Tuesday, September 6, 2016

AFT Awards: Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series

This is the tenth 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 Guest Actress in a Drama Series

Last year’s nominees: Odette Annable, Evelyne Brochu, Kat Dennings, Annabeth Gish, Ashley Hinshaw

Emmy nominees: Ellen Burstyn, Allison Janney, Margo Martindale, Laurie Metcalf, Molly Parker, Carrie Preston

Semi-finalists: Ally Walker (Longmire), Alyssa Diaz (Ray Donovan), Analeigh Tipton (Limitless), Bethany Joy Lenz (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Eliza Dushku (Banshee), Emily Kinney (Masters of Sex), Indira Varma (Game of Thrones), Jessalyn Wanlim (Orphan Black), Laura Vandervoort (Supergirl), Lesley Nicol (The Catch), Oona Laurence (Blindspot), Ruby Rose (Dark Matter), Sandrine Holt (Fear the Walking Dead)

Finalists: Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones) found a way to come back from a desolate, lonely place to once again manipulate the structure of power to the best of her ability. Catalina Sandino Moreno (The Affair) was a mesmerizing addition to an already complex love quadrangle. Robin Weigert (Jessica Jones) had a miserable part and found exactly the right negative energy to channel her character’s inner fury. Frankie Shaw (Mr. Robot) was an electric part of an already electric show, a bright spot for its protagonist who existed on another level. Katie Holmes (Ray Donovan) turned in a mature and alluring performance as the latest powerful woman with an interest in her show’s title character.

The nominees:

Kerry Bishe (Billions) was a sweet, captivating presence who nearly stole the heart of one of her show’s two egotistical protagonists. Judy Greer (Masters of Sex) displayed quite the personality in her biting guest spot as a spurned wife well aware of her husband’s infidelity. Lauren Ambrose (The X-Files) made a glorious return to television as the next generation version of fact-driven scientist Scully, with even better eye-rolls. Alicia Witt (The Walking Dead) personified bitterness and a far-removed sense from any notion of the need for goodness.

The winner:

Merritt Wever (The Walking Dead) was a brave outlier in her dark world, unprepared to deal with the unforgiving permanence and bleakness of her situation and instead set on persevering.

Next up: Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series

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