This year will probably be the year they both finally get their due, Hamm for Outstanding Lead Performance in a Drama Series for his work in Mad Men and Carell for Lead in a Comedy for his work in The Office.
Carell has been shut out in the past by Alec Baldwin’s work on 30 Rock and then again most recently by Jim Parsons from CBS’ The Big Bang Theory.
Parsons is nominated again, but The Big Bang Theory’s writing has suffered this last season and Parsons’ character Sheldon Cooper has increasingly become a one-note character, so don’t look for a repeat win from him.
If anything, this will be Carell’s year because it’s his last chance. His character has seen better days, as has the whole show, but an emotional character finale like “Goodbye, Michael” will show enough range of character for the voters to give it to Carell.
Hamm, on the other hand, sees his biggest Emmy rival, Bryan Cranston, whose show Breaking Bad is on the same network as Mad Men, off the list this year due to Breaking Bad not starting in time to qualify for the awards. Cranston has won the last three awards in his category, shutting out Hamm despite voters’ overall love for Mad Men.
And did Mad Men ever pick just the perfect piece to display Hamm’s range. Episode seven of season four of Mad Men, “The Suitcase,” is not just a highlight of Hamm’s career, show creator Matthew Weiner’s career or Elisabeth Moss’ career. It’s a highlight of the television as an artistic medium, and I can’t see anyone swooping in to take this award from Hamm.
This year also has Fox’s Glee nominated for 12 shows, but three of those nominations all come for Outstanding Guest Performance in a Comedy Series, which Gweyneth Paltrow won for playing Holly Holiday. It’s still surprising, however, given Glee’s general slide this season, and the only real shot I think the show has of bringing home another is Chris Colfer’s portrayal of Kurt Hummel.
It’s also good to see the Emmys honor HBO’s new series Game of Thrones with 13 nominations, but it’s really unfortunate that Sean Bean didn’t get a nomination for playing Edward Stark. I do think Peter Dinklage has a good shot at winning the Supporting Actor award for a Drama for playing Tyrion Lannister.
I would also like to see NBC’s Friday Night Lights and Parks and Recreation come home with something. Any other year I would think Friday Night Lights would be a strong dark horse contender for Best Drama, but the field is pretty crowded with HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones, Mad Men and CBS’ The Good Wife.
Also Parks and Rec has had a stellar year, and really continues to get better and better. While they’ve gotten some recognition this year, they really are underrepresented. They aren’t as underrepresented as fellow NBC comedy Community, which was gut-bustingly funny this year. It’s also garnered exactly zero nominations, which is about 10 fewer than it deserved, but there is always next year.
Also, as a side note, be sure to follow me on twitter @Bozeman_Star. I will be live tweeting the 63rd Primetime Emmys on Sunday, Sept. 18.