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67th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

drama supp actor

Prediction: Jonathan Banks, “Better Call Saul”
Alternate: Ben Mendelsohn, “Bloodline”

Full Rankings:
01. Jonathan Banks, “Better Call Saul”
02. Ben Mendelsohn, “Bloodline”
03. Michael Kelly, “House of Cards”
04. Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones
05. Alan Cumming, “The Good Wife
06. Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey

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 Supporting Actress in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

drama supp actress

Prediction: Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones”
Alternate: Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black”

Full Rankings:
01. Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones”
02. Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black”
03. Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife”
04. Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men
05. Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey
06. Emilia Clarke, “Game of Thrones

Check my other 2015 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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

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

drama guest actor

After the guest ladies of comedy, we’re moving halfway into our guest acting Emmy predictions and move to the drama guest actors for this year. With two consecutive wins from Scandal (for Dan Bucatinsky and Joe Morton), it’s a surprise that Courtney B. Vance suddenly missed the boat even for a nomination. If anything, the Emmys really know how to pull off those surprising nominations and snubs.

Speaking of surprise, Orange is the New Black‘s Pablo Schreiber finally receives his Emmy nomination, albeit a season late for his turn as Officer Mendez a.k.a Pornstahcer. In his episode “40 Oz. of Furlough”, we see Schreiber coming back to the prison after his suspension. Schreiber’s opening scene is literally an entrance seeing that infamous pornstache leading the way. However, in an hour long episode, he only appears in three scenes (all not more than a minute). To be fair, in a short span of minutes, he had shown classic Mendez with a range in his final scene, but that scene (and his nomination) is a year late.

Oscar Best Actor F. Murray Abraham receives his very first Emmy nomination for his role as CIA Agent Dar Adal in Homeland. Submitting the season finale “Long Time Coming”, Abraham’s storyline dealt with him building an arrangement with Saul in order to accomplish the mission he had with Haqqani. Abraham’s scenes were mostly talking pieces both with Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin’s characters, and I can see this appealing to a certain batch of voters.It’s not that much of a slam dunk episode though but a competitive enough given this race,

On the other hand, Beau Bridges, receiving his second consecutive nomination playing the role of Barton Scully in Masters of Sex, submitted season opener “Parallax.” It’s an emotional episode all around, particularly given his character undergoing electroshock therapy to cure his homophobia. It also features an encounter with his wife (Guest Actress nominee Allison Janney) facing their marital problems. The cherry on top of the cake is his final scene where he attempted to hang himself. This is baity stuff all throughout and his loss last year certainly helps his chances this time around.

After missing last year’s race (due to not being submitted by the show), Michael J. Fox is back for his fourth nomination as Louis Canning for The Good Wife. Up to now, it still is a surprise that this performance, let alone his this character, hasn’t received a win yet. This year he went with the episode “Red Zone”, where his character’s worsening health condition was on full display. The episode ends with him talking to Alicia and giving her final words in the event that he dies. It’s a touching tape, no doubt about that, but one wonders if the character is seriously touching or just one of Canning’s antics.

One of perennial Emmy favorites Alan Alda is back in the race this year playing the character of Alan Fitch in The Blacklist. This is his first drama acting nomination since his victory in the Supporting Actor race in 2006 for The West Wing. His tape “The Decembrist” probably contains the most memorable scene in this category combined as it had his character exploding — literally, that is — on screen. Most of his scenes had him  with a bomb attached on his neck as he gets empathetic and emotional about his impending demise. He gets confrontation scenes, drama scenes, and confession scenes in it which coul be added by the strength of his name.

Last year, I predicted House of Cards’ Reg E. Cathey for the win because of his great tape submission as Freddy Hayes. Sadly, the same can’t be said this year because despite having a decent enough closing scene in his tape “Chapter 34”, it’s not showy enough. Surely, we root for the character of Freddy, but that wouldn’t be enough to net a win this time around.

I think the race can be boiled down between the character who died (Alan Alda) and the character who tried to die in his episode (Beau Bridges). Both are multiple Emmy winners, both have great tapes, and both have the road to a win. Bridges can be helped by the fact that he was nominated last year as well, and while they have already rewarded on-screen partner Allison Janney, he has yet to win for it. However, this is also the last time to reward Alda’s character (matched with a really “explosive” exit), so I’ll give the edge to him.

