Archive for the ‘scandal’ Tag

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

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 Guest Actress in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

Emmy Drama Guest Actress

Hi there. You’re still reading Tit for Tat’s 66th Emmy coverage. After analyzing the comedy guest actress and drama guest actor tapes earlier this week, let’s move on to their counterparts by beginning this one with the Guest Actress Drama category. it is interesting to note that three of last year’s nominees are back again but without current champ Carrie Preston of The Good Wife to defend her throne. As a matter of fact, it seemed like CBS’ plan backfired as they only had Preston as the sole guest actress of the show to be considered and the Emmys snubbed it altogether. Anyway, as for the nominees.

The Emmys continue its stupid decision of ignoring The Americans outside of Margo Martindale. This year, she gets her consecutive nod for her performance as Claudia for the show. While she clearly lacks in screentime in her submission Behind the Red Door, her only moments happened at the near start and the near end of the episode, so that might work for her, but while her reveal at the end was dramatic, it was a bit low key or calm to elicit a winning performance for this nomination.

On the other hand, another consecutive nominee Jane Fonda was all shouts and all sparks in her submission Red Team III for The Newsroom as she gave a five minute speech and lecture to boost the whole news team after they submitted their resignation. That said, she’s hurt by the new policy that guest tapes aren’t edited down since her only appearance happens in the last five minutes so those not fan of the show will have to endure the first 54 minutes or so before they’ll witness Fonda’s moments in this episode.

After a seven year hiatus, Allison Janney comes back with a bang by picking up two nominations for her performances in two different genres in two different shows. Like her on-screen husband Beau Bridges, she’s also nominated for her turn in Masters of Sex, and while her episode Brave New High isn’t necessarily the type of tapes that win here, she provides a very devastating and poignant take of a woman who never had an orgasm. It was heartbreaking and emotional, and I think she nailed her submission.

From a snub for her season-long performance last year, Kate Mara gets herself a nomination for a short stint in the sophomore season of House of Cards. While she only has Episode 14 as her sole submission, it is that one episode that heavily involved her character in it. And I think that’s more than enough. After all, that same episode was just nominated in Writing and Directing for this year, so it clearly has its fans in the panel.

Receiving her third nomination in this category (for another Shonda Rhimes show), Kate Burton was on fire in her episode A Door Makred Exit. The cold open actually begins with her story, and it is scenery chewing at its finest. She continues to get this big scenes one after the other and I guess it all depends on the panel assigned in this one if they prefer the soap opera melodrama of the show because if they do, then an Emmy on her way is really feasible. To be fair to Burton, she’s one of the only two people in the ensemble (the other being Emmy snubbed(!!!) Bellamy Young) who clearly has a grasp of what the show’s nature is about, so there’s that.

Last but certainly not the least (or well maybe she really is) is Dame Diana Rigg for her role as Lady Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones. I will not be surprised if voters who will watch the tapes will be surprised that there isn’t really anything about this submission or her season long performance that deserve a nomination, but at this point, the only thing supporting her is if the Emmys has a real (and I mean really hard, Viagra hard) hard-on for Game of Thrones. Otherwise, it is a filler nod at most.

Last year, I predicted Jane Fonda with her speech and her status in the industry, and while I don’t think she was  shoo-in then, I really don’t think I’ll put myself in the same position of predicting her again. As a matter of fact, the three repeater nominees this year are the three weaker contenders in this race. I think I’ll call this the battle of the wives with gay husbands. Whether they’ll go with out outlandish histrionics of Kate Burton or the subtle and more quiet approach by Allison Janney, I won’t really be surprised. It’s too close, but I’ll be giving this one to Allison Janney. This year is her major TV comeback, and I’m sure Emmy(s) would be the cherry on top of her cake. Dark horse position goes to Kate Mara though. She can push herself to a win (pun intended) especially if there is a strong love for the House of Cards train (sorry I can’t help it :D)

Prediction: Allison Janney, “Masters of Sex
Alternate: Kate Burton, “Scandal

Full Rankings:
01. Allison Janney, “Masters of Sex
02. Kate Burton, “Scandal
03. Kate Mara, “House of Cards
04. Jane Fonda, “The Newsroom
05. Margo Martindale, “The Americans
06. Diana Rigg, “Game of Thrones

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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

