Emmy episode analysis: William H. Macy’s epic hangover could win for ‘Shameless’

william h macy shameless emmy nomination frank gallagher 13579086

TV’s reigning SAG winner William H. Macy landed his second consecutive Emmy nomination in the Best Comedy Actor race this year for his booze-filled portrayal of deadbeat dad Frank Gallagher on “Shameless.” The Showtime hit series may sometimes teeter the comedy/drama line, but in Macy’s episode submission (“A Night To Remem – Wait, What?”) we see that there is no shame, just laughs in the two-time Emmy winner’s performance.

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Frank wakes up in a random spot of town in dirty, bird poop-covered clothes. He remembers that his insurance settlement is due in and when he goes to collect it he learns that he already had — the night before. Frank begins the task of trying to retrace his steps after the epic bender to find what he did with his six-figure settlement. From buying the entire bar a round of top-shelf drinks, to buying a Porsche and renting a swanky hotel suite to throw a party, we see Frank panic as he learns how much he kept spending.

Finally, Frank finds out that in his drunken state he donated the remainder of his money to a non-profit that sets up disabled kids with artificial limbs. In true Frank mode he desperately tries to get the money back, but fails. Does the episode pack enough of a comedic punch to win Macy his first Emmy for this role? Let’s look at the pros and the cons:

If voters watch “A Night To Remem – Wait, What?” they’ll see how funny Macy really is. Frank is and always has been the comic relief of “Shameless” which explains why voters have recognized him with consecutive nominations in the Comedy field but didn’t nominate him when the show was in Drama.

Macy is coming off a surprise SAG win. With many of those voters potentially being the actors branch of the TV Academy, that bodes well for Macy with the open voting system the Emmys have adopted.

Macy’s new bride on “Shameless,” Joan Cusack, just won the Emmy for Comedy Guest Actress this past weekend. That suggests voters actually do watch the show which can only help Macy here.

But do voters really watch “Shameless”? Cusack’s victory this past weekend was the first Emmy the show has ever won and that was after five consecutive nominations for her. And many could argue Macy might have made it in on name alone.

“Shameless” is still seen as a drama by many, or at least a dramedy that leans more on the dramatic side. That could hurt. However, “Transparent” is definitely more dramatic than “Shameless” and it’s getting a frontrunner billing for Macy’s competitor Jeffrey Tambor.

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Photo Credit: Chuck Hodes/SHOWTIME

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