Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama
Given the history of this category over the past few years, I think it very possible that it will be dominated by women from Orange is the New Black, Game of Thrones and The Handmaid’s Tale. And while I have no problem with some of those women being nominated (hell, I’m all for Alexis Bledel getting as many Emmys as she can), I would argue that there are other series out there with strong female character. So here are some suggestions for this year?
Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
I don’t really need to make any more of an argument for this outstanding young actress’ work than I did last year — Eleven is still one of the most remarkable characters in television. She added to her impressive repertoire when she royally angry at Roy Harper for keeping her locked away, her search for the truth about her family — and actually finding one — and her reunion with the gang. (And oh, that wonderful first kiss at the season finale!) I think the odds of her winning are more remote than last time (just listen to the list that will follow) but you never count her out. Give her something to go with her 2 MTV awards, people.
Cush Jumbo, The Good Fight
There are really, really too many good actress on this series, but that’s to be hoped for from the Kings. One could just as easily see this position going to Sarah Steele or Audra MacDonald. But as up and comer Luca Quinn, now burdened with a pregnancy and a possible marriage, she continues to dazzle in the way that so many of them do. The main reason I push for her is, well, she’s been with the Kings longer, so I think she’s do.
Margo Martindale, The Americans
If there is one person who has been, if anything over-recognized for her work on this brilliant series, its Martindale’s superb performance as Claudia, the matriarchal handler of Elizabeth, Philip, and (in the final season) Paige. Frankly, I know that only her ultra-busy scheduled kept from promoting her now to full-time cast member in the series final season. But she certainly demonstrated that she lost nothing. Playing the kindly grandmother to Paige as she tried to prep her for her new position, she did a job of acting of her own in Elizabeth’s final missions, only to reveal in the end that she had betrayed her. And in her final scene on the series, when she learned that Elizabeth had betrayed her in kind, she completely stole the spotlight demonstrating her anger without even raising her voice. But it was her final line — “I’ll survive. We always do” — that I’ll remember forever. One could see Claudia whispering in the ear of Putin. She has earned one more taste at Emmy, and I really want her to win.
Elizabeth Marvel, Homeland
Marvel’s work as beleaguered President Keane was one of the more overlooked performances on this series. It shouldn’t have been. Starting out as a President so shocked by the assassination attempt on her life last year that she began to act like the dictator her intelligence people feared she be, she slowly began to reveal her humanity as became clear that her Presidency was under assault from a larger threat from without. Unable to tell her enemies from her friends, she began to become even more enraged as her own government turned against her. But it was in her final moment on the series where Marvel clearly shown, as she revealed in her ‘Paean to the American People’, just how divided we are as a nation, and what it may take to get us back on track. It was one of the bigger shocks of the year so far, and if that’s not worthy of consideration, I don’t know what is.
Chrissy Metz, This is Us
Some continue to argue that Kate is a hard character to like. I find that hard to believe as with each successive season, she earns my sympathies more and more. As she dealt with a pregnancy she was afraid to admit, then a miscarriage that she had even more trouble dealing with, her facing up to her marriage and finally getting there after a lot of hiccups — all while dealing with the residual fallout of dealing with her father’s death — she still doesn’t want you to come out and like her. And that’s okay. But I think she’s outstanding all the same, and I know Emmy voters will.
Thandie Newton, Westworld
Yes, it would be a case of repeating last year, but in this instance, like with so many in the cast of Westworld, it would be hard to argued that she hasn’t earned it. Following a completely different path than Dolores, her search for her daughter led her to new places both in the park (Maeve in a kimono! How can you not love that?) and insider in her own head as she developed another advancement that no even her programmers saw coming. I don’t know what awaits her in the finale — but then I couldn’t see how she could survive the assassination attempt — but I know that its brilliant to watch, and more than worthy of this multi-faceted talent.
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
Vanessa Kirby, The Crown
There is a tendency on this series, however warranted, to focus all of the attention around the Queen and her inner circle. This has been unfair to a lot of actors, particularly Kirby as the unfortunate Princess Margaret. Still reeling from a breakup with Peter Townsend, she did some exploration of her own freedom, sexual and otherwise with new love Toby Armstrong-Jones. (Matthew Goode also deserved some recognition for playing an utter cad). But it is in her duals with her sister, where you can clearly see that she has bitterness about not being the one on the throne, that she reveals the mixture of steel and vitriol in her. Like Foy, this is her last chance at an Emmy. I think she deserves more respect than her character ever got.