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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

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If I’m an Emmy Voter…   4 comments

Photo courtesy of emmys.com

Now that I’m done making my predictions for the Emmys tomorrow, I’ll try to fill the shoes of those who were tasked to judge the actual Emmy categories and be in a voter mood just this time. If I happen to vote on all the categories that will be presented tomorrow (plus the four guest acting awards), here’s how my ballot will look like:

DRAMA SERIES: Homeland (Showtime)

Mad Men has four already, and while they indeed had a great season again, I’d rather spread the wealth this year. Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones’s first seasons were better than the second one, I’ll wait for Breaking Bad’s series to end, and I think Homeland just brings the good week in and week out that I don’t see them topping this perfectly balanced first season; thus I’m throwing Homeland my vote.

LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA: Damian Lewis, “Homeland”

This is pretty much a non contest. Both Cranston and Lewis deliver Emmy winning performance. The only difference is Cranston was rewarded thrice already, yet Lewis has none. I’m giving Lewis my vote.

LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA: Claire Danes, “Homeland”

I’m happy Danes is getting the surge in her career post-Temple Grandin, and that her wonderful acting abilities is put into good use. She might have won just two years ago, but she deserves this quick of a follow up.

SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA: Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad”

This was tough. Esposito was the villain of the season and he was actually good in Breaking Bad. This is also the last chance to reward Harris for years of consistent performance, but I can’t resist to vote for Aaron Paul who perfectly compliments Bryan Cranston every single time in Breaking Bad.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA: Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men”

It’s really a bull that Mad Men is still Emmyless in terms of acting categories. Holloway owned this season like no other, so I’m giving my vote to her. Christine Baranski is a close second, but I’m totally voting for Miss Holloway.

GUEST ACTOR, DRAMA: Dylan Baker, “The Good Wife”

After watching his episode, he totally gave me Hannibal Lecter creeps. That’s enough to give him my vote.

GUEST ACTRESS, DRAMA: Joan Cusack, “Shameless”

What is she even doing in this category? I think she’s a solid supporting actress in her show. With that said, I’ve loved how she embraced this character perfectly and that tape just rocks on so many level.

WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES: Julian Fellowes, “Downton Abbey” (Episode 7)

After Homeland’s The Weekend shoutout here, I’m going with Fellowes Oscar-worthy screenplay for the Christmas episode. This is totally the saving grace of an uneven second season.

DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES: Vince Gilligan, “Breaking Bad” (Face Off)

From start to finish, the episode is riveting. Simply riveting.

COMEDY SERIES: Modern Family (ABC)

No Louie and Parks and Recreation on the list. I like both Girls and Veep, but I think they still ahsn’t developed the highest points of their series runs. Big Bang was more of a Big Blah this season. 30 Rock has had its shares of a threepeat here. Curb is a hit or miss for me. Easy vote goes to Modern Family.

LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY: Larry David, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”

It’s between Louis CK and Larry David, but the perennial nominee deserves it based on the long pedigree of consistent performance in his show. It’s actually too overdue to happen, but I would’ve voted for him in a heartbeat.

LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY: Julia Louis Dreyfus, “Veep”

I love you Amy Poehler, and I’m happy you won the Pawnee elections, but the Veep had my vote.

SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family”

By a mile, the only consistent and still refreshing cast member for the third season. He really deserves the Emmy.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY: Kristin Wiig, “Saturday Night Live”

Bleh batch of nominees. Where’s Jane Krakowski? She should have been winning this thing. Srsly. With that, I’ll go for our favorite bridesmaid.

GUEST ACTOR, COMEDY: Jimmy Fallon, “Saturday Night Live”

It’s not even a competition. Fallon owned everybody in his category, and I’m ecstatic he actually won.

GUEST ACTRESS, COMEDY: Maya Rudolph, “Saturday Night Live”

I love you Kathy Bates, and I’m happy you can now call yourself an Emmy winner, but the moment Beyonce did Maya Rudolph is already a win worthy in my book. Distant second is Melissa McCarthy’s dress tasting skit.

WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES: Chris McKennan, “Community” (Remedial Chaos Theory)

I’m still over the moon with this nomination, and this only comes once in a blue moon, so why waste your time to not vote for it. This is the best nomination this whole Emmy season.

DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES: Louis CK, “Louie” (Duckling)

A.K.A a vote for all of his work for the show.

REALITY COMPETITION PROGRAM: The Voice (NBC)

I have three favorite reality/competition shows: The Amazing Race, Top Chef, and The Voice. The first two ahve Emmys on their mantle already. It’s time to add a third companion on the list.

REALITY HOST: Cat Deeley, “So You Think You Can Dance” 

Only Deeley shows enough personality that sets her apart from being just the “instruction giver.” Other hosts should really take notes.

OUTSTANDING MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia (PBS)

I really don’t have any vote here. So anything other than American Mess Story is fine by me.

LEAD ACTOR, MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock”

This is the perfect Sherlock performance that’s less mainstream and more convincing. Iron Man, take notes.

LEAD ACTRESS, MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Nicole Kidman, “Hemingway & Gellhorn”

Say what you want about the quality of the whole TV movie but Kidman stand out front and center in this enriching performance that shows why she’s one of her generation’s top actresses.

SUPPORTING ACTOR, MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Martin Freeman, “Sherlock”

Meh batch of nominees. Don’t think Harris is the stand out at all, and the others aren’t even close. Give O’Hare some props though.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, MINISERIES/TV MOVIE: Sarah Paulson, “Game Change”

We all know Lange is winning and she deserves it, but Paulson is the real definition of a supporting actress in Game Change. She gets my vote.

How about you? Who will you be voting for if you were an Emmy voter? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 🙂

ANALYSIS: Emmy Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series 2012   1 comment

EPISODE SUBMISSIONS:

• Dylan Baker, “The Good Wife” (Marthas and Caitlins)
• Jeremy Davies, “Justified” (Coalition)
• Ben Feldman “Mad Men” (Dark Shadows)
• Michael J. Fox, “The Good Wife” (Parenting Made Easy)
• Mark Margolis, “Breaking Bad” (Face Off)
• Jason Ritter, “Parenthood” (Politics)

I find this group of nominees even better than my prediction ones with surprise deserving nods overall the expected ones. Dylan Baker, who was previously nominated two years ago for the same role, comes back with another nomination and this year, he gets a very good episode that shows his range and certainly leaves impact to voters. Certainly, he should be The Good Wife star that’s getting all the buzz in this category. Jeremy Davies is also another comeback nominee, and while I find his last year’s submission better than this year, he still gets a good amount of screentime with some highlights in his submitted episode; however, with everything that’s going in his episode, it’s hard for his arc to stand out overall. Ben Feldman replaces perennial nominee Robert Morse as mad Men’s nomination in this category, and while he shines in his elevator scene in the end with Hamm, he’s pretty much scattered all over the episode not gaining enough momentum to own it the way other nominees do. It is very much arguable if this is Michael J. Fox‘s best episode of the season, but his somewhat frontrunner status baffles me once you watch his submission. Julianna Margulies owned this episode, and the last scene with her certainly did not leave enough impact to bring it all the way to the Emmy podium. This made me remember how Matthew Perry was snubbed of a nomination this year, because Fox clearly made it solely on name basis. Mark Margolis is pretty much wise with his submitted episode, as it is an impressive and buzzed about Breaking Bad episode, and he was riveting and memorable in his submission. This is the type of performance that sticks with voters after seeing all episodes. Lastly, Jason Ritter manages a surprise nod, and his storyline is vital to the episode, but his role also benefits from a season arc judgment than a single episode one. 

I reiterate that I’m very much worried that Fox is the most buzzed nominee, and it saddens me if eh takes the plum. I’m torn between Dylan Baker and Mark Margolis as who to choose since it occurs to me that their episodes will stick to voters the most. However, since Baker is a returning nominee for a show that the Academy seems to recognize the most for acting, I’d predict Baker by a hair over Margolis.

Prediction: Dylan Baker, “The Good Wife”
Spoiler: Mark Margolis, “Breaking Bad”

Complete Rankings:
1. Baker
2. Margolis
3. Davies
4. Fox
5. Feldman
6. Ritter