Archive for the ‘downton abbey’ Tag

67th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Drama Series   Leave a comment

drama series

Prediction: “Game of Thrones”
Alternate:Mad Men”

Full Rankings:
01. “Game of Thrones
02. “Mad Men”
03. “House of Cards
04. “Better Call Saul
05. “Homeland
06. “Orange is the New Black
07. “Downton Abbey

Check my other 2015 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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

67th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

drama supp actor

Prediction: Jonathan Banks, “Better Call Saul”
Alternate: Ben Mendelsohn, “Bloodline”

Full Rankings:
01. Jonathan Banks, “Better Call Saul”
02. Ben Mendelsohn, “Bloodline”
03. Michael Kelly, “House of Cards”
04. Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones
05. Alan Cumming, “The Good Wife
06. Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey

Check my other 2015 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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

67th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

drama supp actress

Prediction: Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones”
Alternate: Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black”

Full Rankings:
01. Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones”
02. Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black”
03. Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife”
04. Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men
05. Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey
06. Emilia Clarke, “Game of Thrones

Check my other 2015 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Drama and Comedy Series   Leave a comment

Emmy Drama Series

Today we’ll be finishing the Emmy 2014 analysis series here at Tit for Tat by doing the remaining two categories left for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards before envelopes are opened on Monday night. And with no further ado, let’s begin with the drama programs of the past season.

When it seemed like it’s gonna go downhill from the first season, House of Cards went on and even beat their nomination tally of their previous season. While that showed potential that voters aren’t giving up on the show anytime soon, I don’t think Netflix has completely managed to pull off the win in here as well. Mad Men stays for another year and is likely to join the club of shows nominated for all their eligible seasons, but it has been back in 2011 when they still won any Emmy so at this point, it’s a filler at best. Game of Thrones was screwed by another HBO being campaigned here, and while the show’s chances would increase, the genre bias against a fantasy show is still hard to overcome, even if with overwhelming reviews. Downton Abbey might have lost Hugh Bonneville this year, but gained Joanne Froggatt back again. All it lost is a Directing nom, so if anything, I think it indicates that it will still be nominated in the succeeding years. Breaking Bad seemed a confident frontrunner all season though it doesn’t have the benefit of airing a current season during Emmy voting. MeanwhileHBO must have too much confidence in True Detective to even consider ruining the small chance of Game of Thrones. After all, this is a now or never moment for the Emmys to reward this season. But then again, a cultural phenomenon like Breaking Bad doesn’t deserve to end with only one Drama Series Emmy in its mantle. Just like its previous cable show successor The Sopranos, the show is too big to resist to be denied of a second Drama Series; thus, I’m predicting it to win again.

Prediction: Breaking Bad
Alternate: “True Detective

Full Rankings:
01. “Breaking Bad
02. True Detective
03. “House of Cards
04. “Game of Thrones
05. “Downton Abbey
06. “Mad Men

Emmy Comedy Series

And lastly, we’re now on the comedy series. Last season, when it had critics rallying around it and it continuing to be a dominating force ratings wise, The Big Bang Theory still wasn’t able to do any big moves in the race, and I think it has already peaked when it comes to its chances of winning the top plum now. Louie, in its most dramatic season, would never also find its way near to the podium so the fact that it even got nominated for such is already a feat of its own. Not only did it manage to pick up a series nod, it also swept writing and directing nods so that bodes well for Silicon Valley but this show is too alienating for a broad amount of voters to prevail. It also doesn’t help that even if its on HBO, its ratings are nothing to be proud of. Sadly, the same applies for the other HBO show Veep, though to its benefit, it has Julia Louis Dreyfus maintaining the buzz for the show and the guilds totally supporting it. Maybe it’s a slow burner? In the end, I see this as a close fight between 4x champ Modern Family and newbie series Orange is the New Black. On one hand, Modern Family lost some of its key nominations (primarily two acting nods for its ensemble), but then again, it’s still the broadest show in this line up that I don’t think it will have any problem winning for a fifth one. It also submitted its best set of tapes, so it’s really not wise to dismiss this show altogether. Stealing its thunder, however, is the new Netflix show picking up 15 nominations and winning already three. The Orange ensemble is campaigning like crazy, and despite being on Netflix, the show has done a good job of making others aware of it. While I don’t think it’s a shoo-in, it’s also helped by its second season delivering (like how Breaking Bad was helped last year) unlike other female-oriented nominated shows before. In the end, I’d give the odds to them crowning a new champ now, but I’ll be wary since Modern Family is very much still in this race.

