Okay kids so last time we talked about Outstanding Drama Series and also Outstanding Comedy Series. This week, we move on. This week we get into the the really important stuff that all the papers write about. Outstanding Lead Actor and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
Let’s take on the men first. This is what we got –
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Rege-Jean Page, Bridgerton / Sterling K Brown, This Is Us / Billy Porter, Pose / Jonathan Majors, Lovecraft Country / Matthew Rhys, Perry Mason / Josh O’Connor, The Crown
Now let’s start right at the top – with Bridgerton. It was a smash – no, it was a super smash for Netflix, and Rege-Jean definitely should get the nod for his period piece acting and all that. Great – he fulfilled every female’s fantasy before she was able to jump back into he pumpkin carriage and turn back to Cinderella at midnight. Yes he wore thigh boots very well, Bravo.
Billy Porter from Pose on FX – now listen, Billy is fierce and he would obliterate any drag queen on any RuPaul show, but he is absolutely not without talent. He already has an Emmy, A Tony and a Grammy. Billy makes most of his news on Hollywood red carpets, and would have become a darling of Joan Rivers had she lived long enough to experience him. He has fashion sense and talent, but somehow I feel he will be overlooked as style over substance. I am glad he is on this list, even if it is to simply fill out the diversity profile.
Sterling K Brown – This Is Us. Sterling already has two Emmys on his mantle piece at home. One for The People v O.J. Simpson and one for This Is Us. So he’s been here a few times before – 3 times for this very show alone. I think at this point he is just a standard safe name to throw out there, and so it was.
Jonathan Majors – Lovecraft Country. Jonathan came from film – most notably The Last Black Man in San Francisco. Getting a series on HBO opens everyone’s eyes to his talent and his physique, and now he is making the rounds. Problem is, no one on this planet had any clue what Lovecraft Country was about, but we all watched it anyway because of the talented cast that it had, and that was it.
Matthew Rhys – Perry Mason on HBO. Matthew is lucky for a few reasons. He is Welsh, he has kids with his wife Keri Russell and he has already won critical acclaim with The Americans on FX. The man was great playing a young Perry Mason who actually started out as a private eye before becoming the outstanding lawyer we have all come to know and love. It was a well done period piece mixing religion with airplanes and plot twists and co-starred John Lithgow, who brings instant credibility to any project he signs on to. I don’t think Matthew did anything outstanding here, I don’t think the series was outstanding – but it did it’s job, and it had John Lithgow.
Josh O’Connor – The Crown. Now I am not a big fan of The Crown – it’s tabloid fodder come to life. Netflix is capitalizing on some easy ratings here because women adore The Royal Family and they adore period pieces – and this is both. So it’s kind of a cheap, guilty pleasure, if you will. Like ice cream sundaes or a pizza at midnight. Josh mimicked a young Prince Charles, who of course everyone was infatuated with, especially when he was with Princess Diana. I don’t want to call it acting, because it’s not. He is mimicking Prince Charles. Is Josh talented? Can the old chap act?
Well he has won some awards for a film he did overseas – so he is no slouch, but this material is.
I really do not see a clear cut winner here – Sterling is simple and safe, starring in the safest material. Matthew Rhys not so much, Josh is doing an impression – Jonathan was in something in which we had no idea what he was doing. Billy is here to make sure there are no protests, and I would say Rege-Jean, with his royal tailcoat jackets, knee high leather boots and tight white pants is the safest, surest winner here.
Okay enough men – onto the girls!
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
Emma Corrin, The Crown / Olivia Colman, The Crown / Uzo Aduba, In Treatment / Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale / Jurnee Smollett, Lovecraft Country / Mj Rodriguez, Pose
Emma Corrin – The Crown. Netflix. Okay well you all know I feel about The Crown – and Emma actually gets to mimic the one person everyone watches the show for – Princess Diana. Princess Di, as she was lovingly referred to back in the day. Does Emma do good? Sure. Could anyone dress up as Princess Di show up at a costume party and be a hit? Sure. So I’m biting my tongue on this one.
Olivia Colman – The Crown. Netflix. Olivia is the gold standard for playing royalty in film and on the small screen. She played Queen Anne in the film The Favourite and garnished some awards, she won an Oscar for the film The Father, and here she plays beloved Queen Elizabeth II, which might I add is a fan favorite. So a great track record playing royalty and a strong performance from her could easily put her in the lead for this royal race.
Uzo Aduba – In Treatment, HBO. I have to be honest with you, I tried to watch this series and I failed miserably. I am not a fan of this program, the writing is awkward and the acting is horrid. Uzo, however is quite talented and deserves better than a show like this. Her breakout role was playing Suzanne in the Netflix hit Orange Is The New Black. Uzo won two Emmys for that role and was up for a few other awards as well, so awards committees know her well, and this might be why she was nominated. I know it wasn’t for the show.
Elisabeth Moss – The Handmaid’s Tale – Hulu. Elisabeth has had the good fortune of being in some very heavy hitters as far as television goes. Her accolades are no slouch. The West Wing and Mad Men put her in a very elite category. Elisabeth has won some Emmys before – making this category a category of champions, basically.
Jurnee Smollett – Lovecraft Country. HBO. Now Lovecraft was a special breed of cable series. No one had any idea what was going on and yet we still had to watch. I mean it was painful to watch, but the leads were so good, and so attractive, we couldn’t stop watching. When it was on we were wondering what the hell they were doing that night. There was time travel, witches, sacrifices, shape shifting, oldies music, period pieces, witchcraft, book burning, shootings, hangings, lynchings – I mean it was all over the place. Still, the leads kept us intrigued. For that alone, Jurnee was extremely valuable to this series. I can’t say if she’s a good actress or not because the material was so bewildering – I was lucky I didn’t go crazy, much less judge the acting.
MJ Rodgriguez – Pose. FX. Pose is kind of a breakthrough kind of show, in the same terms that SOAP was a breakthrough kind of show. Billy Crystal played the first ever gay male character in a national sitcom, and Pose is the first to openly star transgenders in a sitcom. Though it’s on FX, I don’t know if that counts as national or not, and it is easy to bury in the press, since it is FX. Still – MJ is the first transgender to earn an Emmy nomination, and now she could be the first transgender to actually win one. She was born in Newark, NJ – so naturally, I’m rooting for her.
So there you have it – MJ is the long shot that I hope wins, Elisabeth Moss has the most credentials to win, and Olivia Colman is the safest, surest bet to win.
That’s it for this week, next Thursday two more categories to cover. I can be reached here firstname.lastname@example.org