17 years ago, so he’s sort of due for another win. That said, I can’t discount Joe Morton’s totally showy performance here especially after the wins of Paul McCrane and Dan Bucatinsky, it seems like they prefer the very visible acting type here. However, I’m going with Reg E. Cathey pulling off a Glynn Turman win here (and no it’s not because they are both black actors). My comparison stems from the idea that he is a long time working veteran character actor  whose arc is one that elicits the most sympathy here  (both dealing with their sons) and he was shown many times in his submission provided with a complete arc. I just feel that it’s one that will have the most passionate fans from the voters that can propel him to a win. I mean if he can pull off the surprise nomination, then a win isn’t out of grasp as well. Now go watch Joe Morton win this then (lol).

Prediction: Reg E. Cathey, “House of Cards”
Alternate: Joe Morton, “Scandal

Full Rankings:
01. Reg E. Cathey, “House of Cards”
02. Joe Morton, “Scandal
03. Beau Bridges, “Masters of Sex
04. Robert Morse, “Mad Men
05. Paul Giamatti, “Downton Abbey
06. Dylan Baker, “The Good Wife

You can check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series   Leave a comment

Emmy Comedy Guest Actress

Now that I’m done with the TV movie and miniseries categories, let’s now begin to dissect the guest acting categories of the drama and comedy series of the past television season. For today, we’ll be highlighting the Guest Actress in a Comedy Series nominees. While I personally am still opposed with combining variety performers into this, it seems like they’re here to stay, but I wish there was room for Sarah Baker in Louie, which will definitely make my personal ballot for this year. Now as for the actual nominees…

Proving that she really has a hold in the guest actress category may it be drama or comedy, Joan Cusack gets her fourth consecutive nomination as Sheila Jackson in Shameless. Not only is she still the most nominated actor from her show, but she still has a perfect track record when it comes to getting nods for all her seasons. The move to comedy is an advantageous move for this one SNL regular since her submission this year is indeed funny. In “Liver, I Hardly Know Her“, we see Sheila resort to an alternative cheaper plan in order to fix Frank’s liver problems only to see it go awry. This ended with a glorious moment for Sheila when she decided to marry Frank in the hospital.

Speaking of SNL ladies, we have Tina Fey getting her fourth nod as well in this category, once again, for hosting the season opener of SNL. At this stage, as much as I love Tina, this is just name checking on their part since she’s not even the focus of this episode, and even her cold opening has her giving the spotlight to the newbie cast members of the said show. Her only funny bit in this is the Girls parody and that happened in the first segment after the intro. The rest of the episode has her but on a limited use.

The other SNL host nominated this year is Melissa McCarthy who’s now enjoying her third bid in this category as a host for this variety program. While I’m still confused how she lost the first year (though in hindsight that was Kathy Bates playing Charlie Sheen, so I should have known better), her material keeps on getting weaker over the years. The same can be said about her hosting stint this year, though I must admit that of all six episodes here, she has the broadest (re: in your face) comedic style in her episode. She gets to be physically funny and does her usual “angry woman” shctick in it. On one hand, this might work to her advantage, but on the other, if she was passed up the last two years, I don’t see how it will all change up for this year then? I have to say though that between Fey and her, the latter’s submission is miles ahead better than the former.

And dominating this category is Orange is the New Black filling up half of the six slots in this lineup. Getting that surprise nod is Natasha Lyonne who plays Nicky Nichols on the show. Lyonne’s submitted episode “WAC Pack” fortunately is a flashback of her character so that works well on her side. But then again, she shares the flashback scenes with that of Laura Prepon’s character, and hers was the dramatic arc of the episode. It has her dealing with the drug addiction, and seeing a mother in Red, and I don’t know if that’s enough to stand out in this race.

Laverne Cox also gets a flashback of her own in the Directing nominee episode “Lesbian Request Denied” which was directed by Jodie Foster nonetheless. As Sophia, we have witnessed in this episode how she deal with her gender reassignment operation and unlike, Lyonne, she was the focus of this episode. It is an open secret though that it wasn’t Cox who played the male version of Sophia in the episode and it was her twin brother, so I don’t know if it will affect the voting pattern. Methinks that people won’t even realize that, and think that it is Cox doing double duties which can work well on her favor.

