Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Emmy Ballot: Leading Performances

You've seen which guest and supporting performances I would've put down if I had an Emmy ballot this year and choosing from the hundreds of names were nearly impossible. With the lead performances, however, it was surprisingly much easier mostly because there's just fewer actors in contention. And so here we go...

Disclaimer: Only performances I have seen are qualified and I'm going to honor the category the actors have chosen to submit themselves in, even when I think it's ultimately wrong.

Lead Actor, Comedy
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Garret Dillahunt, Raising Hope
Joel McHale, Community
Jim Parsons, Big Bang Theory
Adam Scott, Parks and Recreation
Elijah Wood, Wilfred

Parsons and Baldwin are veterans of the category winning the Emmys multiple times and I'm pretty sure they'll be duking it out once again this year. Do they deserve it? Certainly, which is why they are on my own ballot, but I do wish Emmy voters try and think outside the box once or twice. Speaking of, Wood has to play alongside a guy in a dog's costume. Come on! Dillahunt has great chemistry with co-star Plimpton while Scott and McHale are excellent playing the straight guy role with moments of pure hilarity in their fantastic shows.

Alternates: Zachary Levi (Chuck), Lucas Neff (Raising Hope), Ed Helms (The Office), and Rob Lowe (Parks and Recreation)

Lead Actress, Comedy
Courtney Cox, Cougar Town
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Jane Levy, Suburgatory
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Apparently I'm not a fan of shows with the word "Girl" on it as I related a few of them to my alternates instead of my actual ballot. But really the six women above impressed me. Poehler's brilliance is self-explanatory. Fey and Plimpton were nominated last year and I happen to think this season they were better. Cox is so underappreciated I don't even really understand why. While her show has become less about her and more about the ensemble, she still manages to shine through making you want to root for her or at least give her some wine. Louis-Dreyfus is a veteran in a show that shows off her comedic skills perfectly. Levy is the newcomer but her age belies her adeptness at comedy.

Alternates: Zooey Deschanel (New Girl), Lena Dunham (Girls), Beth Behrs (2 Broke Girls), and Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds)

Lead Actor, Drama
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Jason Isaacs, Awake
Damian Lewis, Homeland
Dan Stevens, Downton Abbey

First, I don't care that Isaacs' show was canceled or that no one saw it, because he still kicked ass and that should be rewarded. Stevens went through war for Pete's sake and had to pretend he's not hopeless in love with Michelle Dockery. That takes great acting. Hamm and Hall have inhabited their characters for so long and have done great jobs in adding layers year after year. I'm guessing though that the Emmys will be between Cranston or Lewis (or someone else perhaps) which is more than deserved as they both gave one of the best performances of the past year. Saying they left me breathless every single episode may seem like hyperbole, except it's pretty accurate. They took the audience to the dark depths of their characters and it was chilling.

Alternates: Nathan Fillion (Castle), Andrew Lincoln (Walking Dead), Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), and William H. Macy (Shameless)

Lead Actress, Drama
Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Emmy Rossum, Shameless
Anna Torv, Fringe

No, I don't know why Madeleine Stowe is not in my ballot. It's insane. And yet... and yet... I really couldn't see a ballot without any of the six women above. They all are so fierce at what they do and at the same time also so heartbreaking. That's pretty much it. I could talk about Danes' powerhouse performance, Dockery's subtle emotive expressiveness, Margulies' quiet intensity, Moss' scene-stealing skills, Rossum's dramatic strength, and Torv's impressive range or just say... they are amazing. Each and every single one of them. Nothing is left to be said.

Alternates: Madeleine Stowe and Emily VanCamp (Revenge), Jessica Paré (Mad Men), Stana Katic (Castle), and Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey)

Just for your information, my power actually went out three times today including once before writing this final paragraph so yeah. At least I was able to save the entry before each of the outages! In any case, you know the drill, check out Andrew's blog for his alternate ballot (comedy, drama). Two more days until nominations! Just my picks for Best Comedy and Drama Series left tomorrow.

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