Friday, August 28, 2020

Emmy Predictions 2020 - Who Will and Should Win for Lead Actor in a Drama Series?

The nominations have been announced for The 72nd 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 Should Win:
  1. Billy Porter for FX's Pose - "Love's in Need of Love Today"
  2. Jeremy Strong for HBO's Succession - "This Is Not for Tears"
  3. Brian Cox for HBO's Succession - "Hunting"
  4. Sterling K. Brown for NBC's This Is Us - "After the Fire"
  5. Steve Carell for AppleTV+'s The Morning Show - "Lonely at the Top"
  6. Jason Bateman for Netflix's Ozark - "Su Casa Es Mi Casa"

Obviously, the most deserving winner wasn't even nominated this year. It's still shocking that the voters opted to snub Better Call Saul's Bob Odenkirk after his best season yet. That needs to be stated over and over again. It is really that inexcusable. However, I have to analyze the race as the voters have decided to shape it. It is absolutely filled with questionable choices. Steve Carell was just so poorly used on The Morning Show. There was no real clarity or arc to what his character was doing. It was important for the initial setup but offered nothing relevant to the proceedings afterwards. Meanwhile, Jason Bateman in Ozark is simply a performance that has never quite worked for me. There are some great things that are happening in this category as well. Billy Porter's big hurdle a year ago was getting nominated. After doing so, he walked away with the win. He is so deserving now as well. His episode submission is phenomenal as his character is pushed to the brink of death and also gets to perform a couple of songs. It's fantastic and centered so much around him. And finally, the Succession ensemble is just extraordinary from top to bottom. Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong are both gifted performers. Their episodes highlight them well but also enhance the other too. It's truly a collaborative experience. That makes them stunning to watch in this particular field as they actually help the other be even better.

The Nominees Ranked by Which Will Win:
  1. Brian Cox for HBO's Succession - "Hunting"
  2. Jeremy Strong for HBO's Succession - "This Is Not for Tears"
  3. Jason Bateman for Netflix's Ozark - "Su Casa Es Mi Casa"
  4. Billy Porter for FX's Pose - "Love's in Need of Love Today"
  5. Sterling K. Brown for NBC's This Is Us - "After the Fire"
  6. Steve Carell for AppleTV+'s The Morning Show - "Lonely at the Top"

At this point, it truly does seem like a race between the Succession stars. Jason Bateman could absolutely be a spoiler because of the voters growing support for Ozark. He won a year ago for directing which was one of the most baffling decisions that the voters made. It's easy to see how that could transition to his acting. Billy Porter and Sterling K. Brown are former winners too. The urgency may not be on their side to be rewarded. Sure, it would be great for Pose to continue to receive this recognition after not getting many nominations elsewhere. It deserves to be showered with praise. It may not happen again though. The voters may have moved on to the next big thing. That seems to have happened with This Is Us. It was once big. It still gets a handful of nominations. It's competitive everywhere. After four seasons though, the urgency just isn't there. It could happen. Some other options just seem more likely. Steve Carell would be a huge surprise. He never won an Emmy for The Office. The voters could try to make up for that by welcoming him home to television. The performance doesn't necessarily merit it though. It's just too hard to argue against the quality that Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong bring to their roles. "Boar on the floor" may be the one piece of dialogue that seals the deal for Cox. That moment was so extreme and exaggerated. However, it was searingly important in showcasing his dominance over this world. Plus, his moment at the end of the season is full of so much nuance and complexity that people still marvel over it. Meanwhile, Strong was so carefully measured in how to convey a man submitting himself to the will of someone else only to finally realize that he too can take power if he wants to accept getting away with the heinous actions of his past. The acting is simply tremendous on the HBO drama.

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