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

comedy guest actor

Let’s complete the guest acting categories for this year by discussing the Guest Actor Comedy Series Emmy. All the six men nominated this year are no strangers to the Emmys considering they have collectively combined dozens and dozens of nominations under their belt. But with no clear frontrunner such as Bob Newhart or Jimmy Fallon this year, the race really seems up in the air.

Previously nominated thrice already in this category, still Emmyless actor Jon Hamm gets his first nod outside of his work in 30 Rock. However, it’s for another Tina Fey produced show — the Comedy Series nominee Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. In the season finale entitled “Kimmy Makes Waffles”, a tape was revealed where Reverand Richard Wayne Gary Wayne was seen doing some different activities disproving his earlier claims. This ends with a court room scene where he was pleaded as guilty. It’s a very competitive tape, though one can argue that his best scenes are in the beginning and his court scenes pale in comparison to that.

It’s one of those easier name checking instances, as veteran Mel Brooks gets in for the one-season canceled show The Comedians. In his episode “Celebrity Guest”. Billy Crystal attempts to invite Mel as a celebrity guest. It’s a pretty short appearance considering there were many storylines in that episode, and his wasn’t even the main one. I doubt he’ll be winning for this one, though one should never underestimate name checking.

Paul Giamatti targets Emmy win number 2, this time for his performance as Juror #10 in Inside Amy Schumer‘s “12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer” episode. Considered as one of the top comedic episodes of the past seasons, I can see a scenario where voters will go for it because of their love for the episode, regardless of Paul Giamatti’s performance in it. That said, his turn here is quite exquisite. Sure, John Hawkes upstaged him, but Giamatti stayed with his character that even in the most hilarious lines, you’d see him with a straight face. Hawkes’ snub clearly helps Paul though as now he’s the only chance to reward someone for this episode.

On the outside, physical transformation is what sets Bradley Whitford apart from his co-nominees for his turn as Marcy May in Transparent. Donning a blonde wig, the closet transvestite spends a day with confidante Maura in his submitted episode “Best New Girl.” It’s a pretty subtle performance, if ever there’s one in this lineup and can garner some votes in his way. However, it lacks the scenery chewing scene this category loves. Let’s see how it fares up with the rest of the pack, though he’s definitely in contention.

In four of the last six years, ever since Saturday Night Live hosts were submitted here, the guest actor category has been a place to reward the acting in the said sketch series. However, two of those are for Justin Timberlake hosted episodes while the other two are for Jimmy Fallon’s. This year, neither are nominated but we have two who have gained multiple nominations already. First up is Louis C.K. earning his third consecutive nomination as an SNL host. In the 40th season finale, his submitted episode, he kicked it off with a seven-minute monologue which is equally hilarious as it is controversial. That said, this is weaker than his previous stints, so if he can’t win during those times, maybe this one won’t be it as well.

Lastly, there’s SNL alum Bill Hader who was previously nominated in the Supporting Actor category. In his first bid as a guest host, Hader revisited all his prominent previous iconic SNL turns especially Stefon. While this is no slam dunk, this benefits him (as compared back in Supporting) because he appears in most of the sketches. He’s also helped by another Emmy favorite Kristen Wiig). Hader has since accumulated greater goodwill since the last time he was nominated appearing in critically lauded films such as The Skeleton Twins and in the great summer blockbuster Trainwreck. In a field as open as this one, a Hader victory situation isn’t far-fetched; thus I’m predicting him for the win.

Prediction: Bill Hader, “Saturday Night Live”
Alternate: Bradley Whitford, “Transparent

Full Rankings:
01. Bill Hader, “Saturday Night Live”
02. Bradley Whitford, “Transparent
03. Paul Giamatti, “Inside Amy Schumer
04. Jon Hamm, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
05. Mel Brooks “The Comedians
06. Louis CK, “Saturday Night Live”

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 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

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

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

ANALYSIS: Emmy Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series 2012   Leave a comment

I better start these posts, so I cna make it before the Emmy ceremony next month. Here we go with the first category for the year:

EPISODE SUBMISSIONS:

• Will Arnett, “30 Rock” (Idiots Are People, Part Three)
• Bobby Cannavale, “Nurse Jackie” (Disneyland Sucks)
• Jimmy Fallon, “Saturday Night Live” (Host: Jimmy Fallon)
• Michael J. Fox, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (Larry vs. Michael J Fox)
• Jon Hamm, “30 Rock” (Live From Studio 6H)
• Greg Kinnear, “Modern Family” (Me? Jealous?)

This is a pretty safe group of nominees combining expected newbies and returning nominees for the Comedy Guest Actor category this year. Bobby Cannavale got a surprising nod for the Nurse Jackie’s fourth season, and since his guest stint is season-long, it does not give him any favors when they’re required to submit a single tape only. In “Disneyland Sucks“, while he gets longer scenes that were indeed funny, it does not match the material by all the other nominees. Voters tend to like Will Arnett in 30 Rock so much, since they’ve nominated it for the fourth time already, and while he gets a better tape this year via “Idiots Are People, Part Three“, it does not scream Emmy winning, and this category is not kind enough to overdue nominees. Greg Kinnear‘s guest stint on Modern Family resulted to a consecutive Emmy nom for him. He doesn’t do much in his tape, and his role is pretty reactionary though if voters find the whole situation funny, that’s the only way I see them eliciting votes. Another 30 Rock star who got nominated here is Jon Hamm who was already nominated here two times in 2009 and 2010. In his tape “Live From Studio 6H”, he gets to play various characters including a black face actor and a misogynist news anchor. He gets to do a lot of physical comedy and I can see this clicking to voters. Michael J. Fox earns both comedic and dramatic guest acting nominations this year, and he has a pretty good chance of winning at both. For comedy, his nomination comes from Curb Your Enthusiasm, and the season finale episode “Larry vs. Michael J. Fox“, we saw him playing arch nemesis to Larry David outwitting each other. The last nominee is Jimmy Fallon going back and hosting Saturday Night Live; a show he was once a part of. The chemistry was there and the material was handled smoothly in one of the best episodes of the season.

In the end, I see it as a race between Fox and Fallon, but since Fallon was in every skit of his submitted episode, I give him the edge and my prediction in this category. I won’t be surprised if Fox pulls the win though, but I’m pretty confident with Fallon.

Prediction: Jimmy Fallon, “Saturday Night Live”
Spoiler: Michael J. Fox, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”

Complete Rankings:
1. Fallon
2. Fox
3. Hamm
4. Kinnear
5. Arnett
6. Cannavale