Gold Derby Emmy MVP: Matt Czuchry gives arresting ‘Good Wife’ performance

With CBS’s “The Good Wife” down a man in Season 6 (Josh Charles, we miss you), Sunday night’s much-anticipated season opener finally gave underrated supporting player Matt Czuchry his chance to shine.

Unfortunately, Czuchry’s time in the spotlight came at his character Cary Agos’ expense as the buttoned-up young lawyer was arrested, imprisoned and tortured for the duration of the hour. Bad news for Cary, great news for Czuchry.

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“Good Wife” viewers are used to seeing Czuchry playing a smug, quiet character supportive of Julianna Margulies‘ leading lady. But thanks to this prison twist, fans finally saw Czuchry at his acting best. That is, playing a character who’s broken, emotional and afraid for his life. With a whopping 113 episodes having aired now, this is Czuchry’s most impressive performance of the entire series.

Written by creators Robert and Michelle King, the season premiere “The Line” was not only a great Emmy episode for Czuchry, but also for Alan Cumming as the neurotic Eli Gold, Archie Panjabi as the intelligent yet flirtatious Kalinda Sharma and Chris Noth as the good husband Peter Florrick.

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Can Czuchry break through at the 2015 Emmys to receive his first nomination as Best Drama Supporting Actor for “The Good Wife”? Let’s consider the factors working for and against this Gold Derby Emmy MVP.

PROS:

Five seasons, five acting Emmy wins. The show is clearly on a hot streak with Emmy voters, as Panjabi won in Season 1, Margulies won in Season 2, Martha Plimpton won in Season 3, Carrie Preston won in Season 4 and Margulies repeated in Season 5. What’s to stop Czuchry from joining this impressive list?

There are at least two slots opening up in the Best Drama Supporting Actor race next year, with two-time nominee Charles and thrice-winning Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad“) both departing the category.

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CONS:

It’s rare for a performer in their sixth season to get nominated for their first acting Emmy. As unfortunate as it may be, usually when the Emmys snub you, they keep snubbing you.

While “The Good Wife’s” acting Emmy record is impressive, the CBS show faces an unfortunate broadcast network bias. It’s been six years since a network performer has won the Emmy in this category (Michael Emerson, “Lost,” 2009), making it difficult to envisage Czuchry at that Emmy podium.

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