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Under-appreciated TV Actors and What Makes Them Awesome

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Nov 04, 2013 | 11:00am EST

Emily MortimerHBO

With the Emmys no more than a distant (and less than fond) memory, let’s talk about some incredible actors who somehow seem to get missed when the nominations for big awards get passed out.

Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter)

Tell me, how is it that January Jones has an Emmy nomination and Jennifer Carpenter doesn’t? On a show that grew increasingly melodramatic (read: bad), she stayed solid. Some actors started phoning it in, but Carpenter? She kept on dropping those F-bombs until the bitter end. And then they unceremoniously killed her off by blood clot. A blood clot! We were already done with the tragically unexpected blood clot/stroke thing when Grey’s Anatomy did it back in 2006.

Emily Mortimer (The Newsroom)

People love to hate on The Newsroom, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some solid acting going on. Emmy Winner Jeff Daniels, anyone? Anyone?

Anyway, there’s someone else from Newsroom that I’m kind of in love with (no, it’s not Olivia Munn): Emily Mortimer. Many have complained about the at-times ditzy and almost-constantly lovelorn characterization of MacKenzie, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Mortimer is seriously delivering. She plays that flawed character for more than it’s worth: she’s simultaneously the emotional and moral center of the show and the comic relief a good percentage of the time. I don’t want start any wars here, but I think she could give Anna Gunn a serious run for her money.

Dean Norris (Breaking Bad)

From bumblingly obnoxious uncle to the revenge-hungry ASAC "Go F--k Yourself" Schrader, Norris hit all the right notes — even Anthony Hopkins thinks so, according to The Huffington Post. But where are all the awards? I suppose on a show filled with Walter Whites, Jesse Pinkmans, and Gus Frings, it would be hard for the comparatively-less-flashy Hank to catch a break; though maybe his crazily awesome death scene will finally get him the recognition he deserves.

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