Thursday, August 29, 2013

AFT Awards: Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series

This is the first category of the 7th Annual AFT Television Awards, my personal choices for the best in television during the 2012-2013 seasons. Finalists and semi-finalists are included to recognize more of the impressive work 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: Bryan Cranston, Liam Cunningham, Kelsey Grammer, Jon Hamm, Damian Lewis

Emmy nominees: Hugh Bonneville, Bryan Cranston, Jeff Daniels, Jon Hamm, Damian Lewis, Kevin Spacey

Semi-finalists: David Strathairn (Alphas), Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice), Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), Timothy Olyphant (Justified), Peter Krause (Parenthood), Aden Young (Rectify), Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy), Patrick J. Adams (Suits), Gabriel Macht (Suits)

Finalists: Jon Hamm (Mad Men) unraveled more than ever before in the most fascinating way. Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom) was self-destructive and deadpan in a brilliant performance. Kelsey Grammer (Boss) chewed all the scenery around him with zest and bravado. Kevin Spacey (House of Cards) turned a conscious-free politician into an enthralling storyteller. Antony Starr (Banshee) used subtlety to his advantage as an ex-con leading a dangerous double life.

The nominees:

Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) descended even further into darkness magnetically. Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire) had to deal with new enemies and a reclassification of him as the show’s hero. Michael C. Hall (Dexter) found a likeminded soul and transformed marvelously. Jonny Lee Miller (Elementary) made Sherlock Holmes devilishly entertaining and watchable.

The winner:

Damian Lewis (Homeland) worked with what may well be the most complex character on television and delivered a tour de force layered performance.

Next up: Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series

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