Friday, September 14, 2012

2012 Emmy Award Predictions: Lead Actor in a Comedy


Award Shows, my one weakness. Even if they're meaningless, I can't resist them and so, here is my annual attempt at predicting which actors and shows will become winners. These are predictions for the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards which will be broadcast live on Sunday September 23 on ABC.

To win the Emmy, every actor nominated must submit an episode representative of their best work each season. The episodes submitted are then viewed by a panel that votes for what they deem best. Each actor and his/her publicity team pick which episode to submit. Great submissions can help an underdog, bad ones could prevent a favorite from winning. Let's take a look at what these gentlemen chose. The nominees are...

Alec Baldwin in "30 Rock" (NBC)
Alec Baldwin turned into one of the most unexpected (to me) and brilliant sitcom performers the past decade with his amazing work as Jack Donaghy. He has already won two Emmys for his performance, considering '30 Rock' didn't do as well as it usually does with nominations and it will probably have more buzz next year when it airs its last season, I don't think he has a chance of winning again. 
Episode Submission: "Live from Studio 6H"
In '30 Rock's second live episode Baldwin gets to play some very funny characters just as if he were hosting Saturday Night Live (a job he is very familiar with), he provides some laughs, but probably won't win for this sketchy performance. 

Jim Parsons in "The Big Bang Theory" (CBS)
The biggest star of the biggest comedy on television, Jim Parsons has won for his famous Sheldon Cooper the past two years and is back for a third consecutive win. Can he pull it off? Well, a weak category with not many buzzed-about performances puts him in the lead position. 
Episode Submission: "The Werewolf Transformation"
Winning three in a row is pretty difficult, no actor has done it since Michael J. Fox back in the late eighties, but Parsons has the advantage of having a tape in which he gets to play somewhat of a different character than usual as Sheldon practically becomes another person when he doesn't cut his hair. Emmy voters love submissions in which an actor plays two characters/personalities, Alec Baldwin and Edie Falco, for example, have won this way.  

Larry David in "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO)
David has yet to win for his performance in 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' despite the fact that he has been nominated a million times for it. Many people say it's the fact that he basically plays himself on the show that is denying him the win. In any case, it might be completely possible that he ends his run Emmyless.
Episode Submission: "Palestinian Chicken"
Many people pointed out this episode not only as the season's stand-out, but one of the shows' ever. Larry defies the jewish community by eating at a palestinian chicken restaurant is the plot of the entry and it is certainly a very funny episode. That being said, it's not especially better than any other Larry David performance on the show. I think if David didn't win back when 'Curb' was the height of its popularity, he probably won't now. 

Don Cheadle in "House of Lies" (Showtime)
Don Cheadle gets nominated for being a former Oscar nominee who made the transition to television, you know how Emmy voters love their movie-stars. I haven't seen much of 'House of Lies', so I couldn't be the expert at judging Cheadle's performance...
Episode Submission: "Gods of Dangerous Financial Institutions"
... Except to say that watching this episode, I don't think he will. Many people have won by submitting the pilot of their shows, but in this case, I think this just won't come into play for a win. Expect him to win the Golden Globe later this year though, or at least be nominated.  

Louis C.K. in "Louie" (FX)
Probably one of the most talked-about guys in the industry, his show and its unusual structure and production model has won raves from critics that herald it as the best show currently on the air, and they have a point.
Episode Submission: "Duckling"
I may be biased on this one, since I love the show, but back when I first saw 'Duckling' roughly a year ago, my heart was melted and I was completely amazed by what C.K. had achieved with the episode. Now, a lot of people don't appreciate this installment of the show as much as I do, but maybe enough voters will fall in love with it as much as I did. 

Jon Cryer in "Two and a Half Men" (CBS)
Let's not get too much into it, but Jon Cryer has been endlessly nominated for this role since 2006 and he even won in 2009 shamefully beating much better performances like Neil Patrick Harris' job on 'How I Met Your Mother'. Now that Charlie Sheen almost ruined his show but he managed to go on, he's back in the field one more time. 
Episode Submission: "Frodo's Headshot" 
In this episode Alan goes through every possible tragedy that could happen to him only to discover it was just a dream. I hate this show so I'm probably biased in my judgement, but it seemed like incredibly unpleasant and lazy storytelling to me. 

Will Win: Some people are really getting behind the idea that Larry David could finally win. Others are pointing out that the most probable thing given Emmy history is yet another Jim Parsons win. This last group is probably right, but I'll predict with my heart in this one and go with Louis C.K. just for how much I loved "Duckling" when I first saw it. 

Should Win: Hands down Louis C.K. He may not be the best actor per se, but he has certainly evolved as a performer in his time on the show and after all, his performance is as integral to the success of the show as his directing and writing talent. 

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