It’s gotta finally happen, right? After seven consecutive nominations for Drama Lead Actor and seven consecutive losses The Emmy Experts agree that this is finally the year that Jon Hamm wins the Emmy on his 8th and final try. It’s crazy to think that the show, which won Best Drama Series four years in a row, has yet to snag a single acting Emmy. Not one. Not in its entire run. Hamm personally has a 0-15 track record with Emmy altogether. He only came on as a producer to Mad Men the year it lost and his Guest Actor nominations have also gone unwon. Sorta seems like it’s personal, doesn’t it?
There’s more to the fact that this is the last year to reward Hamm for Mad Men, he also has a rock solid submission. He submitted the series finale, “Person to Person,” is his best submission since “The Suitcase” from season four and in the episode he probably exposes his vulnerability both as a character and as an actor more than he ever has on the show. There are tears, confessions, hopes, wishes, sympathy, empathy, catharsis. Everything you want from a Best Actor winner.
But let’s look at his competition because really, putting all of your eggs in Hamm’s basket has proven to be folly seven times before. Hamm is up against first-time nominees Bob Odenkirk in Better Call Saul and Liev Schreiber in Ray Donovan. Let’s just cancel Schreiber out now, it’s not happening. Odenkirk feels like Hamm’s closest competition; the Breaking Bad spin-off scored big at the Emmys in its first year with seven nominations, including one for Best Drama Series. Odenkirk’s submission, “Pimento,” he discovers his brother has been essentially plotting against him on a big case and it all comes to a head. It’s a great submission for Odenkirk, giving him range and sympathy to an unsympathetic character. But it’s Jeff Daniels and Kyle Chandler that we probably need to be watching out for. Each of them have bested Hamm once before; Daniels for The Newsroom in its first season and Chandler for Friday Night Lights in its last and it was Chandler who triumphed over Hamm’s perceived slam dunk episode “The Suitcase.”
So, who will win? As much as we want to say Jon Hamm, and still predict he’ll prevail, it’s almost anyone’s game.