Tuesday, September 6, 2022

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 (Everything is Bellmore)
Borstein is back after consecutive wins for the first two seasons of her show and a nomination for the third. While the series dropped considerably in its nomination count for season four, her episode submission is an absolute knockout in which she takes over someone else’s funeral to offer her friend a proper sendoff. Statistically speaking, she’s only lost to one person who’s not nominated this time around (Annie Murphy), so it’s definitely possible that she win voters over again.

Hannah Einbinder as Ava Daniels, Hacks (The Captain’s Wife)
Einbinder is back with her second nomination for an inarguably terrific performance that is very arguably a supporting turn. She’s so great that it’s hard to knock her down for being in the wrong category, and she actually pulled off a surprise win with the Hollywood Critics Association, eclipsing another Hannah. It does help that her episode submission shows her having a lot of fun in an unexpected environment, and while I doubt she’ll win, I’d be perfectly happy to see it happen. Check out our interviews here and here.

Janelle James as Ava Coleman, Abbott Elementary (Ava vs. Superintendent)
This is James’ first nomination. She has some truly fantastic dialogue as the self-involved and entirely ineffective elementary school principal who doesn’t take her job seriously at all, and she elevates it to another level entirely. Her submitted episode gives her great material as she tries to put on a serious presentation with a less-than-advisable initial approach, and I think it should be enough to make her a serious contender for the win. She also took home the cable/broadcast prize at the Hollywood Critics Association – could this be next?

Kate McKinnon as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live (Natasha Lyonne / Japanese Breakfast)
McKinnon is back for the ninth year in a row, one bid away from recordholders Rhea Perlman and Loretta Swit. Since this is her final year on the show, she won’t be able to match that total. She won previously in 2016 and 2017 back when she was playing Hillary Clinton, and she doesn’t have nearly as much worthwhile material these days. But in her final episode, which is her submission, she does completely own the opening sketch, showing that she’s still got it. A third trophy would be a real surprise, but she’s proven to be popular in the past.

Sarah Niles as Dr. Sharon Fieldstone, Ted Lasso (Headspace)
Niles’ inclusion here comes as somewhat of a surprise since she was the only major new addition to season two and her role isn’t as inherently comedic as her two nominated costars. But Niles is terrific in her role, and she appreciates the chance to find the humor in the more serious moments. It’s hard to imagine her eclipsing Waddingham or Temple, but there is something to her being a moral center for the show. Check out our interview here.

Sheryl Lee Ralph as Barbara Howard, Abbott Elementary (New Tech)
This is the first Emmy nomination for Ralph, who on her show is the experienced, levelheaded mentor for the plucky young teacher played by star and creator Quinta Brunson. There is definitely a reverence for the established and respected actress from the rest of the cast and the industry in general, and while Ralph has the more even-tempered role as compared with costar Janelle James, it’s possible that she could prove popular enough to win, particularly coupled with an endearing episode submission that finds her struggling to acclimate to new technology.

Juno Temple as Keeley Jones, Ted Lasso (Midnight Train to Royston)
Temple is back for her second consecutive nomination, and I had actually predicted her to be cited for the entirely Emmy-ignored “The Offer” also. It’s incredible to see just how naturally Temple interacts with all of her fellow cast members, and she also has some worthwhile relationship material in season two as she navigates her own relationship and fends off attractions from numerous would-be suitors. While I think that Temple is just as good as her costar Hannah Waddingham, voters from multiple groups seem to have more of an affinity for Waddingham.

Hannah Waddingham as Rebecca Welton, Ted Lasso (No Weddings and a Funeral)
Waddingham is the defending champion in this race. She gets very solid material in season two, particularly in her submitted episode, which finds her encountering an unexpected loss and interacting with different figures from her life. Watching her season-long romance with a surprising partner is also fun, and there’s little to suggest that Waddingham doesn’t have at least a decent shot at repeating.

Who should win (based on entire season): Einbinder, Temple, or Waddingham
Who should win (based on individual episodes): Einbinder or Waddingham
Who will win: I’ll give the edge to James even though it could just as easily be Waddingham again.

Next up: Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

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