Monday, September 16, 2013

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 (A Goon’s Deed in a Weary World)
This is the last time that Baldwin will be nominated for his outrageous portrayal of executive Jack Donaghy. He’s won twice before, and this is his seventh consecutive nomination for this role. For the show’s final season, Baldwin chose the third-to-last hour in which he inexplicably appoints Kenneth to be the new president of the network and has to deal with the implications of his choice. It’s an over-the-top selection, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Baldwin took it home because voters are sad to see the show go.

Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth, Arrested Development (Flight of the Phoenix)
Bateman ended up being the lone nominee from the highly-anticipated fourth season of the previously defunct FOX show, which was revived by Netflix. Bateman was nominated for the show’s second season, and in this year’s season premiere, he commits fully to bringing viewers back to the world of the show in a humorous turn as a completely unaware father living with his son in his dorm room. Winning would be a great tribute to the underrepresented show, but Bateman would also deserve it in his own right.

Don Cheadle as Marty Kahn, House of Lies (Hostile Takeover)
Cheadle last year earned his fifth career nomination, and now returns as the only Emmy-nominated element of Showtime’s dark comedy. The pilot couldn’t win him the Emmy last year, and now he’s submitted a formidable half-hour in which he makes an enormously self-destructive move in the service of building up his career. If he didn’t win last year, I don’t see him winning this year, but it could happen.

Louis C.K. as Louie, Louie (Daddy’s Girlfriend, Part 1)
C.K., who got seven individual nominations last year, upped his total this year to nine. Last year, he went to Afghanistan in his hour-long episode and encountered serious things in his stand-up tour, and this year he lives a more relatable half-hour in which he sets his sights on finding a girlfriend and struggles to ask the perfect girl out. With his show finally nominated for Best Comedy Series, this could easily be his year.

Matt LeBlanc as Matt LeBlanc, Episodes (Episode 202)
I’m so happy to see LeBlanc back here after his show took a year off for his skewering self-portrayal on one of TV’s most underrated comedies. He was nominated two years ago for this performance and three times a decade ago for “Friends.” While I would have had him submit one of the darker later half-hours in which he struggles with weight issues, his selection of the installment in which he tries desperately to buy back the friendship of his writers is a pretty great choice. I’m not sure it will net him the win, but it’s definitely a good showcase.

Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory (The Habitation Configuration)
This is the fifth consecutive nomination for Parsons, who won in 2010 and 2011. His show continues to do well, and Parsons is clearly its most entertaining element. In his submitted episode, Sheldon has to deal with the consequences of making the wrong choice when his friend insults his girlfriend and he sides with his friend. Parsons is on fire as always, and this is a great submission that could easily win him his third trophy.

Who should win (based on entire season): LeBlanc
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Cheadle, Parsons, or Bateman
Who will win: With last year’s winner, Jon Cryer, out of the race, all bets are off. It could be any of these men in theory, and I’ll give the edge to C.K. over Baldwin and Bateman.

Next up: Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series


Unknown said...

Abe, I apologize for correcting you again, the episode you just described for Jim Parons is The Spoiler Alert Segmentation, which is a really good episode (and was submitted as the Comedy Series package for the show) but it's not the episode Parsons submitted. The Habitation Configuration is the one where Wil Wheaton insults Amy during a Fun with Flags taping and Sheldon takes Wheaton's side, which upsets Amy. Sheldon gets drunk and confronts Wil Wheaton at the end. The Habitation thing in the title refers to Howard finally moving out of his house and in with Bernadette. I actually think Parsons has a pretty good shot of winning again without Cryer in the mix (I think he would have won last year if it weren't for Cryer, and his submitted episode is a stellar one, even if it doesn't feature him as much as others have in the past).

My pick is Louie. I think the way he delivers that monologue at the end of the episode where he asks Liz out is awkwardly brilliant and his delivery is just perfect (he also wrote it, but that's a different category). As for Baldwin, I don't understand why he submitted that episode. It's more of a showcase for Tina Fey and ack McBrayer, but Baldwin barely has much to do in that one. If I were him I would have submitted My Whole Life is Thunder (his mother's funeral is a great showcase for him) or Game Over (the last appearance of Will Arnett and Chloe Moretz on 30 Rock, both always brought out the best in Baldwin). This should be an interesting one, though.

Movies with Abe said...

It's not a problem - I appreciate you reading so closely. I watched the nine episodes submitted by "The Big Bang Theory" in the various categories and neglected to check the title to discern between the two. They both would have been good submissions. Louie's submission is very strong, and, unfortunately, Baldwin doesn't need a good submission to win. I'd love to see LeBlanc take it, but I know that won't happen.