Thursday, August 29, 2019

Emmy Predictions 2019 - Who Will and Should Win for Guest Actor in a Drama Series?

The nominations have been announced for The 71st 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 Guest Actor in a Drama Series.

The Nominees Ranked By Which Should Win:
  1. Michael McKean for AMC's Better Call Saul - "Winner"
  2. Bradley Whitford for Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale - "Postpartum"
  3. Michael Angarano for NBC's This Is Us - "Songbird Road: Part One"
  4. Ron Cephas Jones for NBC's This Is Us - "A Philadelphia Story"
  5. Glynn Turman for ABC's How to Get Away With Murder - "It Was the Worst Day of My Life"
  6. Kumail Nanjiani for CBS All Access' The Twilight Zone - "The Comedian"

For three straight years, it was incredibly frustrating and disappointing that the Emmy voters didn't nominate Michael McKean for his stellar work on Better Call Saul. His character was so pivotal to the central proceedings in such a nuanced and explosive way. He had all the performance ticks that voters typically go for as well. That's what made it so meaningful to see him get nominated as a guest actor this year. His story may have peaked in the third season but the fourth still provided him with some notable work. A win for him should be seen as a celebration and appreciation for everything he did on the Breaking Bad prequel. No one else quite deserves it as much as him. Bradley Whitford and Glynn Turman are both previous Emmy winners. They certainly had some showcase moments as well. Plus, This Is Us continues to provide some stellar work to character actors looking to break through in new and exciting ways. It allowed audiences to see Michael Angarano in a new light this year. The same was even true with Kumail Nanjiani because his Twilight Zone episode was more dramatic. However, McKean is still the most deserving winner in this race. But there is some fine acting talent elsewhere as well.

The Nominees Ranked by Which Will Win:
  1. Bradley Whitford for Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale - "Postpartum"
  2. Michael Angarano for NBC's This Is Us - "Songbird Road: Part One"
  3. Ron Cephas Jones for NBC's This Is Us - "A Philadelphia Story"
  4. Michael McKean for AMC's Better Call Saul - "Winner"
  5. Glynn Turman for ABC's How to Get Away With Murder - "It Was the Worst Day of My Life"
  6. Kumail Nanjiani for CBS All Access' The Twilight Zone - "The Comedian"

The last two winners in this category have come from This Is Us - Gerald McRaney and Ron Cephas Jones. One of them happens to be nominated again this year. Of course, he seems less sturdy simply because he didn't have as active a season and there is less urgency to reward the veteran actor. But Michael Angarano had a very significant story during the season. It may have eventually split off to feature another actor in the role but Angarano was very pivotal to its success. He may be a young, fresh race in the race. But the show he was on has the track record of producing winners. Sure, The Handmaid's Tale has that kind of ability too. Of course, it has been much more successful with its actresses than any of its actors. Bradley Whitford may provide the Hulu drama with its best opportunity so far though. He may also be aided by recency bias with the third season airing during the voting period and his role only continuing to grow in importance. His episode submission is the beginning of his character arc. And yes, sometimes episode submissions do matter in the guest acting races. Sometimes the actor with the best tape is actually rewarded with the trophy. If that's the case, then a really good argument could be made for Michael McKean. His appearance may have been brief but it makes such a strong impact right away. Elsewhere, it's nice to see Kumail Nanjiani get nominated though that's more likely due to him being a rising star in the industry than recognition for his specific contribution to the reboot of The Twilight Zone. His episode certainly had some problems with tone and pacing. 

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