Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Emmy Predictions 2015 (Let's hope they they change some things)

The Emmy Award nominations are less than a week away.  There are some rule changes, for the nomination process, please refer to my piece at http://www.myentertainmentworld.ca/2015/02/emmy-awards-changing-rules/ for these changes.

One of the bigger changes was defining a comedy as 30 minutes; there was a clause which allowed a series to petition this rule.  Shameless, Glee, and Jane the Virgin won their petition, and were allowed to compete in the comedy categories, while Orange is the New Black lost their petition and will compete in the drama series categories this year, which is different from last year.

Last year’s Guest Actor in a Drama series winner Joe Morton, who plays Poppa Pope in Scandal, is no longer eligible in the category because he showed up in too many episodes; he is now competing in the Supporting Actor in a Drama.

These are just some examples of how those rule changes will impact the Emmy nominations, the nomination process remains the same, voters will check their top ten series choices, and this will be narrowed down to seven nominees in Drama and Comedy series.  Voters will check 6 nominees for acting categories, and five for every other category.  There is a chance for more nominees in any category based on the percentage of votes they receive, so don’t be shocked if there are 8 nominees in Comedy or Drama Actress, the most competitive categories.  Here goes my own predicting!

Outstanding Drama Series
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Mad Men
Orange is the New Black

There locks in this category are, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Mad Men.  These shows are locks because of their history with the Emmy Awards.

Downton scores consistent nomination numbers. Game of Thrones has been the highest nominated series for many years, and the finale had tons of buzz.  House of Cards has the political prestige, plus Spacey and Wright.  Mad Men’s series finale had lots of buzz and the show has won here 4 times.

I would say Orange would rank five it score the most Comedy nominations last year, had big SAG and PGA wins, and is well liked.  It should be able to translate here; it is just in new territory as a drama.

Next in line is Empire, it has acclaim, and was one of the strongest network shows this past year, which is something I could see the Academy rewarding.  This category often lack diversity, and could fill that spot.  Empire had huge Nielsen ratings, all big things.

The hard spot to predict is the 7th slot, there a lot of directions I could see voters picking.

The Affair won two Globes, and had some critical buzz, but it seems to have lost its buzz and traction.  No one is talking about this show in the same light as they did last September and January.

The Americans won the big prize at the Critics’ Choice awards, and is coming off its most acclaimed season.  The problem is the show has only received three nominations in its previous two years.  Two of those three nominations were for veteran Emmy winner Margo Martindale, in Guest Actress in a Drama, and one was for Original Main Title Theme Music.  The show has not even received a Casting nomination. You could compare this to Friday Night Lights, critically acclaimed early, but Lights received consistent Casting nominations, and a Directing nomination for its first season before its final two seasons.

Better Call Saul could benefit from Breaking Bad love, and while I think it could get a Writing nomination or Directing nomination, and nominations for Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks, I think it may be in 8th place here.

I think the real threat is previous winner and two time nominee Homeland.  Homeland won this honor in its first season, was nominated in season two, and dropped last year.  The Emmy Awards like repetition, but the show only received two nominations last year.  The third season had a tremendous drop in quality, while the fourth season has been well received and the show has shown up at the guild awards.  

I think the last spot is between Homeland and Saul, namely because the Emmy Awards like tradition, and these two nominees would be in line with checking this box.  I think are both seen as prestige shows.

Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Modern Family
Silicon Valley
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

There are five shows I see as locks in this category, Big Bang, Louie, Modern Family, Valley, and Veep.  All of these shows were nominated in Comedy Series last year, and the Emmy Awards have a massive rubber stamper in the Comedy categories, more than the drama categories.  All of these shows performed well last year, and will continue to perform well this year.

Orange is the New Black was the sixth nominee last year, and that leaves two spots wide open in this category.  Unlike Brooklyn Nine-Nine last year, which won Best Comedy Series at the Golden Globes, I think Transparent is a lock at a nomination.  The show has massive critical acclaim, and performed well at many guild awards.  I think you can safely predict these six

Picking the seventh spot is tricky.  The majority or the pundits predicting have Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in the seventh slot, as do I, but I could see it going to any series.  I have Kimmy in the seventh spot because of the Tina Fey factor, and it’s the strongest contender from Netflix, now that Orange is out in Comedy.  These are strong enough for me to keep it in seventh, but it could go in any direction.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine could bounce back from a bad showing last year; it did have a SAG ensemble nomination, but doubtful, since it’s fallen off everywhere. 

