Friday, September 18, 2015

AFT Awards: Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

This is the fourth category of the 9th Annual AFT Television Awards, my personal choices for the best in television during the 2014-2015 season. 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 Comedy Series

Last year’s nominees: Zooey Deschanel, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tamsin Greig, Amy Poehler, Taylor Schilling

Emmy nominees: Edie Falco, Lisa Kudrow, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Lily Tomlin

Semi-finalists: Becki Newton (Weird Loners), Emmy Rossum (Shameless), Judy Greer (Married), Kathryn Hahn (Happyish), Lena Dunham (Girls), Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie)

Finalists: Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) was amazingly bubbly and full of unflappable spirit in a way that made her show actually work. Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep) took on a new role with her same signature sarcastic, vicious nature that left none of her underlings lacking for insults. Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black) took a backseat to her ensemble but still infused Piper with spunk and intellect. Tamsin Greig (Episodes) contended with the latest American shenanigans to plague her show and an unfortunate new nemesis. Melanie Lynskey (Togetherness) was quiet and shy as a character who anchored her show with her well-meaning sweetness and yearning for adventure.

The nominees:

Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) was delightful as the dedicated lifelong public servant who closed out her show with a wonderful final season. Rose McIver (iZombie) was a different kind of hero, one who never displayed enthusiasm of her own but got to show it through other people’s emotions. Brit Marling (Babylon) was a force to be reckoned with as a communications director with attitude and a penchant for being cutthroat. Aya Cash (You're the Worst) was perfectly depraved as a selfish young woman utterly unconcerned with anyone else’s opinion of her.

The winner:

Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) was, above all else, genuine in her portrayal of an eager aspiring whose accidental insemination threw her whole life plan off course, anchoring this English telenovela with her likeable protagonist.

Next up: Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series