Friday, September 7, 2012

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Nominees are pictured and listed in alphabetical order. Submitted episode titles are in parentheses. Beware of minor spoilers for listed episodes.

Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy, 30 Rock (Live from Studio 6H)
Baldwin has won twice out of five previous tries, in addition to four nominations for work before his current series. His show continues to be nominated for the top race, though its additional nominations have declined considerably since the show first started. His submission, this year’s live episode, is a lot of fun, and gives him the opportunity to play different characters. It’s never wise to bet against the six-time consecutive SAG winner, who it seems can do no wrong, despite his spotted personal reputation.

Don Cheadle as Marty Kahn, House of Lies (Gods of Dangerous Financial Instruments)
This is Cheadle’s fifth nomination, his first since 2003 and his first in this category. He’s the lone representative of Showtime’s dark comedy series, in which he plays a viciously competitive management consultant. Submitting the pilot was a smart move, since it’s a great introduction to Marty and his devilish ways. No freshman series contender has won in this category since Tony Shalhoub back in 2003, but I suspect that will change this year if this deserving winner earns his due.

Louis C.K. as Louie, Louie (Duckling)
C.K. upped his total number of individual nominations this year to a whopping seven, for his variety special and for directing, writing, and starring in his hit FX show. What he does is substantially different from every other nominee in this category, featuring standup and depressing self-deprecating comedy. His submitted episode, which runs an hour, takes place largely in Afghanistan, and while it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, he seems to be very popular, and could easily win this award.

Jon Cryer as Alan Harper, Two and a Half Men (Frodo’s Headshots)
With Charlie Sheen out of the picture, Cryer got a promotion for his seventh nomination. After his win in the supporting race in 2009, it’s unlikely that Cryer would win again, though he appears to be quite popular with voters, earning nominations long after the show has stopped receiving plentiful accolades. Being nutty after getting let out of the loony bin makes for as good an episode as any, but it’s not going to win him the award.

Larry David as Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm (Palestinian Chicken)
This is David’s fifth nomination throughout his show’s run over the past eleven years. His show has only ever won one Emmy – for directing – and so a win this far into its run, especially for the somewhat off-putting David’s portrayal of himself, is relatively unlikely. His affair with a Palestinian woman who detests Jews is certainly funny, but it’s not likely to win over enough voters to garner him a win.

Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory (The Werewolf Transformation)
The defending champ has won the past two years, and he managed to defeat Steve Carell in the final season of “The Office” last year. The show did pretty much as well in terms of nominations as last year, and now he just has to face new and increasingly popular competition. In his submitted episode, Sheldon throws out his whole routine after his regular barber gets sick, which is about as strong a choice as his past entries. A repeat win would hardly be surprising.

Who should win (based on entire season): Cheadle
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Cheadle
Who will win: It could be C.K. or Parsons for the third time in a row, but I’ll put my money on Cheadle.

Next up: Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Abe, are you sure you're not putting your money on wishful thinking here? I'm as big a fan of Cheadle as the next guy, but he's the sole nominee for a show that a lot of critics didn't really like (I read some of the early reviews, they were harsh) and he has a lot more popular nominees as competition.

I think if there's something we've all learned in this category is never underestimate the power of the Sheldon. I think Parsons will take this one for the third year in a row, because if the character is popular enough to beat out Steve Carrell in his final year, he should have no problem with a line-up of people whom will most likely be back next year, and he's probably the one who works the best in syndication, which gives him the edge submission-wise.

My personal pick would be C.K. though, especially because he submitted the best episode of the season for his tape. An episode that is funny, yet poignant. It' always a treat to see Louie interact with his daughters, but even more when he's examining the fragility of life and the enormity of what's going on in Afghanistan.

Also, Abe, I would actually consider Cryer as a potential spoiler. The Emmy voters like him, that's for sure, he's already won once and we've never seen how he fares in the lead category. I've always believed that Cryer deserves a lot of credit for staying so committed to a character as pathetic and lately as creepy as Alan Harper. Whatever the writers throw at him, Cryer commits to it and I think it takes a very skilled actor to be willing to make an ass of himself every week (this is why I admire Jon Cryer, I don't think I could ever do half the things he's asked to do on the show.

Anyway, those are my two cents....