I was looking at my list of nominees and the Television Critics Awards nominees and I realized something pretty interesting, my lead nominees are the same as theirs. Now before you skeptics say I just picked the same nominees, look at my supporting dream ballots,they are different. I also picked my nominees before these nominations were announced, guess I should should be part of this group, I will be sending my application posthaste.
Bryan Cranston as Walter White in Breaking Bad-This may be one of my favorite categories this year. Like all of the other men within this category Walter White is an incredibly complex character. Cranston has continued to make this one of the best characters to ever exist, and as the year passed by not only did he reach darker places, but there is this incredible balance where Walter still tries to be a good husband/father even through the muck. This year was no different, and unlike most Cranston has taken on this role without flinching.
Kelsey Grammer as Mayor Tom Kane in Boss-Grammer played this incredible comedic roles on television the last 20 years from Cheers to Frasier to Back to You. Grammer shatters each of these images as Mayor Tom Kane. Tom Kane is a brilliant heavy man who not only works to crush his opponents, politically, but he also does this while hiding a debilitating neurological disorder. While Boss is a clunker in the ratings, Grammer carries this show, and makes it one of the most realistic portrayals of the complex political structure.
John Hamm as Don Draper in Mad Men-I never thought I would see the day when Don Draper was speechless, but the moment Peggy walked away from him, the look on Hamm's face was priceless. Cut to a week later when he found Lane Price hanging in his office. Don Draper went through a bit of a change this year, an almost evolutionary change. While still misogynistic (by nature) his new wife made him a better husband, along with being faithful. I liked seeing the softer sides of this man, especially his night out with Joan.
Charlie Hunnam as Jackson "Jax" Teller in Sons of Anarchy-Hunnam has always been an incredible force within this show, but this category always seemed to hold too many strong contenders which prevented him from making my list. This year Hunnam took his performance to the next level as he challenged his Machiavellian stepfather, and finally took their relationship to a crossroads. Like with Homeland Hunnam often gets lost in the shuffle to Katey Sagal (Lewis to Danes). Hunnam is a lesser known actor, but his talent should no longer be hidden.
Damien Lewis as Nicholas Brody in Homeland- Where do this man's loyalties lie? Brody is a master manipulator; he is the soldier long thought dead while fighting in Iraq, but surprise he has been alive, and now be a sleeper agent sent to wreak havoc on the government using his hero status. This is one of the most brilliant cat and mouse narratives ever to play out on television, and while most give the credit to Danes (she is brilliant) many forget the sheer complexity to Lewis's role, and the way he makes love and hate him without knowing him, brilliant work!
Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens in Justified-U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens is one kick-ass guy, and Timothy Olyphant exudes this raw magnetism when he walks on the screen. Olyphant brings on the southern charm while being a complete bad ass in the next breath.In an article I read about Olyphant and his portrayal as Raylan Givens the writer said "he is the kind of man who "buys you a drink before he puts a bullet in you." I love watching this man on the screen; he is a terrific actor, and does a great job with this role.