Laying The Odds For This Year’s Emmys: Comedy
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS COMEDY ET AL
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY
Alex Borstein, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: 5–1
For playing: Susie Myerseon, Midge’s manager. Pro: Susie has always provided a lot of the laughs on this series as she tried to negotiate her only client through a mess of her own making. Loyal and steadfast despite everything, her belligerence ended up landing her nemesis as a new client. Borstein is one of the funniest women working today, and of the this very long list, she’s the only one with an award to her credit — she won the Critics Choice for Best Supporting Actress. I actually wouldn’t mind her repeating. Con: Hard to come up with an argument against her win, except that a lot of funny performances have come since Season 2 premiered. Of course, that was true last year too, and she still won.
Anna Chlumsky, Veep: 13–2
For playing: Amy, Selina’s aide/Jonah’s campaign manager. Pro: By far, the most vitriolic and ambitious character on a series full of them, Amy sacrificed family for career without hesitation, then came to get her client within an eyelash of the presidency — and was horrified when that became possible. She’s one of the few members of the cast who was never acknowledged by the Emmys; this is her last chance. Con: As good as Chlumsky is, there have always been actresses as good or better in this category. Sad to say, Amy’s probably due for more disappointment.
Sian Clifford, Fleabag: 17–2
For playing: Claire, the older sister. Pro: So many of the funniest moments on this series came from Clifford’s forever put upon sister, who seemed stuck in a truly horrible marriage, but was utterly unwilling to end it. Over and over, she sacrificed everything for her own happiness — until the finale, when she finally realized that she could give it up. Another great lady. Con: What could keep her from winning? Oh, right…
Olivia Colman, Fleabag: 5–1
For: Godmother. Pro: Colman has been one of my favorite actresses for a while, but I’ve seen her play someone so cheerfully unpleasant as this overly unctuous, sexual artist willing to woo the title character’s parent at the funeral. Every word she uttered seemed fraught with whipped cream laced with knives, incapable of being happy, unless her soon to be stepdaughters weren’t. I figured Colman was a shoo-in for an Emmy when she took over playing Queen Elizabeth this year. She may well get it a year early. And really, she’s deserved to win since Broadchurch. Con: It’s really, really difficult to win an Oscar and an Emmy in the same year — it’s only happened twice. Will that stigma end up blocking her chance?
Betty Gilpin, GLOW: 19–2
For playing: Debbie Egan/Liberty Belle. Pro: Gilpin is by far the most astonishing woman on a cast full of great actresses, and watching her try to climb the ladder and become a producer, while still raw from her divorce, led to some funny moments. And in the best moment of the series so far — when she criticized Ruth for not bestowing a sexual favor on her boss — is all the more relevant today. Con: GLOW’s moment in the sun seems to have passed really quickly. It’s unlikely Gilpin can climb the ladder.
Sarah Goldberg, Barry: 8–1
For playing: Sally, aspiring actress/Barry’s girlfriend. Pro: Sally went on a harrowing journey of her own this season, trying to face the fact of her abusive husband in an acting exercise that eventually had her face her truth, which led to a possible break — which led to her realizing that lies are easier… for everyone. It was a master class. Con: I think she has the hardest row to hoe in this entire category, particularly because she wasn’t in some of the bigger episodes this season.
Marin Hinkle, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: 9–1
For playing: Rose, Midge’s mother. Pro: Rose went on a quest for liberation this year, traveling to Paris with her husband, and finding acceptance for her daughter’s role, while still trying to find her a husband. Hinkle has been one of TV’s hidden gems for nearly twenty years, and she has a delightful gift for being able to make people laugh. I was delighted that the Emmys finally decided to acknowledge her. Con: Considering that the Emmys had to expand to eight nominees in this category just to honor her, and that there’s someone just as funny from her series in this category, I’d say the odds against are grim.
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live: 8–1
For playing: Various characters. Pro: It’s taken me a long time to accept that performers in sketch comedy deserve at least as much recognition as series actors do. McKinnon has been able to gradually sell me on this. Watching her play such various characters as Janine Pirro and Ruth Bader Ginsburg has convinced me that she is as worthy as anyone else. Con: She’s won twice before, and a lot of the momentum that SNL has had has been blunted over the past year. That will almost certainly affect her chances here.
GUEST ACTOR AND ACTRESS
This is a trickier field to navigate because SNL hosts — and in some cases, guest performers — have basically dominated these categories for the last three years.
In Guest Actor, I would like to see Peter MacNicol triumph for Veep — his work is particularly caustic, but I’ve been an admirer of his work and drama and comedy for years — but I think it’s more likely to go to an SNL star. I’d like to see John Mulaney triumph — his host was one of the high points of the entire season — but I think it more likely it’ll go to Robert DeNiro for his work as Robert Mueller. (Why wasn’t Ben Stiller nominated?)
In Guest Actress, for a change I don’t think SNL will prevail here. I’d like to see Maya Rudolph win for her sterling work as The Judge on The Good Place, but I’m more inclined to see that this will go to one of the guest actresses from Fleabag. I think it’s more likely to be the wondrous Kristen Scott Thomas for her incredible monologue on just how hard it is to be a woman.
As for Directing, I will weigh in. I think it’s more likely that one of the more technically advanced episodes of the season will prevail here, either ‘ronny/lily on Barry or ‘Janets’ for The Good Place. Considering just how much work went into the latter episode, I’ll give the barest of edges to that. Writing is going to be a bitch. So many good choices in this group. I’d like to see ‘Janets’ win, but I’m going to give the barest of edges to episode 2.1 of Fleabag. Phoebe Waller-Bridge deserves to triumph for something, and besides, this was a masterpiece.