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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Predicting The 2014 Emmy Winners: Best Actress



* Claire Danes (Homeland)
* Julianna Marguiles (The Good Wife)
* Kerry Washington (Scandal)
* Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex)
* Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey)
* Robin Wright (House of Cards)


For five straight years, Elizabeth Moss has earned an Emmy nomination for her work on Mad Men. She was great in Season 7(a)'s penultimate episode "The Strategy" and 2014 should have made it 6 years in a row for Moss.

SHOULD BE NOMINATED: Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)


* Claire Danes has won this category twice in a row and I see no reason why she won't make it 3 for 3. The biggest problem with Danes' performance is that the show runners gave her horrific story lines (i.e. having Carrie Mathison be in the psych ward as a "ploy") but Danes did the absolute best with the material she was given.

* I think Kerry Washington is normally a good actress in general, but I don't think she's very good on Scandal. I also don't think Shonda Rhimes is a very good show runner. Washington's Olivia Pope is portrayed as a "Gladiator In A Suit" but she always seems trapped in a corner making her "Oh Shit" face over, and over, and over again. In fact, Washington and Claire Danes are the masters of making that "Oh Shit" face.

* Robin Wright's Claire Underwood had a pretty powerful story line this season as she made her rape by an Army general public on National Television and had to deal with rumors of her own infidelity. Unfortunately for Wright, none of those aspects of her story line are prevalent in her Emmy submission episode- the Season 2 finale. It's extremely difficult to to win three acting Emmy's in a row, and Wright had episodes that could have rivaled Danes, but the Season 2 finale is not even close to being one of those episodes.

* Not surprisingly, Masters of Sex virtually received no nominations this year, but Lizzy Caplan fought her way through the toughest and deepest field to earn one. Appearing nude in virtually every episode probably had a lot to do with that, but even if she kept her clothes on throughout Season 1 of the Showtime drama, she still would have been worthy of a nomination. Caplan's Virginia Johnson played a woman in the 1950's who was comfortable with her body and confident enough to get what she wants- both personally and professionally. Caplan could play the other side of the spectrum as well being vulnerable and horrified if needed. There was nothing Caplan couldn't do in Season 1 of Masters of Sex.

* Another actress who played vulnerable and confident to perfection this past season was The Good Wife's Julianna Marguiles. Like her co-star, Marguiles also chose "The Last Call" as her Emmy submission episode. It's a character driven episode where everybody deals with the aftermath of That Thing That Happens To Will. It's a powerful episode and an incredible showcase for Marguiles. Alicia Florrick has to grieve over the loss of her good friend and significant-other-in-another-life while also trying to hide her former tryst. Season 5 of The Good Wife was an excellent season, and it's nice to honor the show by honoring its lead.

* With Elizabeth Moss, Tatiana Maslany, Keri Russell (The Americans), Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel), and Connie Britton (Nashville) all failing to earn a nomination this year, it's insulting to have Michelle Dockery be in this category. Can we just be done with Downton Abbey already!

WHO WILL WIN: Claire Danes (Homeland)

WHO SHOULD WIN (ACTUAL NOMINEES): Julianna Marguiles (The Good Wife)

WHO SHOULD WIN (ENTIRE ELIGIBLE FIELD): Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)



* Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation)
* Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
* Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)
* Lena Dunham (Girls)
* Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly)
* Taylor Schilling (Orange Is The New Black)


I have no idea if Anna Faris was even all that good on Mom or not, but "the 6th nomination spot" was up in the air and Anna Faris was the leader in the clubhouse to win it

SHOULD BE NOMINATED: Ilana Glazer (Broad City)


* This category comes down to Veep vs. Orange Is The New Black, so we'll start with the incumbent. Julia Louis-Dreyfus has four total Emmy wins, one for her work on Seinfeld, one for her work on The New Adventures of Old Christine, and two for her work on Veep. She's very good on Veep because Julia Louis-Dreyfus is just a great comedy actress, but I'm very dubious that she'll earn her a third Emmy win for Veep. She was the reason I looked into how difficult it was to win three straight Emmys in a row, and I feel like the odds are stacked against her.

* I thought the first season of Orange Is The New Black was phenomenal and apparently the Emmy voters agreed with me as they gave the Netflix show a butt load of nominations in 2014. Taylor Schilling is the star of the show and plays Piper Chapman, a privileged, upper-middle class white girl who smuggled drugs once ten years ago. Piper may not be your favorite character, but that's only because Jenji Kohan and crew purposefully wrote her that way. Piper's annoyance is a sign of Schilling's incredible acting. The Emmy's love rookie shows (look at how many wins Homeland received a few years ago) and I think Schilling has to be the favorite to win this award. Really, the only thing going against her is her sub par Emmy submission episode "The Chickening".

* Girls is probably the only show that consistently gets Emmy nominations that I regret not seeing. I make no apologies for not keeping up to date on other shows like Downton Abbey and Veep, but I do apologize for not seeing a significant amount of Girls episodes. I saw the pilot and it was pretty bad so I bailed. So that being said, I can't comment on Lena Dunham's acting or Season 3 of Girls as a whole. Although, considering Dunham failed to earn a directing and writing nomination this year and the show itself failed to earn an Outstanding Comedy Series nomination this year, it's safe to say Emmy voters bailed as well.

* I love Amy Poehler on Parks and Recreation. She's so fucking great every single season (sans the terrible first season). The only complaint I have about Poehler is that Leslie Knope was offered a job in the U.S. Department of the Interior, and spent like 10 episodes deciding whether she wanted to take it or not, when in reality, Leslie Knope would have taken that job immediately with no hesitation. However, that's not a commentary on Poehler's acting, but Michael Schur's storytelling abilities. Leslie Knope and Amy Poehler can do no wrong.

* Melissa McCarthy is a really funny actress, a former winner in this category, and is a legit superstar. Plus, these nominations were released before everyone knew just how awful Tammy was. That's why it was dumb of me and everyone else to think McCarthy wouldn't get the "open sixth nomination spot". On this past season of Mike and Molly, the show tried to do their best to make Molly more like McCarthy's crude characters in Bridesmaids and The Heat. I think the writers failed miserably, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I enjoy McCarthy's toned-down comedy stylings, and I think she does a really good job on the CBS sitcom.

* Edie Falco is without a doubt a great actress, and I'm sure she does incredible work with a character that's addicted to pain pills while also being a hospital nurse. However, with so many great shows airing on television, here's how I feel about even attempting to watch Nurse Jackie.

WHO WILL WIN: Taylor Schilling (Orange Is The New Black)

I was a lot more confident with this prediction before I realized what Schilling's Emmy submission episode actually was. 

WHO SHOULD WIN: Taylor Schilling



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