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

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 Actress in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

actress drama

PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: Glenn Close, “The Shield[WRONG]
2006:
Geena Davis, “Commander in Chief[WRONG]
2007:
Minnie Driver “The Riches[WRONG]
2008:
Glenn Close, “Damages[CORRECT]
2009:
Glenn Close, “Damages[CORRECT]
2010:
Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife[WRONG]
2011:
Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife” [CORRECT]
2012:
Claire Danes, “Homeland[CORRECT]

After the very funny ladies of comedy, we move on to the dramatic actresses of the past TV season. Aside from comedy supporting actress, this is the other category that has a tie in the final nominations resulting to seven nominated performances. Despite that, it is still shocking that supposed perennial nominee and 2011 winner Julianna Margulies missed for the Good Wife when she could have trumped three to four performances here. Oh well, off to the actual nominees.

This bunch of women can be divided into two parts: the supporting borderline competing in Lead women and the actual lead females of their respective shows. Let’s start with the former. After receiving her first nod last year, Michelle Dockery easily sneaks in a consecutive nod for the show. Truth be told, it’s one of the expected noms since she managed to get in at the Globes and SAG earlier this year as well.  For her submission, she went with the season opener (which co-stars Maggie Smith and Jim Carter also went with). I don’t think much of her chances since it’s an easy filler nod this year.

Two time nominee this year Elisabeth Moss receives her fifth consecutive nomination for the show. It is really interesting to note that for the past three years, both she and co-star Jon Hamm have been submitting the same episode for consideration. This year, they both opted for the season finale In Care Of. While this is an okay submission for her, Moss wasn’t given much to do this season that merits her possible Emmy. If anything, she better puts all her odds for Top of the Lake since she’s one of the frontrunners there.

We also have Robin Wright as one of the newbie nominees this year for her work in House of Cards.  I was always skeptical of Wright’s chances as a nominee, since it’s pretty clear that she has better chances if she competes in Supporting. But it seems as if this move worked for her better since she also got nominated here. She went with Episode 10 of the season which is one of her stronger episodes, but once again, I’ll be going back to the notion that this would have been a more competitive tape in supporting.

Now let’s go to the leads of their shows. Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga gives A&E a reward for a fruitful campaign as she gets in for Bates Motel. While this genre isn’t something that is usually noticed by the ATAS, I think the movie star pedigree of the actress paved the way for this nomination. I also like that she went with the pilot episode of the show because it’s the best way to introduce her character, and while others might turned off with what happens to her character in the middle of the episode, it shows Farmiga’s range in it.

Speaking of submitting the pilot, Connie Britton surprisingly receives her fourth nomination in a row for a record of three different shows. This time, her role as country diva Reina James in Nashville gives her the nomination. I’m really awed with how Britton managed to snatch this nod, but I’ve figured that she probably has been a semi-favorite now by ATAS in terms of getting nominations. Still, I think the soapy nature of her show will limit votes to come her way.

Lastly in this group, we have current TV it girl Kerry Washington for her fierce performance in ABC’s Scandal. Washington has always been one of my sure to predict nominees since it’s the first time in a long span of time that a black actress was nominated in this category. That narrative alone will apply for her already. That said, she wisely submitted their season’s most buzzed episode Happy Birthday Mr. President. Like Britton, I think the soapy nature of her show plus the fact that it’s really not a tour de force acting showcase will get her close to the prize but not ultimately going home with it.

And as for the single rose who carries her show but with a shared co-star, current title winner Claire Danes aims to be the next back to back winner here since Glenn Close in 2008 and 2009 for her layered role as Carrie Mathison in Homeland. There’s nothing much left to be said about Danes since this is probably the best role in television right now, and she has the receipts to back it up. This is also the type of role that gets multiple awards, and with her sweeps at televised awards since last year, it will be an easy feat for her. She submitted Q&A, which some might argue as more of Damian Lewis’ episode, but their tag team works best when they act against each other, and this set up benefits them greatly.

Now as for who’ll win, I’d say it’s an easy number two for Miss Danes. The Emmys won’t easily dispatch Homeland and in case they might give away some of their wins last year to other shows this year, this is probably their safest category. Coming off to a distant second is Vera Farmiga who I can see pulling off a Bryan Cranston type of win back in 2008: a small trial season show for a known veteran in a very baity role. But in the end, yes, it’s still Claire’s to lose.

