A few days ago, we noticed an uptick in votes for Hugh Laurie in the lead actor in a drama poll we posted in July. Of course, polls like this are always prone to ballot-stuffing, but we were wondering where it was coming from. Sure enough, the Facebook page for “House” was nice enough to put up the link and send thousands of fans over to make their vote.
And, why shouldn’t they? It’s no secret that Laurie’s gotten the short end of the stick at the Emmys; this is the sixth time he’s been nominated for playing the super-cranky, Vicodin-addicted medical genius Dr. Gregory House, and he was shut out the first five times.
It’s a difficult role, and Laurie pulls it off brilliantly. Not only does the perfectly ambulatory Brit have to spew medical jargon with a more-than-passable American accent while sporting a severe limp, but he has to convey the emotional wounds behind House’s cantankerous attitude. There are many years that it was shocking that Laurie didn’t win, and with the show ending after this season, the time is now for him to capture the hardware.
But it’s not going to happen this year.
And it’s not just because “House” had one of its least creatively satisfying seasons during its seven year run. There’s just too many things working against Laurie this year to expect that he’ll end up being even a dark-horse winner this year:
Jon Hamm had his best season of “Mad Men.” Once Bryan Cranston, who Laurie has lost out to the last three years, was out of the running, the gaze of Emmy watchers turned to Hamm. He’s also been shut out, even though “Mad Men” is considered one of the best dramas on TV, and it looks like he’s due. It doesn’t hurt that the episode he submitted, “The Suitcase,” displays the best work he’s done on the show to date.
Timothy Olyphant and Steve Buscemi are getting “new guy” buzz. Newcomers to the major Emmy categories usually don’t get as much buzz as these two guys are, but the shows they’re attached to have gotten major critical attention. “Justified” only got better in its second season, and Olyphant was a big reason for that. And Buscemi has already won a Golden Globe and a SAG Award for playing Nucky Thompson in “Boardwalk Empire.” So there’s a good shot that either could surprise if Hamm doesn’t get the prize.
Don’t forget Michael C. Hall. He’s gotten hosed almost as many times as Laurie, albeit for both “Dexter” and “Six Feet Under.” He didn’t even win last season, when the confluence of an attention-getting season of “Dexter,” a Golden Globe, and a cancer diagnosis made many people think it was his award to lose. But hall does creepy-normal like no one else, and the academy may surprise people and give him the award this year, maybe as a makeup for last year.
“Friday Night Lights” might get a last-year tribute. Kyle Chandler is a long shot to win, but
critics’ favorites have often been saluted during their final year on
the air, especially if the show hasn’t gotten a lot of Emmy love in the
past… which at least bodes well for Laurie next year, right?
Do you think this is Hugh Laurie’s year? Or will he get shut out again?