Thursday, September 3, 2015

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

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

Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton, Nurse Jackie (I Say a Little Prayer)
This is Falco’s thirteenth career Emmy nomination and her sixth consecutive bid for this show. She won three times for “The Sopranos” and once for the freshman season of this show. She’s nominated for the final season – and the series finale – of her show, in which she gets to reminisce but also doesn’t get the happy ending she could have. She won already and there is plenty of competition, so I don’t think she’ll get a bookend trophy.

Lisa Kudrow as Valerie Cherish, The Comeback (Valerie is Taken Seriously)
Kudrow’s situation is interesting – she was nominated and won for her work on “Friends” and then scored a nomination for the first season of this show, which was cancelled by HBO right away. Now, the network has brought it back, and Kudrow is here again for her immensely awkward performance as an actress with absolutely no self-awareness. Her submitted episode finds her acting on greenscreen and preparing for an interview. I don’t think enough people can appreciate the character for her to net a win.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer, Veep (Election Night)
This is Louis-Dreyfus’ sixteenth career nomination, and she’s the three-time defending champion in this race. This year she submitted the season finale which is another great showcase. I’d think that it’s someone else’s turn to win, but her show is just as popular as ever, and so I think she might earn her fourth consecutive trophy.

Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, Parks & Recreation (One Last Ride)
This is Poehler’s sixth nomination, and, in a pleasant surprise, her show is actually nominated for Best Comedy Series along with her. This is the final season of her show, and she smartly submitted the sentimental and funny series finale. If there’s justice in the world, she’ll finally win the trophy she’s deserved every year of the show, but I’m not too confident in her chances at this point given Emmy voters’ general disregard of her show.

Amy Schumer as Various Characters, Inside Amy Schumer (Cool with It)
Schumer scored this year for starring in her variety series, an impressive feat considering most variety players that have earned Emmy nominations have been from the supporting races. Schumer is on fire right now, very popular in television and film, but I don’t think that this is really a turn that’s going to appeal to Emmy voters as the strongest lead actress in a comedy, especially not based on this episode.

Lily Tomlin as Frankie, Grace and Frankie (The Vows)
Tomlin, an awards favorite, scored a nomination over her similarly beloved costar Jane Fonda for playing an older woman whose husband leaves her for her lifelong business partner. Tomlin is a hoot on the show as free spirit Gracie, but as a regular watcher, I’m puzzled by her submission of the season finale, which doesn’t give her much comedic material or screentime. I can’t imagine she’ll win with this as her selection.

Who should win (based on entire season): Poehler or Louis-Dreyfus
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Poehler
Who will win: It’s her last shot, so I have to give Poehler my backing. It might be Louis-Dreyfus again though.

Next up: Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

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