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Tom O'Neil has the inside track on Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and all the award shows.

Category: Kyle Chandler

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.

Michael C Hall GG 2010 LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA: ROB'S PREDIX
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.

LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA: BOOMER'S PREDIX
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.

Continue reading »

Podcast: Kyle Chandler on 'Friday Night Lights' finally scoring at the Emmys

August 16, 2010 |  6:44 am
Kyle Chandler Emmys-3

"I'm happy to be in the same barn with all these other cats," Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights") says in our podcast chat about being nominated for best drama actor at the Emmys opposite Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad"), Matthew Fox ("Lost"), Michael C. Hall ("Dexter"), Jon Hamm ("Mad Men") and Hugh Laurie ("House"). "It makes me walk a few inches higher off the ground, believe me."

To listen to the audio of our podcast, click on the right-pointing arrow below.

Chandler is not merely in the company of prestigious rivals, he has a real chance to beat them. Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly predicts Chandler will prevail, and Tucker may be right. Chandler picked a good episode of "Friday Night Lights" to give to Emmy judges — "East of Dillon," in which he has a powerful locker-room scene, bellowing to the high-school football team he coaches, "If you don't want to be here, get out of my house!" Actually, Chandler didn't really pick the episode himself, as he revealed in our podcast. "I let other people choose it because I couldn't go through the whole season and objectively try to pick something," he says. "I asked people who are respected and who are involved with the show.

"My strategy was to have no strategy," Chandler says in reference to his Emmy candidacy. Though he took a hands-off approach to episode selection, he nonetheless paid attention to the shrewd Emmy campaign run by DirecTV, which included sending all 14,000 members of the TV academy DVDs of the complete fourth season as NBC aired them just weeks before Emmy voting.

"I saw a lot of the material before it went out," he says. "I thought it was fantastic for that support. That's what it's all about. Standing behind the product. To go out there, do all that and pull it off, we've all got our hands in the air."

Photo: NBC / DirecTV

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