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Can Michael C. Hall add Emmy to Globe and SAG wins for 'Dexter'?

August 24, 2010 |  3:30 pm
It's not often that I let myself be bulldozed into a prediction, but Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Rob Licuria (AwardsHeaven) make such a compelling argument for Michael C. Hall ("Dexter") to win the Emmy for lead actor in a drama that, OK, I admit I'm stealing their predix.

But I do so with queasiness. As they attest, this contest is a tossup. However, I do quarrel with two of their views. They rank Jon Hamm ("Mad Men") too high and Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights") too low. Hamm, I think, has no chance to win. He has one nice scene in his Emmy episode when he cries while recalling his brother's suicide. Big deal. (Uh, oh -- that sounds so callous, doesn't it?) Chandler's episode is the loudest, most bombastic, as he bullies his high-school football players. Sometimes the biggest acting prevails. Click here to watch Boomer, Rob and I dish this race via webcam video.

1. Michael C. Hall, "Dexter" ("The Getaway")
2. Hugh Laurie, "House" ("Broken")
3. Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" ("Full Measure")
4. Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" ("The Gypsy and the Hobo")
5. Matthew Fox, "Lost" ("The End")
6. Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights" ("East of Dillon")

ROB'S COMMENTARY: My e-mail to Tom and Chris last week was something like "Help me, I can't make heads or tails of this category! It's too difficult!" After re-watching all of the episodes in succession, I haven't changed my tune. I don't recall a category in recent Emmy history so stacked with wonderfully chosen episodes showcasing stunning dramatic masterpiece performances from the cream of the crop of TV dramatic acting.

It pains me to put Kyle Chandler in sixth place. His work in this episode is absolutely fantastic. Two scenes in particular, as he address and/or scolds his team, are wonderful. He would be a winner in any other year, and the sixth spot is by no means a slight on him at all, but somebody has to fill up the slots, and by comparison, I think that the show he is on, the network, and the relative small screen time, do hurt his chances a little.

Similarly, Matthew Fox is absolutely amazing in the "Lost" finale. The last 15 minutes in particular are mesmerizing, devastating and emotionally pitch-perfect. If the episode was whittled down to his scenes alone, he would be much more competitive, but voters have to sit through a double episode, where Fox is not featured for long stretches of time. Surely that will disadvantage him. Again, I stress that he could easily win, if voters respond to the emotion of the final scenes like I did. Watch him die on the jungle floor as the plane flies over his pained-but-happy face and tell me that he doesn't deserve the Emmy.

Jon Hamm has never had a better chance at winning the Emmy that this year. In his episode, the gruff, tough exterior of his Don Draper persona is smashed away by the unwelcome reveal to his wife about his true identity and shameful past. Another masterclass in acting, everything he is feeling is right there on his face. I was blown away by his performance, and thought it would be enough to win him the Emmy, until I saw a few of the other guys in this category.

Bryan Cranston, technically (based on this episode alone) should probably be lower on this list. I don't think it is anywhere near as good as his previous submissions or even some of the other episodes of the third season of "Breaking Bad" ("Fly", for example). But, as a two-time consecutive past winner on a Drama Series-nominated show, I think that he automatically has a bit of an edge over the other guys in this category. And don't get me wrong, the penultimate scene in the episode is dynamite. Don't be surprised if he wins again.

Hugh Laurie has a whole movie-length episode to showcase his character's battle with mental illness, and he doesn't disappoint. The range is there, the characteristics of Dr House that fans and critics alike have grown to cherish are there. The screen time is definitely there. There's even some impact. I initially thought that he might have the front-runner status because there is a perception out there that nobody is more overdue that him. Yet, I just couldn't bring myself to put him in 1st place.

That's because Michael C Hall finally has the episode with which he will likely (finally) take that Emmy that has so far eluded him. Coming off a Golden Globe and SAG win, and John Lithgow's earlier Guest Actor triumph, I think this is Hall's year. The episode does not disappoint -- range, screen time, impact especially with the final haunting scene in the bathroom -- Hall nails it. However, because this category has made me crazy over the last few days, I choose him with a caveat and that is ANYBODY in this group can win this award. I won't be surprised, and would have loved to submit a 6-way tie. But for now, with the proviso that I had to pick a winner, I'm siding with Hall, squeaking over the line in front of Laurie, with Cranston always a deserving threat for another win, and Hamm, Fox and Chandler my sentimental favorites.

1. Michael C. Hall, "Dexter" ("The Getaway")
2. Hugh Laurie, "House" ("Broken")
3. Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" ("Full Measure")
4. Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" ("The Gypsy and the Hobo")
5. Matthew Fox, "Lost" ("The End")
6. Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights" ("East of Dillon")

BOOMER'S COMMENTARY: All six men deserved to be nominated, and every one of them deserves to actually win this category. That fact is abundantly true based on their incredibly well-chosen episode submissions but also for their seasons and overall contributions to their shows. It is the finest group of nominees and episodes I can remember. Analyzing the category and ranking the nominees is agonizing. Here is my best effort.