Prediction: Orange is the New Black
Alternate: “Modern Family

Full Rankings:
01. “Orange is the New Black
02. Modern Family
03. “Veep
04. “Silicon Valley
05. “The Big Bang Theory”
06. “Louie

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

There you have it! Let’s see how many of these will I get correctly or how badly I will do this year. For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

 

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

Emmy Drama Lead Actress

Hi there! We’re already nearing the end of Tit for Tat’s 66th Emmy Awards predictions coverage, and it’s now time to do the last acting category of the year. Yesterday, I mentioned how Drama Lead Actor seems like the closest category as it’s between Bryan Cranston and Mathew McConaughey. The dramatic ladies, however, provide the opposite as this category can really go anywhere. Really. ANYWHERE.

We really would not have this problem at all had Robin Wright decided to submit Episode 17 of House of Cards. But then she didn’t. Instead she went with the season finale where she has a breakdown scene at the stairs for more or less 45 seconds. Sure it puts the usually icy Claire Underwood some heart, but this doesn’t win you an Emmy. To be fair to Miss Wright though, many have won with lesser tapes before, so it’s not as if her chances are already floating dead on the water. But it made her frontrunner status really, really vulnerable.

After surprisingly missing last year, Julianna Margulies is back for her fourth Emmy nod for the role of Alicia Florrick in The Good Wife. This year, she submitted “The Last Call” which had Alicia dealing the horrible news of Will Gardner’s death. Like her winning episode “In Sickness“, Margulies does a lot of crying here which could work well in her favor. She comes off as really sympathetic in the episode, and the voters will have no problem feeling for the loss she had. She also does have a conversation with her daughter about God and existence and I can see that appealing well to the voters. Had the Good Wife manage to do their Emmy comeback with a bang and not a whimper, Margulies would have been a frontrunner here for sure.

Speaking of dealing with loss and grief, three time nominee Michelle Dockery has the same story as she copes up with the loss of her husband in the fourth season opener of Downton Abbey. In here, Dockery’s dealing of his death is more subdued as she becomes cold and distant to her family and to the servants at the house. It takes a breakdown and confrontation scene with Jim Carter for her to soften out. With this being an almost two hour tape, Dockery wasn’t stolen of screentime as she was in it ample enough to complete in this category.

And since they always come in threes, current champ and 2x winner here already Claire Danes is nominated for Homeland once again. And in her submission, the season finale “The Star“, she intends to save her lover Brody in Tehran, but as the plan faltered along the way, she instead witnessed his fate ending. Unlike the two other grief stricken submissions, Danes did not deal with the aftermath alone in her episode, as we witness the whole thing in the episode. This is also probably Carrie’s most sympathetic story yet among Danes’ past Emmy reels and is one where voters get to sympathize with her. However, is she really gonna go three-peat for a show that the Academy has already bowed out of?

While Masters of Sex wasn’t able to penetrate (pun intended) the major Emmy drama categories, Lizzy Caplan is the exemption to the rule, as her Virginia Johnson role brought her first Emmy nomination. It is wise of her to go with the pilot episode where we witness her character go through certain lengths (pun intended…again) in order to work for Michael Sheen’s Dr. Masters. The whole episode also showed how Dr. Haas becomes quite obsessed with her which ended to a confrontation in a party and a heavy slap scene between Virginia and him. I think it’s a wise submission on her part to go with the pilot since it showed Virginia’s journey and it has that slap scene confrontation which brings the OMG drama in it.

Now while Caplan brings the OMG drama aspect in her show, Kerry Washington brings the OMGDRAMA in hers. Of course it has to be in bold letters because (and I suggest you read this using Kerry’s slow enunciation and delivery for more dramatic flair and effect) “THIS.IS.WHAT.SCANDAL.IS.ABOUT.” Last year, Washington did submit the show’s buzziest episode regardless of her acting in it. This year, however, she went with an episode that highlighted her so she submitted “The Fluffer.” In it, Olivia did her duties as a daughter to her father helping him take out B613, her duties as a lover to President Fitz by confronting Mellie’s lover, her duties to her group by sleeping with Jake in order to get the password. It’s a competitive tape especially if voters can get over the drama theatrics nature of the show.

I really don’t know what to do with this category anymore. If only Robin Wright did not screw up her submission. then I guess it’ll be one of the easier calls of the night. But I guess that these three grieving ladies will battle it out for the most desolate actress on TV thus leading the way for Lizzy Caplan out of nowhere victory here. She and her arc stands out from all the drama (including Kerry’s lip quivering) so might as well go take the risk and predict Janis Ian for the Emmy.

