Sunday, July 22, 2007

AFT Awards: Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

This is the ninth category of the 1st Annual AFT Television Awards to be announced. Episodes listed in parantheses for actors and shows indicate a great sample of their work, however I look at the entire season when choosing my nominees and winners. Nominees are listed in alphabetical order.

Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Huffman finally grew on me this season after I was incredibly annoyed by her Emmy win over Teri Hatcher and Marcia Cross for the show's first season. While her plotlines occasionally faltered, such as her drawn-out Rick situation and battle with Nora, Huffman was great the whole year in storylines both intensely serious and flat-out hilarious.

I seem to be one of the few who truly likes Longoria's performance, as most prefer Huffman and Marcia Cross (who was barely in this season) or Teri Hatcher in the first season (this year, she just was not that great). But it is Longoria's interaction with the men around her which really makes her shine, this year particularly with the great Ricardo Chavira (Carlos) and the on-and-off John Slattery (Victor). Bonus points for her reaction to finding out that Zach is her suitor slash stalker.

I am one of the few that enjoyed this show, and probably one of the few who enjoyed Hu's performance as former valedictorian turned illegal "masseuse" Kelly Lee. The Emmy categories have her submitted as supporting actress, but I think her hard work keeps the show afloat, and she often shares many of the scenes with lead Jonathan Silverman. Through pretty awful plotlines like the arrival of her parents and her fake marriage to Jason, she stayed strong. Her best moments were probably those with fellow excellent cast member and Best Supporting Actor runner-up Greg Germann (Sherman), a rare treat of two great actors playing fairly idiotic characters who may or may not be smarter than they look.

TINA FEY AS LIZ, 30 ROCK (Up All Night)
There are few actresses who can share the screen with Alec Baldwin for a good fifteen minutes each week and still hold more than their own. Not only that, but Fey, as nerdy TV boss Liz Lemon, also interacted so hilariously and flawlessly with mostly moronic characters played by Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, Scott Adsit, and Judah Friedlander without skipping a beat. Her character, from the very first episode, was instantly full of definitive traits and characteristics. Great example: when someone cut in front of her at a hot dog stand, and after fighting him, she bought all the hot dogs at the stand and gave them away so he would not be able to have one.

MARY-LOUISE PARKER AS NANCY, WEEDS (Mrs. Botwin's Neighborhood)
I have seen less than half of this season, but Parker's performance was very memorable. Her jaded interactions with her troublesome children, petty brother-in-law, infantile co-workers in her drug business, and her bizarre relationship with new boyfriend Peter are all fantastic to watch. Keeping both her immediate family and her drug family together becomes a full-time job for Nancy, and Parker performs very well.

And the winner is...

Next: Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

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