Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Emmy Predictions 2018 - Who Will and Should Win for Lead Actor in a Drama Series?

The nominations are in for The 70th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. So now, it's time to speculate on who will and should win in each major category. Next up for analysis is Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

The Nominees Ranked By Which Actor Should Win:
  1. Matthew Rhys for FX's The Americans - "START"
  2. Sterling K. Brown for NBC's This Is Us - "Number Three"
  3. Milo Ventimiglia for NBC's This Is Us - "The Car"
  4. Jeffrey Wright for HBO's Westworld - "The Passenger"
  5. Ed Harris for HBO's Westworld - "Vanishing Point"
  6. Jason Bateman for Netflix's Ozark - "The Toll"

There really is no competition in this category. Matthew Rhys gave a tremendous performance across six seasons of The Americans. The final season was perfect in every way. The show gave him some terrific material to work with and then he managed to elevate it even further as the tragedy set in for the various characters. Once again, the series finale was so brutal and gripping because of the personal intensity and the destruction of the relationships between the characters. That intensity came from some compelling performances and should give Rhys as many awards as possible. Elsewhere, the other nominees are all very strong on their respective series as well. Sure, the Westworld men at times struggle with being plot devices instead of actual characters. But the subtleties they bring to the roles are also exciting and engaging. Meanwhile, the This Is Us guys have always been tremendous and their spirits infuse that show with so much heart and meaning. And finally, there is Jason Bateman who really doesn't belong in this category because Ozark is a subpar show. It's also a pretty monotonous performance because the show just aspires to be drag and dark at all times.

The Nominees Ranked by Which Actor Will Win:
  1. Sterling K. Brown for NBC's This Is Us - "Number Three"
  2. Milo Ventimiglia for NBC's This Is Us - "The Car"
  3. Matthew Rhys for FX's The Americans - "START"
  4. Jason Bateman for Netflix's Ozark - "The Toll"
  5. Jeffrey Wright for HBO's Westworld - "The Passenger"
  6. Ed Harris for HBO's Westworld - "Vanishing Point"

I definitely want to believe that there is more of a groundswell of support for The Americans team this year because it's the final year for the show to win. There is certainly a recent track record in this specific category of well-deserving actors on iconic shows failing to win until the series finale. Kyle Chandler only won in 2011 and Jon Hamm didn't win until 2015. Those were victories built around it being the last time they could win. They were both performances that should have won long before then as well. The same could also be true of Matthew Rhys. Just like those two, he has submitted the series finale. It could happen. But the one-two punch of Brown and Ventimiglia just seems too difficult to overcome. This could be the third year in a row that Brown wins an Emmy. That's insane but also completely possible considering he has two nominations. Him being the reigning champion is also very impressive and he possibly has the better submission than his co-star. And yet, voters love rewarding performances where the character dies. It too has the feeling of it being the last time to honor the actor because the character is no longer around. That's not really the case with This Is Us because of the changing time frames. And yet, it's still a narrative that could absolutely help Ventimiglia because that was a huge moment at the beginning of the year that certainly defined a lot for the show.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my predictions? Let me know in the comments below!