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66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series   Leave a comment

Emmy Comedy Guest Actor

You’re still reading Tit for Tat’s coverage of the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, and to day we will be completing the quartet of the guest acting categories by tackling Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. This line up contains two past winners, two previous nominees, and two first time nominated performances. Let’s get the ball rollin!

Becoming the third actor from now president Selina Meyer’s entourage to get a nomination, Gary Cole nets himself a first career Emmy nod for his role as Kent Davison on this HBO comedy. In his episode submission Crate, he has the task of delivering the news to Selina that the president is stepping down and she’s taking her place. Cole wasn’t required anything much to do, but he fits well as a team player of this ensemble, and if goodwill is on this character actor’s side, he might have a shot at the trophy.

The first Saturday Night Live host in this category is Louis C.K. who nets his second nod for his second hosting in the show. While it is arguable which between his two hosting episodes is the stronger one, he appeared in many sketches for this one. In his opening wrap, he had this debate of women being better than men and his usual comedic schtick, then he was in the black Jeopardy act as well. and some throwing of the cake in the “wife meets the boss” one. What’s common about his sketches though are that he isn’t the lead in most of them and he’s usually the supporting reaction in most of them which I think hurts his case.

It’s a bit surprising that if you look at it up, Nathan Lane now has the same number of nominations for Modern Family as regulars Eric Stonestreet and Ed O’Neill. But yes, that’s true. For his third bid for the Emmy for this show, he still plays the over the top always in control Pepper Saltzman who’s in-charge of dealing the mishaps in Mitchell and Cam’s wedding. I’m surprised that Lane decided to submit only the part 2 of the season finale as he’s allowed to submit the first part as well. Sure it was Elizabeth Banks who was the scene stealer in that one, but it’s not as if they’re competing in the same category. I think it’s a loss on his part to do submit only the second part and diminishes his chances for the win.

Steve Buscemi‘s nomination here for Portlandia (and the one for Fred Armisen as well) is surprising considering that they usually resort to SNL hosts when recognizing “sketch shows” here. But upon watching his tape Celery, where Buscemi plays the desperate salesman who can’t keep up with his co-salesmen on making the celery a popular crop, I think he’s the dark horse in this category. We don’t know yet how the panel will respond to this tape and show in general, but I think there’s a possibility (albeit small) that he can Kathy Bates his way to a guest acting win too. I don’t think I’ll be predicting him, but I’m just throwing the possibility out there.

After his win in 2012, Jimmy Fallon is back to having another shot for a double win here as he hosts the Christmas episode of SNL. It is the same winning tape he had two years ago, and I think he is present in all skits here that I think he’s definitely the frontrunner (or co-frontrunner for that matter). Fallon showcased the same winning formula he had when he last hosted, and if anything, the only con he’ll have if we assess his tape is that not-submitted Justin Timberlake is in it as much as him, if not even more, since JT is the musical guest here. If that’s not  a problem to the panel, then I can see giving him another Emmy for such.

Or they might just give it to current champ Bob Newhart for his Big Bang Theory performance as Professor Proton. Sure Newhart doesn’t have the “overdue” narrative on his side after finally winning his first Emmy last year for the same performance, but who says Emmy doesn’t need to catch up on him? After all, in his tape The Proton Trasmogrification, Sheldon deals with the loss of Professor Proton so that’s points for empathy as well. And the thing is, it’s not even a dramatic performance at all since Newhart gets to play dress up playing the soul of Arthur while wearing a Star Wars costume, swords and all, in it. The reason why I refer to Fallon as a co-frontrunner because I think Newhart is in the race the same way he is which leads me to…

…predicting that it will be a battle of the repeat champs. 2012 winner Jimmy Fallon vs 2013 winner Bob Newhart. Fallon has the longer screentime on his side and the lots of sketches in it and you can add the fact that he’s one of TV’s it guys of the moment with his nightly show nominated as well (and likely to win that one as well). Then again you have Bob Newhart who is the last tape voters will see in this reel, playing a character who died in his tape and mixes comedy and drama effectively. And as if I have to bring it still (well I guess I do), but TV legend Bob Newhart who only has one Emmy under his name. If the reception to last year’s ceremony when he appeared is telling, then I’d give the tiny edge over to him. But really, both of them make sense.

Prediction: Bob Newhart, “The Big Bang Theory
Alternate: Jimmy Fallon, “Saturday Night Live

Full Rankings:
01. Bob Newhart, “The Big Bang Theory
02. Jimmy Fallon, “Saturday Night Live
03. Steve Buscemi, “Portlandia
04. Nathan Lane, “Modern Family
05. Louis CK, “Saturday Night Live
06. Gary Cole, “Veep

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

That’s it! I will be pausing my Emmy analysis for a week to make way for my Cinemalaya coverage, so the next batch of predictions (supporting acting categories) will resume on August 11. 🙂

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

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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