Lastly, submitting the same episode as co-star Cox is one of TV’s breakout stars Uzo Aduba. Sure it’s crazy (eyes! LOL) to think that she submitted the episode which has her co-nominee’s flashback, but when you watch it, Aduba’s moments were the comedic breathers of the said submissions. In this, she gets to be totally crazy with Piper’s character calling her “dandelion” and following her everywhere. The episode also ends with Suzanne doing a “revenge” to Piper after her continuous dismissal of her. It is a pure comedic performance as compared to the two other Orange ladies.

While I’m not sure if Orange is the New Black will be rewarded with acting wins for lead star Taylor Schilling or supporting actress veteran Kate Mulgrew, I think it will find its win over here. I see it as a two person race between Uzo Aduba and Laverne Cox. Aduba needs to overcome the great moments that Cox had in their submission, though the buzz for her is really growing. However, one factor that might be telling in figuring this out is that the guest tapes aren’t edited for the first time this year, so that puts her at some sort of a disadvantage. Add the fact that it will be a historical moment if the Emmy makes a statement of rewarding a transexual, and I predict Laverne Cox to win the Emmy here via a strong combo of submission and narrative. If they’re not in a giving mood for Orange here, then expect Melissa McCarthy to finally grab a win in this category then.

Prediction: Laverne Cox, “Orange is the New Black
Alternate: Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black

Full Rankings:
01. Laverne Cox, “Orange is the New Black”
02. Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black”
03. Melissa McCarthy, “Saturday Night Live”
04. Joan Cusack, “Shameless”
05. Natasha Lyonne, “Orange is the New Black
06. Tina Fey, “Saturday Night Live”

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

 

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Writing and Directing in a Movie or Mini Series   Leave a comment

Tit for Tat continues its 66th Primetime Emmy coverage by discussing the winners predictions for this year’s awards ceremony. Over the past week, we have discussed all the rest of the Longform categories from TV Movie to the four acting ones up to yesterday’s Miniseries. That said, it’s enough to finally close this part by completing it with the Writing and Directing ones. Unlike the pas few years though, this year isn’t much of an easy guess. But here’s what I think will happen starting in the Writing categories.

Emmy Longform Writing

For the Writing category, it’s really The Normal Heart‘s to lose. Larry Kramer is a well known name, and it was one of the more consistently praised parts when it comes to the reviews. This can turn into some sort of a career honor, but a very deserving one indeed. However, there are two more names that can challenge him for the win. First u, there’s Noah Hawley. If the voters prove that they are really head over heels crazy with Fargo, then I can see it sweeping both the directing and writing ones alongside its impending Miniseries win. I think it’s also wise to keep Treme in the conversation. Sure the miniseries hasn’t received much love during its whole course, but I can see this win validating a late apology from the Academy. After all, this category just surprised us last year with the direction it went to, so no frontrunner is really safe here. While less possibility of snatching the win, Sherlock received both directing and writing nods as well and what worked in its favor is that it only focused on one part of the series. Coven finally enters the race, but I think the nomination is its reward even if it has Ryan Murphy on the writing credits. After all, his other project is the one poised to win awards. Lastly, Luther scoops up its second Writing nod, but I feel it’s a filler more than anything else.

Prediction: Larry Kramer, The Normal Heart
Alternate: Noah HawleyFargo (The Crocodile’s Dilemma)”

Full Rankings:
01. Larry Kramer, The Normal Heart”
02. Noah HawleyFargo (The Crocodile’s Dilemma)”
03. David Simon, Eric Overmyer, Treme”
04. Steven Moffat, “Sherlock: His Last Vow”
05. Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, “American Horror Story: Coven (Bitchcraft)”
06. Neil Cross, “Luther”

Emmy Longform Directing

Now while The Normal Heart is what I’m predicting for Writing, I think the voters will spread the love and give Fargo the advantage here. After all, it received two nominations in this category, but then again it can vote split its possibilities granted there are two options for them to reward to. The safer choice, of course, is The Crocodile’s Dilemma since it’s the pilot episodes of the series. But then, Buridan’s Ass has that very big climax gun scene that , in my opinion, is the better directed of the two nominees. I’m sticking with the pilot though. In the event of a vote splitting, then watch out for Ryan Murphy to win this one too. I mean I really won’t be shocked if he does win this since I think there’s  a large part of the voting bloc that will just go crazy with The Normal Heart and check it in all their ballots, so watch out for him. Oscar nominee Stephen Frears is also nominated for Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, but I think his name won’t manage to bring him all the way to a victory, but it’s more than enough to natch himself a nomination. The flashy aspect of Bitchcraft might be appealing for some, though the nature of the episode might still be hard to overcome for voters. In directing though, I don’t see Sherlock making any waves even for an upset, and this is probably contending for fifth or sixth over all in this category.

