Thursday, September 19, 2013

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Supporting 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.

Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy, Modern Family (Mistery Date)
Burrell won this award two years ago, and this marks his fourth consecutive nomination. Now that costar Eric Stonestreet, who beat him last year and three years ago, isn’t in the race, Burrell stands a great chance of repeating this win. That’s infinitely truer due to his excellent episode submission, which pairs him with Matthew Broderick for a punny case of mistaken identity, where Phil finds himself the unintentional seducer of his new male friend. It’s a great entry made for an Emmy win.

Adam Driver as Adam, Girls (It’s Back)
This is Driver’s first time being nominated, and he’s actually the first member of his cast besides star Lena Dunham to be recognized. I had assumed, as I think most had, that Driver would submit the disturbing installment “On All Fours” in which he treats his new girlfriend poorly because he thinks she’ll like it. But selecting the previous installment in which he charmingly romances her is actually smarter. I don’t think his show is popular enough to score a win for him if it couldn’t win anything last year, but it’s a nice showcase.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell Pritchett, Modern Family (The Wow Factor)
I think by now most had expected that Ferguson would be nominated for a fourth consecutive time, though many doubted his chances before that. Now, he’s actually present while costar and onscreen partner Eric Stonestreet, who has won twice, got snubbed. It would be great to see him win, and he is a lot of fun in his submitted episode, in which he gets inspired to take down a child bully and gets carried away. If voters want to spread the wealth among his cast, they might recognize him, but I doubt they will.

Bill Hader as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live (Host: Seth MacFarlane)
This is Hader’s second consecutive nomination. He’s now the only regular player nominated from the show, since former costar Kristen Wiig is recognized as a host in the guest race this year. Wiig couldn’t win for her final season of the show last year, and so I doubt that Hader could pull off that feat either. He does just fine in the season premiere, but I don’t think the quality of his characters is consistent enough for voters to endorse him with the win.

.Tony Hale as Gary Walsh, Veep (Running)
This is the first Emmy nomination for Hale, who was a vital part of the “Arrested Development” ensemble. Passed over last year in favor of his new show’s star, Hale is recognized this year for his hilarious portrayal of the Vice-President’s assistant. In his submitted episode, he is the recipient of unusual kindness from his boss after she walks through a glass door, giving him a wonderful opportunity to revel in being acknowledged. I’d love to see him win, and I think it could happen too.

Ed O’Neill as Jay Pritchett, Modern Family (Bringing Up Baby)
O’Neill made the cut after costar Eric Stonestreet got omitted, marking his third consecutive nomination for playing the family patriarch on ABC’s comedy. In the fourth season premiere, Jay turns sixty-five and gets to do some physical comedy in addition to the requisite jokes about his age. It would be easy to justify a long-overdue Emmy for O’Neill’s body of work, but I don’t see it happening this far into his show’s run.

Who should win (based on entire season): Hale
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Burrell or Hale
Who will win: I’d love to see it be Hale, but I think the still-deserving Burrell will take it.

Next up: Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

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