2014 Emmy Nominations Review – Lead Actress in a Drama Series


robin wright kevin spacey

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 Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

  1. Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife (“The Last Call”)
  2. Lizzy Caplan – Masters of Sex (“Pilot”)
  3. Claire Danes – Homeland (“The Star”)
  4. Robin Wright – House of Cards (“Chapter 26″)
  5. Kerry Washington – Scandal (“The Fluffer”)
  6. 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.

julianna margulies the good wife

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.

claire danes homeland

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.

2014 Emmy Nominations Review – Lead Actor in a Comedy Series


matt leblanc episodes

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 Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

  1. Matt LeBlanc – Episodes (“Episode 6″)
  2. Louis CK – Louie (“Model”)
  3. Ricky Gervais – Derek (“Episode 6″) from Season 2
  4. Jim Parsons – The Big Bang Theory (“The Relationship Diremption”)
  5. William H. Macy – Shameless (“Lazarus”)
  6. Don Cheadle – House of Lies (“Wreckage”)

I watch Episodes, Louie, and Shameless regularly. The others I am familiar with.

ricky gervais derek

Sometimes, reviewing episode submissions allows me to discover shows that end up becoming some of my favorites. Episodes and Shameless were two shows that grew to love after they were nominated for Emmys for their first seasons. Derek has joined their ranks. When Gervais was first nominated, I was skeptical. It was a show that had no buzz. The reviews were mixed. Some people even thought the show was “offensive.” I decided, since Gervais submitted the last episode of the series (so far) that I’d watch at least 2 or 3 episodes before then, just so I could get a feel for the show. Despite that, I was still ready to hate the show. Well…that did not happen at all. I haven’t had the chance to finish watching all the episodes (I’ve only watched 101, 102, 106, and 201), but from what I’ve seen, this is a beautiful, lovely, warmly humorous show. Gervais plays a somewhat shy and awkward (possibly autistic) 50 year nursing home worker. He is sort of a…”Forest Gump-type.” He sees the good in everyone and every situation (mostly). It’s not a show for everyone. The show can be very sentimental and even maudlin through some lenses. But I like how a 2014 comedy isn’t afraid to be emotional and dramatic when appropriate.

The show is very good, but Gervais shines in this relatively low key performance. His episode submission is perfect. It has a dose of emotion and a dose of humor. It centers around his character going on his first date. Later in the episode, he deals with his father’s failing health. The episode even has a “Run! Forest! Run!” moment towards the end. It’s a great performance that surprised me in so many ways. I still would rather see perennial losers LeBlanc or Louis CK win this time, but Gervais certainly deserved this nomination.

When the producers of Shameless took the opportunity to switch to comedy, they were probably hoping to get more support. Did they? Yes and no. Although Joan Cusack continued to get her usual nomination, the only other nomination came from William H. Macy. Shameless is one of my favorite shows. I wish that it would get more recognition, drama or comedy (even though it really is a drama). It’s a little upsetting that Macy is the only “regular cast member” to get a nomination since I wouldn’t say he’s the best thing about the show (that would go to Emmy Rossum followed by Noel Fisher followed by all the other Gallagher children). But this was a pretty emotional season for Frank (Macy) as he’s literally on the edge of death for the latter half of the season. The last scene where he’s on the frozen lake yelling “I’m Still Here” is emotional (and infuriating for the viewers who just wanted to see him die). Jim Parsons submitted a funny episode where he tries to “break up” with string theory. The scene where he’s in bed with a Geology book (Geology, according to him, is the Kardashians of science) made me crack up pretty hard. Don Cheadle, once again, didn’t impress me in his tape. It seems a little lazy to nominate him when it seems like the supporting cast is more colorful and funnier.

louis ck model

But, again, Louis CK and Matt LeBlanc are at the top of my list. Last year, I was disappointed in their episode submissions. This year, they did a much better job. CK submitted probably the single funniest episode of the season. It’s about his misadventures with dating a model. The whole experiences ends in disaster. But the real funny bit in the episode is Louis CK performing awkward stand up in front of a rich country club crowd. But, I think I’d rather see Matt LeBlanc win for Episodes. His episode is mostly about him cheating on Jamie with Morning’s sister daughter. There are a few funny bits sprinkled throughout the episode, like his rant over British actors taking American roles with their perfect American accents. It’s funny (and mostly true TBH). Yes, CK and LeBlanc pretty much play themselves, but they’re still acting, they still do a great job, and they are both overdue for an Emmy. Either potential win would make me the happiest.

Thanks for reading! More coming soon. Click HERE for more Emmy predictions and analysis.

