Sunday, September 15, 2019

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.

Christina Applegate as Jen, Dead to Me (I’ve Gotta Get Away)
Applegate was nominated twice before in this category for “Samantha Who” and twice in the guest actress race for “Friends,” winning the latter in 2003. Now she’s back as the lone representative of her show, playing a mother whose husband was killed in a hit-and-run. It’s a fierce, formidable performance, and her submission of a middle episode in which she gets to be angry and also explore her feelings in a more mellow environment could encourage some voters to pick her in a very crowded category that she’s highly unlikely to win.

Rachel Brosnahan as Miriam Maisel, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Midnight at the Concord)
Brosnahan won the Emmy for this role last year after a previous nomination for guest-starring on “House of Cards.” She’s won two consecutive Golden Globes as well as the SAG Award. Submitting an episode from halfway through the season might have seemed like a risk, but this is a big, superb hour that has her flirting, performing, and getting shocked by something she definitely didn’t expect to happen. She’d be a solid bet to repeat, but for a returning six-time winner who wasn’t in the running last year…

Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer, Veep (Veep)
Louis-Dreyfus is back in this race after her show took a year off following six consecutive wins for playing the eternally angry vice-president. Additionally, she was nominated four times for “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and seven times for “Seinfeld,” winning once for each show. Submitting the series finale was the obvious choice since it wraps up her storyline, and ranks about on par with most of her submissions from previous years. Her show didn’t perform spectacularly overall, but she should never be counted out, especially since she has yet to lose this award for this role.

Natasha Lyonne as Nadia Vulvokov, Russian Doll (Nothing in This World Is Easy)
Lyonne was previously nominated for guest acting on “Orange is the New Black” and contends both as a producer and writer for her show this year. Playing a thirty-year-old woman who keeps dying over and over on her birthday feels like a natural fit for the sarcastic actress, and she excels at it. Submitting the pilot was the smartest idea since it’s the introduction to her character and this Groundhog Day experience. She’s a fun choice, to be sure, but a win would be highly surprising.

Catherine O’Hara as Moira Rose, Schitt’s Creek (The Crowening)
O’Hara was previously nominated for her performance “Temple Grandin” and received five nominations as part of the writing team for “SCTV Network,” winning once in 1982. Her show earned its first Emmy nominations for its fifth season, and O’Hara submitted the season premiere, which finds her filming a horrible movie and trying hard to get into character in a project that she wants to believe is better than it is. O’Hara and the show have an enormous fan base, but pulling off a win for this wild character seems tough to near impossible.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Fleabag, Fleabag (Episode 2.1)
This is Waller-Bridge’s first acting nomination. She was up for writing “Killing Eve” last year and contends now as a producer on both shows and for writing her submitted episode of this show. Her submission of the season premiere, which I thought was the best episode and is also nominated for directing and writing, was brilliant, and it’s a wonderful way for first-time voters to see how incredible she is. If Brosnahan and Louis-Dreyfus cancel each other out, she’ll be the winner, but it’s a stretch.

Who should win (based on entire season): Waller-Bridge, Brosnahan, or Applegate
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Waller-Bridge, Brosnahan, or Applegate
Who will win: I really want to be bold and pick Waller-Bridge to upset (and may still change my mind before next week), but for now, I’m staying safe with Louis-Dreyfus for a seventh time.

Next up: Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

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