Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Emmy Predictions 2020 - Who Will and Should Win for Supporting 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 Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

The Nominees Ranked By Which Should Win:
  1. Billy Crudup for AppleTV+'s The Morning Show - "Chaos Is the New Cocaine"
  2. Kieran Culkin for HBO's Succession - "Tern Haven"
  3. Matthew Macfadyen for HBO's Succession - "This Is Not for Tears"
  4. Nicholas Braun for HBO's Succession - "This Is Not for Tears"
  5. Giancarlo Esposito for AMC's Better Call Saul - "JMM"
  6. Bradley Whitford for Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale - "Sacrifice"
  7. Mark Duplass for AppleTV+'s The Morning Show - "The Interview"
  8. Jeffrey Wright for HBO's Westworld - "Crisis Theory"

Billy Crudup brought such wicked and fun energy to The Morning Show. Apple's first major foray into television was built around Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. However, Crudup delivered one of the standout performances of the show. His character is essentially an agent of chaos. He enjoys the unexpected drama and propels others to participate in it no matter what. He has the skills to make it all work out for him as well. That stood in contrast to Mark Duplass' character who always felt as if he was in control but never truly was. Elsewhere, the Succession boom is felt acutely here. Three performers from that show made it into the race. That's incredible. They are all deserving as well. They are such specific and unique performances. It's easy to hate all of their characters because of the enabling they do for the wealthy and privileged. But it's delightful to see the demented situations they constantly find themselves in as well. They all add to the brilliant texture of that show as it unravels the despicable layers of those who wield power in this world. Elsewhere, it's strange that Giancarlo Esposito remained in the race over Jonathan Banks who had the much more active season on Better Call Saul. Esposito still has a solid episode though. Moreover, Bradley Whitford is the first male performer to actually bring some gravitas to The Handmaid's Tale in a way that was actually nuanced and complicated. A lot of great work this year. But again, The Morning Show and Succession offer such insanely manic energy that the viewer simply cannot turn away from.

The Nominees Ranked by Which Will Win:
  1. Kieran Culkin for HBO's Succession - "Tern Haven"
  2. Matthew Macfadyen for HBO's Succession - "This Is Not for Tears"
  3. Billy Crudup for AppleTV+'s The Morning Show - "Chaos Is the New Cocaine"
  4. Giancarlo Esposito for AMC's Better Call Saul - "JMM"
  5. Bradley Whitford for Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale - "Sacrifice"
  6. Jeffrey Wright for HBO's Westworld - "Crisis Theory"
  7. Nicholas Braun for HBO's Succession - "This Is Not for Tears"
  8. Mark Duplass for AppleTV+'s The Morning Show - "The Interview"

The actors from Succession and The Morning Show certainly benefit from having multiple nominees in the category. In some races, the fear of vote-splitting is apparent. In the acting categories where episode submissions somewhat matter, it can actually be a boost. The voters will get to see two episodes apiece from The Morning Show and Succession. That gives them a leg up against the competitors who only have their own tapes. The voters get to see some of these performers in several episodes. That allows them to better notice the nuance and complexity of their work. Billy Crudup may have the leg up overall in the race because it's clear he is more of the frontrunner over his co-star Mark Duplass. The Succession men are all equally compelling with none of them especially standing out more than the other. But the highs of the critical acclaim for Succession were so much greater. Those are the major contenders in this category. However, one can't dismiss The Handmaid's Tale or Better Call Saul either. The Hulu drama is always a major player in every category it is in. The support has waned this year. But Bradley Whitford gave a performance worthy of recognition. Meanwhile, Giancarlo Esposito is actually up for several awards this year. His guest turn on The Mandalorian could also award him an Emmy. That shows some broad support for him. That makes him competitive. However, one can't dismiss Westworld either because it too has proven capable of winning in the past. Jeffrey Wright is an actor not always given enough to do on that show. But he remains a compelling presence no matter where he pops up. That means some nominees feel like stronger contenders. And yet, it isn't overwhelmingly tilted in one particular direction at this point.

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