Emmy episode analysis: Anthony Anderson (‘Black-ish’) hopes to ‘Advance to Go’ and collect his first Emmy

Anthony Anderson is one of the most nominated black actors in the history of the Best Comedy Actor race with his fourth consecutive bid (2015-2018) for his performance as Andre Johnson on “Black-ish,” but he’s still looking for his first win. Perhaps a game of Monopoly will change his luck.

Anderson submitted the fourth episode of the season, “Advance to Go (Collect $200),” a bottle episode where the Johnson family members pair up to play the contentious real estate board game. Anderson is front and center as Dre goes on a hot streak, during which he sells out his wife Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross). It only goes downhill from there as the desire to win turns him into an evil real estate mogul and then eventually Donald Trump. After his family turns against him he flips the board and takes a page out of Trump’s playbook by screaming, “Lock her up!”

Anderson may have lost the game, but can he take home his first Emmy? Let’s examine the pros and cons.

PROS

The episode is funny. This should be a given in the race for Best Comedy Actor, but a lot of his competitors lean more towards dramedy. Anderson gives a purely comedic performance, which could stand out against his more seriocomic rivals like Donald Glover (“Atlanta”), Bill Hader (“Barry”) and William H. Macy (“Shameless”).

“Advance to Go” is the Anthony Anderson show from beginning to end. The rest of the cast works as an ensemble to support Anderson as Dre takes a crazed turn into a board game version of Trump, never stealing the spotlight away from the episode’s central character. Their reactions to Anderson help sell his performance, enhancing the hilarity.

CONS

Anderson has scored four Emmy nominations in this category, plus two Golden Globe nominations (2017-2018), three SAG Award nominations (two individually and one with the ensemble from 2017-2018) and three Critics Choice Award nominations (2014-2016). But he has never won at any of those events, and “Black-ish” didn’t gain much more ground in its Emmy nominations season, so perhaps this isn’t his year either.

Under the old voting system where small judging panels watched and ranked the sample episodes on a preferential ballot, Anderson’s standout comic performance might be a heavy favorite to win. However, now that voting is open to all eligible members of the actors branch of the academy in a plurality vote that relies on more of an honor system for watching the submissions, industry buzz and other outside factors come into play, so just being funny might not be enough to win.

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before winners are announced on September 17. Be sure to also predict winners for the Creative Arts ceremonies slated for September 8 and 9. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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