Thursday, July 8, 2010

Emmy Reactions: Surprises, Snubs, and More

For the first time in a long time, television critics seem pleased with the Emmy nominations. Several outdated, repeat nominees (Sally Field, Entourage, etc.) were exchanged for fresh faces, and even some older but not yet recognized contenders broke through. The main complaints were the omissions of Sons of Anarchy's Katey Sagal (I haven't seen the show, but now I plan to do it very soon) and the new comedies Community and Cougar Town (I never connected with either of them, and I'm not surprised that Emmy voters didn't either). Out of the 60 nominations I predicted, I got 43 correct (not including my seventh spots, five of which made it into the actual top six), which just barely comes out to a passing percentage. Considering I only got one less than Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello, I think I did just fine. It was a morning filled with shock, disappointment, and even tears (at least for me). Here's an overview of what happened.


Kyle Chandler & Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights (Lead Actor & Actress in a Drama Series) - This was easily the biggest shocker of the entire morning. I literally did not believe it when I heard Chandler's name. I was so confused. For years I had heard all about the great Friday Night Lights and how it always got snubbed at the Emmys. Then before I could even process Chandler's nomination in my mind, I heard Connie Britton's name. At this point I might have started crying. I watched seasons one through three for the first time this summer, so I wasn't a fan of the show when it had been snubbed in the past. After watching it, I clearly understood why everyone was so upset. These actors are two of the strongest dramatic leads on television, and I cannot express how ecstatic I am to see them finally rewarded for it.

Nurse Jackie (Comedy Series) - Everyone assumed Edie Falco would make the shortlist for lead comedy actress, but no one expected the series to earn a nomination as well. It took the spot of previous Showtime nominee, Weeds (a spot most critics predicted would belong to The Big Bang Theory).

True Blood (Drama Series) - It's not very often that vampire shows get noticed at the Emmys (re: Buffy). True Blood managed to break into the drama category despite having zero other nominations in the acting, writing, and directing categories.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family (Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series) - It's nothing against Ferguson; he's hilarious on Modern Family. But as far as most critics were concerned, Ferguson was farther down on the contenders list than Rico Rodriguez. He got nominated instead of Ed O'Neill (who should have submitted in the lead category), which means O'Neill is the show's only adult cast member without a nomination.


Chris Colfer & Mike O'Malley, Glee (Supporting & Guest Actor in a Comedy) - The best father-son duo on television earned nominations in their respective categories. Colfer was more of a surprise, considering he's only 20 and competing against actors like Neil Patrick Harris and Eric Stonestreet. But the two deserve it because they give the most heart warming performances on the show.

January Jones, Mad Men (Lead Actress in a Drama) - Words cannot describe how happy I was when I heard her name called. Finally Jones managed to earn a nomination after three seasons of phenomenal work. It's a shame Margulies is such a lock for the win, because I would love to see the Emmy go to Jones or Britton instead.

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series - Kristin Chenoweth, Tina Fey, Jane Lynch, and Betty White are all in the same category together. COULD THERE BE A MORE AWESOME CATEGORY?! I didn't think so.

"Niagara" - The Office (Writing for a Comedy Series) - I just really really want Mindy Kaling to win an Emmy. Mainly because I love everything she says on Twitter.

"The Son" - Friday Night Lights (Writing for a Drama Series) - It's a miracle FNL was able to break into such a solid category. It really says something to be listed alongside the Lost finale and two episodes of Mad Men. "The Son" was such a phenomenal hour of drama.

Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife (Supporting Actress in a Drama Series) - I need to catch up on The Good Wife ASAP. Everyone (correctly) predicted that name recognition would guarantee Christine Baranski a supporting nomination for the series, but I'm more excited to see Panjabi on the list. From what I saw of the first season, she was my favorite character.

Matthew Fox, Lost (Lead Actor in a Drama Series) - What an amazing tribute to the show's final season after six years of great work!

Elizabeth Mitchell, Lost (Guest Actress in a Drama Series) - This might be my favorite nomination. I'm considering it the Academy's official apology for ignoring this last year:


Sandra Oh & Chandra Wilson, Grey's Anatomy (Supporting Actress in a Drama Series) - Oh has received a nomination for every year of the show's existence, and Wilson only has one less. Yet both disappeared completely from the race this year. It's too bad, because I think Oh especially earned her spot. If I could, I would give her the trophy right now.

Chloƫ Sevigny, Big Love (Supporting Actress in a Drama Series) - Since her Golden Globe win last year, Sevigny has appeared on almost every critic's prediction list. Still, it's no surprise that she didn't get nominated, because none of the wives of Big Love have ever earned a nomination (despite seriously deserving one). Instead the show received two well-earned guest actress spots for Sissy Spacek and Mary Kay Place.

Friday Night Lights (Drama Series) - It was amazing that Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton finally got recognized, but I don't understand why the series didn't get a nomination. It's also a shame that Zach Gilford didn't get a nomination for his outstanding guest work in "The Son."

Parks & Recreation (Comedy Series) - The show's hit sophomore season was shut out by newcomers and previous winners. Though it earned a spot for lead actress Amy Poehler, the hilarious Nick Offerman will have to settle for his TCA nomination.


Matthew Morrison, Glee (Lead Actor in a Comedy Series) - I really don't get it. He's not funny (nor is he really even the show's lead). In fact, his character is pretty much despised by most fans for his awkwardness and constant rapping. Surely other actors were more deserving.

19 nominations for Glee - I enjoy the show, and it certainly has some great moments. But is it really worthy of nineteen nominations? That's more than any other series this year, including Mad Men, 30 Rock, and Modern Family. It got recognition where it was deserved (Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, Colfer, O'Malley, Chenoweth, etc.), but the Emmy love for Glee this year was a bit excessive.

Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age & Sharon Gless, Burn Notice (Supporting Actor & Actress in a Drama Series) - I'm not going to say anything about the quality of either performance, since I have seen neither show (though both seem to be getting positive reactions to their nominations). Rather, I am just confused about how they got nominated. They had little to no buzz and appeared on nobody's prediction lists. I suppose it's nice to have a few wild cards thrown in every now and then.

The full list of nominees can be found on the Emmys website.

Currently watching:
Six Feet Under Season 4
Episode 1 - Falling Into Place

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Michael's 2010 Primetime Emmy Nomination Predictions

With less that 24 hours until the Emmy nominations are announced, everyone is sharing their final predictions. For the past month I've written about the actors and shows that I think deserve nominations, but below are my guesses for who will receive actual nominations in the top ten categories (I didn't bother to predict guest acting, writing, and directing this year). They are ranked in order of their likelihood to earn a spot in the top six. Since last year there were ties in two categories that resulted in seven nominees, I've provided a seventh contender for each category, just in case.

Outstanding Drama Series

Mad Men
Breaking Bad

The Good Wife

Outstanding Comedy Series

30 Rock
Modern Family
The Office
Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Big Bang Theory


Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House
Simon Baker, The Mentalist
Kiefer Sutherland, 24

Timothy Olyphant, Justified

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Glenn Close, Damages
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters
January Jones, Mad Men

Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Alec Bladwin, 30 Rock
Steve Carell, The Office
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Matthew Morrison, Glee
Thomas Jane, Hung

Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Toni Collette, The United States of Tara
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Lea Michele, Glee
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine

Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Terry O'Quinn, Lost
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Michael Emerson, Lost
John Slattery, Mad Men
Martin Short, Damages
Dean Norris, Breaking Bad

John Goodman, Treme

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Rose Byrne, Damages
Sandra Oh, Grey's Anatomy
Chandra Wilson, Grey's Anatomy
Chloƫ Sevigny, Big Love
Khandi Alexander, Treme

Christine Baranski, The Good Wife

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Rainn Wilson, The Office
Tracy Morgan, 30 Rock
Eric Steonestreet, Modern Family

Ed O'Neill, Modern Family

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Jane Lynch, Glee
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Kristin Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds
Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty

Julie Bowen, Modern Family

The offical 2010 Primetime Emmy nominations will be announced tomorrow morning at 5:40 am PT (that's 7:40 in my time zone, and yes, I will be getting up that early).

