Thursday, September 15, 2016

Emmy Winner (Post) Predictions: Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series

As I’ve done the past few years, I’m excited to present a detailed look at the Emmy race in each category with a spotlight on every sample episode submitted for consideration to voters. Click on episode titles to read reviews and offer your thoughts in the comments!

Sadly, this isn’t the first year that I’ve been busy during Emmy season and neglected to post predictions for categories given out a full week before the primetime ceremony, thus predicting events in the past. This award has already been handed out – here’s a look at the category anyway.

Mahershala Ali (House of Cards) – Chapter 44
Hank Azaria (Ray Donovan) – One Night in Yerevan
Reg E. Cathey (House of Cards) – Chapter 50
Michael J. Fox (The Good Wife) – Taxed
Paul Sparks (House of Cards) – Chapter 49
Max Von Sydow (Game of Thrones) – The Door

This category boasts not one but three actors from Netflix’s political thriller, two of whom were recurring players throughout the season, and the other – last year’s winner – who appeared in just one installment. Cathey’s episode was fiery and full of passion, as he lashed out at the president for treating him like a servant and then getting just as angry at a reporter for trying to get him to turn on the president. Sparks is an interesting choice given the subdued nature of his performance, and to me that makes his submission of the season’s best episode a strange choice since he fades so much into the background while Kevin Spacey and especially Robin Wright shine. Ali, who has been a steady contributor to the show since its start, has a good showcase in his submitted episode, which finds him returning to a life he tried to leave. I think the three of them cancelled each other out, though I’m not sure Sparks or Ali ever had much of a shot. Von Sydow was a steady player in his show throughout the season, and his submitted episode was a very intense one of which he was an important but ultimately not primary part. I expected that Fox might finally win after receiving five nominations for this guest spot, though I was surprised that my review of his submitted episode didn’t even mention his appearance. A look at EW’s recap indicates that he was representing doctors on trial for physician-assisted suicide, and I guess the episode was just too crowded for him to seem like its most vital part. I’m thrilled to report that the winner was actually Azaria, who I liked a lot in season two but returned in season three to humorously impersonate Ray’s henchman Avi, who spent a lot of time impersonating him. It’s a deserved win and nice to see the show recognized.

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