Saturday, September 8, 2012

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

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

Jim Carter as Mr. Carson, Downton Abbey (Episode 2)
British Character actor Carter scored his first Emmy nomination after over thirty years of solid supporting work in film and television for playing dependable and order-obsessed butler Mr. Carson on the PBS import. In his submitted episode, Mr. Carson becomes sick and can’t fulfill his duties, painting a highly endearing portrait of the character. While it’s hard not to like him, it’s very unlikely that he would win for the part, though it’s possible if fans love him and the show enough.

Brendan Coyle as John Bates, Downton Abbey (Episode 7)
Joining costar Caster is Coyle, who plays the most honest and pure valet of all time, John Bates, who finds himself on trial for murder in the show’s extra-long Christmas special. Bates is easily the show’s noblest character, though anyone who isn’t a regular viewer of the show may not be impressed just by his prison scenes. If the show were to sweep, however, Coyle could probably win, but I don’t think that’s going to happen this year.

Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones (Blackwater)
For the second year in a row, Dinklage serves as the sole acting representative of HBO’s fantasy drama. Last year, he won, and this year he has a killer submission, an episode in which, rather than sleep through a war, shows him taking charge and rallying the troops against an invading army. He’s got more competition this time around, but he’s equally excellent, and I wouldn’t put a repeat win past him.

Giancarlo Esposito as Gus Fring, Breaking Bad (Hermanos)
It’s fantastic that character actor Esposito got a nomination for portraying the increasingly relevant and omnipotent Gus. Though he doesn’t slit anyone’s throat with an X-Acto knife in his submitted episode, he does get featured in an intense flashback where we see his younger soft side. If voters like the show enough and have seen the whole season, he’ll be undefeatable, but based on just one episode, I’m not quite so certain.

Jared Harris as Lane Pryce, Mad Men (Commissions and Fees)
After turning in solid work for three seasons in a role of increasing relevance, Harris was terrific in the show’s fifth season as his character found himself in serious debt and taking irreversible steps to resolve his financial situation. Committing suicide in his submitted episode ups his chances considerably, though it’s well-deserved given how stellar he was in that hour. It’s worth remembering, however, that no “Mad Men” actor has ever won an Emmy for the show.

Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, Breaking Bad (End Times)
The last time Paul was nominated, when his show aired its third season two years ago, he won. Now he’s back with threatening internal competition (Esposito) and an equally compelling episode submission, in which he nearly kills Walt after suspecting that he poisoned his girlfriend’s young son. I doubt he would win again, but it’s clear that Emmy voters are very impressed with him.

Who should win (based on entire season): Esposito or Dinklage
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Dinklage, Esposito, or Harris
Who will win: Theoretically, Esposito is the frontrunner, but given the subject matter in his episode, Harris will probably take it.

Next up: Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I would actually love it if Harris took this one, not just because he is fantastic in his submitted episode (I think that scene where he's pleading with Don not to fire him should win him an Emmy all by itself), but he's fantastic in every big episode he gets in the season, including Signal 30. Also, this will be his only nomination for this role and given what he's done with it, I would love to see him win for it.

True, the same could be said for Esposito and while I think he would be a worthy winner, I'm a little immune to the season-long psycopath Emmy bait. It seems that any actor who plays a psycho who is killed by the end of the season is considered Emmy-worthy almost automatically. Again, Esposito is fantastic, but I feel I've seen a lot of what he does before (a thorough killer who is always clean when he's killing people and has a dark past).

I would not really mind seeing repeat wins for either Dinklage or Paul, because they're both terrific in their respective seasons, particularly Dinklage (his character has changed so much this season, it was always a treat to see him on screen).

As for the Downton men, I wouldn't even have nominated either of them. Partly because their nominations meant John Slattery, Josh Charles and Mandy Patinkin had to be left out (among others), but also because it's hard to see those two in the same league as the rest. I thought Brendan Coyle deserved recognition for the first season, as I loved how he played the noble Mr. Bates, but this second season made the character so passive and most of his storyline felt ridiculous. Jim Carter is a lot of fun to watch, but not really someone I would consider for Emmy.

This is a category that honestly frustrates me a bit. I get that this is what the Emmy voters went with, but something about it just doesn't feel quite right.