Prediction: Lizzy Caplan, “Masters of Sex
Alternate: Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife

Full Rankings:
01. Lizzy Caplan, “Masters of Sex
02. Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife
03. Claire Danes “Homeland
04. Kerry Washington, “Scandal
05. Robin Wright, “House of Cards
06. Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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

 

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Directing in a Drama and Comedy Series   Leave a comment

As we lead to the final six days of our Emmy analysis coverage here, we move on to the two Directing categories for this year.

Emmy Comedy Directing

For the comedy category Silicon Valley went with the pilot of the show which is always the safe bet for some sort of a recognition. That was obvious this year as it lead them to a nomination, but with almost no buzz for it, I think the nomination is the reward this time. Louis C.K continues his streak of nominations as well, and this year he chose the finale of his six part Elevator episode. I can see this being some sort of a dark horse in this category given that his direction was a standout here. I think we just have to accept from hereon that Glee will get a mention here (though we only have one season left!). To be fair, this wasn’t as random as last year since it’s one of their two event episodes of the season (the other being The Quarterback) and had Paris Barclay at the helm so this should have been given already. Episodes is the first episode that voters will check in its reel, and with this surprise nomination, I think it’s really well deserved. There’s a lot of obvious direction at play in this episode and while I don’t think it’ll win, it can be one who’ll find itself in the middle rankings a lot. I see this race as a two woman race (hurray!). On the left corner, we have current champ Gail Mancuso in Modern Family’s Las Vegas which is the most “obvious” showcase of direction here. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s one of the season’s best episode with the direction at the forefront. It’s some sort of a homage to the classic Frasier episode The Ski Trip. But then we also have Jodie friggin Foster for Orange is the New Black’s most emotional episode of its pilot season. I mean I could already really stop with the name recognition as I think it’ll be in play here; thus I’m going with it. But really, don’t be surprised if Modern Family wins its fourth consecutive direction nod since it’ll be more deserved than its last two wins in this category.

Prediction: Orange is the New Black, “Lesbian Request Denied
Alternate: Modern Family, “Las Vegas

Full Rankings:
01. Orange is the New Black, “Lesbian Request Denied
02. Modern Family, “Las Vegas
03. Louie, “Elevator Part 6
04. Silicon Valley, “Minimum Viable Product
05. Episodes, “Episode Nine
06. Glee, “100

Emmy Drama Directing

As for the drama side, let’s begin with Downton Abbey‘s season almost two hour season opener. In the tradition of its usual one episode for season submission, the show really knows what episode it has to submit, and that’s the reason why it’s on its third nomination in this category. Sadly for them, I think they’ll have the same fate as their last two tries. Meanwhile, Boardwalk Empire continues its hold in this category by getting its fifth nomination here in a span of four seasons. This year, they’ve submitted the season finale Farewell Daddy Blues. Remember when the show pulled off that upset two years ago? While I don’t see them repeating that this year, it’s really unwise to discount the show’s chances overall. Chapter 14 of House of Cards is nominated for both its writing and directing which is quite of a surprise, but between the two, directing is where its more obvious since that talked about scene in the episode is as showy as one can get. After all, they are the current champ in this category so there’s that in play. After two years of snubbing here, Game of Thrones finally gets its second directing nod for The Watchers on the Wall. While there is no denying of the show’s directorial achievement, its last two years of snubs quite indicate that they really aren’t over the moon about the show’s direction, and I think that affects its chances. And like in writing, I guess this will be between Breaking Bad and True Detective. The former is hoping for its first win here after five chances with their finale helmed by the show creator and 2x nominee in this category, Vince Gilligan. However, True Detective has the most talked about shot this year with its seven minute long tracking shot at the end of the episode. I don’t know if we can call this a lock, but I’d say that’s more than enough to declare Cary Fukunaga the victor here.

Prediction: True Detective, “Who Goes There
Alternate: Breaking Bad, “Felina

Full Rankings:
01. True Detective, “Who Goes There
02. Breaking Bad, “Felina
03. Boardwalk Empire, “Farewell Daddy Blues
04. Game of Thrones, “The Watchers on the Wall
05. House of Cards, “Chapter 14
06. Downton Abbey, “Episode One

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series   1 comment

Emmy Drama Supp Actor

After assessing the races for both supporting actress in a drama and comedy series, we now move on to the guys and predict one of this year’s toughest acting categories. This year, once again, is no exception as there is no sure contender to win this one. Let’s now go over their chances one by one.

