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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

For Your Consideration

Feeling a bit writer's-blocked today, so let's talk actors.  The Emmy nominees for best actor in a drama series are Hugh Bonneville, Steve Buscemi, Bryan Cranston, Michael C. Hall, Jon Hamm, and Damian Lewis.

Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") has become the "Mad Men" of the best-actor category: the default winner.  He's already won the award three times.  Unlike "Mad Men," though, the continued adulation of which--as I mentioned in an earlier post--somewhat mystifies me, Cranston deserves every accolade he receives.  He is the primary (though not sole) reason that "Breaking Bad" is the best show on television.  That being said, let's consider the other nominees.

Buscemi ("Boardwalk Empire"), Hall ("Dexter"), and Hamm ("Mad Men") are repeat nominees.  Of those three, Michael C. Hall is by far the most deserving.  Steve Buscemi is great as Nucky Thompson, but ultimately, any time you see Steve Buscemi. . . you see Steve Buscemi.  I don't mean this as a criticism: It's just that Buscemi has such a distinctive look/persona that it's hard for him to escape being him.  Jon Hamm faces almost the opposite problem in "Mad Men": Don Draper is essentially a void, a blank space.  And Jon Hamm fills that space with his all-too-typical good looks and coolness. There's really no "there" there.  Michael C. Hall, though, carries "Dexter" to at least the same extent that Bryan Cranston carries "Breaking Bad."  And his portrayal of an "ethical" serial-killer--who must constantly play various roles himself--is more than worthy of an Emmy.

Then there are the two newcomers.  Damian Lewis is great in "Homeland" but ultimately overshadowed by Claire Danes (about whom I imagine we'll talk in a future installment).  I've never seen "Downton Abbey," so I can't speak to Hugh Bonneville in that show.  He is, however, hilarious in "Twenty Twelve," an "Office"-type sitcom that focuses on the members of the Olympic Deliverance Committee, responsible for bringing the Games to London.

And then there is the glaring omission in this year's nominations: Hugh Laurie.  True, this final season of "House" was far from the best, but it was the final season.  The character of Dr. Gregory House is iconic, and it would seem only right that Hugh Laurie be given at least a chance to finally win an Emmy for his performance.  I think the Emmy voters got confused: They gave the obligatory "Brit-Who-Does-an-Annoyingly-Perfect-American-Accent" spot to Damian Lewis and the "Brit-Named-Hugh" spot to Bonneville.  Someone should really point out their mistake.

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