2014 Emmy Nominations Review – Lead Actress in a Comedy Series


orange is the new black

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 Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

  1. Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep (“Crate”)
  2. Amy Poehler – Parks and Recreation (“Recall Vote”)
  3. Taylor Schilling – Orange is the New Black (“The Chickening”)
  4. Lena Dunham – Girls (“Beach House”)
  5. Melissa McCarthy – Mike and Molly (“Mind Over Molly”)
  6. Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie (“Super Greens”)

I watch Veep, Orange, and Girls regular. I am very familiar with the other shows.

amy poehler

Lead Actress has always been a very strong category, especially compared to the Lead Actor category. Even without Tina Fey’s usual presence, I still enjoyed watching and rewatching these submissions. Amy Poehler usually has a dynamite submission episode that makes it easy for me to put her in number 1. However, this year, her episode IS slightly underwhelming. It’s the episode where Leslie Knope loses the recall vote and acts out as a response. I think Poehler decided to submit a funny standalone episode as opposed to the more emotional two-parters she usually submits because “dramatic episodes” haven’t been doing well in the comedy categories lately.. She has a nice moment in the end with Rashida Jones as Ann tries to help Leslie out of her funk, but Poehler just doesn’t have much of a presence. But she’s been snubbed so many times in the past that…I’d still be ecstatic if she won.

When news first got out that Schilling was submitting “The Chickening,” I was surprised because I expected her to submit the first episode where she has the most screen time and is mostly in the center. However, she, instead, submitted an episode where she doesn’t even have any flashback scenes. But after rewatching the episode, I can understand why she made this decision. It’s a genuinely funny story line involving her quest to find a chicken. This is probably one of the more LOL moments of a series I’d still qualify as a drama. Lena Dunham’s submission was also surprising for me (personally, I was hoping she’d submit “Dead Inside”) because it’s such an ensemble episode. However, Dunham is really funny and mostly likable in the episode, even if I felt like this was more of a showcase for Allison Williams. Also, this is one of the best episodes of the series so…maybe Dunham just wanted to submit an episode that showcased the snubbed show well.

mike and molly

I still don’t think Mike and Molly is a particularly good or fresh show, but Melissa McCarthy shines and she submitted probably her strongest episode – where her character goes to therapy and discusses the chaos in her life and her late father. It’s the emotional moments in this episode that help her standout in a pretty stacked category. And, even though she is usually always sixth in my preferences, I always look forward to Falco’s submission. In this episode, her character finds out that her ex-husband is getting remarried. It’s a solid, straightforward performance and she works with a few conflicting emotions, but it doesn’t have the humor or even the drama that the other performances have.

So (because Poehler submitted an underwhelming episode), my number one choice has to finally be Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Louis-Dreyfus doesn’t really need a third consecutive Emmy…but she is just too good on her own show. I mean, she is very lucky that she is leadon a show where literally every episode could be a potential winning submission. Although I preferred “Alicia” and “Debate,” she still chose a great episode where her character finds out she’s going to be the President. The famous bathroom scene she shares with Tony Hale is marvelous, but some of the other scenes (like her interview with the reporter) are also grade-A excellent. I know this is blasphemous…but, in terms of TV situational comedy, JLD is up there with Lucille Ball, Mary Tyler Moore and Betty White. She is a modern legend. And it’s not rubber stamping if she wins a third Emmy, because she genuinely deserves it.

But…yeah, Amy Poehler HAS to win at some point, right?

Thanks for reading! More coming soon. Click HERE for more Emmy predictions and analysis.

 

2014 Emmy Nominations Review – Supporting Actor in a Drama Series


peter dinklage

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 Actor in a Drama Series.

  1. Josh Charles – The Good Wife (“Hitting the Fan”)
  2. Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones (“The Laws of Gods and Men”)
  3. Jon Voight – Ray Donovan (“Fite Nite”)
  4. Aaron Paul – Breaking Bad (“Confessions”)
  5. Jim Carter – Downton Abbey (“Episode 1″) Episode 1 and 2 in the UK.
  6. Mandy Patinkin – Homeland (“Gerontion”)

I watch all the shows regularly. Besides the pilot,”Fite Nite” is the only episode of Ray Donovan I have watched.

jon voight

I’m not going to pretend like I fully understood what was going on in Voight’s submission episode. His character (Mickey) and his lady friend are kidnapped and about to be killed but Mickey is somehow able to talk himself out of it. In the end of the episode, he runs to the boxing match to support his son “Black Irish” like a baller. But I was pleasantly surprised by Voight’s performance. Voight has a nice mix of horror and calmness during the bulk of his scenes. I was ready to put him 5th or 6th because his nomination wasn’t exactly embraced by most people, but I would not mind if Voight won this one.

