Friday, August 19, 2011

Emmy Awards 2011 - Who Will Win in Supporting Comedy Actor?

        In one month, the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards will be held hosted by Glee's Jane Lynch. These awards will reward the best in television this past year. Leading up to the announcements of who will win, I will be looking at all of the acting categories and trying to predict who I think will bring home the trophy.
        Today, I will be looking at the competition in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category.

The Nominees:
     Ty Burrell - Modern Family
     Chris Colfer - Glee
     Jon Cryer - Two and a Half Men
     Jesse Tyler Ferguson - Modern Family
     Ed O'Neill - Modern Family
     Eric Stonestreet - Modern Family

        Five of these nominees have been nominated in prior years for these same roles: Burrell (2010), Colfer (2010), Cryer (2006-2010), Ferguson (2010), and Stonestreet (2010). Cryer won in this category at the 2009 Emmy Awards and Stonestreet won at the 2010 Emmy Awards. The sixth spot went to O'Neill who finally received his first Emmy nomination despite critically acclaimed performances for years on Married with Children and Modern Family.
        The winner in the category is determined by Emmy voters watching an episode each nominee submitted for consideration which they believe offers the best work they did this past year. Voters will then cast their ballot on who they think was the best. 
        Just like Emmy voters, I have watched all six of the episode selections and my opinion will be based solely on how I think Emmy voters will react to the material in these episodes. Here is a breakdown of my thoughts.

Ty Burrell: Episode "Good Cop Bad Dog"
     - Whenever co-stars are nominated in the same category it's good because each one is seen in the other's episode thus increasing their screentime with the voters. With four nominees from the same show, it is highly likely that one of them will go home with the trophy. It will ultimately depend on which of the four looks the best in all four episodes. That person this year will most likely be Ty Burrell. He shines in his episode by playing against type as he is forced to be the mean parent and is hysterical in the other three as he hosts a Halloween party, stumbles around repairing a perfectly operating printer, and cooks dinner for the women. 

Chris Colfer: Episode "Grilled Cheesus"
     - If there was to be an upset in this category, it will most likely come from Colfer. His performance is just so different from the other nominees that it could either hurt him or help him. Upon review of all six episodes, I have to say that the most memorable moment was when Colfer's character, Kurt, was in the hospital talking to his father. Voters tend to reward the moments that they deem the best and most memorable. He is also coming off a victory at the Golden Globe Awards which could play a factor here. However, going against him is the fact that in this particular episode at times he does come off as a little unlikeable. Like I said, he is the biggest wild card. 

Jon Cryer: Episode "The Immortal Mr. Billy Joel"
     - As the only other non-Modern Family contender in this category, he does bring a breath of fresh air. His episode does focus a lot on his character as he pretends to be his brother, Charlie. However, the overall episode isn't as good as the one that won him this Emmy two years ago in 2009. I also think that voters are getting a bit tired with Two and a Half Men. So even though they still included him on this list he would have had to really impress the voters and I don't believe he did so with this episode. To me, he is on the bottom of the list. 

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: Episode "Halloween"
     - He is fantastic in his own episode where he makes the mistake of going to work as Spider-Man and is above average in the rest as he nurses his sick boyfriend, deals with some public intimacy problems, and starts treating his partner as the mother in the family. I believe he could be a real contender and should be in the number three slot but there's something with O'Neill that I'm about to mention that unfortunately knocks Ferguson down for me. He is not out of this race by any means but I doubt that many voters will go for him when there are more flashy episodes and situations surrounding the rest of the nominees. 

Ed O'Neill: Episode "The Kiss"
     - On nomination day many critics were rejoicing by the inclusion of O'Neill in this category. Believe it or not, this is his first Emmy nomination ever despite a diverse and long career. His snubs for his work on Married with Children and the first season of Modern Family were huge surprises. That fact could very well help him in this category. Voters might reward him now since he made it into the race and could very well be snubbed in future years. That Emmy would be intended for all of his great work in the past and future. But for those focusing on the episodes, he shines in his where he gets tricked into screaming away demons in the kitchen. Then in his co-stars' episodes he listens to a pitch about dog training, dresses up as a gargoyle, and tears up when remembering his own mother. Overall, a very impressive collection.

Eric Stonestreet: Episode "Mother's Day"
     - Last year's champ benefited the most from the three episodes the Modern Family men submitted last year but unfortunately that probably won't happen this year. In all four episodes, his character is portrayed as very complacent. In the episodes, he complains about being seen as the mother in his partnership, is sick in bed, complains about Halloween, and complains about his partner's lack of intimacy in public. This issue especially holds true in his episode submission. Because of this concern, the odds of him getting a consecutive win are very unlikely. 

        In my head, this category could have two outcomes: Chris Colfer will win because his performance is different and stands out or Ty Burrell will win because he shines in two hours worth of Modern Family episodes. It is a very close race and could turn either direction. However, I wouldn't count Ed O'Neill out quite yet either. 

My Rankings:
     1. Chris Colfer
     2. Ty Burrell
     3. Ed O'Neill
     4. Jesse Tyler Ferguson
     5. Eric Stonestreet
     6. Jon Cryer