Black-ish has an accessibility factor, and seems like the strongest contender of these other potential nominees, but it does not sound like people are talking about it in the same way they did Modern Family.

Grace and Frankie has the traditional sitcom feel, and four legends of stage and screen, but reviews were mixed.

Jane the Virgin has the critical support, everyone love Gina Rodriguez, but it was nowhere at the guilds, and has the CW factor, meaning the network has never received a major nomination.

Parks and Recreation has been nominated once before, has had writing nominations, and Amy Poehler has been nominated many times, the show could get a final hug, but unlikely.

I will stick with Kimmy Schmidt for number seven.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama
Jeff Daniels-The Newsroom
John Hamm-Mad Men
Terrence Howard-Empire
Bob Odenkirk-Better Call Saul
Clive Owen-The Knick
Kevin Spacey-House of Cards

The biggest locks are Spacey and Hamm, they are also the front runners without episode submissions. After that it gets tricky.

From the new series, I think Bob Odenkirk will get in because he is well liked, and has a strong history in the industry.  I think many respect the way he has turned from his comedy background to a more dramatic role.  I would rank Terrence Howard fourth; he is a past Oscar nominee, which helps, although he is not the best liked in the industry which could hurt him.  I think he will ride the Empire wave.

I think Jeff Daniels is in fifth; he won for this role two years ago, and was even nominated last year after the show continued to get much less attention.   My sixth spot is a shot in the dark, and it was a toss-up between past winner Kyle Chandler in Bloodline, and Clive Owen in the Knick.  I flipped a coin and went with Owen.  Do not count out Hugh Bonneville!

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama
Claire Danes-Homeland
Viola Davis-How to Get Away with Murder
Taraji P. Henson-Empire
Juliana Margulies-The Good Wife
Kerry Washington-Scandal
Robin Wright-House of Cards

There are so many contenders in Drama and Comedy Actress, and I am truly happy about that, it just makes them the two hardest categories to predict. 

My biggest long shot is Kerry Washington for Scandal; she is a big name and Scandal still scores in the acting categories.  I think she could be taken down by Michelle Dockery for Downton Abbey, Vera Farmiga in Bate’s Motel, Ruth Wilson in The Affair, or Elisbaeth Moss in Mad Men, in that order.

With that said, I think the other five nominees seem solid.  I could also see this as a category where there are seven nominees, it happened two years ago.  Davis and Henson are the frontunners, but you can never count out Robin Wright.

Outstanding Lead Actor in Comedy Series
Don Cheadle-House of Lies
Billy Crystal-The Comedians
Louis C.K.-Louie
William H. Macy-Shameless
Jim Parsons-The Big Bang Theory
Jeffrey Tambor-Transparent

This category has been one of the most boring categories for a long time, lots of repeat nominees, with lots of Parsons winning.  There is some new blood that has a shot here, like Anthony Anderson in Black-ish, and Thomas Middleditch in Silicon Valley, but unfortunately I do not think they will make the cut.

I would look for many previous nominees to repeat here, Cheadle, Louis C.K., Parsons, and Macy will be back.  I think Macy will dethrone Parsons; he won the SAG, and while his role is dramatic, it has some good comedic tones.  Watch out for perennial nominee Matt LeBlanc from Episodes as a spoiler, the show gets writing nominations; he would replace Cheadle.

The two new additions to this category will likely be comedic legends, Billy Crystal for The Comedians and Jeffrey Tambor for Transparent, both seem like sure bets.

Outstanding Lead Actress in Comedy Series
Edie Falco-Nurse Jackie
Lisa Kudrow-The Comeback
Julia Louis-Dreyfus-Veep
Amy Poehler-Parks and Recreation
Amy Schumer-Inside Amy Schumer
Lily Tomlin-Grace and Frankie

The hardest category to predict, beyond Julia Louis Dreyfus I could make an argument for five other women to be nominated here.  I could make an argument for 10 nominees in this category, and I will attempt to start with the five besides Louis-Dreyfus, because she is a lock!

