Tuesday, September 12, 2017

AFT Awards: Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series

This is the second 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 Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Last year’s nominees: Carrie Coon, Melissa Benoist, Krysten Ritter, Tatiana Maslany, Ruth WIlson

Emmy nominees: Viola Davis, Claire Foy, Elisabeth Moss, Keri Russell, Evan Rachel Wood, Robin Wright

Semi-finalists: Abigail Spencer (Timeless), Brit Marling (The OA), Chloe Bennet (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Gemma Chan (Humans), Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex), Melissa O'Neil (Dark Matter), Ruth Wilson (The Affair)

Finalists: Elizabeth Henstridge (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) was the driving force for the sane and grounded in this season, always remembering that perception isn’t everything. Claire Foy (The Crown) was a compelling young figure thrust into a position of regal prominence singularly capable of understanding her new role. Amanda Schull (12 Monkeys) is now as comfortable a time-traveler as anyone from her future who managed to be even more on-mission than those initially sent to find her. Carrie Coon (The Leftovers) evolved to a new level of self-discovery, no longer content to just the let the world happen to her. Melissa Benoist (Supergirl) kept up her peppy spirit as she embarked upon a new career and continued to serve as a beacon of hope.

The nominees:

Rachel Keller (Legion) was possibly the subtlest element of her show, sent in on a mission and taken in by its subject, guided by a true sense of wonder. Michelle Dockery (Good Behavior) followed up a popular turn as a cruel heiress with an even more magnetic one as an equally desperate and daring con artist. Evan Rachel Wood (Westworld) was focused and formidable as a programmed robot coming to life. Robin Wright (House of Cards) took on a new importance in this season as she became more and more like her husband.

The winner:

Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale) was a tremendous force for resilience as the central figure hanging on to some sense of sanity in a horrific nightmare of a world.

Next up: Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

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