Monday, September 10, 2018

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

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

Pamela Adlon as Sam Fox, Better Things (Eulogy)
This is Adlon’s second consecutive nomination for this role. She was previously nominated for guest-starring on “Louie” in 2015 and won for her voice-over performance on “King of the Hill” in 2002. As with last year, she’s the lone nominee from her show. Her submitted episode finds her contemplating the banality of her work and the meaning of her life, and it’s a great showcase that, in another year, might make her a legitimate contender. I just don’t think her show is high-profile enough for her to score a win.

Rachel Brosnahan as Miriam Maisel, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Thank You and Good Night)
Brosnahan was nominated for guest-starring on “House of Cards” three years ago. She won both the Golden Globe and the BFCA Award earlier this year for her portrayal of a 1950s housewife trying to make it as a stand-up comedian. Her submission of the season finale is an interesting choice since it’s not the opening hour that truly shows her potential, but I think it’s a smart choice and she shouldn’t have too much trouble taking home this award with its six-time consecutive champ out of the running.

Allison Janney as Bonnie Plunkett, Mom (Phone Confetti and a Wee Dingle)
Recently minted Oscar winner Janney is on her fourteenth Emmy nomination. She has four wins for “The West Wing,” one for “Masters of Sex,” and two for this role in the supporting category. This is her second consecutive bid in this race. I’d actually argue that this is Janney’s best submission in a few years, giving her a chance to spew off some comedy and build a good relationship in the process after being arrested. She’s an easy default vote for anyone who’s not into the other choices, but I don’t think she’ll win this year.

Issa Rae as Issa Dee, Insecure (Hella Great)
I couldn’t be more excited about the inclusion of Rae, a first-time Emmy nominee, here after her omission in season one. I wrote in my review of the season two premiere, her selected episode, that she had an amazing showcase in the opening scene, and this is a superb choice of an installment to show to voters. Unfortunately, I think that her nomination is her win this year, though you never know.

Tracee Ellis Ross as Rainbow Johnson, Black-ish (Elder. Scam.)
This is the third consecutive nomination for Ross, whose costar Anthony Anderson and her show are also nominated. Ross’ episode last year was pretty terrific, and in this year’s she doesn’t play nearly a prominent a role, shining in one scene but barely appearing in the rest of the episode in a substantial way. I’d be shocked if she won, though she did pull off a surprise victory at the Golden Globes in 2017, so she obviously has some supporters.

Lily Tomlin as Frankie, Grace and Frankie (The Home)
This is the fourth consecutive nomination for Tomlin, who has six previous wins, all not for acting. Last year, she was joined by costar Jane Fonda, but now she’s back on her own. Her submission of the season finale, in which Frankie and Grace realize where they’re going to have to end up, is a good one, but at this point I feel like Tomlin is just a default nominee, not a legitimate contender for the win.

Who should win (based on entire season): Brosnahan
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Brosnahan, Rae, or Adlon
Who will win: I think that Brosnahan is far ahead enough to win this without much competition.

Next up: Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

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