Simon Baker brings a charming and witty take to his role as Patrick Jane on The Mentalist, something that is not totally surprising since he had the same qualities on his first North American series The Guardian. Behind that facade though there's frequently an unsuspected depth to the character. Still, I'm afraid that I'm convinced that – not knowing which episode he was nominated for (and not really caring since this poll tends to focus on overall performance) – the principal reason why Baker was nominated was because this show is the highest rated new show of the 2008-090 season. But then I'm a bit cynical about these things. I haven't seen either Cranston or Hall's performances in Breaking Bad and Dexter. In both cases its rather a case of having too much on my plate rather than the shows not being available on channels that I get. Cranston's performance however was strong enough for him to stage a major upset by winning the Emmy in this category last year for his role as the science teacher who has turned to making and dealing drugs to provide a nest egg for his family after he dies of cancer. Still, I'll turn to my friend Ronniecat for her thoughts. She was conflicted between Cranston, John Hamm, and Hugh Laurie before finally coming down on the side of Bryan Cranston: I think I have to go with Bryan Cranston. His work in Breaking Bad is just outstanding. The character's desperation is so palpable I feel sometimes like I need to leave the room. Like her, I find the lack of support for Cranston this time around to somewhat disappointing and more than a bit surprising given both his success in last year's Emmys. I am a big fan of John Hamm's Don Draper character from Mad Men, which has become appointment TV for me. Draper's internal demons came to the fore in this past season and he finds himself increasingly questioning whether or not to throw all that he has away. It's a powerful performance. As far as Gabriel Byrne's second season of In Treatment goes, it is one that I haven't seen because it is on HBO and I don't have HBO's Canadian service.
This leaves us with House and the always strong Hugh Laurie. This season's storylines have focussed on Dr. House's relationships with his two peers and best friends, Wilson and Cuddy. At the same time we were privy to House's descent into mental instability – or at least greater mental instability than had been produced by his drug addiction and his generally abrasive personality. The last two or three episodes of the season, where House is unable to differentiate between his reality and his fantasies or hallucinations, are impressive bits of acting, and as is always the case with Laurie's performance as House deserving of acknowledgement. While I think that the Emmy will most likely go to Cranston, I don't think that anyone would be shocked, surprised, or unhappy if Hugh Laurie won the Emmy.
Turning away from the actual poll, I want to discuss something that I observed in the voting. Analysis is providing interesting results – I won't go into detail until this set of polls is completed but next time I run a poll the amount of time it will be open will be shorter – but one thing is rather odd. The poll receives fewer votes for the Actress categories than for the Actor categories. For the two comedy categories Actresses had a total of five votes cast while Actors had a total of twenty-two. In the Drama category Actresses had eleven votes cast while Actors had twenty-six. I'm not sure what this means. Are most of my readers (or at least the people who stop by from time to time) men? Or do my readers just find performances in the actor categories easier to judge? Thoughts?
New poll will be up shortly. It will be Outstanding Reality-Competition although there is a part of me that thinks it should be Outstanding Reality-Competition Host.