* Allison Janney (Masters of Sex)
* Diana Riggs (Game of Thrones)
* Jane Fonda (The Newsroom)
* Kate Burton (Scandal)
* Kate Mara (House of Cards)
* Margo Martindale (The Americans)
SURPRISE SHE'S NOT NOMINATED: Carrie Preston (The Good Preston)
Not only does The Good Wife dominate these guest actor categories (Preston is the reigning champion of this category!), but I don't know how you can watch Preston's Elsbeth Tascioni and not immediately fall in love. I love her upbeat, perky attitude contrasted with her vicious attorney skills. Plus, her reaction to being called a "dirty, stinking Jew" by a man in a bear costume on the streets of New York is priceless.
SHOULD BE NOMINATED: Patricia Arquette (Boardwalk Empire)
Arquette's Sally Wheet was Nucky's connection both to the Miami port and to being a normal human being. In an up and down season for Boardwalk Empire, Arquette was one of the highlights.
MY THOUGHTS ON THE ACTUAL NOMINEES:
* Allison Janney is so damn good in "Brave New World" and the scene that all but guaranteed her an Emmy win was 8th on Entertainment Weekly's Top 50 Television Scenes of 2013. Allison Janney's character wants to sign up for Bill Master's sex study, and when she's told she's not eligible to participate, Janney's reactions is tragic and brilliant.
* The Emmy's missed the boat the first time around nominating Kate Mara for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, so I guess they decided to make it up to her by nominating her here for her work in Season 2 of House of Cards. Since she died in the first episode of Season 2, Mara is only eligible to be a guest actress. If we're just going after the work Kate Mara did in Season 2, then this nomination is a joke. If this is for both Season 1 and Season 2, then I'm OK with it.
* I don't know that Lady Olenna played by Diane Riggs is the most worthy candidate this year. Riggs had a lot to do in Season 3 (when she first earned this nomination) and had very little to do in Season 4 (for which she earned a nomination this year). But that being said, this is a "Guest Actress" category, and if I'm going to praise Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey, then I need to praise Diane Riggs in Game of Thrones. Gotta love spunky older women!
* I love Margo Martindale. A lot of that has to do with the fact that she played one of the best Big Bad's in television history during Season 2 of Justified, but the fact remains that Martindale is a phenomenal actress no matter what she's doing. She didn't have as much to do during Season 2 of The Americans as she did in Season 1 because of her terrible CBS sitcom The Millers, but whenever she was on screen, she made it count.
* I neither watch Scandal nor The Newsroom, so I'm not even going to attempt to discuss the quality of work of Kate Burton or Jane Fonda.
WHO WILL WIN: Allison Janney (Masters of Sex)
WHO SHOULD WIN: Allison Janney (Masters of Sex)
* Joan Cusack (Shameless)
* Joan Cusack (Shameless)
* Laverne Cox (Orange Is The New Black)
* Melissa McCarthy (Saturday Night Live)
* Natasha Lyonne (Orange Is The New Black)
* Tina Fey (Saturday Night Live)
* Uzo Aduba (Orange Is The New Black)
SURPRISE SHE'S NOT NOMINATED: Kerry Washington (Saturday Night Live)
SHOULD BE NOMINATED: Taryn Manning (Orange Is The New Black)
Frankly, I wouldn't object if all six nominees in this category were from Orange Is The New Black, but Manning's snub seems the most obvious considering how integral she was to the second half of the first season and how great she was playing Piper's nemesis.
MY THOUGHTS ON THE ACTUAL NOMINEES:
* Let's start with the three cast members from Orange Is The New Black. The actress who is going to win this category is Uzo Adubo. Her character Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren was easily one of the best parts of the first season. At first, she was this unhinged character who was possibly going to make Piper Chapman's life in prison miserable as she made Piper her prison wife, but then she became so much more deep and beautiful. Adubo's fantastic acting was the reason we clamored for more of her in Season 2, and was the reason it got white people in trouble.
* Another fantastic actress in a show full of them was Laverne Cox who made history as the first transgender person to ever be nominated for an Emmy. She's also an excellent actress. Season 1 gave us a flashback episode of Cox's Sophia Bursett early on, and we found out the reason she was in prison was because she was stealing money to help buy her son's love after he rejected her sex change. It was a powerful episode that set the tone for Sophia Bursett for the rest of the season.
* Lastly, we have American Pie alum Natasha Lyonne who plays Nicky Nichols. Nichols may not have the sob story back story like Sophia Busett has, but Lyonne is charismatic as fuck on screen. Nichols is always fun to watch, and throughout the show's first two seasons, I've never said to myself, "I wish they'd stop showing me so much of this character" like I have with many other characters of the show. Whether Nicky was lashing out at Red or trying to seduce a fellow inmate, Natasha Lyonne's Nichols was always a treat to watch.
* Next, let's move on to the Saturday Night Live hosts. I'm going to let you in on a little secret, Tina Fey was never all that good of an actress on the show as a cast member. She was (and still is) a fan-fucking-tastic comedic writer and she was great on Weekend Update, but she never was all that good of an actress. Things changed though after 30 Rock and after she pulled off Sarah Palin. Tina Fey is just amazing at comedy, and even though she deserves to be here on her own merits, after 10 acting awards and 2 wins since 2007 at the Emmy's, let's give someone else a chance shall we?
* Another staple of this category is Melissa McCarthy for her work hosting Saturday Night Live. Even though she has an Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series win as well as five other Emmy nominations and a freaking Oscar nomination, I can never get enough Melissa McCarthy. Despite the terribleness that is Tammy (which is the reason she won't win this award this year), I always love it when Melissa McCarthy hosts Saturday Night Live.
* I don't watch Shameless but I am familiar with Joan Cusack as an actress, and I have no doubt that she's excellent on the Showtime dramedy. Even though Shameless never got any Emmy nominations before this year (this year it got one for William H. Macy! Yay!) Joan Cusack was always guaranteed to garner a nod. This year was no exception, except this year she's in a different category now that Shameless is a comedy as opposed to a drama.
WHO WILL WIN: Uzo Aduba (Orange Is The New Black)
WHO SHOULD WIN: Uzo Aduba (Orange Is The New Black)
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