I Try To Predict This Year’s Emmy Winners
Week 2, Day 5: Outstanding Supporting Actress in A Comedy
Much as I would have loved to see Kathleen Turner or Mary Steenburgen in this category (considering that the latter won Best Supporting Actress from the HCA on Sunday, it wasn’t outside the realm of possibility) this is still a pretty solid category. There’s a little more excess than I would like for SNL but honestly I’m used to that by now. I think the winner is pretty clear cut, but there is a possibility of an upset in this category.
Aidy Bryant, Saturday Night Live: 7–1. For Playing: Various characters. Pro: I’ll be honest; I’m genuinely surprised Bryant wasn’t nominated for her work on SNL before this year. Unlike so many of the other nominees for this series, the lion’s share of Bryant’s work is more physical comedy than it is impersonation. And she is exquisite at it. I’m honestly enjoyed watching her do double acts with McKinnon in film satires over the years along with her impersonate a fourth grader on Weekend Update who clearly has a crush on Michael. Throw in the fact that over the last few years she’s been working on SNL while playing the lead on a critically acclaimed comedy (see Best Actress) and the real question is, why hasn’t been nominated before, much less won? Con: I have a sinking feeling that the nomination her is just like the one she got for Shrill, a consolation prize. Like several of her fellow nominees, she may not be coming back this year and I think this is a chance to reward her for her work
Hannah Einbinder, Hacks: 6–1. For Playing: Ava, a disgraced millennial comic who finds herself forced to work with Deborah Vance to save her career. Pro: When Einbinder was first nominated, I didn’t think she deserved it. When she shared in the prize for Best Supporting Actress in A Streaming Comedy, I was thrilled. Over the course of the series, Ava made a huge amount of growth, emotionally and in her relationship with Deborah (the episode where they bonded while Deb was having surgery is one of the highpoints of 2021) which you rarely see in any series, much less a comedy. We still don’t know of her backstory to fully get Ava, but we’re on her side in a way we probably weren’t at the beginning. I’m not saying Einbinder will win this year, but I expect to see her at the winners podium very soon. Con: Her early behavior may have put off a lot of judges like me. More to the point, Waddingham has a lot of momentum and it will probably be enough to give the other Hannah the win.
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live: 13–2. For Playing: Various Characters. For Playing: Is there truly anything left to say about McKinnon’s gifts as a performer at this point? Well, I have to say the funniest thing did on SNL all year was a sequence where she essentially played herself ‘Does Anything Work?” Its one of the few times I remember her ever playing a straight woman (and to be clear, she acknowledged her sexuality very clearly in that sketch) and got as many laughs as she has for playing Elizabeth Warren or Hilary Clinton. She’s always been gifted in playing the outlandish, and as she may be leaving the series soon, it’s good to know she still has her gifts. Con: She’s already won two Emmys for her work on this series. I’m not saying any of her co-stars have a better chance, but she has earned her trophies.
Rosie Perez, The Flight Attendant: 13–2. For Playing: Megan, Cassie’s best friend, who just happens to be engaged in corporate espionage with the Koreans. Pro: It’s a little bit of a stretch to consider Megan Perez’s best role in years, but it’s one of the first performances I’ve seen her give where she isn’t playing some version of Rosie Perez. (Unless Perez has always known how to speak Korean and we just didn’t know.) A lot of the subplot involving Megan seems separate from the over-arching story, but it’s a testament to Perez’s gifts as a performers that she takes that and makes it really funny. And hell, the excuses she uses to fob off her way to gullible husband are hysterical enough on their own. Con: Like Cuoco and the series itself, this just seems to be Ted Lasso’s year. Perez did outstanding work, but its unlikely that she’ll be able to get anything for it.
Cecily Strong, Saturday Night Live: 6–1. For Playing: Various Characters. Pro: There is a very good indicator that last season was Strong’s final year (you don’t end the season playing Jeanine Pirro crooning ‘My Way’ in a bucket of wine if leaving isn’t in your future) and considering how hysterical she’s been over the years, there is a good chance she could get rewarded. Con: Strong has never truly given the kind of moments (save you know, the season finale) that lend themselves to an award the way so many others do.
Juno Temple, Ted Lasso: 6–1. For Playing: Keeley Hawes, supermodel who’s relationship with Jamie leads to relationships with the Richmond team she never imagined. Pro: Much like the character she plays, Temple has been around for awhile mostly considered as just a pretty face. But as the series progresses we see just the level of layers that Keeley — and Temple — both have. She has a level of self-awareness going in that a lot of the characters don’t early on. Through her friendship with Rebecca, we see how they both end up helping each other, career-wise and emotionally. And by the time both Roy and Jamie are fighting over her, we can see very clearly she is the adult in the room. A lovely and charming performance. Con: Oh, if it wasn’t for her co-nominee, she’d have a much better chance. But like Keeley, she’ll accept it with grace and humor
Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso: 9–2. For Playing: Rebecca, the new owner of Richmond Football team, who hires Ted to destroy the team…at first. Pro: We’re supposed to hate Rebecca Welton from the moment we meet her, that’s how she operates. But it doesn’t take long for us to understand the motivations behind her actions (meeting her ex-husband helps) for us to see how much life with him changed her (when we met her former best friend) and the see she’s not irredeemable (not just through knowing Ted, but how her unlikely friendship with Keeley). When she admitted everything to Ted, and he forgave her for it, it was the highpoint of the series. All of which just explains how brilliant Waddingham truly is. She took the Supporting Actress prize at the Broadcast Critics (which delightfully shocked her) and share in the Supporting Actress prize for Streaming this week (where she was more prepared, but no less entertaining.) I think there’s a contingent at the Emmys voting: ‘Make Hannah Win Again.” Con: As last Sunday proved, there may be momentum for the other Hannah in this category. Will it be Hannah’s fate to be overlooked for a younger model?
Prediction: This comes down basically to a battle of the Hannahs. And I strongly believe that Emmys will honor Waddingham over Einbinder.
Next week, I wrap it up with Limited Series…and well, Hamilton.