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Final 67th Primetime Emmy Awards Predictions   2 comments

emmy predictions 2015

Drama Series: Game of Thrones (alternate: Mad Men)
Drama Lead Actor: Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards” (alternate: Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”
Drama Lead Actress: Viola Davis, “How to Get Away with Murder” (alternate: Taraji P. Henson, “Empire”)
Drama Supporting Actor: Jonathan Banks, “Better Call Saul” (alternate: Ben Mendelsohn, “Bloodline)
Drama Supporting Actress: Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones” (alternate: Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black)
Drama Directing: Game of Thrones, “Mother’s Mercy” (alternate: Homeland, “From A to B and Back Again”)
Drama Writing: Mad Men, “Person to Person” (alternate: Game of Thrones, “Mother’s Mercy”)

Comedy Series: Veep (alternate: Modern Family)
Comedy Lead Actor: Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent” (alternate: Will Forte, “The Last Man on Earth”)
Comedy Lead Actress: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” (alternate: Amy Schumer, “Inside Amy Schumer”)
Comedy Supporting Actor: Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (alternate: Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”)
Comedy Supporting Actress: Allison Janney, “Mom” (alternate: Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”)
Comedy Directing: The Last Man on Earth, “Alive in Tucson” (alternate: Veep, “Testimony”)
Comedy Writing: Veep, “Election Night” (alternate: Transparent, “Pilot”)

Limited Series: Olive Kitteridge (alternate: Wolf Hall)
Limited Series or Movie Lead Actor: Mark Rylance, “Wolf Hall” (alternate: Richard Jenkins, “Olive Kitteridge”)
Limited Series or Movie Lead Actress: Frances McDormand, “Olive Kitteridge” (alternate: Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Honourable Woman”)
Limited Series or Movie Supporting Actor: Damian Lewis, “Wolf Hall” (alternate: Bill Murray, “Olive Kitteridge”)
Limited Series or Movie Supporting Actress: Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Freak Show” (alternate: Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
Limited Series or Movie Directing: Olive Kitteridge (alternate: Wolf Hall)
Limited Series or Movie Writing: Wolf Hall (alternate: Olive Kitteridge)

Reality/Competition Show: The Amazing Race (alternate: The Voice)
Variety Talk Show: The Colbert Report (alternate: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver)
Variety Sketch Show: Saturday Night Live (alternate: Inside Amy Schumer)
Variety Directing: Inside Amy Schumer, “12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer” (alternate: Late Show with David Letterman, “Episode Show 2414”)
Variety Writing: Inside Amy Schumer (alternate: The Colbert Report)

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 Lead Actor in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

drama lead actor

Prediction: Kevin Spacey “House of Cards”
Alternate: Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”

Full Rankings:
01. Kevin Spacey “House of Cards”
02. Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”
03. Kyle Chandler, “Bloodline
04. Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul
05. Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom
06. Liev Schreiber., “Ray Donovan”

Check my other 2015 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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

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

drama lead actress

Prediction: Viola Davis, “How to Get Away with Murder”
Alternate: Taraji P. Henson, “Empire”

Full Rankings:
01. Viola Davis, “How to Get Away with Murder”
02. Taraji P. Henson, “Empire”
03. Robin Wright, “House of Cards
04. Tatiana Maslany, “Orphan Black
05. Claire Danes, “Homeland
06. Elisabeth Moss., “Mad Men

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 Guest Actress in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

drama guest actressLet’s now move on to the Drama Guest Actress contenders for this year. Last year, Allison Janney easily wins one of her two comeback Emmys for her performance in Masters of Sex. And she’s back in the running again. As a matter of fact, three of the nominated performances from last year are back while two are from the same shows with a different actress nominated. Let’s begin.

