2014 Emmy Picks: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

true detective

With the Emmy Awards airing this coming Monday, August 25th, on NBC, I wanted to share my picks and predictions for what actors and series should win and will win in the five major categories for both drama and comedy. Now, for my choices of who should win, I must pick someone who has been nominated. I, for example, cannot write-in Tatiana Maslany as a pick for Lead Actress, even though I think she is most deserving, because she did not receive an Emmy nomination. Also, while I’ve seen a lot of the shows and actors who are nominated for Emmys, I have not seen all of them, so some of my judgments may be limited by what I have or have not seen.

Today, I’ll be looking at the drama fields, focusing on the races for Supporting Actress, Supporting Actor, Lead Actress, Lead Actor, and Drama Series. I already said who I think should win and will in the supporting and lead actress races. Now I turn my attention over to one of the most interesting categories of the night: Outstanding Lead Actor.


Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom

Jon Hamm, Mad Men

Woody Harrelson, True Detective

Matthew McConaughey, True Detective

Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

Should win/will win: Matthew McConaughey, True Detective

But Cranston? What about Bryan Cranston? Some of you may be shouting that at your computer screens right now, and I can’t blame you. Bryan Cranston delivered an incredible performance during the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad and was absolutely breathtaking in every single moment of the show’s best episode of all-time, “Ozymandias.” He no doubt deserves to win the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in Drama Series this year.

However, for as great as Cranston was, Matthew McConaughey was, in my opinion, equally as good. For the eight weeks that True Detective was on the air, you could not find a more interesting character on television than Rust Cohle. Every nihilistic monologue, every one-line, every facial expression, McConaughey absolutely nailed. He presented Rust as a broken man and showed us his cracks and flaws, but he also completely pulled off the character’s season long evolution that culminated in the momentary, near-death change of heart that Rust expresses in the finale, that the “light is winning.” In my opinion, it’s one of the best television performances of all-time from one of the best actors that is out there today.

Emmy voters love honoring movie stars that come to television, and there’s no bigger film actor right now than McConaughey, who just won an Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club earlier this year and is starring in Christopher Nolan’s new film, Interstellar, this November. Cranston already has three of these awards and hasn’t won one since 2010, somehow getting beat out by Jeff Daniels last year, which better not happen again. This may be the only opportunity McConaughey has to win an Emmy during his career, and the voters will most certainly give it to him.

Photo via HBO

Chris is the Managing Editor of TVOvermind. A graduate of Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, where he majored in English and Film, he has been writing for TVOvermind for over two years and has written about several different television shows, such as New Girl, Breaking Bad, Glee, and Homeland. Contact him through Twitter (@ckinger13) or email (chris@tvovermind.com).
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