Emmy Winner Predictions: Acting

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More predictions for this years Emmy winners! You can read my previous post on the writing and directing nominees here.

This post includes the following categories:

  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Here we go.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Kyle Chandler, Bloodline
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Could Win: Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Should Win: Jon Hamm, Mad Men
IMG_5976
I am just refusing to consider any other possibility for this award because it is criminal that Jon Hamm has never won for playing Don Draper in the past. Never. He has been nominated for every season, but never won. There have been some spectacular other performances to recognize in previous years but the fact that he AND Elisabeth Moss didn’t win for “The Suitcase” in 2011 is mind boggling. His performance peaked in the final season of the show (the series finale being particularly impressive) so now is the time to hand that award over. Side note: I feel like we should be giving an annual award to the casting directors of Mad Men just for bringing this beautiful male specimen to my screen for the last eight years. Bravo, ladies. You’ve done a wonderful service for women all over the country.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Taraji P. Henson, Empire
Claire Danes, Homeland
Robin Wright, House of Cards
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Could Win: Robin Wright, House of Cards or Claire Danes, Homeland
Maybe these are the safe choices. Claire Danes has won for Homeland over and over again; her performance was still amazing when the show was at its worst a few seasons ago. The most recent season brought Homeland back to its roots and Claire Danes was like the cherry on top of that very impressive season. Robin Wright is also a hot ticket at the moment; the third season of House of Cards may not have been the best, but her performance was probably at its peak. She continues to impress me in that role.
Should Win: Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
IMG_5980-0 She won’t- but OH MY GOD HOW HAS SHE NOT WON FOR PLAYING THIS CHARACTER? As noted above, I thoroughly enjoyed Don Draper, but that character would not have been nearly as robust if not for his ever-changing (but always platonic!) relationship with Peggy. Elisabeth Moss is a great actress and even though I am sad to see the character of Peggy being laid to rest (because she is my spirit animal), I am so excited to see what comes next for her. I would be very surprised if she won this category. I wish she would have been nominated in the supporting actress category; that may have been a predicted win I would have put money on.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth
Louie C.K., Louie
William H. Macy, Shameless
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
Could Win: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
Should Win: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
IMG_5982Even if the show doesn’t win Best Comedy Series, I think we can pretty much count on Jeffrey Tambor to win this Best Actor category. The other nominees on this list are great, but sort of underwhelming.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie
Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Could Win: Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback
Lisa Kudrow’s character is unlike any other on television and it would be impossible to even consider another actress for that role. She seems like the most obvious pick for this award, but the other women on this list are also fantastic. Lily Tomlin is wonderful in Grace and Frankie, Amy Schumer is hot right now, Amy Poehler just came off of a final season playing Leslie Knope (her most memorable character to date). This is a great time for women in comedy!
Should Win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
IMG_5977Without Julia Louis-Dreyfus Veep is half the show it is today. She and the writers carry that show with quick wit and a biting tongue. I think she stands a fairly good chance of winning. Critics seem applaud her more than the show as a whole.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Michael Kelly, House of Cards
Could Win: Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
IMG_5983Critics and other awards shows consistently recognize The Good Wife in other awards shows…that’s about the extent of my knowledge on this one.
Should Win: ??
As much as I like to consider myself a TV expert, I can’t possibly keep up with everything, especially considering the vast expanse of media platforms available now. I’m familiar with Michael Kelly’s performance, which was very good in this last season of House of Cards. Peter Dinklage is always good in Game of Thrones but I think his work on a previous season was better than what he is nominated for this year. Jim Carter plays the house butler, Carson, on Downton Abbey; his character is an absolute delight…but awards worthy? Can we just give this award to Aaron Paul again??

