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October 26, 2014

Emmy Wish List: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

by Hemal Jhaveri, posted Jul 14th 2009 4:30PM
Kyle Chandler in Friday Night LightsThis is a tough category to crack. It's saying a lot that the always fantastic Hugh Laurie has yet to win for House. That's how tough the competition is.

But, just like the Oscars have expanded to include 10 Best Picture nominees, I think we could make room for a few more actors on this particular ballot. There's definitely one person I want to see make the 2009 Emmy list: Kyle Chandler for Friday Night Lights.

I know that FNL is an ensemble show, but it's Kyle Chandler's subtle performance as Coach Eric Taylor that's really the heart of the series. Chandler, along with the always wonderful Connie Britton, gives a moving, naturalistic performance week after week that sets the tone for the entire series.

The Emmys aren't known for favoring subtle over grand, but that's exactly what makes Chandler's performance so special and engaging. He can go from competent coach to befuddled father with the quirk of an eyebrow. He's mastered the art of conveying fatherly disapproval with a clenched jaw and flinty stare, without having the advantage of dialogue. The Coach is a man of few words, unless he's calling out a play, which means Chandler probably has one the toughest gigs out there.

And just try and imagine anyone else in this role. Just take a look at the last scene of this season for proof. Coach Taylor had no lines, but Chandler was able to convey so much just a twitch of his mouth and an ambiguous smirk. That has got to count for something.

FNL has the critical acclaim but lacks the edginess and hip factor of shows like Breaking Bad and Mad Men which makes it a tough bet for Emmy voters. But, it would be refreshing to see the Emmys acknowledge the understated performance he brings to the series. Also, deserving of a nod? Kyle Chandler's hair. Seriously, the man's hair is more expressive than half the actors on TV. See photo on right as proof. Anyway, leave your dark horse picks in the comments!

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jaradel

Kyle Chandler does have fantastic hair, but for truly epic hair you have to look across the pond to David Tennant. ;)

Would be nice to see Chandler recognized with an Emmy nom. I remember him from "Early Edition", and liked him in that too.

July 15 2009 at 10:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Barry

I'm trying to think who of the leads from LOST might make the list this year, but the 5th season was so up and down and back and forth with its time jumps it was much more plot oriented than character its difficult to pin down a standout. I'd have to say Josh Holloway gave a great season's performance showing the massive changes in Sawyer's character over a 3-year time frame (1974-1977). Of course, Terry O'Quinn played Locke/NotLocke all season, culminating in his excellent "Jeremy Bentham" episode as well. So much change in their characters, it's difficult to pick between. I'd say nominate both, or neither.

July 15 2009 at 10:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GF

Hugh laurie is anything but an also ran!!! He has more than earned to win an EMMY.

July 15 2009 at 1:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

It's AMC's to lose: John Hamm or Bryan Cranston. Everyone else is an also-ran.

July 14 2009 at 9:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ben Watson

Gotta go with:
Coach Taylor!
Walter White
Greg House
Don Draper
and just cause...
Jack Bauer

July 14 2009 at 5:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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