The best/worst case of name-checking this year happens to be Emmy winner Margo Martindale, who unfortunately continues to be the only acting performance recognized from The Americans. Her submission this year is the episode titled “I Am Abassin Zadran” where she appeared for only two minutes in the whole tape. Sure, Loretta Devine won for a short tape in 2011, but I do’t think that’s even comparable to this really short reel.

Nominated for her guest turn in Scandal is first time Emmy nominee Khandi Alexander who plays Mama Pope. In her tape “Where the Sun Don’t Shine”, we see Maya being held hostage in a room thinking that Olivia will save her. Alexander appears in only three scenes with one of them being a “tape-worthy” moment when she shut down Olivia. I believe Alexander is being helped by the fact that she also appears in TV Movie Bessie this year because her stronger works in Scandal the previous seasons resulted to Emmy snubs.

When Kate Mara was nominated here last year, it’s basically because of that much-talked about train scene in the second season opener of House of Cards. This year, it’s co-star Rachel Brosnahan getting in for her performance as Rachel Posner. Submitting the season finale episode ” Chapter 39″, the tape showcases a complete story arc for the actress which benefits her a lot because it would appeal to voters who don’t even watch the show regularly.

Dame Diana Rigg receives her third consecutive nomination for playing Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones. Her tape this year is the episode “The Gift” where we see the fierce matriarch doing many agreements to save her grandkids. She has some confrontation scenes in this one, though I don’t think it’ll be enough to merit her a victory even if the voters are head over heels with Game of Thrones now.

Aiming for back-to-back wins here is current champ Allison Janney, once again nominated for her work as Margaret Scully in Masters of Sex. This year, she submits the season opener “Parallax”  where she had that scene with onscreen partner Beau Bridges confronting about his sexuality and one where she had to conceal what happened to his character. It’s a pretty lackluster tape as confirmed to her winning one last year because she’s mostly relegated to reacting to Bridges (who’s the star of this episode). She still has a chance to win though had this category lacked a specific frontrunner…

…which it didn’t because Cicely Tyson got in for her role as Ophelia in How to Get Away with Murder. Tyson was also the frontrunner last year for her work in The Trip to Bountiful only to lose in an upset by Jessica Lange, but she’s in the most buzzed about show in the group. In her episode “Mama’s Here Now”, she visits and assists daughter Annalise (Emmy nominee Viola Davis) who’s suffering a personal predicament. In here, Tyson was sassy, funny, dominating, and it’s the perfect tape that gets rewarded with an Emmy. I think it’s one of the most buzzed performances of the season, and one who leads the pack both in buzz and in tapes.

Prediction: Cicely Tyson, “How to Get Away with Murder
Alternate: Rachel Brosnahan, “House of Cards

Full Rankings:
01. Cicely Tyson, “How to Get Away with Murder
02. Rachel Brosnahan, “House of Cards
03. Allison Janney, “Masters of Sex
04. Khandi Alexander, “Scandal
05. Diana Rigg, “Game of Thrones
06. Margo Martindale, “The Americans

Check my other 2015 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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

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

drama guest actor

After the guest ladies of comedy, we’re moving halfway into our guest acting Emmy predictions and move to the drama guest actors for this year. With two consecutive wins from Scandal (for Dan Bucatinsky and Joe Morton), it’s a surprise that Courtney B. Vance suddenly missed the boat even for a nomination. If anything, the Emmys really know how to pull off those surprising nominations and snubs.

Speaking of surprise, Orange is the New Black‘s Pablo Schreiber finally receives his Emmy nomination, albeit a season late for his turn as Officer Mendez a.k.a Pornstahcer. In his episode “40 Oz. of Furlough”, we see Schreiber coming back to the prison after his suspension. Schreiber’s opening scene is literally an entrance seeing that infamous pornstache leading the way. However, in an hour long episode, he only appears in three scenes (all not more than a minute). To be fair, in a short span of minutes, he had shown classic Mendez with a range in his final scene, but that scene (and his nomination) is a year late.

