Monday, June 13, 2011

Emmy Musings: Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Now that the 2010-2011 TV season is officially over, it’s hardly too early to start thinking about the Emmy nominations, which will be announced in July. Consider these preliminary thoughts rather than official predictions – look for those at the beginning of July. As always, chime in with your reactions and predictions in the comments, and don’t hesitate to let me know if I left any strong contenders off the list!

Last year’s eligible nominees:
Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
The straight woman on this comedy full of loud players is still one of the show’s funniest, and after managing a nomination last year, she’ll definitely be back for another round. Bowen handles whatever comes at her with an extraordinarily willing attitude, and she may well be rewarded for her efforts now that Jane Lynch has taken home her trophy.

Jane Krakowski (30 Rock)
Krakowski managed to hang on to another nomination last year and avoid the fate of two of her male costars, who were recognized for season three and then forgotten the following year. That makes me think that Krakowski might well become a default nominee. She was often ignored and abused during the season, but she went out on a high note with her Paul-animal material in the finale, so I think she’ll probably be back.

Jane Lynch (Glee)
Last year’s winner and the recently announced emcee of the ceremony shouldn’t have any trouble returning to the race this year. It seems unlikely that she would win again given the considerable decrease in the amount of material she had this season as compared with the previous one, but it’s important never to underestimate the pull of popularity, which she and the show clearly have at the moment.

Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men)
It’s still perplexing to fathom that Taylor has managed four nominations sprinkled over the past four years for what is essentially a recurring role. She has appeared in less than half of the show’s episodes over the years, and therefore the fact that she only popped in for six episodes this past season may not impact her chances at all. I still don’t think this show is ripe for any more nominations, and I think she’ll be out the door.

Sofia Vergara (Modern Family)
This Colombian actress is one of the outright funniest parts of her show, and if her Golden Globe and SAG nominations this past year are any indication, she’s only getting more popular by the minute. There’s plenty of material in the show for Vergara to have a wealth of options to choose from, so she’s definitely getting nominated and could very well win if she isn’t edged out by her calmer costar.

Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live)
Here’s an important question regarding the chances that this variety performer will return for a third consecutive nomination: does having a big-screen career take off help or hinder your TV reputation? Wiig’s presence here has always felt fickle to me since she doesn’t have the consistency of a weekly scripted series to work from in terms of her material. Still, she’ll probably be back for another nomination.

Past nominees:
Jenna Fischer (The Office)
It continues to astound me that Fischer has only ever been nominated once in this show’s six-year history, and though it’s not entirely likely, the seventh season could be just the ticket for Fischer’s return to this category. No longer the secretary and now a self-proclaimed office administrator, Pam has had a lot to do this past year, and been one of the most consistent characters. Can she make a return to this race?

New contenders:
Tamsin Greig (Episodes)
Two questions arise here: is anyone watching this show, and do those who are like the character enough to nominate its portrayer? Matt LeBlanc’s self-depiction may be the only aspect of this show nominated, but the hard-headed, no-nonsense female half of the writing duo deserves recognition as well. It’s a subtler, more stern kind of part, but Greig earning a nod is within the realm of possibility.

Phyllis Somerville (The Big C)
I’m still not sure how this show is going to play with Emmy voters and whether it will earn any love aside from star Laura Linney. This long-working actress, however, was excellent as nutty neighbor Marlene, and her hilarious and heartfelt performance could well grab her a nomination. It’s all a matter of how the show does in other categories.

Betty White (Hot in Cleveland)
At this rate, Betty White could get nominated for anything. White has netted four nominations in the past decade for guesting on four different shows, and having her on a regular program will definitely get a nomination, and she’ll probably win too, following up on her SAG victory over Golden Globe champ Jane Lynch.

No comments: