Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

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

Zazie Beetz as Van Keefer, Atlanta (Helen)
This is the first Emmy nomination for Beetz, who represents one of the staggering sixteen bids her show received for its second season. Beetz, who wasn’t entirely present throughout the season, shines in a huge showcase in her submitted episode, which finds her speaking fluent German and finally speaking up for herself. Like her castmates, it’s not a funny turn, but she definitely has talent and might be able to muster a win if her show sweeps, though this category is extremely packed.

Alex Borstein as Susie Myerson, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Doink)
Borstein was nominated in 2013 for voicing “Family Guy” characters and already won that award this year. Borstein is an undeniably funny and crucial part of her show, serving as the manager for the budding stand-up comic. In her submitted episode, she expresses her rage at her client’s ill-advised decision to try to go with a bigger name. Other prognosticators seem to think that Borstein has a good shot, and I’m tempted to agree. There are a lot of nominees here, but her show is popular and might also sweep.

Aidy Bryant as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live (Host: Chadwick Boseman)
Bryant is the latest SNL performer to be cited in this category following one previous Emmy bid for music and lyrics in 2014. Bryant is hardly the most prominent cast member on the show, but she does get to be the star of a funny sketch that finds her exhibiting a whole lot of personality in her submitted episode. I just don’t see her edging out two-time defending champ and costar McKinnon or many of the other nominees.

Betty Gilpin as Debbie Eagan, GLOW (Debbie Does Something)
Gilpin managed to be the lone acting nominee from her well-received freshman series despite costars Alison Brie and Marc Maron earning bids from other organizations. It’s easy to see why Gilpin stands out as Debbie, the established actress who doesn’t want to stoop to the level of her inexperienced costars. Going to her first wrestling match provides an excellent showcase for Gilpin. I’d love to see her win, but it’s not an outwardly funny performance, and her show didn’t land nearly as well as some of her fellow nominees’. She’s still a possibility, but it’s not likely.

Leslie Jones as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live (Host: Donald Glover)
This is the second consecutive nomination for Jones. In her submitted episode, she gets to do the same thing she did last year: say whatever she wants without being interrupted too much. I think last year was a better showcase for her since she was confronting her having been hacked, and she doesn’t have nearly as much going for her this year. Her winning would be a real surprise.

Kate McKinnon as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live (Host: Bill Hader)
Two-time defending champ McKinnon is back with her fifth consecutive nomination. She doesn’t get to play Hillary Clinton to the same effect in her submitted episode this time around, but that’s fair given she’s no longer in the spotlight. Portraying Jeff Sessions and Betsy DeVos is just as funny, if not better, and that may give her a leg up in this fine showcase to take home a third trophy.

Laurie Metcalf as Jackie Harris, Roseanne (No Country for Old Women)
Metcalf, who managed three separate acting nominations two years ago, is now on her eleventh nomination. She took home this award – for this role – three years in a row over two decades ago. Now, Metcalf has managed to earn Emmy affection when no one else from her show did. I probably would have selected the season premiere rather than this half-hour, which focuses more on Jackie’s mother, but if liberal voters want to reward one of the only things they liked about this now-cancelled show, Metcalf would be a great choice.

Megan Mullally as Karen Walker, Will and Grace (Rosario’s Quinceanera)
Mullally is back after seven consecutive nominations for her show during its original run. She won on her first and last try, in 2000 and 2006, respectively. She’s the only series regular from her returning show to earn a nomination this year. Her submitted episode shows her connecting back to an unseen former character rather than highlighting her Trump allegiance that might have played better as comedy with voters. She’s won before and could again, but the lackluster reception for her show indicates that she’s far from a sure thing.

Who should win (based on entire season): Gilpin, Metcalf, or Borstein
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Gilpin or Beetz
Who will win: A slew of previous winners could repeat, be it McKinnon, Metcalf, or Mullally. Instead, I’ll go with Borstein, who will benefit from overall enthusiasm from her show, though arguably Beetz or Gilpin could win by the same logic.

Next up: Best Directing for a Drama Series

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