Thursday, August 24, 2017

Emmy Predictions 2017 - Who Will Likely Win for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series?

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

The Nominees:
  • Anthony Anderson for ABC's Black-ish - "Lemons"
  • Aziz Ansari for Netflix's Master of None - "The Dinner Party"
  • Zach Galifianakis for FX's Baskets - "Freaks"
  • Donald Glover for FX's Atlanta - "The Big Bang"
  • William H. Macy for Showtime's Shameless - "You Sold Me the Laundromat, Remember?"
  • Jeffrey Tambor for Amazon's Transparent - "Elizah"

It once again feels like Jeffrey Tambor is a lock to win the race for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Transparent and Amazon overall didn't get as many Emmy nominations as they did in previous years. And yet, Tambor's performance continues to be amazing. He still manages to find the nuances to an ever-changing character three seasons in. He commits himself fully to the role. He was already known as one of the best comic actors before Transparent started. But this show has only cemented his legacy further. It's nice to see him finally get the Emmy wins that he deserves. It would be hard to disagree if he wins again for the third year in a row. His episode is a fantastic showcase as well because it's all about Maura Pfefferman with none of the other series regular characters appearing at all. She goes on quite an unexpected and traumatizing journey that sets off a great season of change for her.

And yet, Tambor has considerable more competition this year than he previously has. The odds are high that Atlanta and Master of None will win in at least one of the major categories. It may be easier to say that those wins will come from writing and directing so the lead actor race can go unchanged. But both Aziz Ansari and Donald Glover have proven to be great actors in these shows. Ansari was a revelation in the first year of Master of None and his performance only got better in the second season. Meanwhile, Donald Glover has been having such a remarkable year. Atlanta got so much attention in the fall. He got praise as an actor, writer and directer. I'd probably say Glover has the better episode submission. Pilots are typically a safe way to go. But I could easily see either of these guys winning.

Of course, Anthony Anderson could sneak in with a victory as well. His episode submission was one of the best episodes of 2017 so far. The post-election episode of Black-ish was so raw and special. Anderson delivered a tremendous performance in it too. Every year it seems like Black-ish is going to pull off a major victory in one of the races. It's yet to happen though. But the support does keep growing. He's a deserving winner in this race. I would definitely vote for him. Meanwhile, Zach Galifianakis and William H. Macy seem like long shot candidates. Galifianakis could win because the voters have an appreciation for the show and his co-star Louie Anderson. Plus, voters typically enjoy actors playing two roles in the same project. But it also seems unlikely given the field of nominees. And Macy is just a perennial nominee at this point who the voters just check off without really knowing what he's up to on Shameless. It's doubtful that he'll ever win - though will probably keep getting nominated.

Should Win: Anthony Anderson
Will Win: Jeffrey Tambor
Dark Horse: Donald Glover