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10 Immensely Deserving Performances That Will Almost Certainly Be Ignored by Emmy Voters This Year

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | June 8, 2013 | Comments ()


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Charles Dance, "Game of Thrones" -- Nominated before for a performance in 2005's "Bleak House," Dance's villainous, string-pulling Tywin Lannister will likely be overlooked because of some of the more flashy characters on "Game of Thrones." But Dance, in a role with limited screen time, has played the Lannister this year that moved everything in place to allow for one of the all-time most entertaining seasons of television. He has managed, with his scene-stealing bullying, to reduce every other character he comes in contact with on the show to simpering puddles, and that has as much do with the Dance's performance as it does the show's writing.

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Michael Cudlitz, "Southland" -- This performance was everything. Cudlitz has gone completely unnoticed for a truly remarkable performance over the course of the entire series of "Southland," and this season, he managed to be even better. "Tour de force" is not a phrase I use often, but it is absolutely apt to Cudlitz's performance as a tough, but vulnerable gay cop who would fall prey to the psychologically traumatic stresses of the job. In a brilliantly acted and written show, Cudlitz stood above them all, turning in a Cranston-like performance this season.

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Tatiana Maslany , "Orphan Black" -- What else could possibly be said about the best performance, male or female, of the year that we haven't already said? Tatiana Maslany is terrific, a six-woman show that effortlessly switches characters, and even when she's playing characters playing other characters. All the credit goes to Maslany for the fact that each of the characters she plays on "Orphan Black" is so remarkably distinct from the others.

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Mads Mikkelsen, "Hannibal" -- I'm not completely ruling out the possibility that Mikkelsen will receive deserved Emmy recognition for his supporting performance as Hannibal Lector because Emmy voters do have a soft spot for both movie actors and serial killers. However, "Hannibal" has failed to make a huge splash with viewers, and while Mikkelsen's performance has been riveting, mesmerizing, and deliciously evil, Emmy voters seldom pay attention to network dramas anymore, much less low rated ones.

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John Noble, "Fringe" -- A mainstay on lists like these, John Noble will almost certainly go unnoticed again this year because he's turning in such a remarkable, enjoyable, and rich performance on a sci-fi show that few Emmy voters -- or viewers -- pay that much attention to anymore. But he deserves it, if not for this season alone, then for his entire body of work on five seasons of "Fringe," where even the bad seasons were salvaged by the guiding presence of Noble.

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Aiden Young, "Rectify" -- Too few people have seen Sundance channel's amazing, searing, and devastating "Rectify" to truly appreciate the performance that Young turned in this year. Outside of Cudlitz, it was my favorite male performance of the year, a mixture of soulfulness, bewilderment, and a menacing sweetness that made his character the most enigmatic of the year.

Jack Huston, "Boardwalk Empire" -- "Boardwalk Empire" and its lead, Steve Buscemi, are no stranger to Emmy nominations, but it's the subtle brilliance of Jack Huston that has been sorely overlooked. Not only does he have to act around the CGI covering one side of his face, he has to convey so much with few words. With Michael Shannon on the backburner of the series for the last two years, it's Huston's supporting performance that has been carrying much of the dramatic weight.

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Peter Krause, "Parenthood" -- People will throw their hats in the ring for Monica Potter, because she was the star of a deftly handled cancer plotline on "Parenthood" this season, but what made that plotline so effective was Krause, who had to carry the burden of his wife's cancer, manage work and the household, and keep it together while quietly dealing with the pressure. Thanks to a terrific Krause performance, we saw every once of sadness and fear beneath the veneer.

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Gillian Jacobs -- It was a wildly uneven, and mostly mediocre fourth season of "Community" without Dan Harmon, but if there was one terrific stand out, it was Gillian Jacobs who rolled with the punches and became the season's only real stand-out performance. She crushed it all season long, and often felt like the only actor in the series who still belonged to the series we loved over the course of the first three seasons.

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Jay R. Ferguson -- Is there an Emmy "audience" award for the most crowd-pleasing performance of the year? There should be. That title might have belonged to Nick Offerman in the last two years, but Jay R. Ferguson -- who plays Stan Rizzo on "Mad Men" -- has become the Internet's favorite supporting character, and for good reason: His reaction shots -- usually while high -- have become one of the best things about this season of "Mad Men," and that's saying a lot for what has been the most enjoyable season of the show thus far.



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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • Maddy

    I so want Nicolaj Coster Waldau to get some recognition! Dude is an amazing Jaime!

