Apparently, I do not watch as many dramas as I do comedies. Or I do not watch as many quality dramas as I do quality comedies. When I consider all the dramas I follow, I do not find enough potential contenders to fill out each dramatic category for the Emmys. Since I can only reasonably limit myself to making my picks among the shows that I watch, I will only make a few choices per category, instead of rounding out the entire list of nominations as I did with the comedies.
Lost won this category its first season, and it ought to bookend that win with another in its essentially satisfying final year. Fringe has transcended its status as sci-fi procedural, laying thick some real emotional heft on its characters. Other dramas that I hear are good include Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and True Blood.
John Noble is probably entered in the supporting race, but his role as Walter Bishop on Fringe is big enough for him to be considered a lead. Whichever race he ends up in, he ought to earn a nod for a performance that has been funny, poignant, and all-in-all, stunning.
We all know that the best thing about Gossip Girl is Leighton Meester. But not all of us know that she is so good that she is deserving of an Emmy nomination. Well, for those of you who don’t know, she is. She simultaneously embodies and subverts the quintessential nighttime soap teen queen role, and she always looks great doing it.
The cast of Lost was aware that this was their last season, and they stepped up their games accordingly. Terry O’Quinn went balls-to-the-wall and had his best season yet in a dual role as Locke and Fake Locke/Smokey. Josh Holloway brought Sawyer down to a dark side with gumption following the death of Juliet. In the beginning of the season, I feared that Ben Linus’ prominence would be diminished, but Michael Emerson ultimately had as much as usual to chew on and could make it two in a row. On Fringe, Joshua Jackson’s quietly confident work has gone unheralded for too long. Now that Boston Legal is over, that means no more William Shatner in this category. So who will fill the token nomination of a role on a drama that is more comedic than dramatic? How about the loopy Fran Kranz of Dollhouse? (Too bad he can only fill it for only one year since Dollhouse is already off the air.) If we want to fill this category out with a sixth, we can go back to Lost, either with Nestor Carbonell, who dug deep into the psyche of Richard Alpert, or Henry Ian Cusick as Desmond, who deserves a spot here if only for being the only person ever who sounds cool when calling people, “brother.”
The best part of the somewhat promising remake of V? That would be the profoundly chilling leader of the Visitors, Anna, played to icy perfection by Morena Baccarin. For a more matronly and friendlier version of icy, there is the very English Olivia Williams of Dollhouse.
Guest Actor and Actress
Jacob and the Man in Black ultimately did not appear often enough on Lost to fit into the supporting category, so Mark Pellegrino and Titus Welliver will have to duke it out here. I am not as enthusiastic about them as I would like to be, since they gave their best performances in the season 5 finale. But they were still freakishly solid. Leonard Nimoy was appropriately regal on Fringe. And Alan Tudyk went completely insane as one of the V’s. As for guest actress? Umm … Summer Glau on Dollhouse? Pam Grier on Smallville? Katey Sagal on Lost? Actually, there was at least one female guest appearance whose quality I can attest to without hesitation: Martha Plimpton as the multilayered (surprisingly so for a guest role) Sheriff Mathis on the “Northwest Passage” episode of Fringe.