Prediction: Colin Bucksey, “Fargo (The Crocodile’s Dilemma)”
Alternate: Ryan Murphy, “The Normal Heart”

Full Rankings:
01. Colin BuckseyFargo (The Crocodile’s Dilemma)”
02. Ryan Murphy, The Normal Heart”
03. Adam BernsteinFargo (Buridan’s Ass)”
04. Stephen Frears, “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight”
05. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, “American Horror Story: Coven (Bitchcraft)”
06. Nick Hurran, “Sherlock: His Last Vow

Now that I’m done with the longform series categories, it’s time to move on to the other areas. I originally intended to discuss Reality/Competition and Reality/Competition Host next, but since the submissions aren’t publicized yet, I’m gonna go ahead and tackle the four guest acting categories starting next week! Don’t forget to see the other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Miniseries   Leave a comment

Emmy Miniseries

Hey, you’re still reading Tit for Tat’s 2014 Emmy coverage. After discussing the TV movie and its four acting categories, it’s time to close of this section with the newly revived Miniseries category. Since the combination of both TV movies and miniseries three years ago, only one miniseries has won against a TV movie. So this is quite a refreshing comeback. That said, this is a very empty category as proven by the fact that there are only 16 miniseries eligible, and with that small group, it even ended up with six nominees (as opposed to the regular five). Here are the six nominees for this year:

For the third year in a row, the American Horror Story series gets in, and Coven is a great departure from the underrated Asylum.  As for starters, it has the trio of Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, and Angela Bassett at the helm. Just when you think that the Emmys interest with AHS would decline, they come back not only with a whimper but with a bang. This year’s series received 17 nominations, the same as last year, but now with Directing and Writing to boot. I’d say this is the closest year they ever had of possibly scoring that Emmy win.

Then we also have A&E’s Bonnie & Clyde. Welp there’s really nothing much to say about it given that this is the show’s only nomination, so it’s pretty much obvious that this is the filler sixth contender here. Maybe having the prominent duo of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron would siphon some votes, but even I really doubt that.

The miniseries adaptation of the Oscar winning movie Fargo was a risk for FX, but it’s a risk that certainly paid off. The first season wasn’t only met with critical acclaim, it also had ratings under its belt. And surely, some Emmys as well (with the Allison Tolman upset that I’m currently predicting). This show garnered 18 Emmy nominations this year, the highest for any miniseries, and the second overall only behind HBO powerhouse Game of Thrones. It’s clear that the nominating panel love it, and I can’t blame them for doing so.

Now to represent the British bloc comes second time nominee Luther. After getting its first nod in 2012, the show’s final season is nominated once again this year alongside a Writing nod and one for lead actor Idris Elba. While the Emmys doesn’t have a total hard on as compared to the Oscars, history has shown that they give exceptions every now and then as proven by Downton Abbey‘s domination in 2011 and last year’s Screenplay upset by The Hour‘s Abi Morgan. Let’s see if Luther can have the same fate too.

Like Bonnie & ClydeThe White Queen also gets their only Emmy nod this year for miniseries. The lack of both Rebecca Ferguson and Janet McTeer in the acting categories, nor The Final Battle in Directing indicates that the Emmys aren’t just into this show at all.

And lastly, HBO’s bet in this category is True Detective Treme. Now on its closing season, the show has finally gotten into a series category for the first time and even with a writing nod to boot. Prior to that though, its only Emmy mentions were a Directing nod and a Song nod way back during its initial season. This indicates to me that this, more than anything else, is just the result of a weak and empty category.

Basically, it all boils down to American Horror Story: Coven vs. Fargo. While Coven got 17 nods, Fargo topped it with 18. Meanwhile, Fargo is less one total acting nod with 4 as compared to Coven‘s 5. Both shows got in for Directing and Writing but Fargo has two Directing nods as compared to AHS‘ one. That said, I think the telling factor here is that the clamor and acclaim for Fargo is definitely much stronger and more consistent than AHS. I think that’s what makes me predict for a Fargo win. Now if only we got this one a real race between True Detective and Fargo, it would have made the race more enjoyable to predict.