I have Poehler ranked at number 2, namely because she has been nominated for 13 Emmy Awards, and while she has never won, they seem to like her a lot.  This is split between two shows too.  I could see her being snubbed too because Emmys have never warmed to Parks and Recreation.

My person in third place is Lil Tomlin.  My initial gut was reaction was that both of the women from Grace and Frankie would make the cut, in the last moments I changed my train of thought, and only went with one. Tomlin is a living comedic genius, on the Board of Governors for Emmys, so it seems logical that she would make the cut. 

I have Lisa Kudrow in fourth place for The Comeback.  Kudrow has nine Emmy nominations including one for this role back at the 2006 ceremony; the show also received a writing nomination that year, which shows great support.  The show is about the industry, and I think many actors relate to the brave performance Kudrow gives. 

Amy Schumer is the “It Girl” of the moment, the way Melissa McCarthy was after Bridesmaids, her show and presence has gotten a lot of industry attention from critics; she even got a Peabody Award for her show.  I think she it will be hard to ignore her strength.

On my sixth spot I was torn between three women, Edie Falco for Nurse Jackie, Gina Rodriguez for Jane the Virgin, and Melissa McCarthy for Mike and Molly.

Falco has been nominated every year for her show, and the show receives 3 plus nominations every year, it would seem like she is the most likely of these nominees.
 With statistics many would argue McCarthy is next. Like Falco she has won this award, she was not nominated two years ago, but was nominated last year, so she has the “comeback factor. 

Then there is Gina Rodriguez, another star on the rise; she won the Globe, and has been all over the press, but will this be enough to break the CW/WB/UPN curse.  It seems ridiculous that Emmy voters are snobby about not nominating shows/performers in major categories from those three networks but will nominate shows on Netflix and Amazon.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer score a writing nomination, and that is the highest category for any of those networks. 

I will go with statistics and pick Falco.  Jane Fonda seems likely, and should could ride a wave if Grace and Frankie is well liked; the same could be said for Ellie Kemper and Kimmy Schmidt.

Please see below for the rest of my predictions in the Supporting categories of Drama/Comedy.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Jonathan Banks-Better Call Saul
Jim Carter-Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage-Game of Thrones
Kit Harrington-Game of Thrones
Mandy Patinkin-Homeland
Jon Voight-Ray Donovan

This category is running neck and neck with Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, for the most boring category, although we will most likely see a new winner.  With no more Aaron Paul in the mix, who won three times, and I doubt Peter Dinklage will win, he had no tapes this season.  With Aaron Paul out, it seems as though another person from the Breaking Bad world will score a win.

Even though Dinklage has no tapes I feel as though he is the only lock in this category, as far as guaranteed nominees.  After Dinklage, I think Patinkin is also fairly safe; he has a solid pedigree, and could also be the winner.  I would place Banks and and Carter as third and fourth respectively.  If voters use the tapes Banks has this locked up.

Voight could get a second nomination if they check off the box for an Oscar winner, but does anyone watch this show?  Kit Harrington is my biggest long shot in this category, and I am putting him down because of everything that went down in the finale.

There are tons of spoilers to watch out for in this category, Michael Kelly in House of Cards, Joe Morton in Scandal, and Ben Mendelsohn in Bloodline.  Never count out big surprises in supporting.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Uzo Aduba-Orange is the New Black
Christine Baranski-The Good Wife
Lena Headey-Game of Thrones
Christina Hendricks-Mad Men
Maggie Smith-Downton Abbey
Lorraine Toussaint-Orange is the New Black

I think the biggest lock is Maggie Smith, she could sneeze and they would nominate her at the Emmy Awards.  Predicting the next five is tricky, but there seems to be some good safe bets.  Uzo won the SAG over heavy weights, while that was in comedy, I think she is a very safe bet.  I think Lena Headey will be back again too, her walk in the last episode was highly praised.  Hendricks was nominated last year when Mad Men was at its lowest so its safe to predict her to be back.  

