In the previous half of this post, I discussed what my dream nominees in the lead actor and actress categories would be for this year’s Emmy awards. (You can find that post here.) In this concluding half, I’ll take a look at the ridiculously competitive supporting categories, and the big ‘Outstanding Drama’ award.
Also, I hope to have my actual Emmy nomination predictions posted before they are announced for real next Thursday, as well as my thoughts on said nominations, plus predictions for who will win, after they’re unveiled.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Serie
- Jonathan Banks (Mike Ehrmantraut) – Breaking Bad
- Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman) – Breaking Bad
- Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) – Game of Thrones
- Michael Cudlitz (John Cooper) – Southland
- Mandy Patinkin (Saul Berensen) – Homeland
- Mads Mikkelson (Hannibal Lecter) – Hannibal
Last year’s Emmy nominations saw established Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul go up against fellow co-star Giancarlo Esposito in this category, with the former ultimately walking away with his umpteenth award. And because the latter became something that looked like it belonged in The Walking Dead in the season four finale, he isn’t eligible this year. But Jonathan Banks, who played the ill-fated Mike Ehrmantraut up until Walt put an end to his existence (screw you, Heisenberg), deserves to take his place. His portrayal of Mike’s ill-fated journey throughout season five was enough to go up against somebody as Emmy-favourited as Aaron Paul, and barring a resurrection from the great beyond, this will be his one and only chance to be recognised for his time on the show.
Also, of course I would nominate Aaron Paul. Who wouldn’t nominate Aaron Paul? This wouldn’t be the supporting actor category without his name present in the proceedings. And yeah, while his awards cabinet is probably overflowing with Emmys in the same way that Bryan Cranston’s is, every one of them is deserved–as will the next one he’ll probably walk away with come September.
Whittling down this extremely overcrowded category was a difficult process, I won’t deny, but there was always no doubt that I’d nominate Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. In the actual Emmy process, Peter Dinklage is most likely the only actor from the show who could get a nomination (yay for genre snubbing), but while he is always a joy to watch, this wasn’t his year as much as it was Coster-Waldau’s. Over the course of ten episodes, he managed to turn Jaime from a vile, heinous creature into somebody we could–and did–feel sorry for. Considering this was from a character who threw a child from a window earlier in the series, paralysing him for life, this was a significant achievement–and one Coster-Waldau excelled at time and time again.
There was also no uncertainty that I would tick a box next to Michael Cudlitz’s name, either. Southland may have died a premature death this year, but the legacy of Officer John Cooper will live on because of Cudlitz’s impeccable performances. Cooper’s final journey was one of turbulence, disappointment, horror, and ultimately, death. He was the MVP of Southland’s fifth season, had been for quite some time, and while he wouldn’t get nominated for real, his name would be the first one I looked to if I had a ballot in my hands.
Now, when it comes to taking a look at Homeland’s strongest actors, it’s obviously Damien Lewis and Claire Danes that we automatically think of first and foremost. And for good reason, too. But season two wasn’t just their year. No, co-star Mandy Patinkin got his chance to shine, and with an increased screen presence, that’s exactly what he did. The many scenes he shared with Claire Danes never became anything less than exemplary. Nominating him for his efforts this year certainly wouldn’t be a hardship, nor unrealistic either, as I fully expect him to have secured a place for himself on the actual Emmy nominations.
For my final nomination in this category, I would choose another star from Hannibal: the people-eating doctor himself. Mads Mikkelson’s interpretation of the legendary character was second-to-none, as he played the good doctor with a layer of unnerving charm wrapped around an inner core of pure, rotten evil, giving the character a new, even more terrifying identity. There is nothing about his performance that I didn’t find brilliant, and as such, I would gladly place a nomination in his hands.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
- Morena Baccarin (Jessica Brody) – Homeland
- Christine Baranski (Diana Lockhart) – The Good Wife
- Jennifer Carpenter (Debra Morgan) – Dexter
- Anna Gunn (Skyler White) – Breaking Bad
- Christina Hendricks (Joan Harris) – Mad Men
- Bellamy Young (Mellie Grant) – Scandal
So there are two things you might notice from looking at the above list of actresses: that I have neglected to include both Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife) and Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey). Both have been stalwarts of the category for many years but this year, I felt that the competition was much stronger, not to mention more deserving. It wasn’t difficult omitting Smith’s name because Downton’s third season wasn’t one to wield much in the way of exemplary acting from her (also because I feel she undeservedly won last year), but it was with Panjabi. Kalinda’s story in The Good Wife’s fourth season wasn’t brilliant, unfortunately, and while she can ride out any material no matter how flaky it might be, I didn’t feel at ease including her name in my dream nominations.
