Tuesday, September 19, 2017

AFT Awards: Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

This is the twelfth category of the 11th Annual AFT Television Awards, my personal choices for the best in television during the 2016-2017 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 Comedy Series

Last year’s nominees: Sasha Alexander, Eliza Coupe, Claire Danes, Regina Hall, Callie Thorne

Emmy nominees: Becky Ann Baker, Angela Bassett, Carrie Fisher, Melissa McCarthy, Wanda Sykes, Kristen Wiig

Semi-finalists: Adrienne C. Moore (Orange is the New Black), Amanda Stephen (Orange is the New Black), Amy Landecker (People of Earth), Anna Camp (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Becky Ann Baker (Girls), Condola Rashad (Master of None), Gabrielle Ruiz (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Katie Aselton (Casual), Leisha Hailey (Silicon Valley), Lesley Nicol (The Catch), Lindsey Kraft (Grace and Frankie), Lori Petty (Orange is the New Black), Maggie Lawson (The Great Indoors), Marceline Hugot (The Detour), Maya Rudolph (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Natalie Morales (Santa Clarita Diet), Olivia Colman (Fleabag), Samara Wiley (You're the Worst), Tina Fey (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Tiya Sircar (Master of None)

Finalists: June Squibb (Shameless) was endearing and entertaining as an aging woman without too much memory recall or much in the way of social skills. Collette Wolfe (You're the Worst) was a shining star on her show, never meant to stay long due to her kindness and genuine excitement. Tiya Sircar (The Good Place) did a marvelous job representing what it means to be good, sticking out among a group of terrible people. Katie Finneran (Brockmire) went head-to-head with Hank Azaria for command of their scenes and left quite an impression with her formidable appearances. Blair Brown (Orange is the New Black) brought some celebrity Southern charm to a place where it definitely didn’t belong.

The nominees:

Britt Robertson (Casual) presented herself initially as a professional colleague and then became something altogether more unforgettable very quickly. Rebecca Naomi Jones (Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll) jived well with Gigi right away and helped to liven up the energy of her show in an unexpected way. Portia de Rossi (Santa Clarita Diet) used her signature style of speaking to tremendous effect in a memorable, matter-of-fact role. Jane Adams (Atlanta) was hard to forget as an agent who definitely didn’t remember the person she was talking to correctly.

The winner:

Laura Benanti (The Detour) was relentless and excessively exuberant in all the right ways, taking her role as a member of the mail police so incredibly seriously. “Mail, mail, we will not fail” is still stuck in my head.

Next up: Best Directing for a Drama Series

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