Despite the Homeland shutout, Mandy Patinkin manages to stay for another season of a nomination. This year, he submitted “Gerontion”, it showed two sides of Saul: the first one as the fierce competent team player of the CIA and the other as a devoted husband to his wife. Patinkin’s tape, while totally not a showstopper, is really good, but in a competitive race like this, tape alone won’t bring you any close to a win. After all, it seems like he’s not much of an Emmy darling lately missing a nod for the show’s first season and losing last year when he’s a frontrunner. This year, I think his nomination is his reward.

Doing a comeback after his first and only nod three years ago, Josh Charles final season on The Good Wife is one of the most buzzed characters of the past TV season. That said, he avoided that storyline altogether and submitted what is considered as the best episode the show has ever done. In Hitting the Fan, Will discovered that Alicia and Cary are starting their own firm and taking away some of their big clients which caused ruckus in the whole office. While most episodes usually end up with something shocking in their submissions, Charles does the opposite by starting it with one. Literally, the first dozen minutes or so of the episode is a highlight for him, and I think this will appeal well to the voters.

Downton Abbey continues to show its strength to its voters via Jim Carter‘s third consecutive nomination. And while the last two years haven’t been really competitive for him, this year marked his first real great submission via Episode 1 of the fourth season. In this almost two hour episode, we see him deal with a significant person from his past, his former song-and dance partner Mr. Grick, whom he had a falling out with. And in true old movie film fashion, the reason for such was a love triangle. Of course, things were patched up in the end via an emotional trains station meet up. I’m inclined to think that in a weaker year, Carter would have stood a chance of even winning for this stuff. Unfortunately for him, this is one of the most competitive ones in recent years, and while I don’t dismiss his chances altogether, he’s lurking on the outside in terms of Emmy talk.

Winning the Golden Globe earlier this year is Ray Donovan‘s Jon Voight. With the chance of him earning his first Emmy, he submits Fite Nite which had him in most of the episode in cuffs. This is an intense episode where both he and guest star Rossana Arquette were tied and a hitman deciding their fate. This ends up with a death of a character and the revelations before that mentioned death, and Voight goes on a gamut of emotions in it. There’s also a certain level of physicality in lay as he’s being tied in the most crucial scenes of the episode. While Ray Donovan clearly wasn’t embraced by Emmys, his status as a Hollywood veteran might make up for that.

2011 champ Peter Dinklage aims to win his second Emmy for his role as Tyrion Lannister after winning for the show’s first season. In one of the most acclaimed episodes of the season, he chose the to submit The Laws of God and Men which had his trial after being accused as responsible for the death of King Joffrey in the prior episode. Nothing says Emmy bait like a trial, and here, Dinklage was indeed exceptional. He goes on a speech before the episode ends especially after his lover was used as a witness against him. That said, his first appearance comes within the last 20 minutes of the episode and that’s too much for voters with short patience.

Lastly, aiming to be the most rewarded actor in the history of this category, Aaron Paul is in hunt for a historic third win here for Breaking Bad. And he’s surely in the hunt again with his episode submission Confessions. After being grilled by hank about his involvement in all the drug trafficking in their place, Saul bailed him and gave him a new identity. But this did not sit well with him, as he ran amok and attacked him before going to Walt’s house. Talk about intense, the last 10 minutes of the episode is acting with a capital A for Aaron who’s loud and showy acting is really present. This can go well or not with the voters, and while no other actor has won twice before, it was Paul who managed to defeat the no repeat winner record in this category for 15 years. So if there’s one who can break another record, it’s probably him.

Like what I said, this is really a difficult category as a lot of these actors make sense and all of them would have been frontrunners or automatic winners in any other year. While I won’t be surprised if Dinklage wins, I’m putting him at fourth here. I think his tape is great, but the lack of appearance during half of the tape will affect him. I’m putting Voight at third because it’s a very Emmy thing to reward him in a crowd like this. Plus, the reasons I mentioned above. I think it’s a choice between Charles and Paul and while both of them are on their last possible nominations for their respective roles, 2 Emmy wins for Paul in the past as compared to none for Charles will seal the deal here. Thus, I’m going with Josh Charles for the win.