Currently watching:
Six Feet Under Season 3
Episode 11 - Death Works Overtime

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Emmy Wish List: Series

It's all been leading up to this! I complete my Emmy Wish List with this year's best shows on television. These comedies and dramas are unlike anything else on TV. They utilize fantastic actors to create unique characters with their genius writing. Every element is in the right place. These shows are the reason I love television so much.

Outstanding Comedy Series

30 Rock - Anyone who says that this was a bad year for 30 Rock clearly stopped watching about halfway through the season. "Dealbreakers Talk Show #0001," "Anna Howard Shaw Day," "Lee Marvin vs. Derek Jeter," and "The Moms" were some of the show's greatest episodes. Despite a rush of strong comedy newcomers, the series was able to maintain the level of greatness it's established the past three years.

Better Off Ted
- Never heard of it? That's too bad. But it's probably because Ted was barely noticed while it was on the air. The ridiculous workplace comedy makes me laugh more than any other show on this list and features a hilarious ensemble, including Jay Harrington, Portia De Rossi, and Jonathan Slavin (who unfortunately didn't submit himself for Emmy consideration).

Glee - To be quite honest, this season's most hyped comedy almost didn't make my list. The writing is inconsistent, the characters are flat, and the continuity is nonexistent. The freshman series had a whole slew of problems with its first season that I will most likely save for another blog post. But when Glee is good, it's great. The show's best episodes deliver with strong comedy, touching drama, and fun musical numbers. No other show on television can do the same.

Modern Family - This year's best new show may also be the best comedy of the year. Many have claimed that Modern Family redefined the traditional family sitcom and brought it to the 21st century. There isn't a single weak link in the show's large ensemble cast, and sub-par episodes were few and far between.

Parks & Recreation - Parks surprised everyone by becoming one of this year's funniest shows. It surpassed The Office this season in terms of quality and comedy. As the second season progressed, the characters began to take form, and comedic stars like Nick Offerman and Aubrey Plaza were born.

Ugly Betty - The series experienced a creative resurgence during its fourth and final season. Betty has always been a little different, but that's what makes it so great. The series ended on a high note with several strong episodes that left me in tears week after week.

Honorable Mention: Party Down & The United States of Tara

Outstanding Drama Series

Breaking Bad - As I've said several times, I haven't gotten to see season three, so Breaking Bad's inclusion on my list may be a bit premature. But the first two seasons are incredible, and apparently the show just keeps getting better. Even if season three was half the quality of season two, it would still earn a spot here.

Damages - No season can match its first, but the legal thriller is still amazing. With time jumps and plot twists like nothing else on television, Damages knows how to deliver drama. Plus, it doesn't hurt to have incredible actresses like Glenn Close and Rose Byrne headlining the series with Lily Tomlin and Martin Short as guest stars.

Friday Night Lights - Only nine episodes have aired so far on NBC, but I can already tell that season four is my favorite season since the first. The move to East Dillon High was a refreshing change that the show needed. Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, and the rest of the cast continue to deliver with the intense realism they've had for three years.

- The final season didn't give all of the mythological answers viewers were looking for, but the show's final two and a half hours were emotionally satisfying. The series became less about science fiction and mysteries and more about the characters and the love they experienced with one another.

Mad Men - Just when we thought the two-time Emmy-winning series couldn't get any better, season three delivered drama on a completely different level than the years before. Jon Hamm and January Jones gave their best performances of the series, and the writing (as well as everything else) was truly excellent. It's hard to imagine anything else topping that.

Parenthood - When casting Peter Krause and Lauren Graham, it's hard to go wrong. This Spring's new show gave an interesting look into family life and found an amazing actress in the young Mae Whitman. The series has the potential to do great things in the years to come.

Honorable Mention: Southland & Big Love

Coming Soon: My predictions for the 2010 Emmy nominations!

