Whose Dramatic Support Was Most Outstanding?
Put another way: which performers in the Outstanding Supporting Actress and Actor Emmy categories are most likely to snag the slot that might actually be up for grabs?
Welcome to The Final Slot, the online Thunderdome where Joe Reid and Mark Blankenship debate who should get the dark horse nomination in the major Emmy acting categories.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Let's start with the basics: Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey) and Christine Baranski (The Good Wife) are institutions who aren't going anywhere. Neither is Christina Hendricks, realistically speaking, though lord knows she'll be limited in the episodes she submitted for consideration since Joan was so egregiously underutilized this season (though "A Tale of Two Cities," featuring Joan's Avon maneuver, should do the trick). After getting her Emmy baptism last year, Anna Gunn should easily ride Skyler White's breakdown to another nomination (and a possible win? Don't tell the Dowager Countess). And honestly, that's where the sure things stop. There is certainly a lot of internet fervor for Monica Potter's performance in Parenthood, but it took Connie Britton five full seasons before she got nominated for a low-rated family drama on NBC, and Friday Night Lights was much buzzier with critics. Homeland's Morena Baccarin feels like a much more likely candidate, but she didn't get nominated last year, and good luck finding anyone who thinks that Homeland improved in its second season. Then there's Elizabeth McGovern, nominated for Downton Abbey's first season, though not its second. Season 3 gave her a good bit of grieving to do, which has seldom served an awards-seeking actress ill.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
For some reason, there are internet pundits who don't think Jonathan Banks is a lock for his final season as Mike Ehrmantraut on Breaking Bad, but that's bollocks. His soulful killer/deadly grandpa brought chilling calm to an maniacal season, and he deserves to be rewarded. And if fellow Breaker Aaron Paul can upset Giancarlo Esposito for a win, then he'll obviously be getting nominated this year. Meanwhile, in all the griping about Homeland's second season, pretty much everyone had to admit that Mandy Patinkin was killing it as Saul, and honestly, if people are tired of voting for Paul, they might hand Patinkin the trophy this year. Previous winner Peter Dinklage ought to return, thanks to the fever pitch of enthusiasm for Game of Thrones, and Sam Waterston's status as the Grand Old Man of Series TV should secure him a nod for The Newsroom. Downton Abbey has probably cooled too much to get last year's pair of nominees any consideration, and over on Mad Men, John Slattery didn't have a strong enough episode the year to stand out, and if it hasn't happened for Vincent Kartheiser by now, it's never going to happen. There's a strong possibility that Noah Emmerich could get tapped for The Americans, but since he's not the star, he'll probably haver to wait until his show is more of an institution. Even Aaron Paul had to wait until season 2.