If it was up to me, Aaron Paul would have at least three Emmys, maybe even four. Paul is crazy in this role and I am so looking forward to what direction his career will go in. However…I don’t really think Paul needs to win for his last year, even with this explosive submission. I just feel like…in this episode (and really the whole second half of the season), Paul had been hitting all the same intense notes that he hit the previous seasons. Jesse gets angry. He points a gun at someone. He cries over a sick and/or dead child. He growls the word “ricin.” This isn’t Paul’s fault. He plays it all perfectly well. And I’m not sure the writers could have done much else with Jesse’s character during the last season. It’s just something in my gut that doesn’t make me too excited over Paul’s almost inevitable third Emmy. Maybe I’m instinctively rooting for the “underdog.” But, as Aaron Paul’s biggest fan, I’m putting him fourth.

jim carter

I wouldn’t have nominated Carter or Patinkin this year, but both chose great episodes to submit. Jim Carter is always a good submitter, and this year he submitted an episode where Mr. Carson helps Mary move on from Matthew and reunites with an old friend. He has a couple really great, emotional scenes. And, over course, Carter is a master at going “full Butler mode.” Meanwhile, Patinkin benefits from having a lot of screen time in his episode. It’s the episode where he attempts to send Javadi back to Iran. But, in my opinion, this whole “Javadi arc” ranged from frustratingly confusing to boring. But, hey, Patinkin tries.

I remember the first year Dinklage was nominated, I ranked him last. I knew he would win…but I ranked him last in my personal preferences. I’ve always been a big fan of Dinklage (yes, I knew who Dinklage was before Game of Thrones.) and I was happy that he was receiving recognition, but I found his performance a tad bit insincere. I truly believe Dinklage has gotten better since then and has genuinely become one of the best television actors right now. He is excellent on Game of Thrones, and I got chills watching his last angry, dramatic scene in his episode submission. It’s the best work Dinklage has ever done on the show. But…Josh Charles is the supporting actor I am rooting for from my bedroom over 2000 miles from Hollywood. “Hitting the Fan” is such an all around exceptional episode of television that I almost forgot that that I had to focus on Charles’s acting. But that’s not to say that Charles doesn’t have a presence because he does. This episode is Josh Charles’s more than any of the other actors, even if he plays the most ruthless and unsympathetic character in the episode. When I first watched this episode a few months earlier, the second after Will Gardner confronts Alicia and pushes her stuff off the desk, I knew that Charles would become an Emmy contender…and that this should be his episode.

That being said – “The Decision Tree” (the show’s 100th episode) would have also been a great submission for Charles.

Thanks for reading! More coming soon. Click HERE for more Emmy predictions and analysis.

2014 Emmy Nominations Review – Supporting Actress in a Drama Series


vlcsnap-2014-07-25-16h24m26s209

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 Drama Series.

  1. Anna Gunn – Breaking Bad (“Ozymandias”)
  2. Christine Baranski – The Good Wife (“The Last Call”)
  3. Joanne Froggatt – Downton Abbey (“Episode 2″ ) Episode 3 in the UK
  4. Christina Hendricks – Mad Men (“The Strategy”)
  5. Lena Headey – Game of Thrones (“The Lion and the Rose”)
  6. Maggie Smith – Downton Abbey (“Episode 8″) Episode 9 in the UK

I watch all these shows regularly, except Game of Thrones.

christina hendricks

Christina Hendricks hasn’t truly been in my top 6 since “The Other Woman.” So, naturally, I thought I would place her 5th, just above Maggie Smith. However, after rewatching “The Strategy,” and after watching the scene where the closeted Bob Benson asks Joan to marry him, I just felt like Hendricks had more impact in that one scene than Headey and her wonderfully crafted bitchiness did in my favorite episode of Game of Thrones. Hendricks is a really good actress, and she should have already won an Emmy for “The Other Woman”…she just wasn’t given much to do for the second season in a row. And as much as I liked that scene in “The Strategy,” I still felt confused as to how Hendricks can get nominated, but not Elizabeth Moss or even Vincent Kartheiser, who gave stronger performances in the same episode. None of this is Hendricks’s fault…but still.

joanne froggatt

I suppose it’s nice that the voters are familiar enough with the show that they know when it is appropriate to give Joanne Froggatt a nomination. She deserved a nomination for the show’s second season. When she was stuck with a boring storyline for season three, the voters appropriately dropped her from the lineup. This season, Froggatt was given a controversial rape storyline, and thus she is back in the race. Froggatt, very intelligently, submitted the episode where the rape actually happens. It’s a nice submission because we sort of see a “before and after.” In the beginning of the episode, although she has some slight issues with Mr. Bates, she is perfectly fine. By the end of the episode, she is a jittery, nervous wreck. And Froggatt plays both “emotions” very well. It goes without saying that I’d rather see her win than Maggie Smith.

