My Predictions (And Hopes) For This Year’s Emmy Nominations, Week 2 Concluded
Outstanding Supporting Actress in A Drama
This category would seem to be a lock for Sarah Snook on Succession, but considering what happened at the SAG awards, I say there’s more than room for an upset. I actually don’t have a problem is bout Succession and Ozark have nominees in this category, but I am going to push for some of my favorite performers for this year. Here we go.
Christine Baranski, The Gilded Age
I’m not entirely certainly why Baranski allowed herself to be demoted to Supporting Actress when her Agnes Van Rijn is clearly as much a lead on The Gilded Age as Louise Jacobson and Carrie Coon. Maybe she didn’t want to have to compete against herself as part of The Good Fight, or maybe it’s because Baranski actually wanted a chance to win, which is understandable considering her track record with the Emmys is a measly 1 for 16. All that I know for certain is that Baranski’s work on The Gilded Age as a woman who is obstinate to the flow of progress in so many ways and is clear about the change of life in so many others (her relationship with her African-American secretary is one of the truly great moments in the series) is some of the best work she’s done in three of the greatest dramas in the past decade. And everything about her work, particularly her relationship with her younger sister (Cynthia Nixon deserves as much consideration as Baranski does) she has some of the greatest dialogue in the entire series. “I do not mind facts as long as they don’t interfere with my beliefs” is just one of the great lines she has delivered this season. Baranski has been woefully underserved by the Emmys when it comes to both nominations and awards. She deserves the former for this.
Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
Ever since I’ve begun watching Stranger Things I have been mesmerized — as has the world — by the incredible work by Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven. She seems to have won every major award from the SAGS to the Critics Choice to MTV TV awards but the Emmys. (Honestly I would rather have seen her win than Ann Dowd as much as I have admired the latter’s work.) And honestly watching Eleven throughout Season 4 has, if anything, more than illustrated what an extraordinary actress. Without her powers and her surrogate father and away from Hawkins, Eleven had to face being normal in the worst possible way. She spent much of the season being relentlessly bully and coming to grips with her loss and finally in a moment that has to resonated with young people with everywhere her powers came back at the time to seek revenge. I don’t know if the new ratings for Stranger Things are accurate, but I know a superstar when I see one and Millie Bobby Brown is the definition of one. She deserves a nomination infinitely more than Zendaya does and I hope she gets it.
Julia Garner, Ozark
Of all the twisted characters on Ozark the only one I was able to merit any degree of sympathy for was Ruth Langmore, the youngest child of a crime family in Missouri, considered white trash by everyone — especially Marty Byrde initially — whose efforts to try and find a place for herself in the twisted world and hopefully to even find love — were always being buried by the Byrde family’s desire to survive. I never truly objected to Garner’s first Emmy (the second is another story) and I’ve always admired Garner as the best thing about a truly flawed series. In a show where everyone was rotten to the core, Ruth had the virtue of being brutally honest about everything — something that was painfully clear when she learned she was about to be one last sacrifice for the Byrdes. Like Michael Mando in Better Call Saul, she went out on her own terms. I’m not saying I necessarily want Garner to win another Emmy, but of all the nominations Ozark is likely to get, this one is the only one I would have no real problem with.
Hoyeon, Squid Game
Even more than Lee Jung-Jae, Hoeyon may very well be the breakout succession of this world wide phenomenon. She stunned the world when she took the Best Actress prize from the SAG awards, but she’s won quite a few awards since then from Best New Actress of the Year from Cine21 to the Best Actress in an Action series from the Critics choice and the directors cut award. Hell she’s been named a nominee for MTV Movie or TV Awards, which considering most of the stuff they nominate is fricking remarkable. You can’t turn away from her work as Kang, from the beginning to her (untimely) end (?) and she is as much a reason the series became a smash as Jung-Jae or, well, anybody. I want to see her walking the Emmys red carpet and I think we will. (If we don’t, well knowing Squid Game, the carpet might turn red for different reasons.)
