Saturday, June 20, 2015

Emmy Predictions 2015: Who Will and Should Be Nominated for Guest Actor in a Drama Series?

Voting has commenced for The 67th Annual Emmy Awards. Until June 26, voters will cast their ballots for the biggest awards in all of television. And now, it's our time to predict on what will happen - and what we would really like to.

Next up for analysis is Guest Actor in a Drama Series.

The Nominees in 2014:
        Dylan Baker, The Good Wife
        Beau Bridges, Masters of Sex
        Reg E. Cathey, House of Cards
        Paul Giamatti, Downton Abbey
        Robert Morse, Mad Men
        Joe Morton, Scandal (WINNER)

Four of last year's nominees (Baker, Bridges, Cathey & Morse) are once again eligible for this season. Giamatti wasn't on the period drama at all this season while Morton was forced into the supporting actor field due to the new Emmy rules. However, big names also in contention this year include Sam Shepard, David Hyde Pierce, Michael J. Fox, Alan Alda, Edward James Olmos, Ed Asner, Scott Glenn, etc.

Before I start my speculation on who's mostly likely to pick up a nomination this year, I have to break down the rules for this post. First of all, my 6 picks are essentially the nominees I would select if I was an Emmy voter filling out a ballot. That means I can only pick the actors who submitted themselves for consideration in the field. Plus, I have to honor the Emmy's new rules regarding what classifies as a drama vs. a comedy as well as who is a supporting actor vs. a guest actor. As much as I believe Orange Is the New Black is a comedy and Shameless is a drama, I have to honor the way that the organization has decided to classify them. It's also fair to assume that some stuff that could be deemed spoilers for any of the following shows will come up in discussing an actor's performance on said show. And now, without further ado.....

My 6 Picks for Who Should be Nominated for Guest Actor in a Drama Series:
  • Mel Rodriguez in AMC's Better Call Saul: Rodriguez was great in his few brief appearances on the Breaking Bad prequel series throughout its first season. And then came the season finale that showcased his talents even more so. He pulled out a performance that was wonderfully fun to watch as he represented everything that Bob Odenkirk's Jimmy wanted to avoid. His presence made it easy to see how easily Jimmy could get sucked into his world. It's one that ended tragically, but it was also really profound to experience.
  • Beau Bridges in Showtime's Masters of Sex: Bridges wasn't as visible and important in the period drama's second season as he was in its first. But that doesn't matter because he still made his limited screentime worth it as his character Barton Scully continued to struggled with his sexual identity and the importance he had on his family. It was emotionally eloquent in its devastation. Truly compelling that deserves as much recognition as it can get.
  • Courtney B. Vance in ABC's Scandal: The fourth season of Scandal really did try handling a very sensitive and topical story in the shooting of an unarmed black man. The episode didn't always work. But Vance was triumphant to watch as his character took a firm stance against the establishment in order to get some sense of justice in his son's senseless murder. He commanded the screen and made the episode's plot work.
  • Jonathan Tucker in FX's Justified: Tucker came into the final season of the acclaimed series for its last few episodes as Raylan's final gun-slinging opponent. His charms were at times quirky and then completely intimidating. His performance added necessary fuel and urgency to the end of the series as his unpredictability threatened to uproot so many of the other characters aspirations of the future. He was a part of the show's last face off and it was an epic moment to behold.
  • Sam Shepard in Netflix's Bloodline: Shepard's patriarch character was marked for death early in the drama's first season. But that didn't mean he couldn't devour the scene with intense acting in his limited amount of screentime. His presence gave so much texture to this complex intricacy of a plot revolving around this family. The role was so crucial and Shepard gave life to it in a way that made his character have value in his disdain even after he was gone.
  • David Hyde Pierce in CBS' The Good Wife: Hyde Pierce was a fierce opponent to Alicia's campaign for State's Attorney since the first moment he appeared on the screen. He had an intellectual wit that allowed for a wonderful commentary on what it is like to truly run for office. It didn't work out for him in the end, but he was a joy to watch nevertheless.
  • Also in the conversation: Ed Asner, Gary Cole, Michael J. Fox, Kyle MacLachlan & Oliver Platt - CBS' The Good Wife; Dominic Cooper - ABC's Agent Carter; Scott Glenn - HBO's The Leftovers; Brian Letscher - ABC's Scandal; Edward James Olmos - ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; and Pablo Schreiber - Netflix's Orange Is the New Black.

My Predictions for Who Will Actually Be Nominated for Guest Actor in a Drama Series:
  • Beau Bridges in Showtime's Masters of Sex: Bridges has four previous nominations in this category and much more elsewhere on the ballot. It continues to be a powerful performance that should once again make him a frontrunner in the competition.
  • David Hyde Pierce in CBS' The Good Wife: Hyde Pierce was nominated eleven times for his performance on Frasier. The Emmys clearly love him. Plus, The Good Wife has always done well in the Guest categories (including wins for Martha Plimpton and Carrie Preston). Of the guest stars on the CBS drama this season, he will be the first for the voters to select.
  • Sam Shepard in Netflix's Bloodline: Shepard has been nominated for so many different awards across his long career. He doesn't have a strong track record with the Emmys (only 1 nomination back in 1999 for Dash and Lilly). But name recognition should lead him onto the ballot here.
  • Courtney B. Vance in ABC's Scandal: For the past two years, the trophy in this field has gone to an actor from Scandal (Dan Bucatinsky in 2013, Joe Morton in 2014). Vance was a key focal part in one of the biggest and most important episodes of the drama's fourth season. They've proven themselves to actually look at the work and Vance did a phenomenal job in his episode.
  • Michael J. Fox in CBS' The Good Wife: The farther down the list I go, the harder it is to predict who will be nominated. Fox has been up in this category before but dropped off last year. He could easily return. Or the slot could go to someone else. This was a pretty decent season for him on The Good Wife though - and that will probably be enough to get him back in the running.
  • Andre Braugher in NBC's Law & Order: SVU: In his previous appearances on the long-running procedure, Braugher didn't get a nomination - even though he always gets nominated no matter what the show (Men of a Certain Age, Thief, etc). That may happen to him again this year. But I'm predicting he'll get in.
  • Also in the conversation: Alan Alda, Ron Perlman, Peter Stormare & David Strathairn - NBC's The Blacklist; Ed Asner, Dylan Baker, Michael Cerveris, Gary Cole, Kyle MacLachlan, Oliver Platt & Ron Rifkin - CBS' The Good Wife; Lothaire Bluteau - History's Vikings; Christian Borle - Showtime's Masters of SexReg E. Cathey & Lars Mikkelsen - Netflix's House of Cards; Scott Glenn - HBO's The Leftovers; Walton Goggins - FX's Sons of AnarchyHarry Hamlin - NBC's Law & Order: SVU; Eric McCormack - NBC's The Mysteries of LauraRobert Morse - AMC's Mad Men; Edward James Olmos - ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; Patton Oswalt - CBS' Battle Creek; Mel Rodriguez - AMC's Better Call Saul; Richard Schiff - WGN America's Manhattan; Pablo Schreiber - Netflix's Orange Is the New Black; Corey Stoll - Showtime's Homeland; and Jonathan Tucker - FX's Justified.

Do you agree or disagree with my picks? Who do you think should be nominated in the Guest category this year? Speculate below in the comments!