Prediction: Josh Charles, “The Good Wife
Alternate: Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad

Full Rankings:
01. Josh Charles, “The Good Wife
02. Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad
03. Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan
04. Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones
05. Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey
06. Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland

Check 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 Drama Series   Leave a comment

Emmy Drama Supp Actress

And we’re back with the Emmy coverage! After a ten day hiatus, here’s the second half of the Emmy analysis process over here at Tit for Tat. After doing the guest acting and longform categories last week, let’s move on by doing the supporting ones this week. And we begin with the drama supporting actresses of the year.

Earning her fifth consecutive nomination, Christina Hendricks survives another year of getting nominated for Mad Men. This year, she submitted The Strategy, which isn’t a totally bad submission given how she’s really not much of a non-factor this season. Hendricks surely seems to be one of those affected by the Emmys lack of enthusiasm over giving Mad Men an acting award because she has submitted great episodes before (Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency, The Other Woman) to no avail. I don’t think her fate will change this year though.

Coming off a one year-snub, Joanne Froggatt gets in for a second time for her role as Anna Bates in Downton Abbey. She surely nailed her submission by going with Episode 2 in which her character was raped by the end of the episode. It’s truly a competitive storyline and one that has worked wonders before in the past for other actresses. However, the main detriment to Froggatt’s episode is that her scene comes during the last five minutes of the episode, and I don’t know if it will be impactful enough to be anyone’s top ranked performance.

Then there’s Froggatt’s co-star, 2012 winner Dame Maggie Smith. At this point, Smith is probably a prominent case of name-checking. I really don’t think she herself even bothers anymore, and I won’t be surprised if people involved with the show are the ones submitting for her. That said, I have to say that they did a terrible job this year by submitting for her Episode 8. In this one and a half hour long submissions, Smith rarely appears and is mostly relegated to reacting a thing or two with the other characters. It’s really not worthy to watch the whole episode especially if you’re not the show’s fan.

Speaking of winners, current champ Anna Gunn is in the running for a consecutive win. And that makes that possibility closer because she submitted Ozymandias which is basically one (if not the) of the finest hours of television the past season. Gunn gave a very complex performance here that started with her being calm and quiet and she gets more intense as the episode progressed. She has a breakdown scene, a confession scene, and it has all the makings of a winning tape it’s not even close with how the rest of these women submitted.

Like Hendricks, Christine Baranski is also on her fifth consecutive nomination for The Good Wife. Season wise, it really is an outstanding season for Baranski with everything that has happened to Diane Lockhart from the firm separation and her supposed promotion at the beginning of the season to her dealing with Will Gardner at the bottom end of the show. She has lots of tapes to choose from so it is quite controversial that she went with The Last Call as this is an episode where it’s mostly an ensemble piece. Is it her best submission? I don’t think so. But is it a bad submission? I don’t think so as well. While she’s not the far standout in it, she was given lots to do and showcased an icy Diane at the beginning with the intern scene, vulnerable with her scenes with Alicia, and commanding with the firing of the client. It’s an underrated good tape in hindsight, and a competitive one.

And lastly, replacing her co-star Emilia Clarke last year, Lena Headey is the fourth Game of Thrones actor to receive an individual Emmy nod after Peter Dinklage, Dame Diana Rigg, and Clarke. Headey submitted one of the most buzzed episode of the season The Lion and the Rose. While not as debatable as Baranski’s submission, Headey gets to have that breakdown scene at the end. Hell hath no fury like a mother scorned indeed, and I can see this channeling votes for her.

In the end, Anna Gunn is so far and away this competition it’s not even funny. It seems like stars are written for her to win a second Emmy as the token farewell Emmy acting win, and so she can join multiple Emmy winning co-stars Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston. While this category has been notoriously a venue for these out of the field wins from mid 2000s to 2010, the past three years all went with the frontrunner (Margo Martindale, Maggie Smith, Anna Gunn). Baranski is competitive as well, and she’s the only show’s chance to continue the trend of rewarding one Good Wife female actress per season (Archie Panjabi in 2010, Julianna Margulies in 2011, Martha Plimpton in 2012, and Carrie Preston in 2013). Joanne Froggatt would have had more chance to upset had Maggie Smith’s submission helped her here, but she was non-existent in the latter’s episode that it did not increase her chances at all. But for now, I’m sticking with the thought of 2x Emmy winner Anna Gunn.

Prediction: Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad
Alternate: Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife

Full Rankings:
01. Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad
02. Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife
03. Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey
04. Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones
05. Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey
06. Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men

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 Emmy Awards Nominations Predictions Part 4: Drama   Leave a comment

Hi there everyone! You’re still reading Tit for Tat’s 66th Emmy coverage. For the past three days, I have been sharing to you my predictions on who I think will be up for Emmy awards for this year. So before Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly announce the official nominees in the Reality and Variety, TV Movie and Miniseries, and Comedy genres, let’s finish this prediction series with the most serious genre of them all: drama!