But there are two actresses I’d rather see win than Froggatt. Christine Baranski winning her first Emmy for The Good Wife would make me very happy, especially for a season where she had so much to do. Her character fought with Will, lost her Supreme Court Justice nomination, and then teamed with with Will again to take down Florrick/Agos. She submitted the episode where she mostly grieves after Will’s sudden death. I think it is the perfect submission for her, filled with memorable lines like “I loved him…he loved you” and “If I were dead, it’s exactly what Will would do.” But…once again, I’m throwing most of my support for Anna Gunn. “Ozymandias” is now what Homeland’s “Q & A” was for me last year. Anything having to do with that episode will pretty much get my vote. Gunn doesn’t appear in this episode until more than halfway through. But, once she does appear, it’s easy to see why she chose this episode and why she should win. It’s a heartbreaking episode for Skyler, and Gunn, unsurprisingly, plays all her best cards. From shock to regret to panic to every other negative emotion, Gunn truly has the essential Emmy episode.

Thanks for reading! More coming soon. Click HERE for more Emmy predictions and analysis.

2014 Emmy Nominations Review – Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series


adam driver girls

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 Actor in a Comedy Series.

  1. Jesse Tyler Ferguson – Modern Family (“Message Received”)
  2. Adam Driver – Girls (“Two Plane Rides”)
  3. Fred Armisen – Portlandia (“Pull-Out King”)
  4. Ty Burrell – Modern Family (“Spring-a-Ding-Fling”)
  5. Tony Hale – Veep (“Crate”)
  6. Andre Braugher – Brooklyn Nine-Nine (“Christmas”)

I watch Girls and Veep regularly. I am mostly familiar with the other series.

jesse tyler ferguson

Jesse Tyler Ferguson benefits from essentially having two tapes in this category. His own tape is wonderful – which revolves around Mitch attempting to sell a rare Spider-man comic book to help pay for his wedding. The episode ends with a very emotional scene between Mitch and his father, who is still, apparently, a little homophobic. However, he also does great work in Ty Burrell’s submission in his scenes opposite Aisha Tyler. Ty Burrell is very funny in his own episode as he hosts a realtor banquet (he’s even in drag for the latter half of the episode). But the moment that made me laugh the hardest was Mitch attempting to tell off his seemingly ruthless boss. I never thought Ferguson would ever be my first choice…but he is. Go him!

Adam Driver chose a better episode for submission than he did last year. He submitted the season finale. We see his character perform on stage in his very first Broadway show (where he gets to show off a pretty good cockney accent). However, it’s his last dramatic fight scene with Lena Dunham that really helps him standout. Last year’s winner, Tony Hale, chose his best episode of the season as well. Obviously, the scene that stands out is his bathroom scene with Julia Louis-Dreyfuss (when Selina finds out she’s going to be President.) It’s a great scene for Hale, but he’s had more impact in his previous seasons. Hopefully, the writers give this Emmy winner more to do next season. Braugher is funny in his episode, mostly because the image of him being handcuffed to Andy Samberg and Joe Lo Truglio for most of the episode is great. But…watching his episode mostly made me feel sad that Samberg was snubbed…

fred armisen portlandia

Let’s talk about Fred Armisen for a second. One, I was pleasantly surprised by his nomination this year. Portandia really highlights Armisen’s talents well. He chose a good episode because he gets to be outrageous (in the big overarching segment of the episode, he plays a woman who thinks she’s pregnant while his partner, Carrie Brownstein, plays his boyfriend,very well, I might add) and himself (Fred helps Carrie with a relationship dilemma). Considering the submission rules that he’s forced to live by, he deserved a nomination. However…this rule about variety/sketch performers needs to change. I don’t mind sketch performers competing in the Comedy Performance categories. Actually, I support it more than I don’t. However, sketch performers like Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Amy Schumer, Key and Peele need to be allowed (ie, forced) to compete in the leading categories…because they are undoubtedly the lead performers of their show (I mean, Amy Schumer’s show is called “Inside Amy Schumer.”) It’s understandable when it comes to SNL performers because there’s not supposed to be a lead performer on the show, similar to the cast of Friends or Modern Family. However…it’s just strange that Armisen is here. I think if Armisen had submitted in lead, he would have gotten a nomination. So…I know that was a long rant. It doesn’t take away how highly I think of Armisen…but some of these Emmy rules need to be reviewed.

Thanks for reading! More coming soon. Click HERE for more Emmy predictions and analysis.

2014 Emmy Nominations Review – Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series


anna chlumsky veep

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.

  1. Anna Chlumsky – Veep (“Detroit”)
  2. Kate McKinnon – Saturday Night Live (“Anna Kendrick”)
  3. Kate Mulgrew – Orange is the New Black (“Tit Punch”)
  4. Allison Janney – Mom (“Estrogen and a Hearty Breakfast”)
  5. Mayim Bialik – The Big Bang Theory (“The Indecision Amalgamation”)
  6. Julie Bowen – Modern Family (“The Feud”)

I watch Orange is the New Black, Veep, and SNL regularly. I’m familiar enough with the others.

kate mulgrew

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 snl

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.

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