Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Emmy Predictions 2017 - Who Will Likely Win for Guest Actor in a Drama Series?

The nominations are in for The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The final round of voting has occurred. So, it's time to speculate on who is likely to win in each major category. Next up for analysis is Guest Actor in a Drama Series.

The Nominees:
  • Hank Azaria for Showtime's Ray Donovan - "Norman Saves the World"
  • Brian Tyree Henry for NBC's This Is Us - "Memphis"
  • Gerald McRaney for NBC's This Is Us - "The Big Day"
  • Ben Mendelsohn for Netflix's Bloodline - "Part 32"
  • Denis O'Hare for NBC's This Is Us - "Last Christmas"
  • BD Wong for USA's Mr. Robot - "eps2.3_logic-b0mb.hc"

There are two former winners for playing their current roles in the race for Guest Actor in a Drama Series. As such, it would be easy to assume that Hank Azaria and Ben Mendelsohn will possibly win in this category. Both of them won just last year as well - Azaria in this category and Mendelsohn as a Supporting Actor. They are some of the only nominations that their respective shows got this year as well. Mendelsohn's role on Bloodline shrunk with each season. He still won last year. He deserved to win for the performance he gave in the first season. But now, it just seems like buzz has gone from that show completely. Meanwhile, Azaria has the benefit of Ray Donovan airing new episodes during the voting window. That could help him to a repeat victory. But he faces strong competition this year. Plus, this particular category doesn't really reward the same people over and over again. The last time the same actor won two years in a row was Charles S. Dutton in 2002 and 2003 but they weren't even for the same show! Of course, actors from the same show have prevailed more recently than that. Dan Bucatinsky and Joe Morton won in back-to-back years for Scandal. But it still seems unlikely that Azaria will prevail here despite being a phenomenal actor.

Instead, this is the category that truly establishes This Is Us as a powerful at the Emmys. It managed to get three nominations. Of course, House of Cards got three nominations in this category last year and Azaria still managed to win. But the buzz is surrounding This Is Us more this year than House of Cards last year. This was a huge year for new shows in the drama categories. This Is Us was one of them. However, there's one nominee who is much more deserving than the other two. Brian Tyree Henry and Denis O'Hare are great actors. They just didn't have the material to justify their nominations here. Their roles were just way too small. Meanwhile, Gerald McRaney was a part of the show from the start. He was a scene stealer in the pilot and the show just had to keep bringing him back. It's such a terrific performance that should be rewarded. He's a veteran actor who has never won before. It would be so fitting if he was victorious for this show. Plus, he has the added benefit of appearing in two of the episodes in this category. O'Hare and Henry are just in their respective submissions. But McRaney appears in "The Big Day" and "Last Christmas" with stellar stories in both of them. If he doesn't win, it would be truly shocking.

However, BD Wong could be a huge spoiler in this race. He is giving a scene stealing performance on a critically acclaimed drama as well. It was disappointing when he wasn't nominated for the first season. And now, it's great that he was for the second season even though the show dipped significantly in overall nominations. He was given more to do this season. So much in fact, that I was surprised he still qualified as a guest actor. Fortunately, he did. The show aired a long time ago. So, voters will have to remember his performance or watch the episodes in the category. That could work against him. The buzz isn't around Mr. Robot anymore. The noise that This Is Us is generating will likely lead to its victory in this category. But Wong still has a good chance of pulling off an upset.

Should Win: Gerald McRaney
Will Win: Gerald McRaney
Dark Horse: BD Wong