Christina Ricci, Yellowjackets
Misty is the kind of character that just doesn’t fit in. She’s the kind of person who tries too hard but will never be part of the cool kids, the kind of person where every action she takes has an ulterior motive, the kind of person that even you need her to survive, your always looking over your shoulder at. It’s a bit of a stretch that this is Christina Ricci’s wheelhouse, but as someone who watched her make debut as Wednesday Addams and spend her childhood playing the bad girl, it is impossible to imagine any other actress playing Misty. It is obvious none of the survivors, during the plane crash and certainly even when they’re being blackmailed, absolutely don’t want anything to do with her even if they need her. Does it have something to do with what we saw in the opening? All I know for certain is that even more than Lewis and Lynskey, Ricci is pitch-perfect every moment she’s on the screen. She deserves an Emmy someday for this work and she more than deserves a nomination now.
Rhea Seehorn, Better Call Saul
It’s a bigger crime that anything Saul or the cartel have ever done that Seehorn has gone the entire length of this series and never even been nominated for an Emmy. Kim Wexler is by far the breakout character of this prequel, almost single-handedly justified its existence as we have watched this brilliant attorney’s desire to do good clash with her instinct as being a con artist. We have watched her fall as far we could think throughout the first half of the final season as we saw her — even more willingly than Jimmy — develop a plan to destroy Howard for their own ends. We’ve seen just how far she was willing to go to go through with this plan to a far greater sacrifice. And we have learned that in every way Kim is Jimmy’s soul mate — which has made her absence from Breaking Bad overshadow every new season of the prequel. (We have gotten a sign of hope in the penultimate episode as to where Kim is, but considering the end of the mid-season, it doesn’t look good right now.) I really don’t know why or how the Emmys justified not nominating her for at least the previous two seasons, but this is her best chance. Give her a nomination before we learn her fate.
J. Smith-Cameron, Succession
I have admired Smith-Cameron’s work in film and television for a very long time. Her performance as the beleaguered mother on Rectify was a truly brilliant piece of acting on a series that frankly should have gotten recognition from the Emmys. (She was nominated for Supporting Actress by the Critics Choice at one point.) Her career spans some of the great shows in TV history from The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd to Search Party. And for all the problems I have with Succession her work as the family attorney Gerri Kellman has never been one of them. (I was a little disgusted by her dalliance with Roman, but then so was Logan…if for the wrong reason.) Watching Kellman trying to guide the increasingly delusional and detached Roy family has been one of the few graces of this messy series. She is a voice of rationality to people who don’t think rationality applies to them. I honestly wouldn’t mind if she ended up running Waystar, and I certainly wouldn’t mind if Smith-Cameron got a nomination for it.
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
Susan Kalechi Watson, This is Us
I could just as easily use this spot to advocate for Chrissy Metz or Hannah Zeile, each of whom played Kate exceptionally well over the years. But if there’s a truly undervalued cast member for this series who keeps getting overlooked no matter how much recognition comes to This is Us, its Watson’s quiet, brilliant work as Beth. She has always been the bedrock of her family, Randall’s pillar, the devoted mother, the loyal daughter. She has always been there for Randall through the hard times (which considering his storyline has been pretty much every episode) always saying the right thing, always being a support without having to ask for it. I have been in awe of Watson’s work pretty much since the beginning of the series and I was just as much in awe at the end. I was also constantly frustrated at the ridiculous number of times Game of Thrones and The Handmaid’s Tale used the performances of actresses whose character were on their best day never as human as Watson could be on her worst — and Watson never gave a bad performance. The Little Island Girl has earned a moment in the spotlight. It would be obscene — but not surprising, considering everything Watson has done — if she didn’t get some credit for it as we say goodbye to the Pearsons.
Next week, I tackled the Limited Series awards. I’ll try to be restrained in my picks (but I am glad Hamilton isn’t here.)