Emmy episode analysis: William H. Macy is huggable in season 6 premiere of ‘Shameless’

If you met Frank Gallagher from Showtime’s hit series “Shameless” the last thing you’d probably think was to hand this guy an award. However, if you met Screen Actors Guild Award winner William H. Macy you’d wonder why he’s still Emmyless for playing this despicable character. That wonder may change thanks to an excellent submission in “I Only Miss Her When I’m Breathing” and the new Emmy voting system.

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In the Season 6 premiere we open with Frank sleeping on the grave site of his recently passed lover who succumbed to cancer. Frank doesn’t know how to handle the pain and decides to attend every church service he can to see if any religious leader can tell him why she was taken away from him.

This is, of course, on top of all the usual Gallagher family troubles as none of his children sympathize with their ever boozed-up father. Can Macy finally win for this episode? Let’s examine the pros and cons:

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Gold Derby founder Tom O’Neil often says there is one big secret to winning an Emmy and that’s to be “huggable.” For probably the first time in Frank’s life we feel for him and want nothing more than to give Frank a big hug… and find him a shower.

Supporting Actor Oscar nominee Macy (“Fargo,” 1996) is one of the industry’s most respected actors. He is now on his third consecutive Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Frank and has also picked up Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice nominations. He won the SAG Award in 2015 and was nominated again this year. Now with a straight popular vote, like SAG, this popular actor may just come out on top.

A transformation. Macy and Frank are as far from each other as can be. If voters watch the episode, or the show for that matter, there’s simply no denying the physical and mental transformation between the two.

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“Shameless” is not everyone’s cup of tea. If you are a voter and just watched the submission, as heartfelt and sympathetic as you may feel for Frank, there is no denying he is a pretty awful human being. Always drunk or drugged up, not a great father and not big on hygiene, it doesn’t really shout “Emmy!”

Jeffrey Tambor, who won this award last year for “Transparent,” still has the ultimate transformative role here and is still riding on buzz, albeit diminished. Frank and Macy may be as far away from each other as can be but Tambor is even further away from his character and Emmy voters will eat that up.

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