Monday, September 12, 2016

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Lead Actor in a Comedy 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!

Anthony Anderson (Black-ish) – Hope
Aziz Ansari (Master of None) – Parents
Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) – 30 Years of Science Down the Tubes
William H. Macy (Shameless) – I Only Miss Her When I’m Breathing
Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley) – The Empty Chair
Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent) – Man on the Land

We have a few returning faces this year but also two great new additions to the race, one for a new show, Ansari, and the other for a show that’s been regularly showered with nominations just not an acting one until now, Middleditch. The latter is a fun choice without much chance of winning, mainly because he’s deemed less worthy of being a CEO than an empty chair, representing Emmy voters’ love of the show more than of its actors. Ansari, on the other hand, is handicapped by the fact that his show is new and comedies don’t always go over all that well at first, so if the freshness of his show and its most popular episode (though hardly my favorite) can overcome that, he could have a shot at winning. I really disliked Forte’s episode, and I think that even he can’t overcome its stupidity and won’t be able to impress voters this year, especially since he’s the one thing about his show nominated after the pilot scored directing and writing bids last year. I recognized Macy’s submission just from its title, which finds Frank grieving the loss of the one woman who may have been right for him and gives him a bit more depth. Macy, who won the SAG Award in 2014 and is now on his third consecutive nomination as the lone representative of his show which has been repurposed as comedy after being initially classified as drama, is the kind of actor who could easily win any year (and would deserve it). Anderson is on a roll, with his show nominated as Best Comedy Series and costar Tracee Ellis Ross also recognized, and his submission of a more dramatic half-hour certainly bolsters his chances. But I don’t think anyone can beat Tambor, who won last year and submitted an episode that finds Maura dealing with the unanticipated implications of being a transgender person at a women-only retreat. His show has received great reviews and he’s the main reason for that, making him the definite frontrunner.

Who should win (based on entire season): Ansari, Macy, or Tambor
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Macy or Tambor
Who will win: It’s all but guaranteed to be Tambor.

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