Monday, September 16, 2013
Nominees are pictured and listed in alphabetical order. Submitted episode titles are in parentheses. Beware of minor spoilers for listed episodes.
Laura Dern as Amy Jellicoe, Enlightened (All I Ever Wanted)
Dern, who took home a Golden Globe for the first season of her show, was passed over for a nomination in a seven-wide field last year, and then inexplicably got nominated after her show was cancelled following its second season. I’m delighted because I love her show, and her role is so different from all the other women here. Dern has four previous nominations in four different categories, and has yet to win. In her submitted episode, Amy has to deal with two men in her life pulling her in opposite directions, which makes for a superb spotlight that could well help her win.
Lena Dunham as Hannah Horvath, Girls (Bad Friend)
The young Dunham had four individual Emmy nominations last year, and this year she’s down to three. Her show still fared quite well, but it’s clear that it’s not as popular as it was during season one. In her submitted episode, probably the strongest of Hannah’s plotlines all season, she gets to be the good guy for once and be mad at her friends for being dishonest and unfair to her. It’s about the best I could have presented for Dunham in season two, and maybe it will convince voters too.
Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton, Nurse Jackie (The Luck of the Drawing)
This is Falco’s eleventh career Emmy nomination. She won three times for “The Sopranos” and once for the freshman season of this show. After a surprise resurgence that netted two other acting nominations for her show last year, both of which repeated this year, Falco is once again contending in this field for the fourth time. In her submitted episode, Falco struggles with an impossible custody battle and shows how her maternal instincts win out over anything else. It’s a fine selection, but this award has gone to a different person every year since 2000, and I don’t think Falco will be the one to break that streak.
Tina Fey as Liz Lemon, 30 Rock (Hogcock/Last Lunch)
No one notes Fey’s nomination statistics the way they do Lena Dunham’s and Louis C.K.’s, but it’s worth pointing out that Fey has earned at least three nominations per year since her show started, and that total is up to seven this year, including a bid for Best Original Music and Lyrics for a song performed in her submitted episode. Choosing the series finale is indisputably smart, especially because she’s so perfect in it. Her winning would be an excellent testament to the success of her show, and I could definitely see it happening.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer, Veep (Running)
Louis-Dreyfus is now three for three, earning one Emmy apiece for “Seinfeld,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” and this show. She’s on nomination number fourteen, and the defending champion in this race. I would have said that she’s a lock to win if she had submitted the season finale in which she finally ends up in a position of true power and positivity, but the penultimate episode, in which she walks through a glass door, is a good submission too. She could easily win again, though voters may want to spread the wealth, since the last person to win this trophy two years in a row was Patricia Heaton thirteen years ago.
Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation (Emergency Response/Leslie and Ben)
Inexplicably, Poehler is on her fourth consecutive nomination, but her show has just one other nomination, for sound mixing, this year. Emmy voters clearly do like Poehler, even if they don’t love her show for some reason. Her submitted episode is a fantastic two-parter that sees her thrive under pressure and then plan a rare spontaneous life cycle event. She should have won by now, but maybe this will finally be the year!
Who should win (based on entire season): Poehler or Louis-Dreyfus
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Poehler or Dunham
Who will win: It could well be Louis-Dreyfus again, but I’m going to hope for the best and say Poehler finally takes it.
Next up: Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series