OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY ET AL
Not only is this one of the best groupings of nominees, it’s by far the most diverse with four different African-American women representing three different shows. Three previous winners from the past four years are in this category. All of them have a very strong argument in their favor.
Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Odds: 13–2. For Playing: Suzy Myerson, Midge’s long suffering manager. Pro: Borstein has long been the greatest treasure of an incredible case, as we watch Suzy try to balance her job in a tough world with her many, many flaws. We saw all of them come to light as she, like Midge, made it to the top but we learned one of the major sacrifices that cost her their relationship. We also saw Suzy comes to terms with her identity in a way that was even harder for women back in the 1960s. Borstein has been incredible to watch and it was fun to come along for the ride. Con: Borstein has also been more than excessively rewarded for her work in Maisel, taking two Emmys and some prizes that even came as a shock to her. It’s been three years since she managed a win in this category. I don’t think she’ll prevail here.
Ayo Edebiri, The Bear. Odds: 5–1. For Playing: Sydney, the student who comes to work for Carmie and goes along with his plans, despite of who he is and sticks with him. Pro: I’m sort of surprised that Edebiri is such an overwhelming favorite in this category — though having seen her work in Season1, I really don’t blame them. Like Quinta Brunson, Edebiri is a hyphenate herself — she has written and produced many series and has been a part of such undervalued shows as Dickinson and What We Do In The Shadows. But her work on The Bear has put her in the spotlight and assured she won’t leave it for a long time. A former caterer with a deft culinary palate, she goes along with Carmie more than anyone because she loves his talent but reaches her breaking point in the incredible episode ‘Review’. As the only real outsider we sympathize with her more than any character and she can give with the best of them. (I’m not surprised she’s decided to compete in the Actress category from here on.) She already won a Spirit Award and a Dorian award this year; can an Emmy be far behind? Con: This is a very tough category and there might be some who consider that Edebiri can’t wait her turn.
Janelle James, Abbott Elementary. Odds: 13–2. For Playing: Ava Colman, the increasingly out of her depth principal at Abbott. Pro: She sometimes gets lost under the powerhouse work of her co-nominee but James is the comic fireball that makes Abbott run. I don’t think she’s ever delivered a single line that does not make me laugh hysterically and with her perfect array of putdowns she is the most snarky character — and actually has a heart too. She has been recognize quite a bit — I actually thought she had a better chance of taking the Emmy last year than Ralph — and she did win the Image award for Best Supporting Actress. I’d love to see her up there. Con: Hard as it may be for anyone who’s watched her work as Ava, it has been James’ fate to be overshadowed by a brighter sun, who is immediately below her.
Sheryl Lee Ralph, Abbott Elementary. Odds: 11–2. For Playing: Barbara, the first grade teacher and rock of the school in a troubled time. Pro: If every we needed another reason to love Abbott, it is that it has given recognition to one of great forces in entertainment Sheryl Lee Ralph. We were in love with her when we watched the first season of Abbott; the world fell in love with her when she broke into song at her acceptance speech. She’s already taken a Critics Choice for this year and stole the world’s hearts again. And honestly despite the incredible talent in this category, there has been very little in the past year to make me think Ralph doesn’t deserve to repeat. Barbara’s increasing willingness to take on the role of being Janine’s friend and maternal figure; trying to deal with the fact she’s not aging well; her relationship with everyone on the staff is always a joy to behold and her lines can be just as funny but always have heart. I want her to win again more than anything else. Con: Borstein was the last women to win consecutive awards in this category. The Emmys very well might want to give the award to a newer face.
Juno Temple, Ted Lasso. Odds: 7–1. For Playing: Keeley, the former model finding her career path and relationship path. Pro: Much like Janelle James it has been Temple’s to fate to be overlooked in this category for a slightly brighter sun on her own show. But Keeley has been nearly as endearing almost since we met her, has revealed far more depths than we got from the surface and can often be far more hysterical. Most of the best relationships on Ted Lasso — with Roy, with Jamie, with Rebecca — have run through Keeley, and Temple has gone out of her way to make this character who could have extraneous to the series always seem vital to it. It would be nice if she won. Con: Like James, Temple has always been overshadowed by one of her fellow nominees from this show and it might very well happen here. But given the high praise for the current season of Fargo, there’s a very good chance she’ll be back next year anyway.
Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso. Odds: 11–2. For Playing: Rebecca, team owner coming to grips with various relationships, professional and personal. Pro: Rebecca has been on the greatest journey of any character in this series and we’ve been in love with her the longer she went on it. Waddingham has justifiably become a phenomena in her own right for her incredible work on the series and her magnanimous nature in acceptance speeches (she always shouts out Juno Temple in her wins over much of last year). I will miss Rebecca the most of all the characters but I know very well we have seen far from the last of Waddingham and I look forward to seeing her roll on. Con: Ralph’s upset of Waddingham at last year’s Emmys was the crack against the dominance she’d had in Supporting Awards since the early winter of 2021; she has not won a single prize since. Considering the incredible array of talent in this category, it’s going to be very hard for Waddingham to get one last Emmy before she leaves.
Jessica Williams, Shrinking. Odds: 7–1. For Playing: Gaby, a caring therapist trying to help her colleagues who keep resisting and dealing with her own problems. Pro: Ever since she broke onto the scene in the final years of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, I have been one of Williams’ biggest fans. She has not done much work worth of it since then as an actress. This is clearly her breakout role and considering how awesome her cast, its impressive she owns every scene she’s in. She doesn’t go for the big laughs; her laughs are more out of comfort as well as dealing with her own flaws as well her divorce. I originally questioned her presence her over Lisa Ann Walter or Sarah Goldberg; having seen just three episode I fully understand not only why she was nominated but why she’s already won a special Critics Choice award. She’ll win in this category someday. Con: The critical word is ‘someday’. This is a very tough category. Next year, when Temple, Waddingham and Borstein are ineligible and Edibiri’s in the Best Actress category, I think she’s got a better chance.
My Prediction: This is a very tough call. I think it’s a toss-up between Edebiri and Ralph. Ralph will win if there’s the slightest bit of laziness; Edebiri if they recognize new blood.
Other Awards in Comedy:
Why isn’t Abbott Elementary nominated in writing or directing? My preference is the former category will be for Bill Hader to take the prize for the series finale of Barry. Directing will doubtless go to the tour de force that was the Review episode of The Bear. Guest Actor my preference is for Oliver Platt in The Bear; for Guest Actress, Taraji P. Henson for Abbott Elementary. In both cases, these performers are long overdue recognition from the Emmys.
Next week, I start in on Drama and I will also cover the Golden Globes for TV. Considering that the latter has expanded to six nominees per category, I’m looking forward to that.