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65th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

actor drama

PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: Ian McShanw, “Deadwood” [WRONG]
2006: 
Kiefer Sutherland, “24” [CORRECT]
2007: 
James Gandolfini “The Sopranos” [WRONG]
2008: 
James Spader, “Boston Legal” [WRONG]
2009: 
Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad” [CORRECT]
2010: 
Hugh Laurie, “House” [WRONG]
2011: 
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men” [WRONG]
2012: 
Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad” [WRONG]

Now we’re off to one of the most highly contested categories at this year’s Emmy awards: Drama Actor in a Lead Series. Almost everyone here has a narrative going in for them, and this is already a busy category on its own despite Steve Buscemi missing for Boardwalk Empire and perennial nominee Michael C. Hall’s supposed sixth consecutive nod. Anyway, off to the nominees…

After picking up Globe and SAG nods earlier this year, Jeff Daniels received his first Emmy nomination for The Newsroom. And despite submitting the show’s pilot (which is probably his best shot, so kudos to him for doing so), it seemed that he’s one of those filler nods that deserves a nomination but you can rule out for the win. If anything, this is the best scenario that works for the concept of “the nomination is the reward.”

Surprisingly making it again for the second time, despite everyone (including yours truly) undermining his chances is Downton Abbey‘s Hugh Bonneville.  Bonneville went with Episode 5 of the show’s third seasons, which is a breath of fresh air from his co-stars who went with the season opener. But then again, he’s such a non-factor in this race that it won’t even matter.

Then  you have multiple nominee Jon Hamm. Despite multiple nods under his name, he still wasn’t able to snatch a golden Emmy of his own whether for his work here in Mad Men or his guesting stint on 30 Rock. For this year, he submitted the season ender In Care Of. Now with the announcement of Mad Men‘s final season being divided into two parts, this gives Hamm (and everyone else in the cast) two more shots to get nominated and give the show its first acting win. I just don’t see it happening this year.

Bryan Cranston aims to win his fourth Emmy for his role as Walter White for Breaking Bad. While it’s not wise to count him out of the conversation, winning the fourth Emmy is a harder feat than what it looks like. In this category’s history, only one performance managed to scoop up four Emmys for it. A lot of them came close such as James Gandolfini in The Sopranos, and James Spader in Boston Legal only to be defeated in their last time. Now I have no doubt that Bryan Cranston can easily tie it… but he’ll have to wait for next year I guess.

That leaves us with current winner Damian Lewis. His season might be uneven in general, but remember that when it comes to the Emmys, you only need one surefire episode to batch you that Emmy gold. And he clearly has one with Q&A.  This is a very competitive episode that is tailor made to win an Emmy. And I have no doubt that this will not be put into waste, as Lewis is one of the two frontrunners this season.

Lastly, there’s two time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey. His first foray into television series is put into good fruition, as he instantly gets nominated for an Emmy for it. Spacey is no stranger with the Emmys since he has been nominated for 2008’s TV movie Recount, but this is his first shot to end up with one. Emmy voters also tend to be starstrucked with movie stars and Oscar winners, so that works well in his advantage. For this year, his only semi downside is submitting Episode 1 instead of his baitier tapes into the season. As Julianna Margulies proved in 2010, buzz can only take you so far and a winning tape can beat you in an instant.

All in all, I see this as a three way race among Bryan Cranston, Damian Lewis, and Kevin Spacey. I’m more dismissive of Cranston’s chances since it is more fitting to see him win is record tying one on the last season of the show next eligibility year. That leaves me choosing between Oscar winner Spacey and current winner Damian Lewis. This is where Spacey is at a disadvantage, since his tape pales in comparison. With that said, I’m going with Damian Lewis for a consecutive win too.

Prediction: Damian Lewis, “Homeland
Runner-Up: Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards

Full Rankings:
1. Damian Lewis, “Homeland
2. Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards
3. Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad
4. Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”
5. Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom”
6. Hugh Bonneville, “Downton Abbey

You can see my other Emmy predictions in other categories here.

Meanwhile, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

ANALYSIS: Emmy Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series 2012   Leave a comment

EPISODE SUBMISSIONS:

• Hugh Bonneville, “Downton Abbey” (Episode 7: Christmas)
• Steve Buscemi, “Boardwalk Empire” (Two Boats and a Lifeguard)
• Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad” (Crawl Space)
• Michael C. Hall, “Dexter” (Nebraska)
• Jon Hamm “Mad Men” (The Other Woman)
• Damien Lewis, “Homeland” (Marine One)

It’s such a surprise that given the Downton love last year, Hugh Bonneville failed to make it in the Lead Actor Miniseries line up despite having six nominees. This year, he wasn’t the MVP of the series, but his episode is satisfying enough to justify his nomination. We get to see a lot of aspects with Bonneville’s character as a patriarch, a father, a son, a master, and Bonneville showed all of that with effectiveness. If anything though, his nominations is his reward. This is Steve Buscemi’s second shot for a nomination, and while the quality of the show increased from the first to the second, the buzz for the show decreased from the second to the first. His episode was okay; however, the problem is that it was too subtle and quiet for Buscemi to be the standout in this field. If he can’t win last year with the Globe and SAG wins, plus the buzz that Boardwalk had, I don’t see him winning this year. Bryan Cranston, so far, still has a perfect record for his performance as Walter White in the Emmys, and this is his year where in he’ll be tying with Dennis Franz if he wins a fourth one. And Cranston definitely nailed his episode submission with “Crawl Space.” The good thing with Cranston is that regardless if it’s a single tape system or a season long performance, he certainly delivers and is worthy of his Emmy win year in and year out. And with no real solid alternates, it’s easy for Cranston to get that fourth one. Michael C. Hall is on his fifth consecutive nod for the show, and he still hasn’t received any Emmy for this role. Hall’s best shot was in 2010, but he screwed up his submission resulting to a loss. This year, with Dexter falling out of the Best Drama Series category, and no major arc that led to a guest spot nom (Jimmy Smits, John Lithgow, Julia Stiles), the possibility of Hall finally winning an Emmy for this role is getting more impossible. I wouldn’t be shocked if he joins the list of other Emmyless performances with the way things are turning. Jon Hamm, like Hall, is on his fifth bid for a win now and still hasn’t received an Emmy. Don Draper is an iconic role already, but for some reason, the voters don’t feel the same way. During the previous years, the main con that people say why he keeps on losing is that his performance is too subtle as compared to others; however, he still lost last year with a very baity and over the top tape. Is it just a case of voters not really liking the role that much? While his tape this year is also good, he shares the episode with both Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks, so he doesn’t get to own it from start to finish. The only one who stands a chance in beating Cranston is first time nominee Damian Lewis who also gives a very competitive performance in Homeland. He also submitted a winning tape via “Marine One”, which also happens to be one of the most lauded episodes of the show. Lewis showed range, emotion, screentime, and impact in his submission, and had it been a weaker year, it will definitely be the frontrunner. Don’t count his chances out though.

This category could have been stronger, as the snub for Kelsey Grammer turned this into a different ballgame. However, in the end, this is just between two men: Bryan Cranston and Damian Lewis. Cranston is the logical choice especially with the support that the show receives every year at the Emmys, and a fourth one is very much in reach. If there happens to be a Cranston fatigue, then I see Damian Lewis as a very deserving alternate to take home the trophy.

Prediction: Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”
Dark Horse: Damien Lewis, “Homeland

Complete Rankings:
1. Cranston
2. Lewis
3. Hamm
4. Bonneville
5. Hall
6. Buscemi