Friday, September 13, 2019

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.

Jane Lynch as Sophie Lennon, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Vote for Kennedy, Vote for Kennedy!)
This is the twelth overall nomination for Lynch, who was been recognized with at least one bid almost consistently since 2010, winning once for “Glee,” twice for hosting “Hollywood Game Night,” and two years ago for the short form series “Dropping the Soap.” She was nominated for this role last year and contends again for a memorable return that brings her famous comedienne character back in a vengeful capacity. It’s not as showy as her first season appearance, but Lynch has proven to be too popular to be counted out in any given race.

Sandra Oh as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live (Host: Sandra Oh)
Oh has five previous nominations for “Grey’s Anatomy” and is nominated this year for the second time for starring in “Killing Eve.” Oh, who co-hosted the Golden Globes, demonstrates as a “Saturday Night Live” host that she’s having fun and that she’s up for anything, qualities that have previously led to victories in this category. She’s far from a sure thing, but she’s very hot and beloved right now. Especially if she doesn’t win for drama, she could certainly win here.

Maya Rudolph as Judge Gen, The Good Place (Chidi Sees the Time-Knife)
Rudolph was previously nominated in this category for this role last year and for hosting SNL in 2012. Last year, I was so happy that Rudolph made the cut, and this year, she’s joined by her show in the Best Comedy Series category for the first time. Playing a powerful celestial judge who isn’t a burrito allows for new comedy this time around, particularly when her character went down to Earth to see just how terrible humans are. It’s possible she could win this award, which would be a fun way to reward a show that Emmy voters are just starting to like.

Kristin Scott Thomas as Belinda, Fleabag (Episode 2.3)
This is the first nomination for Thomas, who earned an Oscar nomination back in 1996 for “The English Patient.” She really just appears in one extended scene in her episode, but she makes a big impact and bonds with the title character in a mesmerizing way. She would certainly be the sophisticated choice, representing a veteran actress who can just show up on a show and make an immediate impression in a few minutes. Don’t count her out.

Fiona Shaw as Counsellor, Fleabag (Episode 2.2)
Shaw is nominated for the first time this year, also contending for her series regular role on series star and creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s other show, “Killing Eve.” Like Thomas, Shaw only appears in her episode for one big scene. It’s a dry turn that works best because of how she plays off her scene partner – Waller-Bridge – and while it is great, it probably won’t appeal as much to those who aren’t already fans of the show. It would also be hard to imagine her beating Thomas in this race.

Emma Thompson as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live (Host: Emma Thompson)
This is Thompson’s sixth acting nomination. She won on her first try in 1998 in this category for “Ellen,” and all of her other nominations have come for miniseries or TV movie work. Hosting the Mother’s Day episode of “Saturday Night Live” gives her a good opportunity to demonstrate her gravitas, and it comes in a year where she’s been seen a lot, both on TV in “Years and Years” and in film in “Late Night.” She’s not nearly as present in sketches as Oh is, and a win for her would be more based on her general industry contributions than this particular hosting gig.

Who should win (based on entire season): N/A
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Thomas or Rudolph
Who will win: I’m going to pick Oh with Thomas as a serious possible spoiler.

Next up: Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series

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