Friday, June 19, 2015

Emmy Predictions 2015: Who Will and Should Be Nominated for Supporting Actor in a Comedy 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 Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.

The Nominees in 2014:
        Fred Armisen, Portlandia
        Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
        Ty Burrell, Modern Family (WINNER)
        Adam Driver, Girls
        Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
        Tony Hale, Veep

All six nominees from last year are once again eligible this year. That makes this list very interesting. Those six nominees are all strong. There is also a wide list of previous awards contenders eligible for new roles in the field - Hugh Laurie, Laurence Fishburne, Martin Sheen, Sam Waterston, Tony Shalhoub, Josh Gad, Bradley Whitford, etc. That's a crammed list of talent all vying for the same six spots.

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 Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series:
  • Jaime Camil in The CW's Jane the Virgin: It's easy for Camil's performance as Rogelio de la Vega to be seen as an over-the-top assertion of the various telenovela tropes that were a part of the dramedy's first season. Instead Camil was able to infuse all those fantastical and ego-driven qualities with a strong sense of heart that was simultaneously very sincere and uproariously funny. The show had a lot of fun writing for Rogelio and that was completely because of just how much fun (and heart) Camil brought to the role.
  • Andre Braugher in FOX's Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Captain Raymond Holt was already such a strong and different use of Braugher's talents in the first season. He deserved to be nominated last year. That very much continues to be the case in the comedy's even stronger second season as Holt became just as strong a part of this weird and eclectic family as everyone else. He was able to joke around with them while also facing off with his new nemesis that lead to one of the most emotional moments yet in the second season finale.
  • Nick Offerman in NBC's Parks and Recreation: All I have to do is point to Season 7's "Leslie and Ron" and ask: Why shouldn't Offerman deserve an Emmy? Ron Swanson was consistently one of the best and most original comedic characters over the last few years. The Emmys haven't recognized Offerman's work at all. That trend probably will continue. But damn, he was producing greatness until the very end.
  • Jim Rash in Yahoo Screen's Community: The sixth season of Community was an overall uneven year. But Rash was consistently hilarious. Whether it was Dean Pelton getting trapped in a dated virtual reality, embracing the ambiguity of his sexual orientation and identity, or knocking out several enemy combatants in the elevator during the latest Paintball adventure, Rash was a ton of fun to watch this year.
  • Cameron Monaghan in Showtime's Shameless: Ian's bipolar diagnosis threatened to change the very foundation of Monaghan's performance on the dramedy. In reality though, it only brought about more dramatic emotional issues that Monaghan was able to perform in the most devastating way possible. It was never a really comedic performance - unless you count stealing a baby for a cross-country drive as funny. But it was one of the finest moments of acting in this category for the season.
  • Tituss Burgess in Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: It's easy to look at what Ellie Kemper is doing on the Netflix comedy and fear that the people around her wouldn't be able to match that energy. Not only was Burgess' Titus Andromedon able to be just as compelling to watch, he was hilarious in every single episode of the binge. Some of the biggest laughs of the season came from Titus filming his music video Peeno Noir, taking straight acting classes and doing running commentary on the season ending trial. It was a magnificent performance that never got lost amongst the clutter.
  • Also in the conversation: Terry Crews & Joe Lo Truglio - FOX's Brooklyn Nine-Nine; Gary Cole, Tony Hale, Hugh Laurie & Timothy Simons - HBO's Veep; Laurence Fishburne - ABC's black-ish; Noel Fisher & Dermot Mulroney - Showtime's Shameless; T.J. Miller & Zach Woods - HBO's Silicon Valley; and Randall Park - ABC's Fresh Off the Boat.

My Predictions for Who Will Actually Be Nominated for Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series:
  • Andre Braugher in FOX's Brooklyn Nine-Nine: I'm fully expecting every nominee in this category to be some kind of staple when it comes to Emmy nominations. Braugher has already proven that he can be a contender in this race. There's no reason to suspect that that won't be the case again this year.
  • Ty Burrell in ABC's Modern Family: Burrell may be the last one standing amongst the men of the Modern Family ensemble. But he is still the reigning champ in this category. It would be difficult to imagine the nomination list without him on it - at least for this year.
  • Hugh Laurie in HBO's Veep: The next four likely candidates have all been nominated for many Emmy awards over the years. For that reason only, I'm predicting some new(-ish) blood in the race. Again, the actors aren't new to the nominations list. But this field could promise to see the most turnover this year. That's exciting. Laurie was so effortlessly charming and hilarious in his 5-episode stint on the HBO political satire this year. It's a guest performance forced into the supporting category by the new rules. That may hurt him a little bit. But I could also easily see him replacing Tony Hale as the Veep fixture on this list. Laurie never won for House. Wouldn't it be fun if he can finally win for Veep?
  • Laurence Fishburne in ABC's black-ish: This is another guest performance forced into the supporting category by the new rules. But again, it's such a strong and distinct performance that is a lot of fun. Being an Emmy and Tony winner and Oscar nominee also drastically helps his chances of being recognized (even though that didn't help all that much with his role on NBC's Hannibal).
  • Martin Sheen in Netflix's Grace and Frankie: Surprisingly, Sheen never won an Emmy for his lead performance on The West Wing. He did win for a guest role on Murphy Brown though. His work on Grace and Frankie is also a different performance for him. Name recognition should carry him to a nomination.
  • Tony Shalhoub in Showtime's Nurse Jackie: Shalhoub won three Emmys for his work on Monk. His role is another guest role being moved to the supporting category where the competition is tougher. But the Emmys love him and Nurse Jackie has remained on the Emmys radar despite its age. That should help him break into this race.
  • Also in the conversation: Fred Armisen - IFC's PortlandiaGary Cole & Tony Hale - HBO's Veep; Pete Davidson & Taran Killam - NBC's Saturday Night Live; Adam Driver & Peter Scolari - HBO's GirlsJesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed O'Neill & Eric Stonestreet - ABC's Modern FamilyJosh Gad - FX's The Comedians; Malcolm McDowell - Amazon's Mozart in the Jungle; T.J. Miller - HBO's Silicon Valley; Dermot Mulroney - Showtime's Shameless; Randall Park - ABC's Fresh Off the Boat; Chris Pratt - NBC's Parks and Recreation; Sam Waterston - Netflix's Grace and Frankie; and Bradley Whitford - Showtime's Happyish.

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