Emmy’s lead actor race has been primed for a significant fusion/ shakeup of new blood. The disgraced Kevin Spacey hasn’t snug a nomination for The House of Cards, and as a sigh of relief, he will not do so anymore. As Better Call Saul’s delayed season 4 launch has also fallen out of the eligibility period, Bob Odenkirk too would not contest in these nominations.
Emmy 2018 brought a new dawn for the Outstanding lead actor category. It has been revamped greatly. And, with multiple actors being picked up from the same shows, things look competitive.
Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us)
Last year’s winner is back. What makes this threatening for others is, this time he is even more deserving than ever. Torn by William’s unfortunate demise, Randall got embroiled in an emotional upheaval. His emotional clashes with Beth and relaxed conversations with foster daughter Deja rendered such a sentimental impact on the viewers’ mind that they were moved. What Randall goes through on screen is almost tangible by the viewers. Even if Randall jitters at few instances, Brown knows how to compensate through his instincts. A character like Randall Pearson that hardly ever quivers away from his track, deserves a standing ovation.
Mathew Rhys (The Americans)
Rhys eventually won, and that was justified. He has been, along with his co-star Keri Russell, the driving force behind the show. He is, was, and will always be a star. So Emmys declared Rhys as its Outstanding Male Lead, to commemorate Rhys stardom. A parting prize probably isn’t the only reason Rhys deserved this award. His performance in the heart touching season finale was spectacular.
Rhys’ undercover spy Philip Jennings crafted an exquisite portrayal of a man whose life is slowly but certainly falling apart. Rhys’ Philip came with uncanny but burdening desperation, and he made sure the audience felt its pounds too. He lied with confidence, but his lies would eat him on the inside. His confidence was so remarkable that we despite clearly knowing that he is not telling the truth would give into his lies. In the finale, his character took a 360 degree turn when he saw him being honest. And, his impassioned work of honesty speaks great volumes of its own.
Jason Bateman (Ozark)
Jason presents an Emmy-worthy execution of a character that probably wasn’t worth even a Golden Globe Nomination. Marty Byrde, the character Jason plays is a white suburban anti-hero who does some good stuff. But, he is also indulged in laundering money for a Mexican drug cartel. The character is not well written, but Bateman’s theatrical finesse covers the shortcomings for Marty Byrde. Bateman proficiently switches between the good and bad sides of his character. And, finally in season 2 when his surface vulnerabilities come to fore, they leave the audience drooling over Bateman. Bateman probably deserves to sit in the list, but we cannot exactly say if he deserves to win.
Milo Ventimiglia (This Is Us)
Ventimiglia turns in warm, compassionate, reliable performances. He often gets overlooked because of scripting limitations that render his character conventional. His dialogue with Rebecca in the hospital room shows how family devoted this stalwart is. Randall outshines Ventimiglia on screen because of the differences in their characters. But Ventimiglia is just as good as Sterling in the skin of his own character. He is; however, at lesser odds than Brown at winning an Emmy for his show.
Jeffery Wright (Westworld)
Wright sets it right on Westworld. He decrypts the intricate sci-fi for the audience. He takes his audience into the park, they realize things along with him, and he is just oblivious as any other viewer offers a palpable sense of curiosity. Wright’s Bernard can inflict emotions into an android, along with remaining true to his character. He walks down a rocky road with utter grace. The only problem is, Westworld turned down its audience with its complicated second innings. Some loyalty was lost, hence the odds for Wright to win have decreased.
Ed Harris (Westworld)
Harris has elevated the material to the next level, by crafting a character that on the surface is broody, but in every other way is distinct — and distinctly compelling. The Man in Black, a uniquely curious figure, is on a venture to discover Westworld’s darkest secrets. Fans warm up to his sadistic character easily, but two nominations from the same show have rendered them into internal divisions.
Mathew Rhys deserved this year’s Emmy for all the right reasons. His nomination isn’t subject to civil war, nor is his performance in any way overrated. Rhys has played to perfection a character well written for 5 straight years. And, he is honestly the most worthy recipient of this award.