Prediction: Claire Danes, “Homeland
Runner-Up: Vera Farmiga, “Bates Motel

Full Rankings:
1. Claire Danes, “Homeland
2. Vera Farmiga, “Bates Motel
3. Kerry Washington, “Scandal
4. Connie Britton, “Nashville”
5. Robin Wright, “House of Cards
6. Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men
7. Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey

My predictions in the other Emmy acting categories are available here.

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

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

drama guest actor

PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: Martin Landau, “Without a Trace[WRONG]
2006:
Christian Clemenson, “Boston Legal[CORRECT]
2007:
David Morse, “House[WRONG]
2008:
Glynn Turmann, “In Treatment[CORRECT]
2009:
Michael J. Fox, “Rescue Me[CORRECT]
2010:
John Lithgow, “Dexter [CORRECT]
2011:
Michael J. Fox, “The Good Wife[WRONG]
2012:
Michael J. Fox, “The Good Wife” [WRONG]

It’s now time to complete the male and drama guest acting nods, so it’s pretty obvious that what I’ll discuss next is Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. For this year, notable snubs include two time previous nominee Dylan Baker in his turn for The Good Wife, multiple Emmy winner Ray Romano for Parenthood, and another year for Matthew Perry missing also for The Good Wife. Let’s begin!

Speaking of The Good Wife, despite many snubs, two actors from the show still made it in for this year. First, there’s three time nominee Michael J. Fox. Among his past three submissions, I think this one had him in his longest exposure.  In his episode submission Boom De Yah Da, not only will we see a glimpse of his wife, but it shows his character help someone block the case handled by arch nemesis Alicia Florrick. Granted it’s not the nicest deed we’ve seen from Louis, but that did not prevent them from nominating him before.

As for the other Good Wife actor, Nathan Lane gets his second guest acting nomination this year for his role as Clarke Hayden. He submits the season opener I Fought the Law which was the first time we’ve seen him on the show. However, this episode did not give him anything to do aside from roaming and appearing in the crowd, and I don’t think it will do him any favors. He appears in co-star Michael J. Fox’s tape, but they have no scene together, so it won’t have any bearing on their chances.

Now Mad Men also gets two of its actors in this category. After missing last year, Robert Morse is back for another shot at the win. Just when you thought they finally dropped him for good, he comes back roaring. Sadly for him, he still wasn’t given much to do, and his tape For Immediate Release proved it. He was on it for five minutes tops, and that’s mostly comprised of just reacting to his co-stars or sitting in a chair.

Aside from Morse, Harry Hamlin also picked up a nod for Mad Men. As opposed to Morse, Hamlin actually gets a good tape with A Tale of Two Cities, we see Jim Cutler work on the renaming of the agency. He gets confrontational scenes, some shoutings, and a decent amount of screentime in his episode.

Then we have Homeland‘s first nod in this category with Rupert Friend nominated. Like everyone else, it’s wise of him to submit Q&A as his episode. Not only is this the show’s most acclaimed episode this season, he also has a hefty amount of moments in it. If the voters love the show (and episode) so much, he can contend for the win. But sometimes, Emmys has a thign against good looking actors, and Friend can easily be a victim of that.

Lastly, there’s Dan Bucatinsky as the first male nominee from Scandal. While one can argue that Scandal is the weakest show here, as it is bordering on soap opera, what’s fantastic about it is he will probably have the most memorable and over the top scene with his confrontation with his partner. He also gets a court scene that involves him testifying to something. With previous winners here winning from In Treatment to Harry’s Law, it doesn’t need for a nominee to be in a Drama Series nod to get recognized here.

There really is no serious frontrunner in this category. While I predicted Michael J. Fox the past two years, I don’t think I’ll go with him for the third time (now watch him win this year!). Harry Hamlin is an 80s TV star who has notable credits under his name and one can see him as overdue for an Emmy win. With that said, I’ll go with Rupert Friend to get carried away with the Homeland love, as Q&A is one of the defining episodes of the past Emmy season. If not him, then watch out for Dan Bucatinsky to win here for a scene stealing episode among his contemporaries.

Prediction: Rupert Friend, Homeland
Runner-Up: Dan Bucatinsky, Scandal

Full Rankings:
1. Rupert Friend, Homeland
2. Dan Bucatinsky, Scandal
3. Harry Hamlin, Mad Men
4. Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife
5. Nathan Lane, The Good Wife
6. Robert Morse, Mad Men

To check out other Emmy predictions, simply click here.

You can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl