Given the right material and the right performance, a supporting actor’s storyline can surpass the plots of the more lead characters. That medley was strong for many of the gentleman who are on the following list. Whether they were threatened to go to jail or maybe just gave a noticeable, strong effort, their accolades are more than welcome. Here are the six supporting actors in a drama I’d like to see recognized:
Matt Czuchry, The Good Wife
The Good Wife season six was all about Cary Agos. Well, at least the first half of the season was. In one of the most breakneck drives of any season yet, this series dared to put Cary behind bars. And it finally gave Matt Czuchry something to chew on. And what a something! Czuchry definitely stepped up to the plate. His pain and caged-up anxiety was one of the most nerve-racking performances to watch this season. Isolating him further from Kalinda (physically speaking) and his friend Alicia, while paralleling his cyclical story line to Alicia’s (aren’t they just Will and Diane anyway?), was one of the most compelling storylines on TV this year.
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Peter Dinklage kills it every single year. Though not much has happened during season five of Game of Thrones, Dinklage was, as always, a particular joy to watch on screen. I am of course referencing his half-a-season of drunken travel. That being said, the pain his character feels from being ostracized by his own family continues to reverberate in his performance even in this season where it took him 80 percent through to finally meet Dany. Simply put Dinklage is a powerhouse performer, and deserves to be—and will be—recognized this year for his role.
Noah Emmerich, The Americans
Noah Emmerich is a quiet performer. Well, you have to be on a show like The Americans. Emmerich’s character could have been given a lot less to do now that Nina was shipped off to prison in Russia. It didn’t go that route, and I’m so glad it did not. On a show like the Americans where the main story follows Philip and Elizabeth, it could be easy to not be engrossed by a supporting character’s story line, especially when that storyline doesn’t particularly or directly link to the main characters. But it’s a testament to the great writing and Emmerich’s wonderful performance that I am completely invested in his growth as a character and his journey in the plot. I don’t want Elizabeth and Philip to be caught, but at the same time I do because Stan deserves it.
Michael Kelly, House of Cards
No other performance was as pathetic as Michael Kelly’s on House of Cards. Wait. I don’t mean his performance, but his character. Doug’s complete loyalty to the Underwoods was something to be seen. Whereas some people didn’t like him being separated from Frank and Claire, I was completely engrossed. House of Cards is the show all about loyalty; watching Doug’s loyalty know no bounds was difficult, but especially worth it. All of that culminating to his murder of Rachel was tough, but Kelly knocked it out of the park. Besides Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, Kelly deserves his accolades.
Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
I haven’t seen such a great Florida vagabond performance as Ben Mendelsohn’s on Bloodline. Living in Florida myself, I know that guy. Mendelsohn played him to a T. Watching him on screen was like watching a real life person exists within my television. It so difficult explain, but when you see it, you know it–and when I saw Mendelsohn: I. Knew. It. That kind of understated, character profile performance that allows you to stop remembering someone is actually acting blows me away.
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Mandy Patinkin is wonderful. Every year his strained relationship to Carrie Matheson is one of my favorite dynamics on all the television. This season they abducted Saul, put him in a bunker, let him think he was escaping, and then put him through it all over again. They honestly put Saul through the ringer. And Patinkin was engaging as he always is. He’s definitely getting a nomination, as he should.
Predictions: I see this category’s frontrunner being Michael Banks, Better Call Saul, then John Slattery, Mad Men, followed, of course, by Peter Dinklage. My guess is the Academy can’t not nominate Jon Voight, Ray Donovan, as well as Mandy Patinkin. And I think a Good Wife actor will get recognition—but I think it’s going to be Alan Cumming, who is equally as amazing.
This is one in a series of Emmys posts this awards season. Check out the Emmys tag for more dream nominees and features.