My Prediction’s For This Year’s Emmys

Part 4: Best Supporting Actor, Drama

This is going to be paradoxically easier and harder to fill. With Game of Thrones ineligible and last year’s winner Ben Mendelsohn likely out of contention, some vacancies should appear. But then we have to decided the littler questions. How many nominees from Better Call Saul should I allow? Will Jon Voight end up taking a slot from another worthy contender for the third straight year? How many Netflix nominees will come up? Regardless, here are my best guesses.

Sterling M. Brown, This is Us

Last years winner in the Best Supporting Actor in a TV Movie/ Limited Series has more than earned a chance to repeat, albeit in a different category and series. There are so many brilliant actors on this wonderful show, but his arc, dealing with the season-long story with his dying birth father (we may get to him too), along with all of the problems he had with his mother and his actual family were some of the most moving moments in an already poigniant series. And the show where he went on a final trip to Memphis would loosen the tear ducts of a killer. He got a nomination from the SAG award; I have no doubt he’ll be there too.

Rupert Friend, Homeland

In my humble opinion, this season of Homeland was far too mangled and confused to be truly one of the high points in this checkered series history. But one thing that this show handled perfectly was Peter Quinn’s arc as he came back to civilization brain-damaged from the poison gas attack he suffered last season. Friend’s always been one of the show’s secret weapons, but he was simply incredible this last year, demonstrating despite all his mental and physical handicaps, the superspy was still buried there. And the final episode where he sacrificed himself to save the President was one of the great moments in the series history. He deserves consideration for this year.

John Lithgow, The Crown

It may take an acting legend to play a real legend like Churchill. But it takes an even more devoted actor to play such a character in a way we’ve never seen him in any medium — an old hero, now far past his prime, and unequipped to deal with his England. That Lithgow is still capable of surprising us even now is a testament to his talents. He’s already taken a Broadcast Critics Award and a SAG award. It’s going to take a lot to keep from getting Emmy number five this year.

Michael McKean, Better Call Saul

Just as with Breaking Bad, there are far too many great actors in supporting roles in this series deserving of nominations. It would be easy to give the nod to Jonathan Banks or Giancarlo Esposito nominations for playing earlier version of their now iconic characters and adding wrinkles that we didn’t see before. But McKean, with the added element of being a truly original character, deserves special recognition this season. Watching him engage in conflict with Jimmy, a battle in the courtroom that seemed to show him broken, a final break with his lawfirm, and an almost completely silent reversion that was one of the finest depictions of insanity on the medium — anyone could get him a nomination. The fact that the final moments demonstrated this might be his last chance (though I hope not) are just one more reason for recognition.

Christian Slater, Mr. Robot

All right, so now the cat’s out of the bag. It doesn’t change the fact that now that his conflict with Eliot for domination of his mind was still one of the more fascinating things to watch this season. And the fact that there is a still more layers to this man that you thought possible make you wonder how the hell the Emmys could have denied him of a nomination last year. Slater has now proven that he’s one of the great actors of our time. Can we redress last year’s grievances before he takes over the mind of the host again?

Milo Ventimigilia, This is Us

Admittedly, it’s a closer question as to whether this actor or Ron Cephas Jones, who played Randall’s actual father, will get a nomination. But in all honesty, Jack had more of a range than these characters. (Boy is that an understatement) To play the loving father who was willing to make more sacrifices than we saw in this series, to play a loving husband whose marriage seemed flawless — until the last few episodes — and to see someone who made such an impact even though we’ll only see him in flashback is remarkable. I know we still don’t know how he died, but I have in the producers.

WILD CARD

Tom Cavanaugh, The Flash

Again, lots of good choices to fill this in, so I’m going to one the Emmys are almost certain to miss. As brilliant as Cavanaugh was playing a double version of Harrison Wells in the series initial season, he was even more astounded playing two really different versions of himself from alternate universes. This may have been more used for comic effect in the series, but in the final two episodes, when H.R. met his ultimate fate was simultaneously moving and fitting. It’s always a stretch pushing for a comic book series (particularly a CW one) but trust me, he’s worth it.

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David B Morris

After years of laboring for love in my blog on TV, I have decided to expand my horizons by blogging about my great love to a new and hopefully wider field.