Sunday, 22 September 2013

Personal Emmy Ballot: The Dramas, Part 2

And, my Emmy ballots are done.

- Bobby Cannavale in BOARDWALK EMPIRE for “Bone for Tuna”
- Walton Goggins in JUSTIFIED for “Outlaw”
- Vincent Kartheiser in MAD MEN for “Favors”
- Mandy Patinkin in HOMELAND for “The Choice”
- Michael Shannon in BOARDWALK EMPIRE for “The Pony”
- Corey Stoll in HOUSE OF CARDS for “Episode 8”

I went 2/6 with the actual Emmy Awards with Cannavale and Patinkin heading to Emmy nods.
Supporting actor in a drama is a routinely well stocked category and for that I’m a bit sorry that for the third time in a row Boardwalk Empire manages to eke out two nominations, but so it goes. Cannavale and Shannon were performers playing men with short fuses and both made fine turns of it. Cannavale working with Gyp’s unusually ferocious temper had to work hard to prevent this villain from being ridiculous and it worked. Shannon, playing the confusing Van Alden was even better who in his single moment of pure spontaneity all-season gave the series one of its finest scenes. Goggins and Kartheiser had less to do in their respective seasons than years before but still managed fine turns. Boyd and Ava’s unusual romance remains one of Justified warmest and most sincere arcs. Pete’s storyline on Mad Men this season was especially unfulfilling for me, but “Favors” in addition to seeing Kartheiser make the most of it had him playing opposite his best scene partner – Moss’ Peggy. Stoll emerged as an unlikely contender for series MVP (just ahead of Robin Wright) in “Episode 8” which saw him rise above House of Cards occasionally exasperating deliberateness. My winner for this category is Patinkin, though, who has season long been a fantastic friend and occasional foil for Carrie and who with a single smile in the season’s final shot telegraphed so much emotion.

(Un-Submitted Gem: Alfie Allen in GAME OF THRONES)

Runners-Up: Alan Cumming in THE GOOD WIFE; Matt Czuchry in THE GOOD WIFE; Freddie Highmore in BATES MOTEL; Jack Huston in BOARDWALK EMPIRE; Mads Mikkelsen in HANNIBAL; Jeremy Allen White in SHAMELESS; Michael Kenneth Williams in BOARDWALK EMPIRE

- Rose Byrne in DAMAGES for “I Like Your Chair”
- Jennifer Carpenter in DEXTER for “Are You….?”
- Joelle Carter in JUSTIFIED for “The Bird Has Flown”
- Kelly Macdonald in BOARDWALK EMPIRE for “A Man, A Plan”
- Gretchen Mol in BOARDWALK EMPIRE for “Margate Sands”
- Archie Panjabi in THE GOOD WIFE for “Waiting for the Knock”

This was the most difficult category to cut down to six. I battled with including each of the six women below in my line-up, but yay for quality performances. I went 0/6 with Emmy, with only 2 of their nominees even cracking my extended top 12. It’s a shame that seamless performances from Joelle Carter and Jennifer Carpenter are doomed to go without ever cited for their excellence. Dexter’s seventh season was inconstant in quality but Hall and Carpenter kept giving fine work, Carpenter in particular doing arguably her finest work as she met her brother’s dark passenger. Carter’s role was slimmer, but even in those small moments seeing Ava and her relationship with Boyd develop, and her relationship with Ellen May falter was great to watch. The strange case of Kalinda Sharma was the most talked of aspect of The Good Wife’s surprisingly divisive fourth season (at least the first half), but I always say – watch how an actor performs in a less fêted storyline to see their talents and Panjabi was doing good work even amidst the sometimes less than excellent Nick storyline. One of the few faults I continuously moan about re Boardwalk Empire is that Macdonald and Mol have never shared a scene. both return to my ballot this year having done supreme work in the show’s third season. Macdonald’s reaction to a horrifying delivery in a crate was the show’s best acted scene of the season tied with Mol’s delirious confession to Nucky in the season finale. Both fine performances of women unhinged. Ultimately, though, it’s Rose Byrne who tops my list who – after five years – has developed into not only a fine actor but one worthy of going toe to toe with Glenn Close’s Patty Hewes.

