Prepare yourself for shock and awe over a major television awards injustice!
Even though AMC’s Mad Men has won Outstanding Drama Series for each of its four seasons, the critically acclaimed show hasn’t won a single performance-based award. We know — despite more than a dozen nominations for Outstanding Lead/Supporting Actor/Actress, not a single win! Does the Academy think that these seasons are acting themselves? This madness must stop.
Enter Jon Hamm. He’s been nominated four years in a row for his portrayal of Don Draper, the brilliant marketing executive with a secret past. After four years of cutthroat business practices and philandering galore, this season saw Don turning a corner in his professional and personal life — and not for the better. Don may have lost his edge in the pitch room, and his footing in his marriage to Megan (Jessica Paré) — but Jon never lost control of his nuanced and complicated character.
Here are our top three reasons he should (finally) get a statue.
Jon Hamm Is Don Draper
If you’ve seen Jon Hamm off set or in any of his many of offbeat roles — guest-starring on 30 Rock, scene-stealing in Bridesmaids, or even being darkly comic on Adult Swim’s Children’s Hospital — then you know how transformative he is when he’s playing Don Draper. He completely inhabits the role: his jaw tightens, his walk stiffens, and he rarely smiles. After four years of being Don Draper, he has as much to do with that character’s intensity as the show’s writers — but in the past, only the writers have won statues! It’s time for the Academy to stop thinking of Mad Men as a “writer’s show,” and give Jon the credit he deserves for being one of the only true character actors on TV.
This Season Showcased Jon’s Chops
At the end of Mad Men Season 4, Don Draper had unexpectedly decided to marry his much-younger secretary Megan, to embark on a whole, new domesticated life. The brooding, furrow-browed womanizer we’d come to loathe (and lust after) in seasons passed was about to be replaced by a subdued man, ready to find true happiness in spite of himself. But it wasn’t that easy. Over the course of the season we watched Don slip farther from the perfect life he could have had with Megan as he felt threatened by her ambition, her talent and her youth. The chilling ending to the season told us that Old Don was back — and we only believe it because of Jon’s flawless performance of Don’s slow regression. Well done!
We know the other front-runner is Bryan Cranston. Why? In part, because his portrayal of Walter White on AMC’s other amazing drama Breaking Bad is as intense as any that deserves to win in this category, but also because Bryan has won this award three times! The only upset he’s seen was last year, when Kyle Chandler won for Friday Night Lights. Now that Bryan’s streak has ended, and two noobs — Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) and Damian Lewis (Homeland) — have added some fresh blood to the mix, Jon’s still managed to stay in the race, earning yet another nomination. Talk about perseverance — we think the academy will eventually have to give Jon the credit he deserves. Endless nominations aren’t the same as a statue in hand, and we hope that this is Jon’s year to take one home!
The 2012 Emmys will air on Sunday, September 23 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on ABC.