Sunday, September 7, 2008

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

The Nominees Are…

Gabriel Byrne as Paul on In Treatment
Bryan Cranston as Walt White on Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan on Dexter
Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men
Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House on House
James Spader as Alan Shore on Boston Legal

Wow what a great bunch of nominees, for the most part. I truly don’t understand the love for Hugh Laurie and Bryan Cranston, Laurie’s tape is okay, but it is kind of boring and very drawn out. I don’t know if the Academy will watch his tape and truly see Emmy worthy in it. Also, in the last 30 years, it Emmy for Lead Actor has only gone to a medical show 4 times, so the odds are against him. As for Cranston, I think that people are embracing his performance because it is so completely opposite from his performance on Malcolm in the Middle, which is great because the characters are so different. Cranston is great, don’t get me wrong, but is this really all he had to give the voters? I mean, watching the tape, I am waiting for this great moment to come along that screams give me the Emmy, but it isn’t there and for the most part, the show itself isn’t that great. I think it is safe to say that Laurie and Cranston are both out of this race. Which leaves us with 4. Michael C. Hall is fantastic on Dexter, he is dark, he is mysterious, and he is a serial killer. I understand that the voters would be turned off by this and I think that it is seriously going to work against him, but at the same time can the voters really not give him the Emmy because of what the character does, I mean they embraced James Gandolfini’s character on The Sopranos, who was a killer and a cheat. At the same time, I don’t think that Hall submitted his best work of the season and I think that it is going to hurt him in the end. Now, we are down to three. Jon Hamm is the start of probably the most talked about new series on TV last season and he is great on it, but his tape is very short compared to the others in this category and really he has only one great moment in his tape, but what a moment it is. I am not sure if it is enough to pass up the other two men in this category, but he is seriously a dark horse. Which now leaves us with two nominees, Gabriel Byrne and James Spader. I am going to be completely honest, I do not like Boston Legal, I have always found it to be very blah and Spader’s character really doesn’t do anything for me, but after viewing his tape, well I am going to eat a big plate of humble pie, because he is just amazing. Yes, the subject matter is so out there that it could never happen in the real world and I am sure that the Supreme Court would throw Alan Shore on his ass if he ranted like that, but that is why it is TV, we are suppose to believe what is happening, and there is no way in hell that anyone can say that James Spader wasn’t absolutely captivating in that court room. Any Actor can tell you that performing a monologue is one of the hardest things to do, but Spader knocks it out of the park. If had hadn’t already won three awards in the past I would probably be choosing him as the winner, but in the end I think that the voters will have his wins in the back of their mind when watching his performance and I think that many of them would want to check off another name. Which leaves us with Gabriel Byrne, I think that the format of this show is going to help Byrne out so much, I mean you literally get to sit there and watch two brilliant Actors do there thing, there is no fluff, there is no gimmick, it is just pure acting. I truly think that if the voters actually watch the tapes that they can not deny Byrne this award.

My Rankings:
1. Gabriel Byrne
2. James Spader
3. Jon Hamm
4. Michael C. Hall
5. Bryan Cranston
6. Hugh Laurie

In the end though, I don’t see the Academy doing the right thing. I have a feeling that they are going to award the Actor that has the most buzz around his show and not really around his performance. Which in the end, means that Jon Hamm will probably walk away with the award. If Laurie or Cranston wins, it is because of the “Overdue” factor and not the tape.

Emmy Rankings:
1. Jon Hamm
2. James Spader
3. Hugh Laurie
4. Bryan Cranston
5. Gabriel Byrne
6. Michael C. Hall

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