Prediction: Fargo
Alternate: American Horror Story: Coven

Full Rankings:
01. “Fargo
02. “American Horror Story: Coven
03. “Luther”
04. “Treme
05. “The White Queen
06. “Bonnie & Clyde

You can see my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie   Leave a comment

Emmy TV Movie Miniseries Supp Actress

And to complete the four acting categories for the TV movie and miniseries categories, it’s time to discuss one of the most competitive races for this year’s Emmys. To say this is an embarrassment of riches is truly an understatement of its own. Supporting Actress is so stacked there’s no room left for the likes of Tony queen Audra McDonald as The Sound of Music Live‘s saving grace, owner of the Globe’s most memorable speech this year, Dancing on the Endge‘s Jacqueline Bisset, 2x Oscar nominee Janet McTeer from The White Queen and the Tony nominated role of Vanessa Williams in The Trip to Bountiful. As for the actual nominees though, we have…

Current winner Ellen Burstyn makes another bid for a back to back win. By now, her 2006 fluke nod for Mrs. Harris has long been forgotten (or not) and she’s finally been rewarded with a win here last year as the matriarch last year in Political Animals. That said, her nominated performance this year is a big departure from her winning one last year. In Flowers in the Attic, she plays a grim and strict mother whose strong beliefs control her daughter and her grandchildren. This is physical transformation mixed with a baity role, and if she can win one for Animals, she can totally win for this too.

We also have the trifecta of the American Horror Story: Coven actresses in this category. There’s Frances Conroy whose red tips demand your attention (and deservedly so). As Myrtle Snow, Conroy ends up being one of the most vital characters by the end of the season, though she’s at a disadvantage by having her character introduced in the middle of the season as compared to the other co-nominees here who were already featured in the pilot episode. Since I highly doubt that voters will watch the whole season of Coven before voting, I think it’s a con for her.

Angela Bassett receives her second career Emmy nomination by playing the fierce witch Marie Laveau who’s out to seek some revenge for her loved ones. Bassett was every inch a gay man’s dream character here. She’s sassy and she’s ready to fight right here right now. That said, I think hers is a character that is more appreciated by fans as opposed to one that garners awards and stuff.

The last Coven actress nominated is Emmy favorite Kathy Bates. Sure, Bates only has one Emmy under her belt, but she’s one of the four actresses who has the most number of nominations in this category’s history, and you know she’s bound to win one. There’s a chance that this might be the year though. As racist Delphine LaLaurie, Kathy’s character travels in time literally that is as she’s uncovered under the grounds. Bates is the first character you’d see from the previous season of AHS, which means she benefits the most if voters only check the first few episodes of the series.

Then there’s one of the biggest movie stars in the world Julia Roberts as she receive her second Emmy nod. In any other year, this would have been a surefire winner in this category and one that’s bound to sweep awards. After all, this is reminiscent of her Oscar winning performance as Erin Brockovich only that she’s in a wheelchair for the duration of the TV movie, so that makes her role a thousand times baitier. Unfortunately for Roberts, this is probably one of the most competitive years in the history of this category and while she’s much in the race, it’s not an easy win as one might think.

And in the midst of all these big stars, the last nominee is virtually an unknown. Allison Tolman gives one of the last season’s best breakthrough performances given the pressure of this Oscar winning role in Fargo. The reviews and personal citations that she has received all seasons is definitely a statement of how people are paying attention to her performance, and this nomination alongside these established actresses is just the cherry on top of it.

This category is really crazy. Aside from Angela Bassett and Frances Conroy, this could go to any of the four other nominees depending on which performance the voters will dig the most. The difference between the four actresses is so thin that in any other day, I might come up with a different ranking. That said, I’m going on a limb here and predict newbie Allison Tolman to take home the Emmy. Sure it’s a David vs. Goliath level of competition given the line up, but I think hers is the one that will elicit the most passionate response. That said, I won’t be surprised if they’d be carried away with Julia’s schtick, or Kathy’s in your face role, as well as Ellen’s costuming performance.

