Saturday, September 5, 2015

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

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

Mayim Bialik as Amy Fowler, The Big Bang Theory (The Prom Equivalency)
This is Bialik’s fourth consecutive nomination, and she managed to survive her show and star Jim Parsons being shut out this year. Bialik’s episode is not the strongest one she’s submitted, giving her the chance to attend a prom with Sheldon and prepare to experience all the things that come with it. She’s sweet and funny, but it’s not a standout installment.

Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy, Modern Family (Valentine’s Day 4: Twisted Sister)
This is Bowen’s sixth nomination. She has won twice, in 2011 and 2012. I’ve grown tired of this show, and I think this episode’s title gives away its lack of creativity, revisiting her alter ego Juliana opposite Phil’s Clive Bixby. This is a competitive field and I don’t think her submission is strong enough to win it, but she could easily prevail anyway.

Anna Chlumsky as Amy Brookheimer, Veep (Convention)
Chlumsky returns with her third consecutive nomination, and this is the best submission she’s chosen yet. Her episode features a fantastic scene in which she explodes at those around her for not listening to her, and it’s exactly the kind of scene that wins an Emmy. I hope she wins since it’s definitely the best submission among all of these.

Gaby Hoffmann as Ali Pfefferman, Transparent (Rollin’)
Hoffmann is a two-time nominee this year, also recognized for her guest spot on “Girls.” She’s one of the strongest members of the ensemble as the younger daughter of the Pfefferman family, and in the series’ third episode, she tries for an ambitious sexual experience and then ends up getting extremely high and apologizing to a cab driver for the Armenian genocide, among other things. It’s not the typical comedic performance, but it would be so great if she did manage to win.

Allison Janney as Bonnie, Mom (Dropped Soap and a Big Guy on a Throne)
Janney won two Emmys last year, one for this role and one for her guest spot on “Masters of Sex” for which she’s nominated again this year. Her submission is the definition of a sitcom plotline, finding her struggling with physical debilitation after she hurts her back. It gives her plenty of comedic fodder, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if she won again.

Jane Krakowski as Jacqueline Voorhees, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Kimmy Gets a Job!)
Krakowski is a past Emmy nominee for “30 Rock,” and now she’s recognized for her role as airheaded housewife Jacqueline on Netflix’s new show. She submitted the second episode, in which she tries to make sure her eternally traveling husband is interested in her, and I wrote in my review that it’s a role designed for Krakowski. She never won in the past, and I don’t think her show is quite popular enough for her to win now, but you never know.

Kate McKinnon as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live (Host: Taraji P. Henson)
McKinnon is back after being nominated last year for her role in NBC’s long-running variety series. It’s hard to judge submissions like this since every performer doesn’t appear in all the sketches, but McKinnon is pretty strong in everything she’s featured in, particularly playing Hilary Clinton. I don’t see her being the first variety player to win a regular series Emmy, especially not this year.

Niecy Nash as Didi Ortley, Getting On (7th Annual Christmas Card Competition)
I am beyond perplexed at Nash’s inclusion here. I had never seen her show and don’t really understand its appeal after watching this episode, but Nash also isn’t prominently featured, especially not in a comedic role. If she wins, I’m not sure what to say – this is a bizarre add-on nomination that feels like Jane Lynch in previous years with no real explanation.

Who should win (based on entire season): Chlumsky or Hoffman
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Chlumsky
Who will win: It will probably be Janney or Bowen again, but I’ll go out on a limb and say that voters will actually watch the episodes and give it to Chlumsky.

Next up: Best Directing for a Drama Series

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