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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

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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

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