Monday, September 16, 2019

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.

Alex Borstein as Susie Myerson, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Vote for Kennedy, Vote for Kennedy)
Borstein won this award last year. She is also nominated for voicing “Family Guy” characters for the third time, another award she won last year. I thought Borstein was funniest when she was nearly killed by hapless thugs in the season premiere (costar Marin Hinkle’s submission), but she chose the penultimate hour which found her experiencing some difficulty with her number one client. Trying to get everyone she knew – and even those she didn’t – to vouch for her star act is undeniably appealing, and might be just what Borstein needs for a repeat win.

Anna Chlumsky as Amy Brookheimer, Veep (Pledge)
This is the sixth nomination for Chlumsky, whose show took the season off last year. She’s contended for all but one of her show’s seasons, and now she has her final shot for a funny episode in which she, rarely one to keep her emotions in check, gets truly angry and shouts down abortion clinic protesters in a way that could only occur on this show. She’s still far from the central part of her show, something that could hurt in a very crowded field this year.

Sian Clifford as Claire, Fleabag (Episode 2.3)
This is Clifford’s first Emmy nomination. Her portrayal of the title character’s sister is definitely fantastic in each episode, though I found the season premiere to be the stronger showcase of her work. Having Fleabag help her in a professional setting was a wonderful way, however, to draw out some of her angst in the best possible way, and anyone watching the show and the episodes closely might be compelled to choose her over her showier and much more well-known costar.

Olivia Colman as Godmother, Fleabag (Episode 2.4)
Colman, who surprised to win the Oscar for Best Actress for “The Favourite” this past year, was nominated for an Emmy in 2016 for “The Night Manager.” Colman is indeed superb in this show, but she doesn’t play a huge part in season two, and certainly not in her submitted episode. This will ultimately be a test of if voters care about the episodes, since Colman, who’s likely to win the drama actress award next year for “The Crown,” doesn’t deserve to beat the other nominees in this category for her selected episode.

Betty Gilpin as Debbie Eagan, GLOW (Mother of All Matches)
Gilpin was the only acting nominee from her show last year when it was nominated for Best Comedy Series, and now she’s the only major nominee from the show as a whole. In its second season, this show has gotten away from the wrestling matches as the inspiration for each episode and shifted them, at least in this case, to the climax, and so this installment provides a great opportunity for Gilpin to shine as Debbie tries to rid herself of all remnants of her ex-husband. She won’t win without her show being nominated, but she does deserve to be here.

Sarah Goldberg as Sally Reed, Barry (The Audition)
This is Goldberg’s first nomination. She’s definitely here in part because of the popularity of her show, but she absolutely deserves her place. Though it wasn’t always relevant to the main storyline, Sally’s arc expanded in season two, and she could have picked from a number of excellent samples of her work. Her choice of an episode that finds her about to make it big and still ready to deliver a nonstop rant is very good, and, if enthusiasm for her show is really strong enough, she could emerge victorious from this field.

Marin Hinkle as Rose Weissman, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Simone)
This is the first nomination for Hinkle, the only member of her show’s cast to be newly recognized for its second season. While often a background character in season one and even in a good part of season two, Rose is front and center after making a huge life change without much of her family noticing. To me, it’s one of the best submissions in this category, but she’ll have a hard time besting costar and defending champion Alex Borstein, who is also heavily featured in this hour in a great way that Hinkle just isn’t in hers.

Kate McKinnon as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live (Host: Liev Schreiber)
This is the sixth consecutive nomination for McKinnon, who won twice, in 2016 and 2017. Last year, I wrote that not playing Hillary Clinton was a disadvantage, but she opens her submitted episode this year so strongly as Jeff Sessions that it’s easy to see how voters could choose her again this year. Her episode is one of the strongest of all the selections in this category, and could catapult her to a third win.

Who should win (based on entire season): Borstein, Clifford, or Goldberg
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Hinkle, McKinnon, or Goldberg
Who will win: It could be Colman, but I’m betting on two in a row for Borstein.

Next up: Best Directing for a Drama Series

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