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Uzo AdubaOrange is the New Black
Could Win: Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
This last season was really Lena Headey’s peak on Game of Thrones. After seasons of watching her character be a terrible human being, she is so easy to hate; but after suffering some brutal abuse in this most recent season, she managed to make us feel bad for her. That’s not easy from a writing or an acting perspective.
Should Win: Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black
IMG_5984 Uzo Aduba is universally loved for her performance as Suzanne (“Crazy Eyes”) on Orange is the New Black. For three consistent seasons she’s been one of the best characters on that show, not just because she’s well-written, but because she is a smart performer. In a recent plot line, Suzanne’s loyalty and willingness to sometimes blindly love others was taken advantage of and the fall out of this situation was beautifully performed by Uzo Adouba. I’m impressed by her ability to be true to her character while keeping with the dark, comedic tone of the show. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Uzo Aduba win this award.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Adam Driver, Girls
Keegan-Michael Key, Key & Peele
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Titus Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Tony Hale, Veep
Could Win: Ty Burrell, Modern Family
The novelty of Modern Family has sort of worn off in the last few years, but the performances of the entire cast remain consistently great. In previous years we’ve seen Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, AND Eric Stonestreet nominated in this category at the same time and they have a tendency to cancel each other out. With just Ty Burrell nominated from Modern Family, he may have a good opportunity to win.
Should Win: Tony Hale, Veep
IMG_5985I am always impressed by a character that seems like it cannot possibly be played by another actor. Tony Hale is the only person that could possibly play Gary and he does it brilliantly. Gary as an earnest, dedicated character and his unwavering allegiance to Selina despite her mistreatment has been absolutely hilarious to watch.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Niecy Nash, Getting On
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Allison Janney, Mom
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Gaby Hoffmann, Transparent
Jane Krakowski, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Anna Chlumsky, Veep
Could Win: Gaby Hoffmann, Transparent OR Jane Krakowski, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
This is purely based on my knowledge of the buzz around these two shows. Jane Krakowski’s character on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is hilarious (from the few episodes I saw). Gaby Hoffmann is relatively new on the scene but is consistently good in everything I’ve seen her in.
Should Win: Allison Janney, Mom
IMG_5986Mom is actually a really funny show and I think Allison Janney is a big part of that. Her performance as a recovering alcoholic rebuilding her relationship with her estranged daughter sounds like you could choke on the melodrama of it all but she manages to keep it light and funny.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie
Timothy Hutton, American Crime
Ricky Gervais, Derek Special
Adrien Brody, Houdini
David Oyelowo, Nightingale
Richard Jenkins, Olive Kitteridge
Mark Rylance, Wolf Hall
Could Win: Ricky Gervais, Derek Special
I’ve actually heard pretty good things about this show and Ricky Gervais’ performance. For some reason much of the entertainment industry seems to hate Ricky Gervais but maybe they’ll be able to look past that for this award?
Should Win: Timothy Hutton, American Crime
IMG_5987Timothy Hutton is excellent in this role. There were some really beautiful performances in American Crime and his was impressive. In particular, the raw and brutal reaction he has upon learning of the death of his son is heartbreaking. He manages to make the audience empathize with a character that you’d expect to dislike.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Queen Latifah, Bessie
Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Honorable Woman
Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge
Emma Thompson, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Live from Lincoln Center)
Could Win: Queen Latifah, Bessie
Queen Latifah was great in Bessie, it’s probably the most dynamic performance that we’ve seen from her. The critics seem to be in favor of Bessie, so I would not be shocked to see her win this award but I don’t think she had the best performance out of all of these women…
Should Win: Felicity Huffman, American Crime OR Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge
IMG_5988IMG_5989

I would be equally happy with either of these women winning this award. Frances McDormand’s performance in Olive Kitteridge was amazing, but the show aired so long ago I fear that no one will remember. Felicty Huffman was able to achieve the opposite effect that Timothy Huttton did in American Crime. As the mother of a murdered son, we should be pouring our sympathy in her direction but she manages to make her grouchy and unlikable without diminishing the reality of her anguish or the complexity of her character. VERY impressive. That performance had ‘Emmy’ written all over it.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or A Movie
Richard Cabral, American Crime
Denis O’Hare, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Finn Wittrock, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Michael Kenneth, Bessie
Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge
Damian Lewis, Wolf Hall
Could Win: Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge
People love Bill Murray, and I’ve got to be honest: I don’t get it. He’s funny and his dry, predictable apathy is humorous, but that character is only interesting so many times. Critics love Bill Murray and I didn’t hate him in this role because he let Frances McDormand shine in her role.
Should Win: Richard Cabral, American Crime
IMG_5990I’m still not completely sold on this actor, but his performance in American Crime as a gangster and illegal immigrant caught up in a Southern California murder made it clear that he has some talent. His work on American Crime was somewhat inconsistent, but for the most part I was impressed. The right director will be able to get a fantastic performance out of him for a feature film.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie
Regina King, American Crime
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Angela Bassett, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Mo’Nique, Bessie
Zoe Kazan, Olive Kitteridge
Could Win: Mo’Nique, Bessie
Mo’Nique did a very good job playing a good character in a pretty good TV movie. That’s the gist of it.
Should Win: Regina King, American Crime
american-crime-regina-kingAmerican Crime slipped past a lot of people’s radar. There is a lot to criticize and a lot to praise about the show, but one of the high points was Regina King. She is excellent and I’m excited to see what she does next.

The Emmy’s are live on Fox this Sunday (September 20) at 7pm (CT). I will (hopefully) be live-tweeting during the ceremony.

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