Prediction: Alan Alda, “The Blacklist”
Alternate: Beau Bridges, “Masters of Sex

Full Rankings:
01. Alan Alda, “The Blacklist”
02. Beau Bridges, “Masters of Sex
03. Michael J. Fox, “The Good Wife
04. F. Murray Abraham, “Homeland
05. Pablo Schreiber “Orange is the New Black
06. Reg E. Cathey, “House of Cards”

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 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 Supporting Actor in a Drama Series   1 comment

Emmy Drama Supp Actor

After assessing the races for both supporting actress in a drama and comedy series, we now move on to the guys and predict one of this year’s toughest acting categories. This year, once again, is no exception as there is no sure contender to win this one. Let’s now go over their chances one by one.

Despite the Homeland shutout, Mandy Patinkin manages to stay for another season of a nomination. This year, he submitted “Gerontion”, it showed two sides of Saul: the first one as the fierce competent team player of the CIA and the other as a devoted husband to his wife. Patinkin’s tape, while totally not a showstopper, is really good, but in a competitive race like this, tape alone won’t bring you any close to a win. After all, it seems like he’s not much of an Emmy darling lately missing a nod for the show’s first season and losing last year when he’s a frontrunner. This year, I think his nomination is his reward.

Doing a comeback after his first and only nod three years ago, Josh Charles final season on The Good Wife is one of the most buzzed characters of the past TV season. That said, he avoided that storyline altogether and submitted what is considered as the best episode the show has ever done. In Hitting the Fan, Will discovered that Alicia and Cary are starting their own firm and taking away some of their big clients which caused ruckus in the whole office. While most episodes usually end up with something shocking in their submissions, Charles does the opposite by starting it with one. Literally, the first dozen minutes or so of the episode is a highlight for him, and I think this will appeal well to the voters.

Downton Abbey continues to show its strength to its voters via Jim Carter‘s third consecutive nomination. And while the last two years haven’t been really competitive for him, this year marked his first real great submission via Episode 1 of the fourth season. In this almost two hour episode, we see him deal with a significant person from his past, his former song-and dance partner Mr. Grick, whom he had a falling out with. And in true old movie film fashion, the reason for such was a love triangle. Of course, things were patched up in the end via an emotional trains station meet up. I’m inclined to think that in a weaker year, Carter would have stood a chance of even winning for this stuff. Unfortunately for him, this is one of the most competitive ones in recent years, and while I don’t dismiss his chances altogether, he’s lurking on the outside in terms of Emmy talk.

Winning the Golden Globe earlier this year is Ray Donovan‘s Jon Voight. With the chance of him earning his first Emmy, he submits Fite Nite which had him in most of the episode in cuffs. This is an intense episode where both he and guest star Rossana Arquette were tied and a hitman deciding their fate. This ends up with a death of a character and the revelations before that mentioned death, and Voight goes on a gamut of emotions in it. There’s also a certain level of physicality in lay as he’s being tied in the most crucial scenes of the episode. While Ray Donovan clearly wasn’t embraced by Emmys, his status as a Hollywood veteran might make up for that.

2011 champ Peter Dinklage aims to win his second Emmy for his role as Tyrion Lannister after winning for the show’s first season. In one of the most acclaimed episodes of the season, he chose the to submit The Laws of God and Men which had his trial after being accused as responsible for the death of King Joffrey in the prior episode. Nothing says Emmy bait like a trial, and here, Dinklage was indeed exceptional. He goes on a speech before the episode ends especially after his lover was used as a witness against him. That said, his first appearance comes within the last 20 minutes of the episode and that’s too much for voters with short patience.

Lastly, aiming to be the most rewarded actor in the history of this category, Aaron Paul is in hunt for a historic third win here for Breaking Bad. And he’s surely in the hunt again with his episode submission Confessions. After being grilled by hank about his involvement in all the drug trafficking in their place, Saul bailed him and gave him a new identity. But this did not sit well with him, as he ran amok and attacked him before going to Walt’s house. Talk about intense, the last 10 minutes of the episode is acting with a capital A for Aaron who’s loud and showy acting is really present. This can go well or not with the voters, and while no other actor has won twice before, it was Paul who managed to defeat the no repeat winner record in this category for 15 years. So if there’s one who can break another record, it’s probably him.

Like what I said, this is really a difficult category as a lot of these actors make sense and all of them would have been frontrunners or automatic winners in any other year. While I won’t be surprised if Dinklage wins, I’m putting him at fourth here. I think his tape is great, but the lack of appearance during half of the tape will affect him. I’m putting Voight at third because it’s a very Emmy thing to reward him in a crowd like this. Plus, the reasons I mentioned above. I think it’s a choice between Charles and Paul and while both of them are on their last possible nominations for their respective roles, 2 Emmy wins for Paul in the past as compared to none for Charles will seal the deal here. Thus, I’m going with Josh Charles for the win.

