Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Nominees are listed in alphabetical order. Submitted episode titles are in parentheses. Beware of minor spoilers for listed episodes.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister, Game of Thrones (The Spoils of War)
It took him seven seasons, but Coster-Waldau finally earned his first Emmy nomination, joining his onscreen brother after Kit Harington got promoted (unsuccessfully) to the lead category. It’s been hard for a few seasons to peg Jaime as a good guy or a bad guy, and this episode epitomizes that as he nearly strikes a fatal blow to a main character. I’m not sure this is the grandest showcase he could have gotten, and not enough to upset his television sibling. Maybe next year for the final season of the show, but he’s not hot enough right now.

Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones (The Dragon and the Wolf)
This is Dinklage’s seventh straight nomination, returning after his show sat out last season and now joined by his onscreen brother in this category. He’s won twice, for the show’s first season and its fifth, making him a solid bet to repeat again given how well-liked he is. He submitted the season finale, in which he has some good moments with his sister wanting to kill him. It’s reasonable to expect that he could prevail again, even if this isn’t his showiest submission.

Joseph Fiennes as Commander Fred Waterford, The Handmaid’s Tale (First Blood)
Fiennes joins his female costars with his first nomination for his portrayal of the commander of the home in which the title handmaid resides. I personally would have chosen “Women’s Work,” which is costar Yvonne Strahovski’s submission, for him since it showcases him in a horrible way, but this hour offers an arguably more complex depiction of a man who may be a monster but also knows what to do to convince the women in his life that he cares about them. If his show sweeps like it did last year, he could easily be carried along with that wave.

David Harbour as Chief Jim Hopper, Stranger Things (Chapter Four: Will the Wise)
This is the second consecutive nomination for Harbour, who is one of two acting nominees from his show, which dropped from nineteen to twelve overall nominations this year. His submitted episode finds him interacting a lot with fellow nominee Millie Bobby Brown, showing his attempts to be a parent and a lawman at the same time. He seems to be popular, and even though I’d choose one of the kids on the show instead, he’s got a shot.

Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson, Homeland (Species Jump)
This is Patinkin’s fourth nomination for this role and his second in a row. He won an Emmy back in 1995 for “Chicago Hope.” He’s been a dependable player on a show that’s been anything but in the past few years, and now he represents just one of three overall bids for his show. In his submitted episode, he stays calm and cool as he deals with many moving pieces around him. He’s hardly a hot candidate, but he’s a respectable choice who could easily take the win in a year without a definitive frontrunner.

Matt Smith as Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, The Crown (Mystery Man)
Smith earned his first Emmy nomination for portraying the trouble-making, selfish royal spouse who in the second season gets to live his own life away from the crown with frequent reminders that he isn’t free to do as he pleases. Getting called out by his wife on his behavior made for a stellar scene, one that Claire Foy owns but Smith performs strongly in as well. His costar John Lithgow won this award last year, but I think his performance is far showier and more memorable than Smith’s.

Who should win (based on entire season): Dinklage or Fiennes
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Dinklage, Fiennes or Smith
Who will win: I’m really not sure. My gut says that Dinklage takes it again, though it might be Fiennes or Patinkin also.

Next up: Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

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