Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

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

Alexis Bledel as Emily, The Handmaid’s Tale (Unwomen)
Bledel won for this role in the Best Guest Actress category last year, and now swaps places with Samira Wiley for the show’s second season. With more screentime and an expanded role this year, Bledel was equally impressive, and her submission is just as strong as it was in season one. Tracking how she went from an out college professor to inmate in a totalitarian work camp is incredible, and Bledel will surely get votes for her performance. She’ll just have to contend against her costars in this category.

Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, Stranger Things (Chapter Three: The Pollywog)
This is the second consecutive nomination for the fourteen-year-old breakout star of HBO’s supernatural hit, which wasn’t quite as popular in its second season with Emmy voters, dropping from nineteen bids to twelve. Her submission gives Eleven a great opportunity to see what life is like without her in it, showcasing Brown’s strengths as an actress. If she was going to win, though, it would have been last year when her show was red-hot.

Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia, The Handmaid’s Tale (June)
Dowd was doubly nominated last year, up for her guest role on “The Leftovers” and taking home the trophy for this part. Dowd is back with a powerful submission, the season premiere in which she gets to exact punishment on the handmaids for their rebellious actions. I think that one of her two nominated costars deserves the win this year, but historically Emmy voters have gotten attached to one cast member and given them trophy after trophy. She surprised last year, and don’t count her out this year.

Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, Game of Thrones (The Dragon and the Wolf)
This is Headey’s fourth consecutive nomination, making a return to the category after her show sat last season out. It’s the first time since her first bid that she’s the lone contender from her show in this category, with her two onscreen brothers also nominated. While the two of them have softened over time, Cersei hasn’t at all, and her submission of the season finale is a strong one, showing her at her most unforgiving. That said, she didn’t win for the season five finale that seemed like a shoo-in, and so I’d be surprised if she won now without that same buzz.

Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret, The Crown (Beryl)
Kirby wasn’t a sure thing to earn her first Emmy nomination, but it’s easy to understand why Emmy voters were impressed by her very memorable – and angry – portrayal of the sister of the queen who isn’t at all happy with the rules she has to follow. Her episode really is a knockout, as she gets close to someone and lets go in a way she hasn’t before. I don’t know that she has enough momentum to pull off a win, but it would be a deserved upset that could happen.

Thandie Newton as Maeve Millay, Westworld (Akane No Mai)
I was sure that Newton was going to win last year and then she didn’t, so I’m not eager to predict her again. That said, her episode is one that makes a case for Maeve as the most powerful character on this show, and Newton is terrific in it, finding her voice and realizing just how much of a threat she truly is to those who oppose her. It’s a crowded category, and the only thing she has going against her is that her show isn’t as beloved as that of her costars.

Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy Waterford, The Handmaid’s Tale (Women’s Work)
It’s great to see Strahovski here, joining last year’s winners Bledel and Dowd. The onetime “Chuck” star has created a very hateable character in Serena, who treats the title handmaid cruelly because of the way she perceives the world. Seeing what Serena does when she briefly gets power is incredible, and though I might have chosen the next episode that takes her on a trip to Canada, this is a fantastic submission that would have me voting for Strahovski and I imagine will have many voters picking her as well.

Who should win (based on entire season): Strahovski, Bledel, Newton, or Brown
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Strahovski or Bledel
Who will win: This is a very competitive category. I’m worried it will be Dowd again but for now I’ll pick Strahovski over Bledel, though I suppose someone from another show could win too.

Next up: Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

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