Bottom is Range then Impact then Screentime and top is Empathy.
2008: Zeljko Ivanek, Damages (CORRECT)
2007: Terry O’Quinn, Lost (CORRECT)
2006: Alan Alda, The West Wing (CORRECT)
2005: Alan Alda, The West Wing (WRONG - SHATNER)
Christian Clemenson, Boston Legal (Roe)
R: We have aggressive cocky Jerry in the opening scene. Then he's going round the episode both adamantly defending his actions and worried for his future. Then at the end we see his more vulnerable side and his final talk with Katie a sweet guy.
I: He has two big money scenes, firstly the Muffin scene which is really funny and over the top. Then we have his closing, there's a reason Spader won 2 emmys and it is closings like these, we see him standing up there just delivering a monologue on bullying. He has our undivided attention and he does it well.
S: 15:23. Plus an additional 3:58 in Shatner's tape.
E: That final money scene on the effects of Bullying makes you want to give Jerry a hug, and completely explains his less likable actions from earlier in the episode. He also plays someone with a disability.
Michael Emerson, Lost (Dead is Dead)
R: There's present day Ben who's calculating, scared as well as grieving. Then there's Ben in the past who we see as humane, young and innocent. Plus there's the scenes with Penny where we see him have to juggle being humane and vindictive.
I: The judgement scene is a solid money scene, as he faces his dead daughter and his past actions.
E: Well he killed John Locke and his daughter and tried to kill Penny. However we see real humanity here as well, he spares the life of a child, he shows remorse for his actions and is prepared to be judged, and he is grieving for the loss of his child.
William Hurt, Damages (Hey! Mr. Pibb)
R: We see a father connecting with his son for the first time, someone who seems nice and then at the end when he betrays Patty a villain. A bit of range.
I: His scene on the stand has impact and a few hammy scenes but it doesn’t have the emotional theatrics that he does in other episodes.
E: Connecting to his son for the first time is empathetic but he is the villain of this episode so he's not very likable.
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad (Peekaboo)
R: We see a performance with 2 layers here. One is the tough guy drug dealer and the other is a more human caring side in his dealing with the child. He's also knocked out so we see some dreariness as well.
I: His "give me the money bitch" scenes were quite powerful money scenes.
E: In many ways he's unlikable being a drug dealer holding a gun to people demanding money. We do however see a human side in his relationship with the kid which provides some empathy.
William Shatner, Boston Legal (Made in China/Last Call)
R: We see a man coming to terms with the effects of Alzheimer’s, the larger than life character that is Denny Crane (although not as much) and a man happy in his friendship with Alan.
I: There's the opening scene where he fires on all the Chinese which is hilarious then there's his wedding. But for so much of this episode he is almost literally sitting in James Spaders shadow as closing after closing is delivered.
S: 56:44. Plus an additional 00:10 seconds in Clemenson's tape.
E: You see a man who's a good friend having to come to terms with the effects of his Alzheimer’s. Add to that the fact that this is Boston Legal's final and you have a very nostalgic tape.
John Slattery, Mad Men (Six Months Leave)
R: Not much range here. He's a fairly cold and one note performance. Perhaps the scene where he and Don are chatting at the bar there's something a little different.
I: Sterling is a presence for sure but no money scenes here.
E: He's a man who has no sympathy of Joan dealing with Marylyn and at the end leaves his family to be with a young secretary. He is a friend of sorts to Don, but this is a really unlikable character here.
Noble R.I.S.E. Scores
Range: Emerson (50), Clemenson (35), Paul (35), Hurt (15), Shatner (15) , Slattery (0)
Impact: Clemenson (50), Emerson (35), Paul (35), Hurt (15), Shatner (15), Slattery (0)
S-time: Shatner (50), Emerson (40), Paul (30), Clemenson (20), Hurt (5), Slattery (5)
Empathy: Clemenson (50), Shatner (40), Emerson (25), Paul (25), Hurt (10), Slattery (0)
1. Christian Clemenson, Boston Legal (155)
2. Michael Emerson, Lost (150)
3. Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad (125)
4. William Shatner, Boston Legal (120)
5. William Hurt, Damages (45)
6. John Slattery, Mad Men (5)
FINAL PREDICTIONS AND ANALYSIS
Well your longshot contender here is John Slattery. His tape is just so incredibly underwhelming and seems to fall short at every level (other than Dillon it is the worst tape I have seen this year). To win tapes would need to totally disregarded. He is on the Mad Men juggernaught and is a respected actor so he does have an outside chance.
William Hurt is a darkhorse. His tape isn’t great but he is Oscar winner William Hurt in drama series nominee Damages which win this category last year (although with a better tape) and unlike Slattery there is some nice stuff on display here which voters may be able to use to justify a vote for him. However a win would require disregarding tape on some level. William Shatner is another dark horse candidate. He is a past winner so we know they like him and with the 2 part series final, sentiment and nostalgia for his character and the series will be built up. However when I first watched this episode I thought that Spader may have just won his 4th Emmy, and not much about Shatner. It is a strong performance from Shatner but I think he is too overshadowed. Michael Emerson is also a darkhorse but I almost put him up to frontrunner status because he has a lot going for him. He is the overdue candidate, is a respected actor and has a very long and powerful tape. Nevertheless the show can be hard to digest in one episode portions and I’m not sure if I completely buy this argument but they can always reward him next year. I think his biggest roadblock however is the 2 frontrunners.
Which brings us to Clemenson and Paul and it is so hard to choose between them. Both have powerful and accessible tapes. Making it even harder is that both tapes are so different from each other; it really depends on what kind of performance voters are after. The biggest negative they have is each other. Paul has a gritty, edgy tape from a series nominee whereas Clemenson has a tape that goes from absurdist comedy to heartfelt drama. It is really hard to choose and looking at the history of this category they have gone a few different ways. The case can be made that Clemenson and Shatner will split the Boston Legal vote, however looking back at this category 8 of the last 10 winners have been nominated alongside co-stars (Shatner and Alda were the exceptions, one of those years no series had 2 noms). I think this highlights the advantage of 2 actors from the same show. If Clemenson’s tape is watched early it could be forgotten until Shatner’s tape where voters are reminded of Clemenson’s performance with some nice short scenes with Clemenson in Shatner’s tape, Clemenson can also trade in on some of the Boston Legal nostalgia evoke by Shatner’s tape. This could also help Shatner but he’s only in 6 seconds of Clemenson’s tape and his tape isn’t as strong. For this reason I will predict Clemenson. I’m not very confident in it as I can see Paul taking this as well, so I’ll have to hope many of the voters in this category were bullied as children.
Christian Clemenson, Boston Legal
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Michael Emerson, Lost
William Shatner, Boston Legal
William Hurt, Damages
6. John Slattery, Mad Men