 Prediction: Allison Tolman, “Fargo
Alternate: Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Coven

Full Rankings:
01. Allison Tolman, “Fargo
02. Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Coven
03. Ellen Burstyn, “Flowers in the Attic”
04. Julia Roberts, “The Normal Heart
05. Angela Bassett, “American Horror Story: Coven
06. Frances Conroy, “American Horror Story: Coven

You can see my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie   Leave a comment

Emmy TV Movie Minseries Actor

While it’s the ladies that were from and center yesterday, we now shift the spotlight to the gents as we discuss the Lead Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie race in our continuous coverage of the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards. It’s the third year in a row that I have a perfect track record of predicting the line up here, so I don’t know if it’s jsut the predictability of the race or just a good summation of who Emmy’s favorites were. Anyway let’s begin.

Speaking of third year in a row, this is Benedict Cumberbatch‘s third consecutive nomination in this category after being nominated for the second season of Sherlock in 2012 and the HBO movie Parade’s End last year. While His Last Vow rakes its biggest nomination haul for the series by far, I don’t think Cumberbatch is much in the race especially with likelier movie star frontrunners in here. He can count on an Oscar nod for himself though come January for The Imitation Game to be released late this year.

And while at the topic of Oscar nod, coming off from an Oscar nomination earlier this year, Chiwetel Ejiofor follows it up with an Emmy nomination, this time for the Starz  miniseries Dancing on the Edge. Sadly for Ejiofor, his nomination is his reward given how much the Emmys snubbed the show altogether (he’s the lone nomination from it). I would have wanted a follow up to the Ejiofor-McConaughey Oscar race tho had True Detective stayed to compete here in the longform categories.

But while we didn’t get an Ejiofor-McConaughey repeat, we can resort to the alternate one of a race between Ejiofor and Idris Elba instead. Both were twice nominated for the same two categories at the Golden Globes earlier this year: one is for Movie Actor Drama (former for 12 Years a Slave, latter for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom). The other one is for their respective roles in this category. Like in 2012, Elba nabs a repeat nomination for his role in Luther. This was confirmed as the show’s last season already, and though I don’t think it will chaneg the voting game, it will probably have at least a bit of an effect to the voting (…or not).

Then we also have Mark Ruffalo who’s enjoying a career best 2014 by far. Starting at Sundance in January for Infinitely Polar Bear to his run at Cannes for Foxcatcher in May, and the good reviews he received from John Carney’s Begin Again, he’s definitely on a roll. That said, his Emmy vehicle this year is the TV movie frontrunner The Normal Heart where he played gay activist Ned Weeks. After all, the current winner in this category is Michael Douglas for playing gay pianist Liberace.

Now to cap this off, it’s not only the Lead Actress category where we have two nominees from the same show. If the women has American Horror Story: Coven, then the men has Fargo. Billy Bob Thornton comes back with a bang in this project where he plays sinister Lorne Malvo. His is the more awards-baity character between the two as he’s the flat out villainess evil character here. The other nomination is for Martin Freeman, who plays insurance salesman Lester Nygaard, who was caught in the series of incidents involving him and Malvo. Personally speaking, I preferred Freeman’s performance more than Thornton, but between his two nominations, they might reward Freeman instead in the Supporting category.

While the consensus thinks it will be an easy win for Mark Ruffalo, I don’t think this is an easy win as one perceives. I feel that this will be a tight race between the two one-time Oscar Supporting Actor nominees. Ruffalo is seen as the obvious choice. I mean he’s a straight actor playing the gay lead in a TV movie with a strong political statement. If this was Oscar, he’s certain to be winning it already. That said, Fargo is the most nominated miniseries this year and the support for it is really staggering. If there’s anything this category loves more than portraying gay characters, that is rewarding veteran movie stars with wins here as evidenced by Geoffrey Rush in 2005, Robert Duvall in 2007, Kevin Costner in 2012, and Michael Douglas last year. I keep going back and forth, but I guess I’m going with Mark Ruffalo by a hair.

Prediction: Mark Ruffalo, “The Normal Heart
Alternate: Billy Bob Thornton, “Fargo

Full Rankings:
01. Mark Ruffalo, “The Normal Heart
02. Billy Bob Thornton, “Fargo
03. Martin Freeman, “Fargo”
04. Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock: His Last Vow
05. Idris Elba, “Luther
06. Chiwetel Ejiofor, “Dancing on the Edge

Click here to see my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis. For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

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