For the next few weeks, I will be going through each of the major categories and reviewing the nominees and giving my opinion as to who should win. In terms of the Drama and Comedy categories, I’ll mostly judge based on the actors’ episode submissions. However, I’m only human. And if there’s an actor who submitted terribly, I may give him or her the edge because I am familiar with his or her performance on the show otherwise. It depends! But, yes, I will be watching all the episode submissions and reviewing them as they become available. I will choose which nominee I think is the most deserving of the prize. These are not official predictions. The articles where I predict objectively will be posted closer to the ceremony. OK? Is everything clear. Cool. Then let’s begin/continue…
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From most deserving to least, here are the nominees for this year’s Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
- Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife (“The Last Call”)
- Lizzy Caplan – Masters of Sex (“Pilot”)
- Claire Danes – Homeland (“The Star”)
- Robin Wright – House of Cards (“Chapter 26″)
- Kerry Washington – Scandal (“The Fluffer”)
- Michelle Dockery – Downton Abbey (“Episode 1″) Episode 1 and 2 in the UK.
I watch The Good Wife, Homeland, Scandal, and Downton Abbey regularly. I am familiar with the others.
I know I write this in practically every post, but it was hard ranking these nominees. It would have been easier if Tatiana Maslany had been nominated. She would have been my clear number 1. It’s still so dumb that she was snubbed for the second year in a row. Goodness, voters.
But, anyway, because Maslany was egregiously snubbed, I have no choice but to root for Julianna Margulies for The Good Wife. As we all know, this was a very strong year for The Good Wife. And even though it still sort of sucks that the show was snubbed for Drama Series, I’m glad that Margulies is back in the race. She already has an Emmy for her performance in “In Sickness” (the episode where she “officially” separates from Peter), but she gives just as good a performance in “The Last Call” where she deals with the death of Will Gardner. Maybe it’s mostly because the episode is so well written. Maybe it’s because the death of Will made me sad. But there’s something about Margulies’ subtle, heartbreaking performance that gets me, especially those moments when she is trying to imagine why Will would want to leave her a voicemail right before he dies. However, the scene with the daughter is also a highlight. Anyway, Margulies would get my vote.
Lizzy Caplan’s nomination was a big surprise. Her decision to submit the pilot also surprised me because that was one of the few episodes of Masters of Sex I had actually watched and I didn’t remember how Caplan’s performance stood out. I must have been in a funk while first watching that episode because I finally understand it after watching the pilot a second time. Caplan’s scenes with Nicholas D’Agosto are intense and superb and really help Caplan to stand out. However, even her quieter moments, like her character’s shocked reaction to Bill Masters suggestion that they have sex with each other, makes me glad the voters didn’t forget her when she had virtually no buzz. Claire Danes usually submits well, and “The Star” was her best choice. I didn’t hate Homeland this season. If I did, I wouldn’t bother watching season 4, especially since there’s going to be a new story line. “The Star” was one of the highlights to season three. Even though some of the stuff coming before it was a little boring and long, the season three finale delivered a sad, emotional and satisfying conclusion. I got so emotional watching the episode that I was actually hoping Brody wouldn’t die. In fact, I’m still hoping Brody isn’t dead. But, anyway, about Danes’ performance, she’s always great and certainly gives the type of performance that could get her a third Emmy.
If Kerry Washington had submitted “Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington” or even “No Sun on the Horizon” (mostly because of this scene) then she would be slightly above Robin Wright. But, she still submitted a great episode. My favorite thing about the episode is Abby attempting to act like Olivia, which sort of makes me appreciate what Washington does with Olivia. And of course, like every other episode, she has a powerful, emotional speech that she gives to the president about the status of their relationship. When it was revealed that Robin Wright had decided to submit Chapter 26, posters on Gold Derby freaked out and criticized her for not submitting Chapter 17. The cries got so big that I took it upon myself to watch both Chapter 17 and 26 so I could get a nice spectrum of what Wright is doing on the show. In Chapter 17, her character gives an interview about a previous rape. The whole interview is very popular and one of the few times I’ve been completely engaged by what’s going on in the show. However, Chapter 26 isn’t a bad submission because she has that emotional scene in the staircase where her character comes to terms with all the awful stuff she’s done. Whatever episode she decided to submit, she would still be 4th/5th in m ranking, but I definitely appreciate her subtle, intentionally stilted performance this year more than I did last year. And, if voters don’t want to give Danes a third Emmy or Margulies a second Emmy (for The Good Wife), then she is probably a front runner for the Emmy (not making official predictions yet though!)
And, last, there’s Michelle Dockery who submitted the best episode she could because everything else she was given after the first episode was a blurry bore. But, yes, she has a few wonderful scenes as her character grieves over Matthew, particularly with Maggie Smith and Jim Carter. I considered putting Dockery higher because I’ve always really liked her performance on the show, but she’s not the center in her show the same way the other five nominees are in theirs. Lack of screen time is the reason she is sixth.
But Tatiana Maslany shall receive my imaginary Emmy for greatest actress ever (and a special Renegadepress Lifetime Achievement Award.)
Thanks for reading! More coming soon. Click HERE for more Emmy predictions and analysis.