Currently watching:
Six Feet Under Season 3
Episode 9 - The Opening

Monday, July 5, 2010

Emmy Wish List: Lead Drama

These are some of the best people on TV. They are what make watching television so great. Without them we would not have extraordinary characters like Don Draper and Patty Hewes. We couldn't tell the stories of the scorned politician's wife or the vigilante serial killer. They pour their hearts into every scene and deliver every line with power. These twelve men and women are truly outstanding actors and actresses.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights - I just watched the first three seasons earlier this summer, and I am stunned that Britton has never received an Emmy nomination. She gives one of the best dramatic performances on television, and the fourth season is no exception. Apparently the end of this season is some of her best work yet, so I can't wait to watch it!

Glenn Close, Damages - There's a reason the woman already has two Emmys for her portrayal of Patty Hewes. This season Close took the character to a whole new level. Patty often screams and throws tea cups, but Close is best when she shows the emotional vulnerability that lies beneath the powerful lawyer.

Lauren Graham, Parenthood - The best moments of this new show are between Graham and her on-screen daughter, Mae Whitman. She perfected her role as the flawed mother who can't always keep it together.

January Jones, Mad Men - Saturday Night Live hosting aside, Jones is a phenomenal actress. For some reason her performance is divisive among Mad Men fans, some of whom claim she's wooden and can't act. That's something I cannot comprehend. Please watch "The Gypsy and the Hobo" and see Betty Draper break down as she exposes her husband as the liar he really is.

Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife - I gave up The Good Wife about halfway through the season because I didn't have time for it. That was a mistake (which I plan to amend very soon, thanks to summer reruns). From what I saw, Margulies is deserving of all the buzz. She headlines the hit drama with strength and intensity that's already earned her a Golden Globe and a SAG award.

Jeanne Tripplehorn, Big Love - You can't blame an actress for poor writing. This season of Big Love was certainly much worse than those before, but it takes an exceptionally talented actress to remain strong throughout a weak year. I probably hated Barb for most of the fourth season, but I still loved Tripplehorn.

Honorable Mention: Regina King, Southland & Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights - Coach Taylor cracks me up. Seriously. Maybe it's because I'm from Texas, but I find myself laughing at him because he reminds me so much of the coaches at my high school. And he has a little bit of my dad in him too. Chandler's portrayal of the East Texas football coach is truly flawless.

Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad - Like I've said before, since I just recently got into Breaking Bad, I haven't gotten to see season three yet (which is primarily why Anna Gunn didn't make my top six in the previous category). But now I definitely understand why Cranston has won in this category the past two years. Even the man's coughs are Emmy worthy (he plays a man with terminal lung cancer).

Michael C. Hall, Dexter - So far I've only gotten to see season one. Season four is Emmy eligible this year. Clearly I'm a little behind on Dexter. Still, I included Hall on my list because his work on the first season is so brilliant, and I've heard it only gets better.

Jon Hamm, Mad Men - This year Don Draper's home life and work life fell apart, and I loved every second of it. Hamm probably did his best work this season, which is saying a lot.

Ben McKenzie, Southland - The rookie cop did a lot of growing up this season. The gritty cop show is underrated, as is McKenzie's performance.

Timothy Olyphant, Justified - Justified is another show that I couldn't find the time to keep watching, so I had to give it up after a few episodes. But it only took me those few episodes to decide that Olyphant's performance is Emmy worthy.

Honorable Mention: Peter Krause, Parenthood & Matthew Fox, Lost

Coming Soon: My picks for the best comedy and drama series of the year

Currently watching:
Six Feet Under Season 3
Episode 6 - Making Love Work

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Emmy Wish List: Lead Comedy

The great debate: Are lead comedy categories for the best actors in a comedy series or the funniest actors in a comedy series? Several shows out there are" dramedies" and dark comedies, which means they contain certain elements of drama that sitcoms don't have. How can you compare Mary-Louise Parker to Tina Fey? One is funnier, but does that make her more worthy of an award? So many different types of shows fall under the Comedy label for Emmy season, so I decided to give them all a little representation.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Toni Collette, The United States of Tara - The darker second season was not as funny as the first, but it was still great. Collette truly transforms into each of Tara's personalities and makes them all their own individual characters. She may not generate the most laughs out of the women on this list, but she gives the best performance(s).