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Directing

• Boardwalk Empire, Farewell Daddy Blues (Tim van Patten)
• Breaking Bad, Felina (Vince Gilligan)
• Downton Abbey, Episode 1 (David Evans)
• Masters of Sex, Pilot (John Madden)
• True Detective, Who Goes There (Cary Fukunaga)

Sixth nominee: House of Cards, Chapter 14 (Carl Franklin)

And let’s begin with Directing. Despite Boardwalk Empire falling off the Series and Lead Actor nods that they received during the show’s first two seasons, it’s safe to say that they haven’t lost their touch yet with the directors voting branch. For its past three seasons, the show has received two wins out of four nods, so we can all rely on Tim van Patten receiving his fourth consecutive nomination in here for the season finale Farewell Daddy Blues. You can also count on Downton Abbey to get in here since they’re very strategic about this whole Emmy process that they submit only one episode, so if the voters want to reward the show, Episode 1 is their only option to do so. Probably the most buzzed directorial achievement this year, Cary Fukunaga’s eight minute long track shot in True Detective’s Who Goes There isn’t only a nominee sure bet, but a frontrunner for the win as well. And can we talk about how this category loves its pilots and finales? Yep that’s right. Thus, I’m predicting one a piece for the pilot of Masters of Sex directed by Shakespeare in Love director John Madden, and of course, the finale of Breaking Bad by creator Vince Gilligan. Watch out for House of Cards though since it is the current champ in this category.

OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Writing

• Breaking Bad, Felina (Vince Gilligan)
• Breaking Bad, Ozymandias (Moira Walley-Beckett)
• Downton Abbey, Episode 1 (Julian Fellowes)
• Game of Thrones, The Children (David Benoiff, D.B. Weiss)
• True Detective, The Secret Fate of All Life (Nic Pizzolatto)

Sixth nominee: Mad Men, Waterloo (Carly Wray, Matthew Weiner)

As for the writing, it’s safe to assume that all these Downton Abbey fans in the Academy will simply check it off the Writing and Directing ballot so a nod here is expected (just like the past two years). After years of snubbing, Breaking Bad finally entered the race last year with two nominations, and I expect them to have the same fate this year — one for their finale Ozymandias and the other for their most submitted episode in the Emmy ballot, Felina. Unlike Downton Abbey though, True Detective only has one writer for the whole season; thus it can only submit one episode for consideration, so I’m expecting all its supports to push The Secret Fate of All Life to make it in here. As for the last spot, despite the show being a flashier directorial bet, it seems like the writers branch is the oen appreciative of Game of Thrones given their two nods here for the last two years. Therefore, I placed it here for their season finale episode.

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Guest Actor

• Michael Bowen, “Breaking Bad
• Beau Bridges, “Masters of Sex
• Dan Bucatinsky, “Scandal
• Nathan Lane, “The Good Wife
• Robert Morse, “Mad Men
• Pedro Pascal, “Game of Thrones

Seventh nominee: Louis Gossett Jr., “Boardwalk Empire

Well let’s begin with curent champ Dan Bucatinsky. Without spoiling anything, I think he’s not only in for a consecutive nod, bur he’s very much in for a consecutive win as well with that very baity episode. And since there’s no Michael J. Fox in tow, it paves the way for a repeat Nathan Lane nod as he’s the torchbearer of The Good Wife in this category for this year. Robert Morse of Mad Men has been nominated here four out of the last six times he’s eligible, and with a buzzed season he had, it’s safe to assume he’ll be back in the line up again. The same buzz surrounds Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal (and that’s solely not for his shirtless photo that he posted!) and with Game of Thrones‘ haul looking to be its biggest year by far, he’ll definitely be in for the ride. Then there’s semi-favorite Beau Bridges. His lauded performance in Masters of Sex already assures him of a nod, but the fact that he’s been nominated here twice the past four years means he has more support than expected. As for that last spot, I’m giving it to Breaking Bad actor Michael Bowen since I think this will be a redux of the Mark Margolis nom two years ago. He’s in the scenes most with the leads, and that can spread the wealth to his impending nod.