Oscar Best Actor F. Murray Abraham receives his very first Emmy nomination for his role as CIA Agent Dar Adal in Homeland. Submitting the season finale “Long Time Coming”, Abraham’s storyline dealt with him building an arrangement with Saul in order to accomplish the mission he had with Haqqani. Abraham’s scenes were mostly talking pieces both with Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin’s characters, and I can see this appealing to a certain batch of voters.It’s not that much of a slam dunk episode though but a competitive enough given this race,

On the other hand, Beau Bridges, receiving his second consecutive nomination playing the role of Barton Scully in Masters of Sex, submitted season opener “Parallax.” It’s an emotional episode all around, particularly given his character undergoing electroshock therapy to cure his homophobia. It also features an encounter with his wife (Guest Actress nominee Allison Janney) facing their marital problems. The cherry on top of the cake is his final scene where he attempted to hang himself. This is baity stuff all throughout and his loss last year certainly helps his chances this time around.

After missing last year’s race (due to not being submitted by the show), Michael J. Fox is back for his fourth nomination as Louis Canning for The Good Wife. Up to now, it still is a surprise that this performance, let alone his this character, hasn’t received a win yet. This year he went with the episode “Red Zone”, where his character’s worsening health condition was on full display. The episode ends with him talking to Alicia and giving her final words in the event that he dies. It’s a touching tape, no doubt about that, but one wonders if the character is seriously touching or just one of Canning’s antics.

One of perennial Emmy favorites Alan Alda is back in the race this year playing the character of Alan Fitch in The Blacklist. This is his first drama acting nomination since his victory in the Supporting Actor race in 2006 for The West Wing. His tape “The Decembrist” probably contains the most memorable scene in this category combined as it had his character exploding — literally, that is — on screen. Most of his scenes had him  with a bomb attached on his neck as he gets empathetic and emotional about his impending demise. He gets confrontation scenes, drama scenes, and confession scenes in it which coul be added by the strength of his name.

Last year, I predicted House of Cards’ Reg E. Cathey for the win because of his great tape submission as Freddy Hayes. Sadly, the same can’t be said this year because despite having a decent enough closing scene in his tape “Chapter 34”, it’s not showy enough. Surely, we root for the character of Freddy, but that wouldn’t be enough to net a win this time around.

I think the race can be boiled down between the character who died (Alan Alda) and the character who tried to die in his episode (Beau Bridges). Both are multiple Emmy winners, both have great tapes, and both have the road to a win. Bridges can be helped by the fact that he was nominated last year as well, and while they have already rewarded on-screen partner Allison Janney, he has yet to win for it. However, this is also the last time to reward Alda’s character (matched with a really “explosive” exit), so I’ll give the edge to him.

Prediction: Alan Alda, “The Blacklist”
Alternate: Beau Bridges, “Masters of Sex

Full Rankings:
01. Alan Alda, “The Blacklist”
02. Beau Bridges, “Masters of Sex
03. Michael J. Fox, “The Good Wife
04. F. Murray Abraham, “Homeland
05. Pablo Schreiber “Orange is the New Black
06. Reg E. Cathey, “House of Cards”

You can 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 Lead Actor in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

Emmy Drama Lead Actor

And we’re now down to the last male acting category for this year’s Emmy analysis special here at Tit for Tat. After Jeff Daniels’ out of nowhere win last year, this is surely a contended race and definitely one of the nail-biters come Emmy ceremony. Let’s discuss Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

Despite winning two Oscars and a few SAGs under his belt, Kevin Spacey still hasn’t won an Emmy (and a Golden Globe for that matter) despite having multiple nominations already. This year, Spacey is nominated once again for House of Cards, and he submitted the season finale “Chapter 26” to the panel. In it, we see Vice President Frank Underwood doing some saving after his allies find out his backstabbing plans. He then turns tables around to fix it which led to a chilling ending for his character. This is really a great arc for Spacey and he was given a lot to do with it making him feel empowered, defeated, vindicated all in one episode. He talks to the camera, he does a narration, he connives, and he is vile in it. I really am surprised that he hasn’t won any award for this role so far, but with lesser competition next year, maybe that’s when he’ll start to actually dominate the race.