Portia De Rossi, Better Off Ted - The only reason I decided to watch Ted was because I wanted to see more Portia De Rossi after I finished Arrested Development. I made a good decision. The soulless executive Veronica became the best part of the show and the saddest part of its cancellation.

Tina Fey, 30 Rock - I feel like I don't need to say much because Tina Fey may be the funniest woman to ever walk the face of the earth. If you don't know that by now, then you clearly haven't ever seen 3o Rock or Mean Girls. She consistently brings the funny wherever she goes.

Lea Michele, Glee - She delivers in every way possible: comedy, drama, and musical. She's a choral overachiever who takes herself way too seriously. Though she's probably not everyone's favorite character, no one can deny her talent.

Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds - Though I haven't enjoyed Nancy's stay in Mexico, I still enjoy Parker's performance. She is such a talented dramatic actress, which is why it's a shame that she's trapped in the wrong category. If she were in Drama, she would probably have the Emmy she deserves by now.

Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation - She took a character that had the potential to be really annoying and made her appear kind of adorable. Leslie Knope became the loveable, yet sometimes clueless government official that we all wish we could have in our town.

Honorable Mention: America Ferrera, Ugly Betty & Felicity Huffman, Desperate Housewives

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Alec Baldwin, 3o Rock - The man has never had an off season of 3o Rock. I didn't absolutely love Jack's seemingly endless love triangle (just pick Elizabeth Banks already!), but Baldwin pulled it off hilariously well.

Steve Carell, The Office - This season was definitely the worst in Office history. It was often unfunny and sometimes even painful to watch. But throughout such a sour season, Steve Carell pulled through and continued to give his best as the goofy Michael Scott.

Thomas Jane, Hung - Jane is the Mary-Louise Parker of the men. He's definitely not the funniest, but his more subtle acting style is still enjoyable. The economically-conscious Hung tells the tale of a man who had to become a prostitute in order to support his family and keep his home. Jane made the off-the-wall story a pretty pleasant experience.

Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory - Parsons has single-handedly made this show a success. His ridiculously high maintenance Sheldon is what makes The Big Bang Theory so darn funny. Anyone else in the role would just be obnoxious, rather than hysterically obnoxious.

Jason Schwartzman, Bored to Death - I'm not quite sure what it is, but something about Schwartzman made me love Bored to Death. A pot smoking, white wine drinking private detective might not seem too appealing, but the quirky show ended up being a pretty funny half hour.

Adam Scott, Party Down - His dry humor is the perfect balance for the craziness that makes up the rest of the Party Down catering crew. Not only that, but his romance with Lizzy Caplan's Casey became one of the best parts of the series.

Honorable Mention: Jay Harrington, Better Off Ted

Coming Soon: My picks for Outstanding Actor and Actress in a Drama Series

Currently watching:
Six Feet Under Season 3
Episode 4 - Nobody Sleeps

Friday, July 2, 2010

Emmy Wish List: Supporting Actor

There are so many different options when it comes to supporting roles. Yet, one show from each respective genre dominates half of these two categories on my ballot. Supporting Actor in a Comedy was without a doubt the hardest list to create (many thanks to the cast of Modern Family, who completely screwed me over by refusing to submit as leads). Great arguments could be made for almost 20 different actors. Ensemble comedies like Modern Family, Parks & Recreation, and Party Down offer several competitors. Chris Colfer (Glee), Mark Indelicato (Ugly Betty), and Keir Gilchrist (United States of Tara) all gave touching portrayals of three (very different) gay teens, but I felt they weren't comedic enough to compete against their funnier peers. Then past nominees such as Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) and Tracy Morgan (30 Rock) got overshadowed by an influx of hilarious newcomers. And my list of contenders doesn't even include the much-praised supporting actors from Community, Cougar Town, and Nurse Jackie (I feel like a broken record at this point)! Unfortunately, the academy only allows six nominees (seven, if there's a tie). Ted Danson (Bored to Death) was definitely the toughest omission from my top six, and I'm still not entirely convinced that I made the right decision. But my list doesn't matter anyway!

