Thursday, July 2, 2015

Dream Emmy Ballot 2015: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut in Better Call Saul 


For the first episodes of Better Call Saul, I thought the inclusion of Mike was going to be more  gimmick than anything else.  In the fifth episode this changed, and not only did we get the strongest episode of the season, but we also got to find out more about Mike's relationship with his son, and the way his son's death played out.  Banks Mike was one of my favorite characters in Breaking Bad, and in the first part of the last season we started to get more from him, but the episode Five-0, in Saul was a tour de force that was rivaled by few this year.

Matt Czuchry as Cary Agos in The Good Wife

While Cary disappeared a bit in the second half of the sixth season of The Good Wife, his battle to prove his innosence for drug charges was one of the most compelling stories the show has tackled.  In the first few episodes of the season watching Cary get arrested, navigate prison, and go from thriving pretty boy lawyer to gaunt prisoner was rough to watch, namely because Czuchry was finally given material to sink his teeth into, and he succeeded beautifully; he is one talented guy.

Vincent D’ Onofrio as Wilson Fisk aka the Kingpin in Daredevil

Why Captain America: Civil War Should Include Kingpin, According To Vincent D’Onofrio image
Take note Vince Vaughn, this is how you play a brooding megalomaniac.  In the comic book world, Kingpin has always been rather one note, he is often rich, and bad, but in this adaptation we get new layers to the character, back story on what made him bad, and sent him on a similar course of the titular Daredevil.  D’ Onofrio tackles Fisk's need/want to right by New York City, in the only way he sees fit, through control.  D’Onofrio is brilliant in this role, and gives this once one note character layers needed to make his story plausible.

Christopher Eccleston as Reverend Matt Jamison in The Leftovers

The Leftovers Two Boats and a Helicopter Headline

The is obviously a strong spiritual tone to the Leftovers, something which can't be ignored.  In the third episode of The Leftovers, the focus is solely on Reverend Matt who is trying to save his church from foreclosure, in order to save his church he goes to gamble, and wins the money, but is knocked out and misses the deadline.  The journey the Reverend faces is a test, and Eccleston passes with flying colors.  This is one of the strongest episodes the show put forth, and his journey to try and save his Church and fight for the living is a strident test of his faith.  Eccelston is amazing here.

Joshua Jackson as Cole Lockhart in The Affair

Daily Josh: Another beauty of Josh as Cole Lockhart courtesy of The Affair.

Jackson is easily the most under rated of the cast of the television series, The Affair.  Watch Cole through the eyes of his wife, and her love was interesting, and you Jackson tackled each perspective with range and depth.  Cole could have been a one note asshole, but Jackson gives this man range.  Cole is struggling to keep his once prosperous family a float, and trying to save his marriage after the death his son.  Jackson is heartbreaking, and does excellent work with this role.

Ben Mendolsohn as Danny Rayburn in Bloodline

Danny was the screw up of the Rayburn family, but Mendolsohn was the standout of this show bogged down by overwrought material.  While most of the performances in this show were good, it was Mendolsohn who gives the stand out performance in this ensemble; he does his best to be everything he can for his family, but ends up being a perpetual burden.  Mendolsohn excels in this role, and pulls off one of the best supporting performances of the year.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Dream Emmy Ballot 2015: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Anna Chlumsky as Amy Brookheimer in Veep

Amy finally snapped and it was about time!  It was hard to be a standout in this large, almost too large, ensemble this past season, but Chlumsky was an MVP at standing out, Amy would be so proud.  There were two moments that stood out to me for her this season, the one where she quits, and the one where she returns.  In between all of that she has some of the best one liners.

Allison Janney as Bonnie in Mom


Bonnie had a rough year.  While she fell back in love with her daughter's father, he then passed away, and she had a hard time coping.  Janney once again tackled the deeper issues of this show with aplomb, in lesser hands this character could be a joke, but she is brilliant.  While dealing with her husbands death she turns back to booze and drugs to cope, her addiction drives a wedge between her and her daughter.  Once again this sounds depressing, but Janney knows how to get the laughs she deserves.

Jane Krakowski as Jacqueline Voorhees in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Many will compare this Krakowski character to Jenna Maroney, and while there similarities, namely narcism, Krakowski is brilliant in both roles.  In Kimmy goes on a Date, you get to explore the characters back story, the audience finds out that she is Native American, and its pretty hilarious watching her to be young woman trying to shuck her heritage.  Krakowski adds new layers to this character, something Jenna did not have, and its fun to see her explore this character.