Baranski is another person who always scores multiple nominations, and has been nominated for her show every year, but I would rank her fifth.  Orange score two supporting actress nominations last year, and three in guest.  I think they will do well in acting categories again, and will have two here two.  I think the second will be Toussaint, but it could be Kate Mulgrew, or any number of the other fabulous women in this show.

I do think there will be two Orange women in this category, so watch out for Joanne Frogatt to be a spoiler here, but she has been nominated when her material was on point most.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Ty Burrell-Modern Family
Andre Braugher-Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Titus Burgess-Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Tony Hale-Veep
TJ Miller-Silicon Valley
Chris Pratt-Parks and Recreation

I think there will only be one Modern Family man present, the shows acting nominations have gone down every year, and I think it will go down one more this year.  I think Burrell is the safest bet.  I think the only other lock in this category is Tony Hale for Veep.

Braugher is a safe bet, he did well with Men of Certain Age, and is a past Emmy winner, it makes sense for him to return. 

My next three picks are long shots, ranked Miller, Burgess, then Pratt.  I think Valley will get an acting nomination, and that's critics choice winner TJ Miller, it makes sense.  I think Burgess is next, because I think he is hard to ignore and is one of the breakout stars from a hyped show.  Pratt may be my biggest long shot in any category.  I have him in sixth because of the success of Guardians of the Galaxy and Juarrsic World (this one right around voting); he is a big box office star, and well liked.

Major Spoilers, are all over the place in this category.  As Modern's support weakens, I think Veep's has surged, and there are tons of viable options from this show for Veep, like Hugh Laurie, Gary Cole, and Kevin Dunn.  I could see any of those men nominated.

If the voters like Grace and Frankie they could pick past nominees Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston, neither of whom won for their most popular roles on television, this could be their chance to make-up for those losses.  

Never count out last year's nominee Fred Armisen either, although I think he would have been smarter to switch to Lead Actor in a Comedy.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Mayim Bialik-The Big Bang Theory
Julie Bowen-Modern Family
Anna Chlumsky-Veep
Allison Janney-Mom
Carol Kane-Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Judith Light-Transparent

I could write up a lot ofr this category, but I think four of last years nominees are safe bets/locks to return, Bialik, Bown, Chlumsky, and Janney.  

I think Judith Light who has recently won two Tony Awards and has had an amazing career resurgence will take a spot.  I think the last spot is between last year's nominee Kate McKinnon, who has a strong chance, and living legend Carol Kane.  I think Kimmy Schmidt is a strong enough vehicle to get her back at the Emmy Awards, and she will edge out McKinnon. 

Dream Emmy Ballot 2015: Outstanding Drama Series & Comedy Series

Outstanding Drama Series

The Americans (F/X)

Empire (FOX)

Game of Thrones (HBO)

The Good Wife (CBS)

Mad Men (AMC)

Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

Transparent (Amazon)

Outstanding Comedy Series

Broad City (Comedy Central)

The Comeback (HBO)

Getting On (HBO)

Jane the Virgin (CW)

Looking (HBO) 

Parks and Recreation (NBC)

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Dream Emmy Ballot 2015: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter in Marvel's Agent Carter

The more I think about this character, the more I respect the performance from Atwell in Agent Carter.  Peggy Carter's character was further developed from the original Captain America film in the perfect way.  Atwell not only proved she was a bad ass agent, and super hero in her own right, but that she could tackle the gender dynamics of her time without letting it knock her down.  Watching Peggy finally let go of the memory of Steve was also touching, you got to to see this woman navigate every aspect of herself, which is rare in the comic book world.  Atwell's performance is a strong reminder Marvel needs to let more women take charge in their material.

Viola Davis as Annalise Keating in How to get Away with Murder

If you think you knew everything before or about Annalise you were wrong.  Davis is bombastic as this attorney who is navigating a troubled marriage on top of her stakes career. Sounds like silly concept, and in the wrong hands Annalise and this show could have been just another run of the mill procedural with a through line, but Davis is fantastic in this role; she yells, cries, but you also find that she is not one note, and its Davis' performance that give her the dimension she needs.

