Wednesday, September 13, 2017

AFT Awards: Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

This is the eighth 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 Comedy Series

Last year’s nominees: Tara Lynne Barr, Paget Brewster, Elaine Hendrix, Zoe Lister-Jones, Noel Wells

Emmy nominees: Vanessa Bayer, Anna Chlumsky, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Jones, Judith Light, Kate McKinnon

Semi-finalists: Alice Wetterlund (People of Earth), Allison Williams (Girls), Amy Landecker (Transparent), Andrea Navedo (Jane the Virgin), Anna Chlumsky (Veep), Ashley Gerasinovich (The Detour), Brooklyn Decker (Grace and Frankie), Busy Phillips (Vice Principals), Christine Ko (The Great Indoors), D'Arcy Carden (The Good Place), Donna Lynne Champlin (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Elaine Hendrix (Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll), Gaby Hoffmann (Transparent), Georga King (Vice Principals), Hannah Marks (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency), Ivonne Coll (Jane the Virgin), Jameela Jamil (The Good Place), Jane Krakowski (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Judith Light (Transparent), June Diane Raphael (Grace and Frankie), Kathryn Hahn (Transparent), Kether Donohue (You're the Worst), Kimberly Hebert Gregory (Vice Principals), Liv Hewson (Santa Clarita Diet), Mary Elizabeth Ellis (Santa Clarita Diet), Philippa Coulthard (The Catch), Sian Clifford (Fleabag), Sonya Walger (The Catch), Susannah Fielding (The Great Indoors), Vella Lovell (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Yael Grobglas (Jane the Virgin), Zazie Beetz (Atlanta), Zoe Lister-Jones (Life in Pieces)

Finalists: It still doesn’t feel entirely right putting them in this category, but Danielle Brooks (Orange is the New Black) and Samara Wiley (Orange is the New Black) were the standouts from a massive ensemble as the most genuine, politically proactive prisoners who took stands based on their beliefs. Tara Lynne Barr (Casual) continued to compellingly make mistake after mistake as she navigated into new areas without much knowledge of what she was doing. Emma Kenney (Shameless) entered a new stage of her life with a surprising outlook and plan for success. Meredith Hagner (Search Party) made her lack of self-awareness an asset, energizing an otherwise lackluster and almost nonexistent investigation with her acting enthusiasm.

The nominees:

Jade Eshete (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency) was soft-spoken but intelligent and resilient, staying true to her commitments as the quietest of her colorful cast. Yvonne Orji (Insecure) complemented Issa well as a woman with a successful job struggling just as much to get by. Sherri Shepherd (Trial and Error) and Jayma Mays (Trial and Error) were wondrous elements of East Peck, the former afflicted with every possible minor condition and the latter eager to embrace the particular absurdities of her town to her advantage.

The winner:

Fiona Dourif (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency) was the perfect counterpart to the show’s title character, doing things just to do them and seeing what happens as a result. Her demeanor was particularly memorable, and she’s one holistic assassin you’d never want to meet.

Next up: Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series