Emmys: Can ‘The Walking Dead’ finally break into the Acting Races?

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Any series that makes it through six seasons is bound to have one that just doesn’t work as well as the rest. That is certainly the case with The Walking Dead, which just finished up it’s sixth season last month with the introduction of long-awaited super villain, Negan (played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Despite a season that frequently felt out of balance, and that tended to forget to give some of its central characters ample screen time, and despite the fact that they never bothered to explain how Rick got out of that blasted RV, and don’t get me started on the ridiculous season ending cliffhanger, there are still a lot of things to celebrate about this, one of the most popular shows on cable television.

With a collection of Emmy nominations and wins in the technical categories, the brilliant minds at The Walking Dead have proven themselves capable of extraordinary feats with makeup, visual effects, sound editing and stunt coordination. The series was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Television Drama after its first season, but has failed to receive any other recognition from Emmy, even though the series is immensely popular among fans and critics alike, and the acting tends to be some of the best in all of television. Perhaps this will be the year that changes.

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While I would love to see Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus finally see some Emmy love, I believe this is not their year, and that potential Emmy nominations are not likely to come in the lead acting categories. Especially when you consider that Norman Reedus’s Darryl Dixon was inexplicably absent from a lot of episodes this season. There are a few other performances, however, that definitely stand out. One is with supporting actress Melissa McBride, who had a very unusual and surprising arc in the latter half of the season. McBride, who plays domestic abuse survivor Carol Peletier, had a complete turnaround, showing that Carol never fully lost her softer side. Another fan favorite who reappeared this season and had a strange arc was supporting actor Lennie James, who plays Morgan Jones, the man who saved Rick in the first episode, disappeared for a couple of years, went insane, and then eventually found Rick again and turned out to be a different kind of crazy. A lot of viewers didn’t love what happened with Morgan’s character this year, but that doesn’t change the fact that Lennie James did it very, very well.

And then, well, then there’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the baddest bad guy the show has ever seen. We heard about him for half a season. Prepared for him. Waited and wondered and worried. And then, with twenty minutes to go in the ninety minute finale, Negan emerged from the RV, his Lucille in tow, and proceeded to play the most diabolical game of Eeny Meeny Miney Moe ever. It was a moment that will not soon be forgotten and just might garner Morgan a nomination for Guest Actor in a Drama Series. Even with that unfortunate POV change at the very end of the finale, no one will easily forget Negan’s introduction. And that is really a testament to just how great Jeffrey Dean Morgan was in those few minutes.

Possible Emmy nominations in the drama category:

  • Supporting Actor–Lennie James
  • Supporting Actress–Melissa McBride
  • Guest Actor–Jeffrey Dean Morgan
  • Editing
  • Makeup
  • Sound Editing
  • Stunt Coordination
  • Visual Effects

What do you think?  Sound off in the comments!

Check out the official Emmy Predictions and see where “The Walking Dead” ranks!