Best Actress In A Comedy
I’m well aware that this is Julia-Louis Dreyfus’ category, as it has been for the last five years. But considering that I found Selina’s character far too unpleasant to thoroughly enjoy or even like (with the possible exception of the finale), I would like to do something revolutionary: consider this category without her. God knows, there are certainly enough funny series with female leads at the center — hell, ABC alone could fill this category with worthy nominees. So even though its very likely she’ll be nominated and make it six in a row, let’s imagine an alternate universe where some other fine women are considered. (And several of them will be here, I have no doubt)
Kirsten Bell, The Good Place
Let’s be honest: she’s deserved an Emmy nod since Veronica Mars. And watching Eleanor frantically try to prove that she deserved to be in the Good Place, even though she knew that she didn’t — was one of the more delightful and entertaining bits of TV all last season. When the final twist was revealed, it was exceptionally painful to see her realize it was all for naught, and really I hope theirs redemption for her. If the Emmy judges don’t honor her for this series, they’re really forking crazy.
Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
I really shouldn’t like Rebecca. She’s as self-absorbed and self-centered as any other character on pay cable. But the fact that Bloom seems more than willing to humiliate herself, in comic action, and in delightful song just makes me enjoy every minute of her criminally underviewed show. And given how close to her personality the actual Rachel Bloom is — at award shows acceptance speeches, or backstage at the Tonys — she really deserves an Emmy nod. Yes, I know this is a CW show. You’re nominating series that don’t even appear on TV. Please.
Minnie Driver, Speechless
There are a lot of power moms on ABC these days, and frankly Patricia Heaton and Constance Wu would be just as worthy of consideration. But watching Maya DeMeo, the force of nature who will do literally anything for her wheelchair bound son, even if it means steamrolling through the neighborhood, or even some of her own family, has provided me with some of the hugest laughs of the TV season. Driver has always been an awkward puzzle piece when it comes to much of TV, but this is clearly a jewel of a role. Reward her.
Issa Rae, Insecure
There are a lot of female-hyphenates out there, and most of them get far too much exposure. But in a world where so many characters are determined to etch out of a place, Rae’s ability to find neurosis and problems in the African-American scene were nearly as entertaining to watch as Donald Glover’s similarly veined searches in Atlanta. She’s already far more entertaining than Lena Dunham ever was, and she more than deserves multiple bites at the Emmy apple.
Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish
Bow has always been the most level-headed of any of the characters in the Johnson clan, and watching her try and maintain job security in her hospital, as she dealt with her pregnancy was very funny. But when her child went into distress in the final episode, and she had to deal with some of the harder choices, it was by far the most poigniant moments in a fine season. She managed to win the Golden Globe before that episode. Even if Dreyfus is in the category, its going to take some really good ‘splaining for her to be ignored this yerar.
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie
I know, compared to some of the more sharp comedies on Netflix, this is pretty pedestrian stuff, but that doesn’t change the fact that the series can be extremely funny a lot of the time. And a huge part of the reason has always been this comic legend. Some will argue that its unfair to consider here without her co-lead Jane Fonda, and she should be, but Tomlin always seem to have better timing, and more interesting stories. She won the SAG Lifetime achievement award this season, Believe me, she’s nowhere near finished.
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
I’ve pushed for her the last two years, and she was ignored in favor of lesser nominees. But come on. She lost her husband, she became an author, she became more accepting of her baby daddy and his ex-wife, she raised a toddler who asked about his heritage, she presided over her parent’s marriage — and she finally lost her virginity. Could we please ask what the hell she has to do to get recognized by the Emmys? They had to change the show’s title, come on. We shouldn’t have to note how great this actress is.