Peter Dinklage tries to defend Emmy's toughest category
Aaron Paul of 'Breaking Bad'
Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad"
Nomination Status: Former winner is a lock to return.
In His Favor: "Breaking Bad" wasn't eligible for Emmy consideration last year, but Paul won this category in 2010 and was also nominated in 2009. If anything, Paul was even better in the last "Breaking Bad" season, as Jesse Pinkman's life crisis grew darker and darker. For most of the season, "Breaking Bad" was every bit as much about Paul and Jesse as it was about Bryan Cranston and Walt, so much so that I've said before and I'll say again: Aaron Paul is a co-lead on "Breaking Bad." I know he doesn't want to go head-to-head with Cranston for awards because Cranston is such a juggernaut, but Paul goes head-to-head with Cranston every week on the show and they regularly fight to a draw. To me, it feels unfair to compare Paul's work on "Breaking Bad" to anybody else in this category, because what he gets to do is so much more and so much better than what everybody else gets. As long as Paul's in this category, he deserves to win, but I'd have endorsed him moving up a weight class this year.
Working Against Him: Well, he was eligible, but wasn't nominated in 2008? So... Yeah? Otherwise, not much. This is one of the three or four best lead acting performances on TV (of either gender, drama or comedy) and it towers above this field.