Prediction: Josh Charles, “The Good Wife
Alternate: Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad

Full Rankings:
01. Josh Charles, “The Good Wife
02. Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad
03. Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan
04. Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones
05. Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey
06. Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

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

 

 

66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

Emmy Drama Supp Actress

And we’re back with the Emmy coverage! After a ten day hiatus, here’s the second half of the Emmy analysis process over here at Tit for Tat. After doing the guest acting and longform categories last week, let’s move on by doing the supporting ones this week. And we begin with the drama supporting actresses of the year.

Earning her fifth consecutive nomination, Christina Hendricks survives another year of getting nominated for Mad Men. This year, she submitted The Strategy, which isn’t a totally bad submission given how she’s really not much of a non-factor this season. Hendricks surely seems to be one of those affected by the Emmys lack of enthusiasm over giving Mad Men an acting award because she has submitted great episodes before (Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency, The Other Woman) to no avail. I don’t think her fate will change this year though.

Coming off a one year-snub, Joanne Froggatt gets in for a second time for her role as Anna Bates in Downton Abbey. She surely nailed her submission by going with Episode 2 in which her character was raped by the end of the episode. It’s truly a competitive storyline and one that has worked wonders before in the past for other actresses. However, the main detriment to Froggatt’s episode is that her scene comes during the last five minutes of the episode, and I don’t know if it will be impactful enough to be anyone’s top ranked performance.

Then there’s Froggatt’s co-star, 2012 winner Dame Maggie Smith. At this point, Smith is probably a prominent case of name-checking. I really don’t think she herself even bothers anymore, and I won’t be surprised if people involved with the show are the ones submitting for her. That said, I have to say that they did a terrible job this year by submitting for her Episode 8. In this one and a half hour long submissions, Smith rarely appears and is mostly relegated to reacting a thing or two with the other characters. It’s really not worthy to watch the whole episode especially if you’re not the show’s fan.

Speaking of winners, current champ Anna Gunn is in the running for a consecutive win. And that makes that possibility closer because she submitted Ozymandias which is basically one (if not the) of the finest hours of television the past season. Gunn gave a very complex performance here that started with her being calm and quiet and she gets more intense as the episode progressed. She has a breakdown scene, a confession scene, and it has all the makings of a winning tape it’s not even close with how the rest of these women submitted.

Like Hendricks, Christine Baranski is also on her fifth consecutive nomination for The Good Wife. Season wise, it really is an outstanding season for Baranski with everything that has happened to Diane Lockhart from the firm separation and her supposed promotion at the beginning of the season to her dealing with Will Gardner at the bottom end of the show. She has lots of tapes to choose from so it is quite controversial that she went with The Last Call as this is an episode where it’s mostly an ensemble piece. Is it her best submission? I don’t think so. But is it a bad submission? I don’t think so as well. While she’s not the far standout in it, she was given lots to do and showcased an icy Diane at the beginning with the intern scene, vulnerable with her scenes with Alicia, and commanding with the firing of the client. It’s an underrated good tape in hindsight, and a competitive one.

And lastly, replacing her co-star Emilia Clarke last year, Lena Headey is the fourth Game of Thrones actor to receive an individual Emmy nod after Peter Dinklage, Dame Diana Rigg, and Clarke. Headey submitted one of the most buzzed episode of the season The Lion and the Rose. While not as debatable as Baranski’s submission, Headey gets to have that breakdown scene at the end. Hell hath no fury like a mother scorned indeed, and I can see this channeling votes for her.

In the end, Anna Gunn is so far and away this competition it’s not even funny. It seems like stars are written for her to win a second Emmy as the token farewell Emmy acting win, and so she can join multiple Emmy winning co-stars Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston. While this category has been notoriously a venue for these out of the field wins from mid 2000s to 2010, the past three years all went with the frontrunner (Margo Martindale, Maggie Smith, Anna Gunn). Baranski is competitive as well, and she’s the only show’s chance to continue the trend of rewarding one Good Wife female actress per season (Archie Panjabi in 2010, Julianna Margulies in 2011, Martha Plimpton in 2012, and Carrie Preston in 2013). Joanne Froggatt would have had more chance to upset had Maggie Smith’s submission helped her here, but she was non-existent in the latter’s episode that it did not increase her chances at all. But for now, I’m sticking with the thought of 2x Emmy winner Anna Gunn.

Prediction: Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad
Alternate: Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife

Full Rankings:
01. Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad
02. Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife
03. Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey
04. Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones
05. Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey
06. Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men

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