I Lay The Odds For This Year’s Emmys

Part 3: Outstanding Lead Actress, Drama

Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones: 6–1

For Playing: Danerys, the Mother of Dragon, and (as it turned out) the Mad Queen. Pro: Clarke had one of the most complicated arcs of any of the characters in this epic saga. Initially seeming to be the heroine of the piece, she ended up being a tragic villain. Considering everything her character went through, Emmys may want to honor. Con: When Clarke herself admitted in an interview she was upset with how her final arc went, you know the writers screwed up. For the Emmys to acknowledge her for it would seem a real slap in the face to the fans.

Jodie Comer, Killing Eve: 11–2

For playing: Villanelle, the assassin at the center of the series. Pro: Not since the early days of Michael C/ Hall’s work as Dexter has there been a more frightening portrayal of a psychopath. As much credit as Sandra Oh has gotten, Comer is really the guts of the series. Con: Two words: Sandra Oh. So much of the credit and trophies have been handed to her, it’s going to be easy for them to ignore her

Viola Davis, How To Get Away With Murder: 7–1

For playing: Annalyse Keating, the razor sharp attorney. Pro: Davis has become a force of nature ever since this series went on the air, and even at its most unbelievable, she keeps you watching. Con: Not many people are watching this series any more, and even the most devoted fans think its run out of gas. This nomination may be another example of an Emmy hangover than any others in the category.

Laura Linney, Ozark: 6–1

For playing: Wendy Byrde, the scheming but struggling wife and mother of the Byrde clan. Pro: Linney is one of the greatest actresses of our generation in just about any medium she works in, and the role of Wendy — a woman trying her damnedest to keep a level of normalcy in a crisis — is one of her greatest roles in the medium. Con: I love her work, but have enough Emmy voters really credit her understated work in a category of showier performances?

Mandy Moore, This is Us: 13–2

For Playing: Rebecca Pearson, the matriarch of the Pearson clan. Pro: She’s long been due recognition for her work on this series, as the only character in every timeline, she has the greatest range. And her work in the episode ‘The Waiting Room’ — as she tried to stay calm as her family was imploding — was magnificent. Con: Playing a fundamentally good person doesn’t seem to be what it takes to win an Emmy any more.

Sandra Oh, Killing Eve: 5–1

For playing: Eve, the MI-6 worker drawn into a psychosexual relationship with the assassin she’s chasing. Pro: Well, she’s won practically every trophy between her and the Emmys. Many people think she should’ve won for Grey’s Anatomy, never mind last year. And an Asian actress has never won an Emmy. It would take a Villanelle to keep her from the podium. Con: Some people thought the second season was weaker than the first, but since people thought she should’ve won last year, that’s probably not much of a handicap.

Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones: 6–1

For Playing: Danerys, the Mother of Dragon, and (as it turned out) the Mad Queen. Pro: Clarke had one of the most complicated arcs of any of the characters in this epic saga. Initially seeming to be the heroine of the piece, she ended up being a tragic villain. Considering everything her character went through, Emmys may want to honor. Con: When Clarke herself admitted in an interview she was upset with how her final arc went, you know the writers screwed up. For the Emmys to acknowledge her for it would seem a real slap in the face to the fans.

Jodie Comer, Killing Eve: 11–2

For playing: Villanelle, the assassin at the center of the series. Pro: Not since the early days of Michael C/ Hall’s work as Dexter has there been a more frightening portrayal of a psychopath. As much credit as Sandra Oh has gotten, Comer is really the guts of the series. Con: Two words: Sandra Oh. So much of the credit and trophies have been handed to her, it’s going to be easy for them to ignore her

Viola Davis, How To Get Away With Murder: 7–1

For playing: Annalyse Keating, the razor sharp attorney. Pro: Davis has become a force of nature ever since this series went on the air, and even at its most unbelievable, she keeps you watching. Con: Not many people are watching this series any more, and even the most devoted fans think its run out of gas. This nomination may be another example of an Emmy hangover than any others in the category.

Laura Linney, Ozark: 6–1

For playing: Wendy Byrde, the scheming but struggling wife and mother of the Byrde clan. Pro: Linney is one of the greatest actresses of our generation in just about any medium she works in, and the role of Wendy — a woman trying her damnedest to keep a level of normalcy in a crisis — is one of her greatest roles in the medium. Con: I love her work, but have enough Emmy voters really credit her understated work in a category of showier performances?

Mandy Moore, This is Us: 13–2

For Playing: Rebecca Pearson, the matriarch of the Pearson clan. Pro: She’s long been due recognition for her work on this series, as the only character in every timeline, she has the greatest range. And her work in the episode ‘The Waiting Room’ — as she tried to stay calm as her family was imploding — was magnificent. Con: Playing a fundamentally good person doesn’t seem to be what it takes to win an Emmy any more.

Sandra Oh, Killing Eve: 5–1

For playing: Eve, the MI-6 worker drawn into a psychosexual relationship with the assassin she’s chasing. Pro: Well, she’s won practically every trophy between her and the Emmys. Many people think she should’ve won for Grey’s Anatomy, never mind last year. And an Asian actress has never won an Emmy. It would take a Villanelle to keep her from the podium. Con: Some people thought the second season was weaker than the first, but since people thought she should’ve won last year, that’s probably not much of a handicap.

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Robin Wright, House of Cards: 13–2

For Playing: President Claire Underwood. Pro: It says a lot for the caliber of the opposition in this category that Wright never managed to win before. Considering this is her last chance, people may think she’s due. Con: The Kevin Spacey scandal brought a premature end to the series, which pretty much destroyed any future the series had, and caused the last year to collapse. Frankly, I’m amazed she got nominated at all.

PREDICTION: Oh my, this is the easiest one of the night. I’d like to see Moore or Linney triumph, but this is Sandra Oh’s to lose.

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After years of laboring for love in my blog on TV, I have decided to expand my horizons by blogging about my great love to a new and hopefully wider field.

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