Saturday, June 13, 2009

Emmy Shortlist: Drama Supporting Actors

TNRLM Shortlist: Supporting Actress/Drama

Hope Davis, In Treatment: Davis took a character that on the surface - baby crazy, daddy issues, aggressive mood swings, inappropriately flirtatious – could have been an annoying cliché, and turned Mia into a mesmerizing foil for Paul. She was sexy, demanding, vulnerable and electric and totally believable.

Allison Pill, In Treatment: In Treatment has been a showcase for young actresses that I wasn’t that familiar with: last year, it was Mia Wasikowska and this year, it was Allison Pill. Pill was riveting as the cancer patient reticent to pursue medical treatment, and her sessions on Paul’s couch were as honest as they were showstopping.

Elizabeth Mitchell, Lost: Juliet has long been my favorite female character on the show, and Mitchell, despite how they wrote her character in the last hour of the season, was outstanding throughout the trek back to 1977. Mitchell and Josh Holloway made the audience totally invest in the Sawyer/Juliet pairing, and Mitchell is a master of conveying a lot with a little. The Dharma times were good, but her scenes at the drilling shaft in “The Incident” were heartbreaking.

Annie Wersching, 24: It’s hard to be the “sidekick” on 24, because you’re probably going to wind up dead or a mole. Agent Walker turned out to be neither of those, and we were the better for it. Wersching brought a touch of sass and emotional depth to the role, and helped frame Jack Bauer’s humanity and struggles to do the right thing.

Dianne Wiest, In Treatment: Wiest was fantastic as Paul’s friend/therapist Gina this season, and her character had her hands full as Paul dealt with a lawsuit, familial troubles and crises of professional faith.

Olivia Williams, Dollhouse: Adelle DeWitt could have been a Machiavellian, clichéd icy Brit (and at first, she was), but as the layers of the Dollhouse were peeled back, so too were the layers of the character. DeWitt showed us additional colors in two episodes (the one where she and Topher were under the effects of a drug that caused them to “loosen up,” where she was hilarious, and the one where we learned about her personal uses for Victor), and Williams knocked those out of the park.

TNRLM Shortlist: Supporting Actor/Drama

Jeremy Davies, Lost: Nobody was more crucial to Lost’s time trippy fifth season than Daniel Faraday, and Davies imbued the doomed, damaged scientist with a tragic nobility. If his scenes with Charlotte didn’t bring tears to your eyes, you don’t have a heart, and his note perfect acting grounded the loopier plot elements.

Michael Emerson, Lost: Originally intended to be nothing more than a guest for 3 or 4 episodes, Emerson turned Benjamin Linus into a must watch linchpin for the entire series. With his dry line readings and unique spin on the material, Emerson is fascinating to watch, and nobody makes persistent prevarication this entertaining.

Michael Hogan, Battlestar Galactica: Since donning the patch after the exodus from New Caprica, Hogan has done more with one eye than most actors do with their entire faces. In the final season, Saul Tigh dealt with the nature of his Cylon heritage, the loss of a child and the reappearance of his long lost true love, and Hogan was stellar.

John Mahoney, In Treatment: Mahoney’s Walter was one of the more difficult patients on the couch this year, and watching Mahoney and Byrne go toe to toe through the character’s arc was a delight.

John Noble, Fringe: Was there another character on a drama this year more fun to watch? Walter Bishop was indeed the stereotypical mad scientist, but Noble gave him more than just a childlike id and wonderment and obsession with cows and snacks. He also showed us a man struggling with his sanity and tenuous grasp on reality, and living with the ramifications of the things he believes he’s done.

Terry O'Quinn, Lost: Few things on TV this year were more heartbreaking than Locke’s “final moments” in that run down apartment in “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham. No matter what the producers ask him to do, O’Quinn always delivers, and his “reappearance” in the final episodes of the season as a more confident, motivated John Locke was no exception.

Jon Scurti, Rescue Me: The show has come back with a vengeance this season, and Scurti continues to shine as the funniest member of the crew. Nobody on the show is better with a joke, but we also saw different sides of Lou as he dealt with his memories of 911 with the French reporter, and in what should be his Emmy highlight reel, castigated Tommy for his ongoing self-absorption.


  1. Wow, that supporting actor category is PACKED. I guess I would have to go with Emerson, and deeply apologize to the others.

    As for supporting actress, I haven't watched In Treatment, so I probably would have removed one of them, added Katee Sackhoff, and then voted for Elizabeth Michell.

    This is good stuff, keep em coming.

  2. Yeah, the actual Emmys limit it to 6 (or 5) for each category, and male supporting is stuffed with options. I could have gone on further, with James Callis, John Slattery or more Rescue Me folks, too.

    Dude, In Treatment is a thespian marvel. Just (usually) two people in one room, acting their asses off for 30 minutes. Highly recommended. I too, think Mitchell is the frontrunner in my book, and I usually single out Katee for praise, but I was so disappointed by the final Starbuck arc that it tainted my view a bit (even though she did do strong work in the piano player episode -- which BTW, we all STILL think should have been "Daniel.")