Now going to his seventh nomination with no wins still, Jon Hamm has become one of the perennial losers in this category even surpassing Hugh Laurie and Michael C. Hall already. While it seems like the Academy doesn’t like the acting on Mad Men, it also didn’t help that he submitted “The Stretegy” which wasn’t his strongest episode this season. As opposed to the previous episodes, voters get to sympathize with Don Draper this time upon realizing that his marriage is falling apart and has to convince Peggy that he’s helping and not sabotaging her. But really, it’s all moot. Maybe he can take advantage of the empty crowd next year with the show’s final season in play.

People surely underestimated him last year and at the nominations last month, but it seems like Jeff Daniels is here to stay…for this year at least. Refuting to be a one hit wonder, Daniels picks up a consecutive nod to regain his title and had “Election Night Part 2″ to help him achieve that. In this episode, we see a more personal story from Will as he tackles his relationship with MacKenzie ending with a proposal. While this is not at the same level of the speech he gave in his winning episode last year, I think he has stronger competition this year to do a repeat of his win.

In one of the best episodes submitted ever in this category. Bryan Cranston in “Ozymandias” is certainly the best tape he has submitted in this category including all his three winning tapes here before. He is on fire for the whole episode here with a nod to his earlier Walt at the start of the episode up until that confrontation with Anna Gunn in the end. There’s no denying that this is a powerful tape and one that can easily win again since his last victory four years ago. If only he had weaker competition, I’d be very easy to say this will be an easy one for the books but then comes…

True Detective. Both the leads of the show got nominated here and let’s start with Emmy winner Woody Harrelson. Woody was wise to submit “The Locked Room” which had him dealing with his family’s reaction to his work. Due to his covering of the case, he has forgotten about his family which ended with him breaking down when confronted by his wife. There’s also a scene with his mistress near the end where he demands that she sees no other man aside from him. As for his co-star’s tape, he benefits from it since it’s the finale episode of the series.

Lastly, coming off from an Oscar win last March, Matthew McConaughey is now on the hunt for the Emmy as well as the other actor of True Detective. While his submissions is arguable to most people (majority felt he should have went with “The Secret  Fate of All Life” or Who Goes There“), his submission of the series finale “Form and Void” isn’t really something to be ashamed off. In it, they’ve finally put the pieces of the puzzle together which ended with a creepy chasing scene at the maze. In the final scene, McConaughey delivers a really strong monologue which can seal the high rankings from the panel. He also benefits from Harrelson’s tape, as it showcased a different side of Rust so that’s two tapes from him.

I guess it all boils down to Bryan Cranston and Matthew McConaughey. Cranston submitted his consensus tour de force tape while others are meh on McConaughey. But then again, he has two tapes which shows his range, and it’s the last two they’ll be seeing when they watch the Lead Actor reel (since episodes are arranged on the tape alphabetically of the show’s name). When you have two great tapes competing, that’s when the outside factors in, and I think McConaughey is ahead of that. He’s basically Hollywood’s “go to” guy now after his career turnaround the past few years. While Cranston aims to tie the record of Dennis Franz in this category with four wins, this is their only chance to reward McConaughey for this performance. If ever there’s someone who’ll be tying Dennis Franz though, it’ll be Bryan Cranston, but I think this is the case where Cranston’s three previous Emmy wins hurt his chances when pitted against showbiz’ poster actor in a one time performance.

Prediction: Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective
Alternate: Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad

Full Rankings:
01. Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective
02. Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad
03. Kevin Spacey, ‘House of Cards
04. Woody Harrelson, “True Detective
05. Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom
06. Jon Hamm, “Mad Men

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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