Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Emmy Predictions 2011: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama

Peter Dinklage gives a strong performance on "Game of Thrones"
Credit: HBO
Yesterday, I started my Emmy coverage with a post on the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama category. Today, I move on to the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama category.

As a reminder, these posts are divided into three parts: last year's nominees, my predictions, and who I would nominate if I had a ballot. All three of those parts are after the jump.

Part 1: Last Year's Nominees
Aaron Paul-"Breaking Bad" *Winner
Andre Braugher-"Men of a Certain Age"
Michael Emerson-"Lost"
Terry O'Quinn-"Lost"
Martin Short-"Damages"
John Slattery-"Mad Men"

Damn this is an open category! Breaking Bad and Damages took the year off while Lost had aired its final season during last year's Emmy season. Even Braugher doesn't look like a sure thing to return.

Part 2: My Predictions
John Slattery-"Mad Men"
Alan Cumming-"The Good Wife-"
Peter Dinkladge-"Game of Thrones
Michael Pitt-"Boardwalk Empire"
Andre Braugher-"Men of a Certain Age"
Chris Noth-"The Good Wife"

Slattery will be nominated again, there's no question about it. Braugher should return, if for no other reason then Emmy voters have a tendency to automatically nominate him every time he's on the ballot. The Good Wife could very well gain an increased Emmy profile from this past season and two of the three actors in this category. Alan Cumming will be one of them, and it's a battle between Josh Charles and Chris Noth for the other slot. I could imagine either of them getting a nomination, but for the sake of this post I chose Noth because he's a known quantity. To fill out the category, I picked Peter Dinklage because his performance is too good not to be noticed and Michael Pitt because of the buzz surrounding Boardwalk Empire.

Part 3: If I had an Emmy Ballot...

My first choice should be obvious from the picture choice at the top of the post. Peter Dinklage is giving the best performance on Game of Thrones. Tyrion is a character who could very easily fall into annoyance, but Dinklage brings such charm to the role that Tyrion has grown to be one of my favorite characters on the show. He plays Tyrion with a sense of cunning and intelligence that is very difficult to pull off, and yet he does it with ease. The fact that he's able to stand out over actors like Sean Bean, Maisie Williams, and Emilia Clarke is an achievement in itself. He deserves the nomination, and many are saying that he will score one.

Although Margo Martindale will get the most attention, the other Justified villain played by Walter Goggins should get as much attention as she will. He's arguably giving a performance that is as good as hers. Goggins got to play many sides of Boyd Crowder this season, and was remarkable with all of them. The fact that he was able to stand out at all in this season is a huge achievement in itself. I know that he has a slim chance of scoring a nomination, but based on his performance he should be up there.

The strongest aspect of this season of The Chicago Code was the performance that was given by Delroy Lindo as Alderman Gibbons. He helped shape Gibbons into a menacing antagonist who could also be one of the "nicest" people in the city government. He helped shape this very intelligent character who could show off his kindness to the people and yet at the same time could be one of the scariest threats in Chicago. Lindo was brilliant on this show, and even if he won't score an Emmy nomination, he scored a spot on my hypothetical ballot.

The next two people are going to be put together here because of how much of an equal role they play on their show. Scott Backula and Andre Braugher both deserve nominations for their performances on Men of a Certain Age. They both were able to nail the dramatic and comedic sides of their characters in the first six episodes of the season (which are the only ones eligible for Emmy consideration). Backula got a lot of strong material with Terry falling in love and he was able to meet the challenge. Braugher got to do a lot with the car dealership. The material was not as strong as Backula's, but he still did a fantastic job with it.

I could single out any of the members of the Parenthood ensemble in this category, but I have to go with Max Burkholder here. He has one of the most difficult roles on television as he plays a child with Aspergers Syndrome. I can see his hard work in each and every episode. When I watch a Max centric episode, one of my first thoughts is "Holy crap this kid is good!" This is not an easy part and Burkholder  is clearly up to the challenge.

Some Honorable mentions: I wish I could have found room for other members of the Game of Thrones ensemble like Mark Addy who did a fantastic job with his brief role as King Robert and Kit Harrington who plays the heavy role of Jon Snow with something that seems like ease. I wish I could have also put in Dax Shepard or Craig T. Nelson from the Parenthood ensemble. These two fell just short of Burkholder on my list.

That's a wrap on my second Emmy post! If you have any thoughts on my predictions/picks, or you own predictions/picks feel free to leave them in the comments.

Tomorrow: I move on to Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama.

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