Monday, August 1, 2016

AFT Awards: Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series

This is the second 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 Drama Series

Last year’s nominees: Diane Kruger, Tatiana Maslany, Elisabeth Moss, Ruth Wilson, Robin Wright

Emmy nominees: Claire Danes, Viola Davis, Taraji P. Henson, Tatiana Maslany, Keri Russell, Robin Wright

Semi-finalists: Amanda Schull (12 Monkeys), Jennifer Carpenter (Limitless), Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex), Meagan Good (Minority Report), Melissa O'Neil (Dark Matter) Br />
Finalists: Mireille Enos (The Catch) transformed into a whole new TV lead with her latest role, which showed that she was capable of having lots of fun while anchoring a surprisingly entertaining show. Robin Wright (House of Cards) took advantage of an unexpected situation to usurp even more power but then smartly pivoted an even more advantageous position. Gemma Chan (Humans) imbued subtle traits of humanity to a synthetic invention capable of much more than her maker new. Laura Carmichael (Downton Abbey) took the spotlight from her TV sister to deliver the most compelling performance in the final season of her show. Jaimie Alexander (Blindspot) was a fresh find, the most consistent and strongest part of an uneven series.

The nominees:

Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) was astonishing as ever in her show’s fourth season, constantly impressing with her multiple layered performances in each episode. Ruth Wilson (The Affair) stayed strong as she became a very different player in her own story yet couldn’t manage to combat overwhelming loneliness. Melissa Benoist (Supergirl) was so sunny and chipper as the anchor of a show that served as a marvelous reminder of how superheroes can be fun. Carrie Coon (The Leftovers) played a different part as a member of a family, tackling this new world with a renewed sense of what is possible.

The winner:

Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones) found the perfect role as a disgruntled failed superhero who pairs a total lack of patience with a furious commitment to doing the right thing and protecting those who can’t fight for themselves.

Next up: Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

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