Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Emmy Predictions 2015: Who Will and Should Win for Lead Actor in a Drama Series?

The nominations have been announced for the 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards. Over the next few weeks, I'll be giving my predictions for who will win and who should win in several of the major categories.

Next up is Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

My Predictions for Who Should Win for Lead Actor in a Drama Series:
  1. Jon Hamm in AMC's Mad Men - "Person to Person": Hamm will join the list of "Biggest Emmy Snubs" if he doesn't win this year for playing Don Draper. He appears elsewhere on the nomination list in order to get his first Emmy. But his performance on Mad Men was so iconic. The kind of thing that deserves recognition as a final sendoff.
  2. Bob Odenkirk in AMC's Better Call Saul - "Pimento": Odenkirk had huge shoes to fill in fronting the Breaking Bad prequel series. He mostly succeeded too by finding the hidden depths to the character that weren't able to be on display in the original series. He is a leading man whose performance anchors a show still finding itself.
  3. Kyle Chandler in Netflix's Bloodline - "Part 12": Chandler's work on the Florida-set drama is vastly different than his previous Emmy winning turn on Friday Night Lights. The season was such a slow burn with its reveals and big moments. But at the end, and especially in his episode submission, Chandler was excellent and made the character feel more important than what the words on the page allowed.
  4. Kevin Spacey in Netflix's House of Cards - "Chapter 32": I gave up on House of Cards halfway through Season 2. It's just not a great show that continues to get lots of Emmy love. I'm sure Spacey continued doing his scenery chewing thing. That works for some but not for me.
  5. Jeff Daniels in HBO's The Newsroom - "What Kind of Day Has It Been": I completely forgot about this show when it started airing Season 3 and felt no urgency to return to it. The series finale probably gave Daniels good moments. But I doubt anything was as great as the pilot was.
  6. Liev Schreiber in Showtime's Ray Donovan - "Walk This Way": Schreiber's nomination was a bit of a surprise. It's for a show I didn't think was great initially and felt no need to see if it ever got better. Some say that it did. Perhaps they can make a case for why he should win here.

My Predictions for Who Will Win for Lead Actor in a Drama Series:
  1. Jon Hamm in AMC's Mad Men - "Person to Person": The sentimentality factor is at play here. This is the last year he can win for playing Don Draper. Emmy voters haven't been known to be too sentimental in the past. But that could change this year with the new voting system. That may be the thing that finally gets Hamm his Emmy.
  2. Kevin Spacey in Netflix's House of Cards - "Chapter 32": Emmy voters love this show. Every year it has gone up in acting nominations. That's a sign of support. Plus, Spacey is well beloved in the industry. That makes him serious competition.
  3. Bob Odenkirk in AMC's Better Call Saul - "Pimento": Residual Breaking Bad love probably led to the number of nominations for Better Call Saul. That could also help Odenkirk who is essentially replacing four-time winner in this category Bryan Cranston. 
  4. Kyle Chandler in Netflix's Bloodline - "Part 12": Chandler pulled out a victory in this category just a few years ago against some huge competition - including Hamm in "The Suitcase." Theoretically he could upset Hamm yet again - though the sentiment goes the other direction now.
  5. Jeff Daniels in HBO's The Newsroom - "What Kind of Day Has It Been": Daniels was a surprise winner two years ago. Of course, the Newsroom pilot was a great episode. It's easy to understand in hindsight why he won. The series never did anything else that reached that peak again though - which makes him more of a long shot for the series finale.
  6. Liev Schreiber in Showtime's Ray Donovan - "Walk This Way": Again, someone else will have to argue why he also poises a threat for the trophy.

Do you agree or disagree with my reasonings? Who do you think should and will win in this category? Speculate below in the comments!