Kyle's Career Filmstrip: TV Series and Movies

Sep 19, 2011

Chandler's Emmy win is much deserved, highlight of show

Kyle Chandler celebrates his Emmy win for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for "Friday Night Lights."
Kyle Chandler celebrates his Emmy win for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for "Friday Night Lights." Credits: Emmy Awards

The three young stars of ABC’s new “Charlie’s Angels” reboot (Minka Kelly, Annie Illonzeh & Rachael Taylor) and their producer Drew Barrymore walked out on that stage Sunday night at the 63rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards to present the statuette for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. As usual the group announced all of the nominees before opening the envelope to announce the victor. When that envelope ripped open and they announced the winner’s name I leapt to my feet and screamed as if my favorite football team had just won the Super Bowl … and, in a way, it kind of did.

I had never wanted one actor to win an award so badly in my life as I did Kyle Chandler, who was nominated for the second consecutive year for his portrayal of Texas high school football coach Eric Taylor on the much acclaimed, but little watched and recently ended NBC drama “Friday Night Lights.” However, I knew despite his critical appeal on the show that Chandler was certainly an underdog, especially behind “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm and “Boardwalk Empire” star Steve Buscemi. I just knew that when those angels ripped open that envelope that one of those two names was going to be called. I was so resigned to that fact that I was actually no longer even looking at the television screen, but my computer screen were I was furiously updating the night’s winners on my entertainment website, The Word.

Then, Kelly and the rest of the angels excitedly screamed the name KYLE CHANDLER (Kelly had good reason to be excited as she co-starred with Chandler on “Friday Night Lights,” as Lyla Garrity, for the show’s first three seasons) and I felt roughly the same type of jubilation I would have had my favorite team won a big time game or had the Dillon Panthers (West) or Lions (East) won the Texas State Championship.

When an actor is gifted enough to portray a role in such a way that it impacts your life in this type of fashion than that is pretty special and Chandler, much like Alan Alda as Hawkeye Pierce on “M*A*S*H,” Martin Sheen as President Jed Bartlet on “The West Wing” or James Spader as Alan Shore on “Boston Legal” before him, became a huge part of my life throughout watching those five wonderfully written and acted seasons and will forever remain a part of it.

I know that I’m not the only loyal fan of “Friday Night Lights” who feels that way either. Hours after the Emmys telecast on Fox, Chandler’s name was the only Emmy-related trending toping still on Twitter. It’s something fans will probably be talking about for days to come, as well. Once again, it all goes back to how Chandler’s portrayal and the writing staff’s words have made Eric Taylor a huge part of our lives. Many of us wish he was our father, coach, mentor or friend and I know many of the show’s female viewers wish he was their husband. Typically characters don’t have that kind of appeal amongst fans.

Chandler’s Emmy win was certainly the highlight of the 2011 Emmys for me because I’ve never seen an actor that deserved such an honor as much as Chandler did. The shock and surprise of it all was just the cherry on top.

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