Niecy Nash as Didi Ortley in Getting On

Niecy Nash Getting On

Nash derseves recognition for this role, not just because she gives the best side-eye to the other idiots working with her, but because she is hilarious, and gives heart to this role.  Nash's standout moments involve her trying to prevent one of her patients from drinking, its funny to watch her wrestle a bottle of vodka away from, but also touching to see her hold the patients hand as struggles with the issues.  Nurse Ortley is no nonsense, and this moment captures Nash's brilliant performance perfectly.

Andrea Navedo as Xiomara Villanueva in Jane the Virgin

I love Xiomara because sometimes you wonder if she is the mother or daughter in the relationship with Jane, and Navedo is just so much fun.  While Xiomara could be seen as one note, Navedo puts so much love into her character that you can't help but realize that this woman tries so hard to do and be everything for everyone in her life.  Xiomara is that loving mother,  who will make a fool of herself so that Jane is not embarrassed at a school dance; she really does bring a lot of laughter and love to this role.

Lauren Weedman as Doris in Looking 

Doris could have easily just have been another Fag hag, or just Dom's bestie, but Weedman's performance gave this role the depth it deserved.  Watching Doris deal with the death of her father was pretty rough, but the episode balanced the humor and  heart this character would often exude, death episodes are often just about the sadness, but Weedman's performance provided the layers to make this one of the best performances this year.

Runner Ups: Stephanie Beatriz in Brooklyn Nine-Nine,  and Carol Kane in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Dream Emmy Ballot 2015: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Andre Braugher as Captain Ray Holt in Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Andre Braugher | Photo Credits: Erica Parise/Fox

In season two Captain Holt proved his deadpan humor to be some of the funniest moments on television.  Holt's rivalry with Madeline Wuntch (Kyra Sedgwick) was one of the funniest I have ever seen, their back and forth rivaled a buttoned up gay Sam Malone and Diane Chambers. This season Braugher's performance took this character to a new level, and that was shown in the chemistry he developed with the rest of the cast, which made his performances even stronger.

Titus Burgess as Titus Andromedan in The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Living For Titus! 6 Videos of Kimmy Schmidt Star Tituss B...

I have two words for you, Pinot noir!!!  Burgess turned what could have been a one dimensional sidekick into one of the most beloved this year.  Titus Andromedan is a self involved man trying to find fame in New York, and this role could have been one note, but Burgess has the chops to add layers to the vulnerability of this character.  Burgess gave the funniest performance in 2014-2015 Emmy season.

Jaime Camil as Rogelio de la Vega in Jane the Virgin

Jaime Camil as Rogelio de la Vega on "Jane the Virgin"

#ItMustHappen #JaimeCamilDeservesAnEmmy #RogelioForLife.  Jaime Camil is brilliant as the narcisiistic self involved, celebrity dad of Jane.  Oh, did I mention he is obsessed with his twitter following, and loves to talk in hashtags?  Rogelio is another supporting player who could have been shrill or portrayed in less than flattering way, but Camil let's the absurd speak for itself; he also lends his heart and soul to this role, which adds great dimension to this character.

Ken Jeong as Chang in Community


Haaaaam Girl, is a catch phrase that of course got its own hash tag on twitter, it was even trending for a while. Over the years Ken Jeong was the Stella of Community, his groove always seemed forced or off, but this year the writers found their groove with him, and Jeong's talent took this and ran.  Chang had some great moments this season whether it was his five minutes of fame from his slogan, when he saved Garrett's wedding, or farting when Abed said "cool" representing the fourth season of Community, one thing was clear Chang finally felt cohesive within the Greendale gang.  Jeong sold it!

Robert Michael Morris as Mickey Deane in The Comeback
The Comeback is the most scathing look at the Hollywood system, in a good way, the show nails the dark path an aging actress must take.  How do you soften, add even more humor, and heart to this show, Mickey Deane!  Mickey was the grounding force in Valerie's life, and even as suffered through cancer, he still would do her hair, and throw out some of the best one liners on television. Morris is terrific in this role; he gave The Comeback the heart it needed to bring the show home in its final moments helping Valerie understand what mattered.  Morris nails every moment of this role, and he gave one of the most under rated performances of the year.

Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson in Parks and Recreation 

Over the past 7 seasons Ron Swanson has mostly stayed the same, in true Ron style; he also grew in many ways as a husband, father, and in this season as a friend.  The episode "Ron and Leslie" is reason enough to nominate this man.  Ron started out this last season even more stuck his ways than usual, but there was a reason, and in the episode where he and Leslie are trapped in the old office you get a glimpse at what it looks like for Ron's heart to break, Offerman as usual was brilliant, but it was this moment that made him one of the most iconic television characters of all time!

Runner Ups: Jim Rash-Community, Gary Cole-Veep, Tony Hale-Veep