Both Kyle Chandler and Matthew Fox finally get nominations after years of great work. I commend the voters for recognizing their efforts. Chandler has a couple of tremendous scenes where he is barking at players as they prepare for the first game of the season. The viewer really feels for him at the end of the episode when he has to forfeit the game due to injuries. Matthew Fox saved his best performance of the past six seasons for the series finale and has a lot of emotional scenes as well as action and drama. The episode is heavily weighted toward the ensemble, as it should be, so he is off screen for several scenes. The extended stretches without him will mean that voters probably will reward one of his competitors.

I loved Jon Hamm's performance in his episode as many of his character's deep, dark secrets are exposed and discussed by his wife. It is a subtle and gripping performance that Emmy voters will probably really enjoy. I think a win by Hamm would be as much for the entire run of the season and for the development of one of the most memorable characters in television history than just for this episode. That would be absolutely fine with me.

Voters have proven that they love Bryan Cranston as the cancer-stricken chemistry teacher who is forced to manufacture drugs.The season finale was filled with tension as several critical decisions were made that will affect the future of all the major characters on the show. While I really enjoyed Cranston's performance in it, the action shifted to other characters a little too much for me to think he will win a third consecutive Emmy.

The single greatest dramatic performance I have seen from this past season (maybe the past few seasons) was given by Hugh Laurie in the "House" two-hour season premiere. I am not a fan of the show, so I was shocked at how much I enjoyed Laurie and the entire episode. He was angry, charming, funny, sad and every other emotion in the book plus embodies the very definition of great acting range. I found him to be very ultimately very likable and relatable in this episode, which doesn't often happen with his character. From an awards standpoint, voters often love characters with mental stability issues and the terrific confessional scenes. Laurie and Andre Braugher especially make for a great acting combo. Words just can't remotely describe how much I loved this performance.

Michael C. Hall has one of the most emotionally charged and action-packed episodes ever seen on his series. In the finale, he is not in complete control of the situation as he normally is, so he is able to display another side of his character that is back on his heels trying to keep up in this cat-and-mouse chase with John Lithgow's character and even the police himself. The final scene is extremely powerful and might seal the deal for an Emmy victory. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of this episode and Hall's performance.

I have Hall and Laurie virtually tied for first place in this category, and both are extremely overdue for Emmy recognition. Since Hall's show is up for Drama Series, maybe there is more industry support for him right now. Also, he arrives at the ceremony with this year's Golden Globe and SAG Award. I will narrowly give Hall the edge.

Top photo: Michael C. Hall at 2010 Golden Globe Awards. Credit: HFPA

Bottom photo: Michael C. Hall at 2010 Screen Actors Guild Awards. Credit: SAG

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The comments to this entry are closed.


Rob, if it pains you to put Kyle Chandler in 6th place, then don't.

He should have been included this year, and for the past 3 ... and never as a marginal or a last place call.

BOO! Michael C Hall did not win! Boo! He should have won! The show should have won! Hollywood YOU SUCK!. No one was talking about Madmen when the last season ended,but the internet was buzzing over Dexter! Michael C Hall had cancer and still gave us great acting despite it. Come on people.

goddamn Michael C Hall is an incredible actor. Here's to him!

I don't say this often, but it needs to be said: the Emmy voters got this category 100% right. That being said, I don't think I watched the same House episode as these guys. I thought both Laurie's performance and the episode were okay, but not awards-worthy.

Politics aside, and just focusing on the performances, I think Kyle Chandler or Matthew Fox deserves this most.

Hugh Laurie rocked the drama category with his 2-hour episode Broken. What a fantastic evolution of a character undergoing a breakdown and drug withdrawal while in physical pain. The writing was superb but without Laurie's sublime delivery, it would never have had the impact. Hall is great but he's no Laurie. For gawd's sake, let Laurie claim his award rightfully. The viewership alone of House worldwide should count for something. Plus being on basic cable is constraint enough, Dexter vs House has very unfair advantages in what can and can't be said/shown on cable vs. broadcast (basic cable). House's Laurie is overdue.

Hall wasn't any better this year than previous years--but I do agree, he'll get sympathy votes for his personal life, and I have a feeling Laurie and Fox will not quite be able to overcome that... But if viewers keep in mind that this episode is symbolic of a season of work as a whole, Fox might pull it off

I would be very happy if either Hugh Laurie or Michael C. Hall won - if either of them wins the Emmy on Sunday night, then they will join the very select list of Edie Falco and Paul Giamatti as winners of the Emmy, SAG, Golden Globe, Satellite and TCA Awards.

Still, if one (or both) doesn't win this year, then maybe they can take advantage of Bryan Cranston's absence next year.

I don't think he will get sympathy votes for his cancer. He will get sympathy votes for Rita's death on the show. Big deaths always get more attention. Season 4 was not Hall's best acting but that final bathroom scene could seal it for him. Breaking Bad is a far better show and had a far better season overall. I stopped taking the EMMY's seriously when Glee was nominated.

Question: I thought the Emmy cutoff date was May 31. How is it that Bryan Cranston can submit an episode that aired in June?

How come no one is mentioning the elephant in the room??????

Hall had cancer this year. That will play a major factor in his win. Aspects of actors' personal lives always play into the votes.

Hall was great in Dexter and deserves to win on his performance alone, but he will also get huge sympathy votes.



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