Eva Green as Vanessa Ives in Penny Dreadful

I just finished season one of Penny Dreadful in one week, and that's because Eva Green.  While I liked season one, Vanessa Ives is the reason to love this show.  The show is at times an over the top exploration of characters from literature in navigating "reality." Watching Green as she is possesed by the devil was impressive, there was no pea soup, but Green is haunting in these moments; she truly frightens you under your covers at times.  Outside of these moments you get to see her back story with her friend Mina, and her falling in love with Dorian Grey.  These moments create balanced well formed character and Green is a phenomenal in this role.

Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyons in Empire

Can a character be deemed iconic after just one season of television?  Henson has certainly created one of the most memorable women in dramatic television in recent years.  Cookie is trying to make up for time behind bars with her children and with her ex-husband's record label.  The thing I appreciate most about this character is the way Henson owns every aspect; she is funny, dynamic, a mother, a fighter, and someone who will own your ass in a second.  Like with Davis Henson turns a character who could be considered campy into a fully fleshed out person; she is not just throwing a drink in someone's face, but she is protecting her family, and Henson sells every moment.  Cookie Lyons is the character creators dream about, but it's Henson's performance that makes her iconic,

Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings in The Americans 

In the first two season's I would argue that the that Rhys stole the show, but in the third season it was Russell who knocked everyone out, sometimes literally.  I have always enjoyed the dynamic between Elizabeth and her daughter Paige, one of the most interesting mother daughter relationships in television history.  This season Paige traveling with Elizabeth to the Soviet Union so Elizabeth could bid adieu to her mother gave even more context to their relationship, and provided some amazing scenes for Russell. Russell navigating their outing as Soviet spies to Paige also provided numerous excellent moments where Russell proved why she is one of the strongest actresses on television today.  Russell was the best part of this season.

Ruth Wilson as Alison Lockhart in The Affair

I always had an idea what was going on in Noah's head, he was more obvious in his actions.  I could not say the same thing about Alison.  Wilson did a fantastic job navigating her crumbling marriage, and the loss of her son.  Many of those moments were heartbreaking.  Watching Alison navigate her tempestuous relationship with her mother, and her affair with Noah showed there were more layers to this character, and things which did not reach the surface.  Wilson is a terrific actress, and its no surprise she won the Golden Globe for this role; she is raw so emotional, but so guarded in her portrayal of this broken woman, you get lost in her character.

Monday, July 13, 2015

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

John Hamm as Don Draper in Mad Men 

Don Draper's final days felt like an escape from the normal; he left his job, and tried to find his true self.  In the final episode Person to Person you see Don break down as he sit through a group therapy session, and watch him become more vulnerable than he has ever been.  Hamm has always been iconic in this role, but in this final season you get to see him open up, breathe, and fully understand himself and the connections to others.

Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill in Better Call Saul 
I was not sure what to expect from this prequel to Breaking Bad. Would this be a carbon copy, or wear its own skin in developing this central character?  The first episodes explored Jimmy McGill not Saul Goodman, and while these are the same man, divided by a name, this show explores more of Jimmy, and how he gets to become Saul.  Odenkirk is known for his comedic chops, which he gets to flex at times, but there is something special about the layers and depth he adds to this man, and its a wonderful performance.

Matthew Rhys as Phillip Jennings in The Americans 

Rhys is steadfast, and one of the most consistant actors, who should have three nominations (including this one) in this category.  Rhys best moments were when he was working to help protect his cover with Martha, and also trying to protect Paige from knowing about his secret life.  As Rhys lies unraveled with both women there was an heir of vulnerability that always shines through with Phillip, but Rhys took this performance to a new level this year; he remains one of the best actors on television.

Jeffrey Tambor as Maura Pfefferman in Transparent
I am not sure what words be suffice enough to describe Tambor's brave performance as Maura Pfefferman.  Watching Maura navigate her experiences of coming out to her family, exploring her Trans identity in secret, and feeling as though she belongs is beyond impeccably acted.  Jeffrey Tambor like Odenkirk has always been known for his overt comedic timing, but this performance show Tambor has the ability to transform and take on any role; he is a brilliant actor, 

Aden Young as Daniel Young in Rectify 

Playing Daniel Young has to be an emotionally draining experience.  No show explores the repercussions or after math of the criminal justice system, and how it not only impacts the person convicted, but the family involved.  Young is a revelation in this role, there is not much yelling but a quiet brilliance as he continues to explore the society he has missed, and tries to connect with his family.  Daniel's arc of finding out about his rape in prison in episode one to owning what he did to Teddy was well acted, and its why he carries this show.

Dominic West as Noah Solloway in The Affair 

From Noah's perspective, he is a man following the intrigue, caught up in passion, falling in love.  Is that who Noah is, or is he lascivious, selfish, and someone who can't come to grips with himself.  I like getting to explore this man through his own eyes, and the eyes of others, it provides multiple lenses, and context for this man.  West is great in this role, he makes a man who should be unlikable, seem human, and gives you a great understanding of what you might have missed.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

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

broad cityIlana Glazer as Ilana Wexler in Broad City  Ilana Glazer plays the more overtly funny of this comedic duo; she is the woman who usurps people working to make her more money at her job while she sits back and does nothing.  Ilana is the person who goes on the hunt with her mother for fake hand bags, and gets a bag over her head; she is also the person who Skypes her best friend while she is having sex because her FOMO is off the charts.  Glazer is fantastic in this role, and trying to pin point one episode is impossible; she is simple one of the funniest women on television.

Abbi Jacobson as Abbi Abrams in Broad City

Abbi Jacobson is the straight woman in the duo, but boy do her facial expressions sell every awkward moment she encounters.  Whether she was tackling her first class as a trainer because she saw her boss do solo porn, or having her play off Kelly Ripa getting drunk and throwing things out her window.  Jacobson has tons of talent, and I would argue is under appreciated in this role.  My favorite Abbi moment is her drunken cabaret performance, or as her drunker alter ego Val, a la a Judy Garland.  Jacobson is a true comedic genius.

Ellie Kemper in Unbreakable Kimmy SchmidtEllie Kemper as Kimmy Schmidt in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt  No one could play Kimmy the way Ellie Kemper plays this character.Ellie Kemper as Kimmy Schmidt in The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.  Kemper is fantastic as the women trapped into the world of a cult for many years who is trying to navigate her return to the world.  No actress has the can play up the growth from child like innocence to further developing this stronger sense of self like Kemper.  I have not enjoyed a new character in this way since Amy Poehler took on the role of Leslie Knope, Kemper is fantastic.

Lisa Kudrow as Valerie Cherish in The Comeback
The Comeback

Just watch "Valerie gets What she really Wants" and you understand why Kudrow deserves an Emmy nomination.  Kudrow is fantastic in this role, and the evolution of this character this season was nothing short of genius.  In the last episode you get the best of the funny, and the most depth from Valerie.  Kudrow has put her all into this character, and this season proves Valerie Cherish is one of the most important television characters of all time, and namely because of Kudrow.

Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope in Parks and Recreation
"Parks and Recreation" Season 7 Amy PoehlerPoehler has created one of the most iconic television characters of all time, and in her final go around as Leslie Knope she gave viewers everything they wanted.  Poehler's best performance this season was easily "Leslie and Ron" and episode where her feud with Nick Offerman's Ron came to a head and they were locked in a room together to figure out their beef.  Poehler hit it it out of the park in this episode, she made you laugh and cry as these two different people were trapped together in one office.   Leslie Knope was a magical character that injected positivty in every breath she took, and I can only hope that she went on to be President.  

Gina Rodriguez as Jane Villanueva in Jane the Virgin
Gina Rodriguez Jane The Virgin
Gina Rodriguez is the new kid on the block, not to be confused with the boy band, of course.  My first encounter with Rodriguez was as Rita, Penny's assistant in the now cancelled Happy Endings, after that episode I knew she was bound for more things; she was just too damn funny.  Rodriguez gets to flex every muscle in Jane the Virgin.  The telenovela style shows off her humor when she has different versions of herself weighing in on a decision about confronting an old bully or dealing with an issue at work.  Rodriguez also has some serious dramatic chops, especially when it comes to the importance of her family, her battle for love, and her child.  Rodriguez may be new to the game, but she acts like a pro, and is easily the breakout star of this television season.

Runner Ups: Tracee Eliss Ross as Rainbow Johnson in Black-ish, and Constance Wu as Jessica Huang in Fresh off the Boat 

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.