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…
Visit my Emmy Center.
From most deserving to least, here are the nominees for this year’s Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
- Anna Chlumsky – Veep (“Detroit”)
- Kate McKinnon – Saturday Night Live (“Anna Kendrick”)
- Kate Mulgrew – Orange is the New Black (“Tit Punch”)
- Allison Janney – Mom (“Estrogen and a Hearty Breakfast”)
- Mayim Bialik – The Big Bang Theory (“The Indecision Amalgamation”)
- Julie Bowen – Modern Family (“The Feud”)
I watch Orange is the New Black, Veep, and SNL regularly. I’m familiar enough with the others.
When judging the nominees, sometimes it’s difficult balancing the strength of the individual tape vs. the strength of the overall performance within a season. It’s difficult…and I can’t say I’m consistent. Sometimes, a single tape is so stellar that I have no choice but to vote for the nominee, even if his or her work throughout the season is only OK (or even if I’m not familiar with the show as a whole). It’s tough…and my ranking for this category outlines that. Both Janney and Mulgrew submitted dynamite episodes. Janney submitted an episode where her character is beginning to go through menopause. She’s loud. She’s broad. She has some great zingers. And she tells off some conservatives. It’s an “A” tape. Mulgrew, similarly, submitted an episode where she, arguably, has the most impact and screentime (behind series lead Taylor Schilling.) It’s the episode where Red (Mulgrew), the prison head cook, attempts to starve Piper after she insults Red’s food. We also see a flashback of Red’s life before she was imprisoned. There’s a seething, quiet intensity about Mulgrew’s performance. Completely different from Janney, but just as effect, if not more.
However…ever since Jane Krakowski and Kristen Wiig have ended their runs on their respective shows, Anna Chlumsky‘s become my favorite supporting actress in a comedy series. Unlike some of the other contenders, she’s never given an episode to herself. Her character is mostly in the sideline. But Chlumsky plays the character perfectly. She doesn’t overshadow the other performers, but she let’s her voice be heard through her insults and one-liners. In a recent interviewer, Chlumsky articulately explained why she chose “Detroit” for consideration. However, I think the episode right before this one (“Fishing”) or especially right after this one (“Special Relationship”) would have been stronger, because those two episodes actively show Amy’s struggle with trying to be Selina’s campaign manager. In one episode, she fails. In the other, she succeeds. “Detroit” is just sort of the episode where she moves on and continues working. But I think, her still being number one, shows how much I love her performance overall (and, no, I’ve actually never watched My Girl.)
Kate McKinnon has the same problem as Chlumsky. Unlike, say, Kristen Wiig, McKinnon is never given much screentime in an episode. She has enough of a presence throughout a season that she received this pleasantly surprising nomination. But it must have been difficult for her to choose an episode. She chose an episode where she gets to play Kate Barra in the cold open and then Angela Merkel during a very bloated Weekend Update. She has small appearances here and there throughout the episode (she’s particularly “standout-ish” in the Beauty and the Beast inspired monologue), but, nothing much else outside those two very funny segments. But I’m such a big fan of McKinnon in general. She is such a great impersonator. Hopefully, voters feel the same way. On the other hand, both Bialik and Bowen’s tapes impressed me the least. While Bowen tries to fight off lice, Bialik helps Sheldon choose between an X Box and a Play Station. Bowen doesn’t deserve a third Emmy for this episode. And Bialik…I usually like her overall work on the show, but not as much as I like Chlumsky and McKinnon’s. And her tape wasn’t as great as Janney and Mulgrew’s. So, she’s sort of in the middle for me.
Thanks for reading! More coming soon. Click HERE for more Emmy predictions and analysis.