Monday, August 13, 2012

AFT Awards: Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series

This is the second category of the 6th Annual AFT Television Awards, my personal choices for the best in television during the 2011-2012 season. This year, semi-finalists are included to recognize more of the impressive work being done on television today. Nominees are pictured in the order I’ve ranked them.

Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Last year’s nominees: Jennifer Beals, Julianna Margulies, Elisabeth Moss, Katey Sagal, Kyra Sedgwick

Emmy nominees: Kathy Bates, Glenn Close, Claire Danes, Michelle Dockery, Julianna Margulies, Elisabeth Moss

Semi-finalists: None

Finalists: Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy) was fierce as ever as a matriarch slowly learning that she couldn’t always defend herself. Anna Paquin (True Blood) faced witches and got to pursue new romances as her show because about much more than just her. Lauren Graham (Parenthood) dealt with a long-running relationship and troublesome children, all best handled with sarcasm and self-pity. Mireille Enos (The Killing) doubled down to solve her case as the walls closed in around her. Glenn Close (Damages) started to spiral out of control due to internal issues but still kept her composure eerily well.

The nominees:

Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) struggled with forging a new path for herself as she expressed her wonderful independence. Jessica Pare (Mad Men) turned what could have been a terrible character into a mesmerizing figure with ambitions and emotions of her own. Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) saw her life come full-circle as she moved past old woes to encounter unexpected new developments. Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer) began to unravel as her character and conduct was called into question, and she pressed on with further determination.

The winner:

Claire Danes (Homeland) concocted an astonishingly damaged and immensely watchable character, a brilliant CIA agent with a momentous hunch handicapped by her bipolar disorder.

Next up: Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

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