This year’s Primetime Emmy nominations, announced yesterday, weren’t that big of a surprise— Game of Thrones scored a zillion nominations, Breaking Bad’s last season also racked up a bunch, Orange is the New Black and House of Cards got more nominations for Netflix, but who do you think got snubbed?
My vote is definitely Dean Norris as Hank Schrader in Breaking Bad. Norris was a consistently great actor on Breaking Bad, evolving the character of Hank tremendously in all those years, and Breaking Bad’s last season was Norris’s season. So many meaty moments, so much intensity. Both the Emmy and Oscar voters love to be surprised— which is why small children or first time actors frequently will easily get nominations and awards for their first good performance while veteran actors with decades of experience are left out. I think that’s what happened with Norris. He’s been acting for a long time, and you could easily say he’s been typecast as the cop/soldier/white hat cowboy for most of his career, and his role on Breaking Bad fit in with that. So maybe he never got a nomination because everyone’s like “Yeah, of course Dean Norris can play a cop”, but for fuck’s sake, that last season, Norris totally stuck the landing, as did Betsy Brandt, who was also not nominated.