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Aziz Ansari, Parks & Recreation - Ansari's Tom was my favorite part of season one. Season two gave the actors the chance to become more comfortable in their characters' skin, and Chris Pratt and Nick Offerman, as well as a few others, emerged as new comedic delights for the series. Still, Ansari was able to keep up with his costars as the dim-witted, wannabe ladies' man.

Ty Burrell, Modern Family - Phil Dunphy may not be that bright, but Burrell is a brilliant comedic actor. He's the shows most quotable character (which is saying a lot) and also its most lovable. Burrell portrays the dullness so well and plays off of his costars (especially Julie Bowen) excellently.

Nick Offerman, Parks & Recreation - RON EFFING SWANSON! He hates government. He loves breakfast foods. He is hilarious. Ron Swanson was the breakout character of this season, and Offerman has already begun to earn some recognition in the form of a Television Critics Association nomination.

Rico Rodriguez, Modern Family - He may be young, but that doesn't mean he can't be one of the funniest actors on television. Much like Manny (who acts like a 50-year-old man), Rodriguez seems to have the comedic ability of someone three times his age. The child actor deserves to be recognized alongside the older and well-respected comedians.

Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family - This straight actor plays probably the most over-the-top flamboyant gay man on television. Yet Cam is real. And he's hilarious. Nobody else could pull it off like Stonestreet, and he consistently inspires the most laughter on Modern Family.

Michael Urie, Ugly Betty - Though he is arguably the least "comedic" of the six, Urie did a fantastic job in his final season as Marc St. James. He had several heart-warming moments connected to Justin's coming out story but still kept the laughs coming with costar Becki Newton.

Honorable Mention: Ted Danson, Bored to Death and Chris Colfer, Glee

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Michael Emerson, Lost - Last year, he finally won the Emmy he deserved. This year, he continued his tradition of excellence as the eerie Benjamin Linus. Though this season did not showcase his talent as much as previous seasons have, Emerson still delivered, especially in the always great Ben-centric episodes.

Josh Holloway, Lost - Sawyer is arguably the character who has experienced the most growth throughout the series. He went from an angry con man to the loving head of security to the man who lost the love of his life. He had several strong moments this season (most of which were with the fabulous Elizabeth Mitchell), and the series finale's most emotional scene was his reunion with Juliet.

Terry O'Quinn, Lost - Last season the man of faith transformed into the villain of the entire series. This season, whether he was playing John Locke or the Man in Black/Smoke Monster, O'Quinn gave one of the best performances of the year. The flash-sideways world gave him the opportunity to portray the goodness of Locke against the intense evil of the monster.

Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad - Since I just finished watching the first two seasons earlier this summer, I have not yet gotten to see the third (and Emmy-eligible) season of Breaking Bad. But what I have seen is absolute greatness. Paul's Jessie unexpectedly became my favorite character on the show, mainly because of his captivating performance. And from what I've heard, season three just gets better.

Martin Short, Damages - I would never have expected Short to appear on a list of dramatic actors, but his work on the third season of Damages has earned him a spot. The comedian displayed his range as the lawyer opposing Patty Hewes with a story as twisted as the series. Throughout the season his character grew and Short showed great depth as more of that story became exposed.

John Slattery, Mad Men - Roger Sterling gets some of the best lines on the show. But it's not just the writing that makes them so great. Slattery steals every scene and makes it his own. He may not be the show's most dramatic actor, but he fills a necessary role in the series and does it exceptionally well.

Honorable Mention: Michael Cudlitz, Southland and Matthew Rhys, Brothers & Sisters

Coming Soon: My picks for the lead comedy roles

Currently watching:
Six Feet Under Season 3
Episode 1 - Perfect Circles