  • E

    I know I sound like a crazy person, but Troian Bellisario deserves an emmy for the work she's done on pretty little liars. It's such a stupid show, but the last 10 episodes of the season she just blows you away.

  • Ringo183

    All great actors. Is there a minimum amount of screen time required for winning? It seems like some of these actors have 10 minutes or less for the entire season. I wonder who has won Best Actor/Supporting Actor with the shortest amount of actual screen time/ dialogue.

  • It's not just Aussie pride, but I'm so happy to see Aden Young finally getting attention. He's always been a fantastic actor but just hasn't had many showcase roles to demonstrate it.

  • k op

    No, not John Noble. The vocal ticks of his character start to wear on one in S2 and get not better. Too often the rest of the cast limped through their lines while leaving it to Noble to overact about food...or something.

    Maslany was very good in OB, but the clone conceit could wear thin. It did already at times, this first season, when her face grew tiresome and I wanted to see the lives of other characters. One has to give her credit for holding up so many roles at once. Still, I'd like to see individual centered episodes that were more in depth about each character and their supporting cast.

  • Charles Dance deserves all the awards, but I have to amend the comment that he reduced EVERYONE to simpering puddles: Lady "Queen of Thorns" Olenna. She and Tywin are two sides of the same coin.

  • Daffodil

    Is the current television landscape turning us into Morlocks and Eloi?

  • dizzylucy

    I would love to see anyone from Southland, but esp. Cudlitz. He was always great in that role but his work at the end of the season was incredible.
    Tatiana truly deserves it. I'll be flat out stunned though.

    I'm going to toss Joelle Carter's name in the ring for Justified. Her character has changed so much over the seasons, and her moments with Ellen May and Boyd were captivating.

  • John W

    What about Timothy Simons, Tony Hale, and Matt Walsh from Veep?

  • e jerry powell

    I've got Jay R. Ferguson's award...

  • Jenna Fischer. People give a lot of credit to Krasinski and Rainn Wilson, but it was her performance as Pam that held that show together. I really, really hope she gets a nod.

  • NoPantsMcLane

    Totally agree. She is constantly great on the show even if the episodes have been very weak the last few seasons and yet she never get's nominated.

  • Artemi

    I am really hoping for this as well. She had a lot of serious emotional beats this season and she's got the benefit of final-season goodwill, so maybe it'll happen.

  • alwaysanswerb

    It kind of sucks for Nina Dobrev that Tatiana Maslany showed up and is basically doing what Dobrev does x10, because she (Dobrev) has been ignored this whole time, despite doing the whole "two different characters who sometimes impersonate each other" thing (plus one of those characters as three different versions of herself: human, vampire, and nastier vampire) and doing it really convincingly. She's really a stellar actress and I'd love to see her get more recognition, but it's the curse of the CW...

  • Artemis

    I really think Nina Dobrev is one of the most underrated actors on television. She is *amazingly* good at playing several different characters, and different versions of the same character, while keeping them all recognizably unique.

  • Tok

    Aiden Young in Rectify ... Good lordy. Yes. YES.
    Where did this dude come from? (I looked it up: Australia.)

  • John W

    Except for Krause and Cudlitz (I haven't watched Parenthood or Southland) you pretty much hit the nail on the head.

  • pfeiffer87

    The thing is that Charles dance's Tywin & tulkinghorn were essentially the same character - not sure he'd get another nod for so similar a performance. Not sure he has much range - though he does what he does what he does well hope nikolaj gets nominated for his bathtub monologue alone.

  • PaddyDog

    Oh trust me, Charles Dance has range. I've been lucky enough to see him on stage. True he's classically trained and as such tends to be offered the commanding upper-class accenty roles, but he is enormously talented. If you want to see him playing a good guy rent the DVDs of The Jewel in the Crown.

  • Tok

    My Emmy-voter pal told me that Charles Dance is for sure NOT getting nominated because he's not on the For Your Consideration list HBO is circulating (guess he didn't put his name in). Diana Rigg IS on that list, for Guest Actress. She will surely be nominated just so she and Maggie Smith can both win for the same delightful performance.

    Friend said NC-W is on the GoT submission list. As is right and proper.

  • emmelemm

    Agreed on Cudlitz x 1,000. It was one HELL of a performance.

  • toblerone

    Ughhh Cooper... God I'll miss you (and Southland).

    Shawn Hatosy, Regina King, Ben McKenzie all deserve Emmy nods for their work on Southland ( and Lucy Liu for her run last year).

