Thursday, August 14, 2014

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Supporting 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.

Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart, The Good Wife (The Last Call)
Baranski, who has been nominated five years in a row, chose the same episode as costar Julianna Margulies, which deals with the aftermath of a devastating and extremely transformative event in the history of the show. Diane responds initially by shutting down, which is a disconcerting sight, and then by employing her token shrewd nature with a shocking move. It’s a great showcase for her that might earn her her first Emmy since her first of fourteen nominations back in 1995.

Joanne Froggatt as Anna Bates, Downton Abbey (Episode 2)
Froggatt was nominated two years ago and now returns thanks to her affecting work in her disturbing plotline this season. Her episode features her character being raped by a visitor who initially seems friendly, and the beginnings of what ends up being a difficult journey back to some sort of normalcy. Anna has always been the most sympathetic character on her show, and this performance may just net her the win.

Anna Gunn as Skyler White, Breaking Bad (Ozymandias)
Gunn won this award last year, and it’s very possible she might win again for the final year of her show. Her submitted episode features her last half-decent interaction with Walt, which of course quickly turns sour as she realizes just who he is and tells him how she feels. There’s tough competition, but I think her show might sweep, and she could well be part of that again.

Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, Game of Thrones (The Lion and the Rose)
Headey scored her first Emmy nomination for her complex performance of the increasingly evil Cersei on HBO’s fantasy series. In her submitted episode, Cersei reveals the lengths she will go to in order to be cruel before tragedy strikes and she truly has a reason to be vicious. It’s a formidable episode for her, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she rallied and managed to overtake her fellow nominees.

Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway, Mad Men (The Strategy)
This is Hendrick’s fifth consecutive nomination for this role. Emmy voters’ regard for this show has clearly declined, and Hendricks is the only remaining regular cast member nominated aside from star Jon Hamm. Her submission finds her in a typically unfortunate situation but sees her standing up for herself and for her individuality. While it’s strong, there’s no way that this is the hour that wins it for her considering her past submissions.

Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, Downton Abbey (Episode 8)
Smith is on her fourth nomination for this role, and won this award for the show’s first two seasons. In the show’s fourth season finale, Violet helps her granddaughter Edith to get back on track following a life-changing development and has some lighter moments bickering with Shirley MacLaine’s Martha. She’s won before, so she could again, but I think her costar Froggatt is more likely this year.

Who should win (based on entire season): Headey
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Headey, Gunn, or Froggatt
Who will win: It’s a competitive year, and I’m torn between predicting Froggatt or Headey. It could also be Gunn or Baranski.

Next up: Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

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