Tuesday, August 9, 2016

AFT Awards: Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

This is the sixth 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 Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Last year’s nominees: Carrie Coon, Ann Dowd, Lena Headey, Olivia Munn, Franka Potente

Emmy nominees: Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Maggie Smith, Maura Tierney, Maisie Williams, Constance Zimmer

Semi-finalists: Abigail Spencer (Rectify), Ana de la Reguera (Narcos), Deborah Ann Woll (Daredevil), Elizabeth Henstridge (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Emily Hampshire (12 Monkeys), Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey), Katee Sackhoff (Longmire), Laura Regan (Minority Report), Lena Headey (Game of Thrones), Lesley Nicol (Downton Abbey), Maggie Siff (Billions), Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), Malin Akerman (Billions), Maria Doyle Kennedy (Orphan Black), Paula Malcomson (Ray Donovan), Phyllis Logan (Downton Abbey), Rose Rollins (The Catch), Sarah Shahi (Person of Interest), Sonya Walger (The Catch), Zoie Palmer (Dark Matter)

Finalists: Amy Acker (Person of Interest) closed out her character – and her show – on the most gut-wrenchingly effective way possible, eternally committed to the cause and to delivering her take on things with her twisted sense of humor. Emily Berrington (Humans) was by far the most interesting player on her show, human or synthetic, unbound by the same impulse controls as those around her and not happy to sit back and be abused. Carly Chaikin (Mr. Robot) and Portia Doubleday (Mr. Robot) were both electric parts of their show and of Elliot’s life, each contributing a very different female perspective to the quest to bring down evil and corruption. Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey) was funny and brilliant until the end, stealing every scene in which she appeared.

The nominees:

Maura Tierney (The Affair) took on a bigger role in her show’s second season and transformed the already prickly Helen into a deeply broken and vulnerable woman in her own right. Rachael Taylor (Jessica Jones) offered tremendous support and a steely, often reckless resolve for her far more literally impenetrable friend, transforming a potentially forgettable character into one of the show’s most vital ingredients. Jamie Clayton (Sense8) was easily the standout of her show, emotionally portraying its most compelling character and demonstrating her commitment to doing good and treating others well. Regina King (The Leftovers) was fiery and unforgettable as season two’s best addition, a force to be reckoned with in a cultish town with far purer motivations than most of her show’s figureheads.

The winner:

Rhea Seehorn (Better Call Saul), who rarely had a role to play in season one, became a full-fledged part of her show, full of so much potential yet prone to indulging ideas of what could be and inseparable from the alluring anchor also known as Jimmy.

Next up: Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

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