Thursday, September 7, 2017

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

Nominees are listed in alphabetical order. Submitted episode titles are in parentheses. Beware of minor spoilers for listed episodes.

Becky Ann Baker as Loreen Horvath, Girls (Gummies)
I didn’t even realize that I had written in my review of this episode that Baker was “undeniably excellent” and that I hoped she would earn a nomination this year alongside her onscreen husband Peter Scolari, who won last year. Eating gummies and going on a bender could be just the trick for the very talented first-time nominee, who I first remember from the TV show “Life As We Know It,” to defeat her more well-known fellow nominees and score a win for her show’s final season.

Angela Bassett as Catherine, Master of None (Thanksgiving)
Oscar nominee Bassett has three previous Emmy nominations, two of which she earned in 2015 and 2014 for “American Horror Story.” Her appearance as Denise’s mom in an iconic installment of the Amazon comedy is a very memorable one, as she experiences her daughter’s coming out and tries to deflect it quite a bit rather than accept it. It’s a strong turn, one that could easily win over voters.

Carrie Fisher as Mia Norris, Catastrophe (Episode 6)
The “Star Wars” star best known for playing Princess Leia passed away in December just a day before her mother, and therefore this sentimental nomination makes complete sense. Fortunately, Fisher, who was previously nominated for guesting on “30 Rock” in 2008, is deserving of a mention for her scene-stealing performance as Rob’s inappropriate mother, who comes to town for a funeral and makes her presence very felt. I think she’s a good bet to win, both as a posthumous tribute and as recognition of a solid turn.

Melissa McCarthy as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live (Host: Melissa McCarthy)
This is the eighth nomination for McCarthy, who won in 2011 for “Mike and Molly” and has contended every single time she has hosted the variety sketch series, earning her five-timers’ jacket for this episode. As usual, McCarthy is clearly having fun and is more than game for some physical comedy, including getting pied in the face during one sketch at least twenty times in the span of a few minutes. She could win, but I imagine she’ll be back again for future hosting gigs, so she’ll have another shot in the future.

Wanda Sykes as Daphne Lido, Black-ish (Lemons)
Despite seven previous Emmy nominations and one trophy for writing, this is the first time Sykes contends as an actress. Her recurring role on ABC’s popular sitcom isn’t all that prominent, but she does have the opportunity to make a few good points about racism as it relates to the election in her submitted episode. Her speeches pale in comparison to costar Anthony Anderson’s, however, so I don’t see her meriting enough attention here.

Kristen Wiig as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live (Host: Kristen Wiig)
Back before Kate McKinnon became the first performer from her show to win an Emmy in the main four acting categories, Wiig has nominated four times as a regular cast member. She has two additional nominations as well as one bid for hosting the year after she left the show. Now, four years later, she returns to the show for the first official time and feels right at home. I always thought her characters were a bit strange for her to win, and little about this episode changes that.

Who should win (based on entire season): N/A
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Baker
Who will win: I think this will safely go to Fisher.

Next up: Best Directing for a Drama Series

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