Tuesday, August 2, 2016

AFT Awards: Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

This is the fourth category of the 10th Annual AFT Television Awards, my personal choices for the best in television during the 2015-2016 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: Aya Cash, Brit Marling, Rose McIver, Amy Poehler, Gina Rodriguez

Emmy nominees: Ellie Kemper, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Laurie Metcalf, Tracie Ellis Ross, Amy Schumer, Lily Tomlin

Semi-finalists: Aya Cash (You're the Worst), Dolly Wells (Doll and Em), Emily Mortimer (Doll and Em), Emmy Rossum (Shameless), Judy Greer (Married), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), Krista Allen (Significant Mother), Lena Dunham (Girls), Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie), Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black)

Finalists: Melanie Lynskey (Togetherness) didn’t do a great job holding it together, and watching her come apart as she struggled to blaze ahead was truly a delight. Rose McIver (iZombie) was singularly sardonic as she evolved into a whole new kind of zombie mortician. Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) maintained her charm in motherhood as life started to get the best of her. Elizabeth Gillies (Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll) held her own in a group of rock star men as the young starlet ready for a successful career. Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) didn’t let any of New York’s latest modernities get to her as she continued to march forward with a smile on her face.

The nominees:

Michaela Watkins (Casual) stepped into a lead role with a firmly genuine approach, embodying her imperfect relationship-phobic therapist with all the right traits to make her compelling. Priscilla Faia (You, Me, Her) and Rachel Blanchard (You, Me, Her) were tremendously tantalizing as two-thirds of the newly open-minded Portland threesome on their superb show. Natalie Zea (The Detour) landed a regular role worthy of her talents and rose to the challenge commendably.

The winner:

Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) threw herself fully into a part she created, playing a woman so consumed by daydreams and fantasies that she wasn’t living in the real world. It was an incomparable treat to watch her sing and dance, never afraid to invest herself totally in the zaniness.

Next up: Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

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