Runners-Up: Christine Baranski in THE GOOD WIFE; Lauren Graham in PARENTHOOD; Anna Gunn in BREAKING BAD; January Jones in MAD MEN; Monica Potter in PARENTHOOD; Mae Whitman in PARENTHOOD

....lead performers after the jump...

- Steve Buscemi in BOARDWALK EMPIRE for “The Milkmaid’s Lot”
- Hugh Dancy in HANNIBAL for “Apéritif”
- Damian Lewis in HOMELAND for “Q & A”
- Timothy Olyphant in JUSTIFIED for “Truth and Consequences”
- Matthew Rhys in THE AMERICANS for “Pilot”
- Bryan Cranston in BREAKING BAD for “Say My Name”

Of the drama section this is my least favourite category, not because of poor work but the talent pool is not as deep. Still there are good performances to behold. Rhys’ work in The Americans is the best thing I’ve seen him do changing my perception of his ability and talents and turning in a surprisingly sensitive performance. The same could be argued for Dancy who toes the line playing unhinged but never descending into mawkish. Olyphant is playing on the opposite register. Raylan never gives him much chance for sensitivity more often playing up the brash coolness of the job, but it’s to his credit that he finds moments amidst the bravura to deliver a sincere performance. As Walter became more and more reprehensible Cranston kept a grip on the wiliness delivering a turn that was hard to sympathise with, but always entrancing. My top 2, though, consists of the un-nominated Buscemi and my choice for the win Lewis. Nucky is as hard to love as any antihero, but the position of disorient that “The Milkmaid’s Lot” had him showed just how strong a handle on the character Buscemi has. As my #1, Lewis’ performance was even more finely tuned and riveting than season 1. Brody remains an enigma in some key ways, but the performance is anything but opaque.

Runners-Up: Michael C. Hall in DEXTER; Jon Hamm in MAD MEN; Peter Krause in PARENTHOOD; William H. Macy in SHAMELESS; Johnny Lee Miller in ELEMENTARY; Kevin Spacey in HOUSE OF CARDS

- Glenn Close in DAMAGES for “But You Don’t Do That Anymore”
- Claire Danes in HOMELAND for “Beirut is Back”
- Julianna Margulies in THE GOOD WIFE for “Red Team / Blue Team”
- Tatiana Maslany in ORPHAN BLACK for “Natural Selection”
- Keri Russell in THE AMERICANS for “Gregory”
- Kyra Sedgwick in THE CLOSER for “The Last Word”

At first I didn’t want to include Russell if only because her performance impresses me less than Rhys, but they’re not competing against each other and even as Rhys towers above her Russell’s work is excellent when matched against her fine competition. Sedgwick was another performer I considered omitting only to rewatch The Closer’s finale and marvel at what a raw and open performance she gave as Brenda Leigh Johnson. Maslany is juggling so many characters on Orphan Black and although I’d hesitate to say playing more characters makes her work immediately superior to those in this category the deftness with which she moves from persona to persona is worthy of applause. I have, on occasion, been cool on Alicia Florrick but watching Margulies embody her development into someone more aware of her dark side and willing to embrace it was a joy during season 4, and the best Alicia Florrick is always an angry Alicia Florrick. Which leaves me with the two blonde geniuses, it’s an incredibly close call – Glenn plays it close to the chest and subtle, Claire plays it openhearted and loose. It’s difficult to choose, and if Emmy can have a tie to end up at seven nominees, I can have a tie, too.

Runners-Up: Vera Farmiga in BATES MOTEL; Lucy Liu in ELEMENTARY; Elizabeth Moss in MAD MEN; Emmy Rossum in SHAMELESS; Robin Wright in HOUSE OF CARDS


- HOMELAND (alt.)


Dramas, Part 1
Comedies, Part 1
Comedies, Part 2

So, now you know who I'm rooting for tonight at the Emmy awards. You?

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