Thursday, August 29, 2013

AFT Awards: Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series

This is the second category of the 7th Annual AFT Television Awards, my personal choices for the best in television during the 2012-2013 seasons. Finalists and semi-finalists are included to recognize more of the impressive work 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: Claire Danes, Julianna Margulies, Elisabeth Moss, Jessica ParĂ©, Kyra Sedgwick

Emmy nominees: Connie Britton, Claire Danes, Michelle Dockery, Vera Farmiga, Elisabeth Moss, Kerry Washington, Robin Wright

Semi-finalists: Gabrielle Anwar (Burn Notice), Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer), Glenn Close (Damages), Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey), Mary McDonnell (Major Crimes), Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy)

Finalists: Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) dealt with life’s cyclical curveballs as she became more and more like her mentor. Lucy Liu (Elementary) was a surprisingly strong modern-day female Dr. Watson and the perfect foil to Jonny Lee Miller’s Sherlock Holmes. Connie Britton (Nashville) and Hayden Panettiere (Nashville) were excellent adversaries, both equally obsessed with fame and the music world, and both just as deeply flawed. Robin Wright (House of Cards) matched wits with Kevin Spacey’s mastermind, and chewed out more than her fair share of people in the process.

The nominees:

Claire Danes (Homeland) made Carrie just as mesmerizingly crazy and committed as she used to be but on a much more public scale. Emily Mortimer (The Newsroom) was a wonderful fit for Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue and a firecracker in the studio. Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) dealt with unexpected political and personal developments with her usual blend of confidence and humility. Dominique McElligott (Hell on Wheels) imbued her show’s most strong-willed female character with an intelligence and conviction equal to that of her male counterparts.

The winner:

Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) played so many different roles that it actually seemed like they were being portrayed by different actresses. Her main part, Sarah, was almost her most simplistic and least impressive, but that’s the beauty of her controlled and marvelous performances.

Next up: Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

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