  • toblerone

    YUP to all, but why no Hugh Dancy love (or Kacey Rohl)?

    And Stan? Meh... He's great but I don't think it's any more Emmy worthy than Harry Hamlin's or John Slattery's performance in Mad Men.

  • lowercase_ryan

    quite trying to make us think Kacey Rohl can act.

  • toblerone

    Since when has actual ability or talent been a requirement in Hollywood?

    Pretty wins most of the time and in her case she is both talented and pretty.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I'm just bored and messing with you.

  • toblerone

    You mess with one Canadian you mess with us all.

  • lowercase_ryan

    You're Canadian? Suddenly everything makes sense.

  • mairimba

    Just reading those few lines you wrote about Peter Krause's Adam got me all teared up. This damn show, man. I swear that only by the mention of it ALL my feels form into this huge ball that wants to explode.

  • I swear, not a single episode went by last season where I didn't get at least a little teary. Sometimes I was outright bawling.

  • lowercase_ryan

    This list is spot on. Although some were more deserving than others (Noble was good, but I'm not sure how challenging it was. Same goes for Gillian).

  • Derreck

    Megan Hilty for Smash.

    In spite of the (sometimes glorious) shitshow, she was a constant bright spot and deserves only good things for her career after the show. If its one thing i'll miss about Smash, it's that Megan Hilty is no longer on my TV screen belting and being beautiful every week.

  • If she doesn't have a role in something during the next pilot season then there's something seriously wrong. Megan Hilty is so talented and gorgeous and just fantastic. You're right: she was one of the few things about Smash that was legitimately great instead of so-bad-it's-amazing.

  • Repo

    So much yes for Cudlitz. His character arc continued to be phenomenal, and he owned it every time. Tragic and beautiful as a performance I've seen, especially given how non flashy it was in contrast to some of the others on the show. Damn I'm going to miss that show.

  • Kathleen Allen

    dear lawd, please let aden get some emmy love. i need to know that there's hope for a season 3. rectify is my tv drug of choice and momma needs her fix.

  • Less Lee Moore

    Please, for the love of all that's unholy, it's LECTER not LECTOR. Sorry to jump on your case about this but no one seems to get it right. Thank you.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I'd like to add that Jack Huston wears a real half mask on Boardwalk, the only thing that's CGI is his face without the mask. I've seen it mentioned here before that the mask is also CGI, which is incorrect.

    http://youtu.be/5sq3MOA-kmM

  • amylu

    On that note, his name is Aden Young (not Aiden).

  • Batesian

    Speaking of stuff no one gets right, it's:

    Spider-Man, not Spiderman
    Childrens Hospital, not Children's Hospital

    *clutches chest, staggers off to take blood pressure medication*

  • "Why isn't it 'Spiderman'? You know, like Goldman, Silverman..."
    "It's not his last name! It's not like...Phil Spiderman!"

  • Suz

    Sometimes it is actually "Children's Hospital" (see: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia).

  • Batesian

    Pedantry equal to mine! Kudos.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    I feel like there should be at least one apostrophe in "Childrens Hospital".

  • toblerone

    See:

  • Fabius_Maximus

    I don't know what I'm supposed to see there, but shouldn't it be "Childrens' Hospital" then?

  • Three_nineteen

    Jon Hamm is playing Dr. Childrens. Therefore, Childrens Hospital because it is named after him. If we were talking about him owning the place, it would be Dr. Children's hospital.

  • Don't even get me started on "Is it apostrophe s or just an apostrophe?"

  • Fabius_Maximus

    English punctuation doesn't make any sense.

  • Three_nineteen

    Ha, that's partly because I screwed it up. If we were talking about Dr. Childrens owning the hospital, it would be Dr. Childrens's hospital.

  • or Childrens'. (you can leave off the s after apostrophe if the person's name ends in s. Like Jesus'. Or Mr. Jones'. It looks weird, though, to just have that apostrophe hanging out there by itself...

  • Greg!

    You're very close! Only with ancient/biblical names ending in "s" can leave off the additional "s" as possessives. So "Moses' staff", but "Dr. Jones's banana." I can't link to Strunk and White, but I can link to a 2nd-hand site that does the same. http://www.bartleby.com/141/st...

  • Three_nineteen

    I know it's allowed, but to me it looks plural. I don't know what we'd do with more than one Dr. Childrens, let alone multiple Jesuses (Jesi?).

  • toblerone

    It was named after Dr. Arthur Childrens.

    No apostrophe.

  • Ringo183

    Childrens'?

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