Thursday, September 3, 2015

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series

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

Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison, Homeland (From A to B and Back Again)
Danes won this award two years in a row and then hung on last year despite her show being snubbed in the top category. This year, her show returns to favored status and she’s back too, and with a pretty intense and unforgettable submission following a questionable plot twist and her dealing with a horrifying turn of events. Others are hotter now, but Danes could easily win again.

Viola Davis as Annalise Keating, How to Get Away with Murder (Freakin’ Whack-a-Mole)
Davis is new to this race for her role on Shonda Rimes’ freshman series as a law professor who has her students help her with especially soapy cases. In her submitted episode, Davis gets to challenge the state supreme court and argues quite aggressively and boldly in front of them. People love her, and I think that Emmy voters will be among those who do and will probably give her the trophy.

Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lion, Empire (Pilot)
Everyone expected Henson’s show to score big with Emmy voters, and then she ended up as the only one nominated. It’s an extremely showy performance, and the pilot episode where she gets released from prison is a superb showcase of all the flair that Henson imbues Cookie with and is sure to impress voters enough to push her to top of the competition and maybe enough to give her the win.

Tatiana Maslany as Multiple Characters, Orphan Black (Certain Agony of the Battlefield)
I couldn’t be more ecstatic about the inclusion of the immensely talented Maslany, who plays a handful of characters on her show and excels at making each of them seem like completely different people. This is a great episode but I’m not sure how much it will impress non-regular viewers. Eating a scorpion and dancing in undergarments in money are strong points, and I can’t understand how anyone in their right mind could possibly vote against Maslany.

Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson (Person to Person)
This is the sixth nomination for Moss, who wasn’t cited last year but returns to the field now for her performance in the series finale. This episode is as good as any since it allows her a triumphant resolution and a romantic success as well. I think the competition is too tough and only strong fans of the show would vote for her, but I’d love to see her win.

Robin Wright as Claire Underwood, House of Cards (Chapter 32)
This is a spectacular submission for Wright, who this year earns her third consecutive nomination. This was an extremely memorable hour of the season in which Claire travels to Russia to meet with a political prisoner and struggles to convince him to relinquish his claims and come home with devastating results. The competition is strong, but Wright has a leg up with this submission.

Who should win (based on entire season): Maslany or Moss
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Maslany, Moss, or Wright
Who will win: I’m going to bet on Davis while hoping for Maslany and watching out for Henson and Wright.

Next up: Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

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