Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fatherly Emmy Awards Front-Runners

The Emmy nominations are still more than a month away, but of course there has already been plenty of talk on who will actually get nominated. While I'm not really ready to talk about that today, I did want to cast a spotlight on the three men who are the presumed front-runners for the Best Actor in a Drama category as they all play fathers, warts and all. It is after all Father's Day.

Three-time Emmy winner Bryan Cranston is again the odds-on favorite partly because he has won so many times and partly because his portrayal Walter White continues to astound. This season of Breaking Bad more than any other has seen Walt pushed to the edge, dangling hopelessly and perilously, only to prevail by becoming a harder, darker version of himself. With him trying to put out fires, left and right, he hasn't really been any sort of father to Walt Jr. He gave him a car to buy his affections, but more to stick it to Marie a little bit who forces Walt to return the vehicle (he burns it instead). He even ended up missing Walt Jr.'s 16th birthday later in the season. With that said, the main relationship of the show is the pseudo-father/son relationship between Walt and Jesse and to say their relationship is complicated would be overly simplifying it especially in light of everything that has happened between the two of them this most recent season. Walt, after all, is the one who knocks.

The man who has the best chance to break Cranston's streak is Damian Lewis who made his mark this year with his visceral performance as marine-turned-prisoner of war-turned-politician-turned-terrorist Nicholas Brody in Homeland. The absurdity of his character's arc is completely made horrifically believable not only by the superb writing on the show, but more importantly by the wonderful acting from Lewis. With every new information from his past as the season progressed, his character becomes fully realized leading up to explosive revelations in those last few intense episodes. With that said, it's the moments he has as a father, or father figure, that stick with me the most. All his scenes with his daughter Dana reminds us that while he is a boiling pot of mixed emotions within, he'll always be a father. Dana talking him down on the phone while he was at the bunker remains one of the best scenes on TV last year. And of course there is his bittersweet father-like relationship with Issa Nazir who, in his fate, acts as the main catalyst for the show's plot.

And finally, there's Jon Hamm who is still inexplicably Emmy-less after playing the now iconic Don Draper character for five seasons. His best chance was perhaps last year with his character going through a downward spiral and more importantly Cranston out of the race. This year the task will be even more difficult especially in a season of Mad Men that has seemed to put its leading man more in the background relative to the ups and downs of the other characters. That is not to say Don was sidelined, not at all, but it is accurate to say that the moments and characters that stick out this season don't have anything to do with Don at all or at best they are Don-adjacent. Even his relationship with his daughter Sally had seen better days as it seemed she had many more scenes with other adults than her father be it her younger hipper stepmother, her cynical mother and grandmother, or even with Roger freakin' Sterling. It's telling that one of the last scene (if not that actual final scene?) between Don and Sally was Don telling her to ditch school the next day because neither he nor Megan would be able to drop her off. Father of the year!

And so with that... Happy Father's Day!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading. Feel free to drop me a line. Instead of being Anonymous though, pick a name. Any name would do. Thanks again!