Monday, August 13, 2012

AFT Awards: Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series

This is the first category of the 6th Annual AFT Television Awards, my personal choices for the best in television during the 2011-2012 season. This year, semi-finalists are included to recognize more of the impressive work being done on television today. Nominees are pictured in the order I’ve ranked them.

Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Last year’s nominees: Steve Buscemi, Michael C. Hall, Jon Hamm, Holt McCallany, Timothy Olyphant

Emmy nominees: Hugh Boneville, Steve Buscemi, Bryan Cranston, Michael C. Hall, Jon Hamm, Damian Lewis

Semi-finalists: Michael Emerson (Person of Interest)

Finalists: Michael C. Hall (Dexter) imbued the forensic serial killer with awe and affection as he encountered religious fanaticism and made a true friend. Timothy Olyphant (Justified) lost patience with his imbecilic enemies and remained relevant despite a diminished presence among many villains. Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire) usurped more power and led his crooked politician further astray with a mesmerizing lack of emotion. Dustin Hoffman (Luck) delivered a focused performance as a hardened criminal uninterested in pandering to his associates. Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) dealt with problems from all sides and increasingly acted like the hero in an ever-worsening situation.

The nominees:

Damian Lewis (Homeland) delivered a fine-tuned performance that gave few clues to his character’s true intentions and made him utterly fascinating. Kelsey Grammer (Boss) oozed evil and hatred in a role that almost never saw him smile. Liam Cunningham (Outcasts) was steadfast and reliable as a stoic, sensible leader not always in control of events around him. Jon Hamm (Mad Men) showed true passion for the first time as his character fought not to ruin his first real chance at happiness.

The winner:

Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) has won three Emmys but deserves his fourth even more for his astonishing turn as an unlikely criminal whose world was caving in around him, whose mood ranged from terrified to furious to verging on insanity.

Next up: Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series

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