Josh Charles as Will Gardner in The Good Wife-Sometimes we never take the pretty boy seriously. Josh Charles has been acting a long time, but throughout this season his performance as Will proved his talent. Will had a rough year.
Will's relationship with Alicia was wonderfully done, and it was great to watch him be genuinely happy, but then to watch his pain as he had to let go. Then watching him lose the other thing he loved his job. What a great actor.
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones-The scene stealer extraordinaire. Dinklage is one of the best actors working in television today; he blends with and drama perfectly while never losing sight of the characters motivations. In season two of this show Tyrion took on more responsibility as the hand of the king, and took the screen by force When he comes on screen I smile because he owns every scene he is in, and outshines everyone and everything.
Giancarlo Esposito as Gustavo 'Gus' Fring in Breaking Bad-The only other performance this year that outshines Peter Dinklage is Giancarlo Esposito's Gus. When Gus was first introduced to the series he slowly and silently built up to one of the finest performances in the most recent season of Breaking Bad. Gus is a brilliant yet complex villain whose darkness kept growing and growing until his final moments.
Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson in Homeland-Saul is the rock to Carrie's intense paranoia. Patinkin's quiet brilliance is always there in the background laying the stability for others while things like Saul's marriage collapses. While everyone cites Danes and Lewis (which they should) Patinkin has given this show an edge and he provided one brilliant performance after another.
Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad- The brilliance within this character is that time and time again Paul continues to create even deeper layers to Jesse. In season one the character was a little one dimensional, but Paul along with the writing has made this one of the most complex characters. Watching Paul make you feel for a inept drug dealer is no easy feat, but week after week I was astounded by his acting.
John Slattery as Roger Sterling in Mad Men-I love this character. Roger Sterling is almost too simple, and in the wrong hands you would just think of him as a pompous asshole. Slattery has taken Roger to new levels yet maintained the brutal truth of the character. Roger has revelatory drug trip, which "changes his life" but in reality he goes back to being good ole Roger. Slattery continues to astound me year after year with this character.