Thursday, September 6, 2012

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Nominees are pictured and listed in alphabetical order. Submitted episode titles are in parentheses. Beware of minor spoilers for listed episodes.

Kathy Bates as Harriet Korn, Harry’s Law (Onward and Upward)
Bates now has now earned eleven Emmy nominations, also recognized this year in the guest actress category for appearing on “Two and a Half Men.” Bates’ nomination for the now-defunct NBC legal series is another instance of Emmy voters’ inexplicable love for David E. Kelley fare. Though she plays the piano and sings in the show’s series finale, this is hardly her best work and it would be astonishing if enough people voted for her to pull off a win.

Glenn Close as Patty Hewes, Damages (I’ve Done Way Too Much For This Girl)
Though the show has improved considerably since its first two seasons, which netted nominations for Best Drama Series and wins back-to-back wins for Close, her inclusion at this point is merely ceremonial. After a year off the air, Close returns with an episode that allows her to be funny in therapy and shows off Patty’s slightly warmer, highly sarcastic side. She’s had her time, however, and her nomination is her reward this year.

Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison, Homeland (The Vest)
Danes has great Emmy history, earning a nomination in this category seventeen years ago at age sixteen and winning two years ago for her starring role in the TV movie “Temple Grandin.” She picked up a Golden Globe in January for her astounding turn as a bipolar CIA officer, and her selected episode shows her off her meds and making brilliant conclusions in the process. It’s a doozy, and hopefully it’s enough to propel her to a win.

Michelle Dockery as Mary Crawley, Downton Abbey (Episode 7)
The most featured daughter on the hit PBS import earns her first major awards nomination for the show’s extremely well-received second season. Like most of her costars, she submitted the extended Christmas special, which sees her ending one relationship and starting another long-anticipated romance. If voters are enthusiastic enough about the show, she’s the second-best choice to Maggie Smith, so it’s quite possible she could win.

Julianna Margulies as Alicia Flockhart, The Good Wife (Parenting Made Easy)
After losing out to surprise winner Kyra Sedgwick two years ago, Margulies trounced the competition last year. Now, she’s without the backing of her show in the Best Drama Series category. In her submitted episode, she gets to go head-to-head with Michael J. Fox’s manipulative lawyer, frets over her missing son, and gets broken up with by Will. It’s a perfect submission, but I don’t think she’ll repeat.

Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson, Mad Men (The Other Woman)
This is Moss’ fourth consecutive nomination, and, as usual, she’s got a stellar submission. Watching Peggy finally work up the courage to quit and accept a better job offer and not back down when Don tried to intimidate her into staying was magnificent, and Moss handled it extraordinarily. If she couldn’t win before, I’m not sure she’ll have a great shot considering the new hotter competition.

Who should win (based on entire season): Danes
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Danes
Who will win: It could be Margulies again or Moss, but I think this category should be safely set for Danes.

Next up: Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

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