My Predictions (And Hopes) For This Year’s Emmys
Week 2, Conclusion: Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy
With the exception of the usual suspects from Saturday Night Live, there are going to be a lot of new faces in this category, if only by default. There are some likely candidates from series I haven’t seen yet (Girls5Eva is the most obviously) and some who I just can’t bring myself to vote for, at least not yet (she’s rising in the standings, but I just can’t acknowledge Hannah Einbander in Hacks). So I’m going to lean more on veterans in this category, though there will be a little bit of youth. Here are my choices
Holly Hunter, Mr. Mayor
Holly Hunter is one of the greatest actress in any medium she’s appeared in. And despite her incredible history in television, she’s only got one Emmy. Nothing for her remarkable work as Grace Hanadarko on the criminally underrated Saving Grace. Nothing for her superb work in the limited series Top of the Lake. And while everybody in the cast got recognized, no nomination for her superb turn as the possible heir to the Roy empire on Succession. Perhaps it’s not fair to say she’s the best thing about Mr. Mayor, a still erratic comedy series. But as the activist with a name I’m not even sure she can spell, Hunter delivers some of the best lines and demonstrates that she do comedy with the best of them and hold her own with some of the greatest comic actors working today. The odds of her being nominated are remote, but I’m going to pull for her anyway as a dark horse.
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
I think I’ve run out of superlatives to describe Kate McKinnon’s incredible work on Saturday Night Live. I’m not sure if there are any major political figures that are left in her arsenal to portray, but the truth is she doesn’t need them. One of the better openings this season came when McKinnon simply played Kate McKinnon and it remained utterly funny and frankly, more of a character, than so many of the ones she’s played for so long. I don’t know how much longer she’ll be on SNL. Perhaps not even McKinnon knows at this point. And I think she’d (self-effacingly) say getting another nomination would probably be an example of ‘How The Emmys Don’t Work.” But as long as she’s there, she deserves them. And if you’ve read my column for the last several years, you know how hard it is for me to admit this.
Rosie Perez, The Flight Attendant
Admittedly, there are quite a few actresses who could be in this category — Zosia Mamet’s attorney is a prominent example. But I’m still leaning for Rosie Perez’s Megan, Cassie boon companion of way too many flights who knows her friend way too well especially when she’s lying. Perez is for the first time in awhile, playing a character who’s not recognizably Rosie Perez. But like so many of my choices in this category, Perez has been in the business for so long (wow, was In Living Color that long ago?) that I think she deserves a seat at the table for being around. She’s also really funny and has energy, but you knew that coming in.
Mary Steenburgen, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
Like Hunter, I’ve admired Steenburgen for a very long time. Like Hunter, she’s also had a very good record on television — from Joan of Arcadia to the final season of Justified to 30 Rock and Curb Your Enthusiasm. And her work as Maggie, Zoey’s mother she’s done a lot of great work. Admittedly, there was a better sample in Season 1 as she played the rock as her husband continued to degenerate from ALS. But there were equally brilliantly moment this year as she finally had to learn to live now that her husband was gone and try to build a new life. There were funny moments, moving moments and musical ones and she shown at all of them. And come on! Her husband’s been getting nominations in every category imaginable for decades. Wouldn’t it be great if she had another reason to be here other than his date?
Juno Temple, Ted Lasso
Like so many characters Keeley starts out as one-dimensional — she’s a model and she seems to serve as a love interest. Then just like every other character in this series, we get to see the layers behind her pretty façade. Part of it is due to her burgeoning friendship with Rebecca (one of the richest female friendships I’ve seen in either a comedy or a drama) and we get to see that Keeley wants more out of her life than being a model or somebody you sleep with. When she and Roy finally seem to be building a relationship we actually cheer because both characters have done a lot to earn it. Juno Temple has spent much of her career being a Keeley Hawes, but Ted Lasso, like its title character, brings out the best in her. I think the odds of her prevailing are remote (this year) but like Keeley she has spirit and this nomination will be the first of many.
Kathleen Turner, The Kominsky Method
Has the world missed Kathleen Turner as much as I have? After being one of the most beautiful and talented actresses in 1980s and 1990s Hollywood, Turner basically disappeared from… well, the world for the 21st Century. I’m sure even she would be willing to admit her looks are no longer what they were (Jane Fonda and Nancy Travis she’s clearly not) but her talent has not diminished, and neither has her pitch perfect comic timing. I’ve been hoping she would make a return as Sandy’s hated ex-wife since we saw her for a wonderful cameo in Season 2, and sure enough she’s back in LA. And just like everybody else in this series, she continues to have great dialogue and wonderful character. I’m sure the world was thrilled when Douglas and Turner were back in the same scene (maybe we’ll even get Danny Devito to return and complete the Romancing The Stone reunion). I think she could get a nomination to celebrate her return.
Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso
Waddingham is the outside favorite to win in this category, and I really can’t make an argument against her. Rebecca Welton starts out as the heavy, who hires Ted solely for the purpose of destroying the football team that her husband loved. Then against her will, she gets won over by Ted despite her attempts to destroy him. Then we meet her ex (please, oh please, give Anthony Stewart Head a nomination to) and we understand a lot about why she’s where she is. Like so many heavies in a Bill Lawrence, we are won over to Rebecca’s side the longer we watch her, and a lot of that is do to Waddingham’s delightful viciousness. By the end of Season 1, she’s become a multi-dimensional human being and she’s completely changed where she was at the beginning of the series. I would love to see her take this price, if only to see how Rebecca would react.
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
Emma Kenney, Shameless
How many actresses are there on television we’ve literally watched grow up? When we first met Debbie Gallagher, she was a relatively normal eleven year old and she had the most messed-up arc of any of the clan…and that’s saying a lot. She basically tricked a man into taking her virginity, then she became a teen mom against Fiona’s strident wishes, then she worked become a welder, found herself exploring her sexuality, became the brick of the Gallagher clan after Fiona left, and then in the last couple of seasons had more nervous breakdowns than Liam would. Kenney was such a great force on that series, its kind of remarkable that her parents would even let her watch so many of the early episodes where she did her best work. Kenney’s not going to slow down (she’s on The Connors now, another role which could earn her a nomination) and honestly, I almost want her to get nominated for a lifetime achievement award just for her work as Debbie Gallagher. Hell, for surviving the South Side, she deserves a nomination.
I’ll finish up next week with the Limited Series.