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Guest Actress

• Kate Burton, “Scandal
• Jane Fonda, “The Newsroom
• Allison Janney, “Masters of Sex
• Lisa Kudrow, “Scandal
• Carrie Preston, “The Good Wife
• Diana Rigg, “Game of Thrones

Seventh nominee: Margo Martindale, “The Americans

Aside from current champ Carrie Preston of The Good Wife and current frontrunenr Allison Janney of Masters of Sex, this is quite a lukewarm category as compared to its male counterpart. Sure there’s Dame Diana Rigg whose season wasn’t as sure like the last one, but I don’t see the Emmys dropping her easily this year, so I’m predicting a nod for her. Then there’s Jane Fonda who can’t even win last year with her legend status and baity tape, and with The Newsroom being less of a factor at all, I can see her missing. That said, she’s been visible lately with her tribute, so maybe another nod isn’t totally out of reach. Then for the last two spots, I’m going a bit heavy on Scandal guest actresses. First, there’s Emmy winner Lisa Kudrow. Though her guest appearance doesn’t scream “sure Emmy contender”, I think hers is one of the most buzzed guesting of the TV drama season that she can coast to a nod for it. It’s not surprising if she misses though especially since Kate Burton is also in contention. Shonda Rhimes made Kate Burton a multiple time nominee here for Grey’s Anatomy before, I easily think she can do a repeat of that, this time for her role in Scandal.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Supp Actor

• Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey
• Josh Charles, “The Good Wife
• Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones
• Dean Norris, “Breaking Bad
• Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad
• Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan

Seventh nominee: Charles Dance, “Game of Thrones

Both previous winners Peter Dinklage and Aaron Paul are safe already methinks. And in the tradition of farewell shows getting in more nods for their cast (see Kristin Davis in Sex in the City in 2004, Matthew Fox in Lost in 2010), I expect Dean Norris to finally snatch a nomination for himself as well. I’ve been adamant about Jim Carter, but I already made the mistake of dropping him last year only to be fooled when the noms were announced. So I’m sticking for him now. With how his fate in the show shocked the whole TV crowd, I expect Josh Charles to get his second nod for The Good Wife three years after he received his first. As for that last slot, I think the Globes affirmed more than ever on how it values its movie stars, Jon Voight will get that veteran slot for his first season performance in Ray Donovan. If not him, then maybe Game of Thrones adds another acting performance via another veteran, Charles Dance.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Supp Actress

• Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife
• Emilia Clarke, “Game of Thrones
• Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey
• Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad
• Michelle Monaghan, “True Detective
• Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey

Seventh nominee: Bellamy Young, “Scandal

Clusterfuck. That’s what this category is. Well let’s start with the regulars. Current champ Anna Gunn, 2012 winner Dame Maggie Smith, and perennial nominee Christine Baranski are the three safest in this line up that’s for sure. Then as for the other three, I’m going with a repeat of Emilia Clarke’s nod simply because I think Emmy has a disconnect with who owns which season when it comes to nominating actors from Game of Thrones. If she managed to get in last year with that lackluster of a season, I wouldn’t have high expectations that she will be dropped this year for doing less of that. Then there’s Michelle Monaghan, who I’m really not convinced. It seems like True Detective was 80% McConaughey and 20% Harrelson, that they won’t even care about the others. I can see a scenario where someone who makes sense to get nominated suddenly is nowhere to be found (Nicollette Sheridan in 2005, Corey Stoll last year), though I’m counting on Monaghan’s C-list movie star status to somehow help her here. The last spot is the riskiest of them all, as I’m going with a comeback narrative for Joanne Frogatt simply because her storyline the past season is too in your face to ignore. I have Bellamy Young as a replacement just because I find it weird if Scandal gets five(!) acting nominations and it’s not even close to be a Series contender, so I think she’s the most vulnerable.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Lead Actor

• Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad
• Jon Hamm, “Mad Men
• Woody Harrelson, “True Detective
• Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective
• Michael Sheen, “Masters of Sex
• Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards

Seventh nominee: James Spader, “The Blacklist

Talk about crowded. This category has at least 10 names in contention that makes a whole lotta sense. Let’s begin with Bryan Cranston. We actually can end it now with Cranston as well, but yeah he’s sooo getting in. Then there’s 2x Oscar winner Kevin Spacey. Sure his name didn’t exactly bring him to the podium last year, but this is a tailor made role for him that he’ll be a mainstay at these awards shows even if the show has already faltered. I think regardless of Mad Men‘s fate as a whole, Jon Hamm is another of those perennial nominees that will still get in, so I think he’s safe, albeit a bit vulnerable, for this year. And let’s go to the newbies. As for starters, we have the pair of True Detective actors here, and I predict both of them getting in. Well McConaughey is the more obvious one, and I see him contending for the win as well, but I’m going with Harrelson too since I predict that they’ll just check both of their names off. Plus this is not a priority vote ranking that will hurt the latter. That said, I won’t be surprised if he misses though since as I mentioned above, True Detective was 80% McConaughey and 20% Harrelson. As for that last slot, I contemplated going with James Spader, and he makes sense actually since he’s in a hit show and it’s a comeback performance, and this category really loves him (I mean come on, he won over James Gandolfini for the last season of The Sopranos). Then there’s also Downton Abbey‘s Hugh Bonneville and current champ Jeff Daniels of The Newsroom, but I think we’d see the start of decline of Downton starting this year and The Newsroom is as DOA as one can get per HBO standards. Thus, I’m going with previous Emmy nominee Michael Sheen since I;m quite confident of Masters of Sex delivering on Emmy nomination day.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Lead Actress

• Claire Danes, “Homeland
• Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey
• Vera Farmiga, “Bates Motel
• Juliana Margulies, “The Good Wife
• Kerry Washington, “Scandal
• Robin Wright, “House of Cards

Seventh nominee: Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men

And here’s another crowded one. Let’s begin by saying that despite Homeland turning into some mega shit show for its third season, Claire Danes still rises above the occasion, and I don’t think she’ll be snubbed ala Margulies last year. After all, she’s still the reigning champ in here. Speaking of Margulies, I believe that last year was just a fluke and a case where everyone thought she’s safe already that’s why they’re spreading the wealth (like how Allison Janney was snubbed in 2005), and with The Good Wife‘s heavily buzzed season, she’s so coming back for another nomination. If Robin Wright managed to get in last year for a borderline supporting role, I see no problem for her getting in this year again with even a winning tape in her hands. I’m sticking with Michelle Dockery still just because I really don’t think they’d dropped anything Downton that quick, and I have Hugh Bonneville as the sacrificial lamb of the show already. Kerry Washington who can’t even win for the love of God a Golden Globe or a SAG for Scandal, has a stronger narrative last year than this year, but I think she’s still safe at least this year. As for that last spot, I keep going back and forth with Elisabeth Moss and Vera Farmiga, but I really don’t think they’ll drop the Oscar nominee instantly especially after her surprise nomination last year as opposed to Mad Men who’s on a decline with their nods. Now watch them nominate all seven of them now.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Series

• Breaking Bad (AMC)
• Downton Abbey (PBS)
• Game of Thrones (HBO)
• House of Cards (Netflix)
• Masters of Sex (Showtime)
True Detective (HBO)

Seventh nominee: Mad Men (AMC)

As if we haven’t had any headaches with the Drama categories yet, but yes, Series is tough to predict. Unless, you know, they go with seven nominees. Bu let’s assume there are only six. I think we can separate them into this: Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and True Detective are safe no matter what. They’re clearly the upper tier in this one. No matter what happens to the rest of the line up, we can expect to see these three here. And then I’d go and say Downton Abbey is fourth here. Like I’m sure you’re also wondering who effin still supports Downton Abbey, the answer is: Emmy voting panel. I’d love to be wrong here, but let’s not kid ourselves. Then we have Showtime’s slot. I think Masters of Sex is being quite underrated as a whole, but this is clearly Showtime’s priority this year, and they have been doing a smooth run for its campaign. I think this will be the surprise of the contenders here. For that last spot, there’s Mad Men who is a 4x champ and has been nominated for all of its seasons by far, but really, the show’s buzz has just been absent all along. Not even at the guild precursors. It’s literally MIA as far as buzz is felt, though who knows? After all, the Emmys are the last group to react to buzz of shows. Then there’s also House of Cards. After its premiere last February, the show has been eclipsed by it’s Netflix sister Orange is the New Black. But to its favor, there’s still some clout left under its rug, and this is Netflix’ drama priority while Mad Men plays second fiddle to Breaking Bad. there’s a big chance they’d go seven nominees still (or even The Good Wife making that comeback), but for now I’d choose House of Cards by a small  margin.

Finally it’s over! Are you excited for the announcement later? Do you think Mad Men will be able to maintain its perfect Series nomination record? How much of Downton Abbey will go down in terms of nominations? And can Jeff Daniels overcome the jinx and get a chance to retain his title? Go on and share your thoughts in the comments section. 🙂

Don’t forget you ca follow me on Twitter: @nikowl