Friday, September 13, 2013

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

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

Dot-Marie Jones as Coach Shannon Bieste, Glee (Shooting Star)
This is the third consecutive nomination for Jones for her portrayal of McKinley High’s football coach. Her submitted episode features a school shooting, and there’s little comic material given to Jones. It’s a decent dramatic performance, but not one that belongs in this category. I can’t imagine that Jones would win, especially this year.

Melissa Leo as Laurie, Louie (Telling Jokes/Set Up)
Oscar Winner Leo has been nominated for an Emmy once before, for her supporting performance in HBO’s miniseries “Mildred Pierce” in 2011. Here, she gets the opportunity to play a blind date set up for Louie who turns out to have quite a fearsome personality. It’s a fun if vile performance, and I think she’s a decent bet to win as the most uncensored nominee in this race.

Melissa McCarthy as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live (Host: Melissa McCarthy)
This is the second consecutive nomination for McCarthy as host of SNL. She won the Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series trophy two years ago for “Mike and Molly” and was nominated again last year. Now that she’s been dropped from that race, she might have better luck here following in the footsteps of two female SNL hosts to win Emmys. She gives it her all in her episode, even if her characters are relatively repetitive and predictable.

Molly Shannon as Eileen, Enlightened (The Ghost is Seen)
This is Shannon’s second-ever Emmy bid, following her 2000 nomination in the now-defunct variety performer category. Her role on HBO’s cancelled series is a much more stoic one, but she plays so brilliantly off series creator Mike White that her place here is well-deserved. Her submitted installment is a particularly emotional and terrific one, and recognizing her offbeat performance would be a great way to honor this departed series.

Elaine Stritch as Colleen Donaghy, 30 Rock (My Whole Life is Thunder)
Stritch won this award for this role back in 2006, and was nominated three times in a row after that before taking two years off. Now she’s back for her final episode, in which she gives her son guilt as her health rapidly declines. Stritch has two more Emmys under her belt, so she’s a formidable enemy for her fellow actresses, and could easily bookend her show with Emmys for its first and final seasons.

Kristen Wiig as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live (Host: Kristen Wiig)
Wiig comes to this category after departing her show as a series regular last year following four consecutive nominations in the supporting actress category and returning to host its season finale. Wiig has many familiar characters and feels at home among the cast of her show, but there’s nothing particularly different about having her as host then having her as an ensemble player. A number about all the things she remembers incorrectly about her time on the show won’t cut it, and I think Wiig will have to settle for a fifth nomination.

Who should win (based on entire season): N/A
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Shannon
Who will win: I think it will be Leo or Stritch, and I’ll give the edge to the former Emmy champ.

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