Nevertheless, this is Anna Gunn’s category, as far as I’m concerned–both in my dream nominations and in the actual ones. Her work in Breaking Bad’s first half of season five was the strongest the actress has ever had to work with, and it would be an absolute travesty if somebody else (like Maggie Smith, who’ll obviously be nominated because she’s Maggie Smith) walked away with the award she’s been working towards since the show began. And this would be her first Emmy win, too. Make it happen.
Elsewhere, another new Homeland actor joins the roster this year in the form of Morena Baccarin. Like co-star Mandy Patinkin, the increased screen presence for the character, not to mention juicier material regarding her troubled marriage, allowed Baccarin to stand tall amongst the other powerhouse actors, and Jess to become more than just a character stood in the shadows. I’m not entirely sure if she’ll be able to scoop a nomination in the actual awards considering the strength of the competition, but there has been a place for her in my dream nominations since Homeland’s second season drew to a finish.
I would also be remiss if I didn’t include Christine Baranski’s name in my list because, well, she’s always magnificent. No matter how much or how little material Diana is given over any season of The Good Wife, Baranski manages to elevate it with her effortless performances. This season saw Diane deal with a lucrative job offer she had been dreaming about, get engaged to somebody who could potentially derail said job offer, and much more–and Baranski, as strong an actress as she is, made all of it great to watch.
In regards to Jennifer Carpenter: I’m not sure if she’s ever been nominated in the actual Emmy awards at any point since Dexter began, but she deserves to be this time. Deb’s turmoil and anguish as she discovered, and subsequently tried to deal with, her brother’s dark secret made for incredibly riveting television–not to mention some of the finest scenes Carpenter has ever had over the show’s history. Deb finding out about her brother was an event the show had been building towards for over six years, and Carpenter made sure that the pay-off was rewarding. Very, very rewarding.
And now we get to another Mad Men actor that has been nominated numerous times in the past and has never won once, and probably never will–Christina Hendricks. And like Jon Hamm, a nomination is probably as good as it gets for her, which makes me immeasurably sad. Although she didn’t have much to do in the show’s recently concluded sixth season, I feel that I have to nominate her regardless because even with so little to do, she still achieved so much.
Memo to Mad Men writers: Joan needs more screen time in the show’s final season. Get to it, if you would.
For the final nomination that I would tick off on my ballot, it would be Bellamy Young’s name I sought out. It was difficult choosing a name for my sixth and final nomination, but I felt that Young’s work in Scandal’s second season was mesmerising enough to warrant the choice. As her marriage dissolved before her eyes and her efforts to keep it afloat threatened to sink under, Mellie’s position as the unwanted wife of the President himself gave Young tremendous material to sink her teeth into and make wonderful–and that is exactly what she did. Mellie may constantly play second fiddle to her husband’s mistress, but she’s still a strong, excellently portrayed character that sits high upon Scandal’s ensemble cast.
Outstanding Drama Series
- Breaking Bad
- The Good Wife
- The Americans
- Game of Thrones
- Orphan Black
Now we get to the biggest of big categories, and choosing just six shows out of a list with so many that would deserve the accolade was genuinely difficult. I omitted Downton Abbey because I’m not comfortable with placing it in a list with such high company (especially considering its lacklustre third season), and I left out Homeland because while the first of its second season was excellent, compelling television, its second half simply wasn’t–and the show is capable of so much more.
I also failed to include Mad Men because while I wouldn’t consider its sixth season to be bad, I feel that the competition is much, much stronger this year. But you should have no doubt that it’ll be nominated in the actual Emmy ceremony because it’s an inevitability.
In regards to the shows I have mentioned, all of them are deserving of a place in my dream nominations: Breaking Bad, for its eight-episode run of pure excellence; The Good Wife, because it criminally missed out on a nomination last year; The Americans, for one of this season’s strongest debuts; Game of Thrones, for a fantastic third season that played host to amazing television moments like the Red Wedding (let’s not go there); Scandal, for starting off as just an average television show and becoming a buzzed-about phenomenon by season’s end; and finally Orphan Black, for a surprisingly exciting first season (and also because of the amazing Tatiana Maslany).
And that brings things to an end. Once again, I regret not feeling comfortable talking about the comedy categories, but I cannot give my opinions on shows, or actors, I am just not familiar with, unfortunately. Maybe I will at a later date if I can gain some familiarity.
Nonetheless, I would really like to hear what you have to say about my dream nominations, and perhaps, even, what yours would be if you were to create a list similar to this. Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!