Wednesday, September 13, 2017

AFT Awards: Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

This is the sixth 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 Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Last year’s nominees: Jamie Clayton, Regina King, Rhea Seehorn, Rachael Taylor, Maura Tierney

Emmy nominees: Uzo Aduba, Millie Bobby Brown, Ann Dowd, Chrissy Metz, Thandie Newton, Samara Wiley

Semi-finalists: Abigail Spencer (Rectify), Amy Brenneman (The Leftovers), Andrea Riseborough (National Treasure), Ann Dowd (The Handmaid's Tale), Caitlin FitzGerald (Masters of Sex), Cassidy Freeman (Longmire), Emily Berrington (Humans), Emily Hampshire (12 Monkeys), Floriana Lima (Supergirl), J. Smith-Cameron (Rectify), Jamie Clayton (Sense8), Julie Walters (National Treasure), Katee Sackhoff (Longmire), Katherine Parkinson (Humans), Katie McGrath (Supergirl), Maisie Richardson-Sellers (Legends of Tomorrow), Margo Martindale (Sneaky Pete), Maria Bello (Goliath), Maura Tierney (The Affair), Melanie Liburd (Dark Matter), Molly Parker (Goliath), Olivia Thirlby (Goliath), Rhea Seehorn (Better Call Saul), Samara Wiley (The Handmaid's Tale), Shannon Woodward (Westworld), Simone Missick (Luke Cage), Tania Raymonde (Goliath), Tena Desae (Sense8), Tessa Thompson (Westworld), Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaid's Tale), Zoie Palmer (Dark Matter)

Finalists: Marin Ireland (Sneaky Pete) was a great sarcastic foil to the title character, much more tuned into what was going on around her than most of her family. Jean Smart (Legion) is wonderful in so many different roles, and her part here was perfect for her, full of confident wisdom yet still so in awe of what was happening around her. Betty Gilpin (Masters of Sex) changed her new workplace dramatically with her presence and became one of her show’s most interesting characters. Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things) was a huge breakout thanks to her shy, focused performance contradicted so majestically by her immense power. Mallory Jansen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) turned what could have been a very one-note character into a formidable and dynamic entity overwhelmed by the amazing power of emotions and life.

The nominees:

Aubrey Plaza (Legion) made the leap from comedy to terrifying drama as a dangerous mental construct with frightening abilities. Grace Gummer (Mr. Robot) and Carly Chaikin (Mr. Robot) were incredibly watchable elements of a show dominated by a magnetic central character, each on opposite sides of a fierce battle for what they believed to be democracy. Nina Arianda (Goliath) was a fantastic and funny outspoken personality not consent to be stifled or trampled on and more than willing to let anyone know it.

The winner:

Thandie Newton (Westworld) captured the unknowable feeling of achieving consciousness from mind control, and watching her realize her surroundings and then take terrifying advantage of them was amazing.

Next up: Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

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