Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Emmy Predictions 2011: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama

Lauren Graham is amazing on "Parenthood"
Credit: NBC
Over the course of the next two weeks I will be covering the major Emmy categories. Over the past two days I have been covering the Supporting Actor and Actress in a Drama. Today, I move on to lead actress in a drama. Last year's nominees, my predictions, and who I would nominate are after the jump.

Part 1: Last Year's Nominees
Kyra Sedgwick-"The Closer" *Winner
Connie Britton-"Friday Night Lights"
Glenn Close-"Damages"
Mariska Hargitay-"Law and Order: SVU"
January Jones-"Mad Men"
Julianna Margulies-"The Good Wife"

Glenn Close is not eligible because Damages did not air this year. Besides that, all of the actresses who were nominated are eligible to return to the list. The only other actress who will not be nominated is January Jones, but she will be replaced by one of her costars. The rest are eligible and should return.

Part 2: My Predictions
Kyra Sedgwick-"The Closer"
Julianna Margulies-"The Good Wife"
Mariska Hargitay-"Law and Order: SVU"
Connie Britton-"Friday Night Lights"
Elisabeth Moss-"Mad Men"
Emmy Rossom-"Shameless"

Sedgewick, Margulies, Hargitay, and Britton will return. That's Emmy complacency at work folks! (Although, in Britton and Margulies's cases, that's not a bad thing.) Elisabeth Moss has "The Suitcase" and if it's nearly as good as everyone says it is, then she's a lock for a nomination (and maybe a win). The last slot is a little more open. I would love it if Lauren Graham could somehow get nominated, but I have a feeling that it will go to the Showtime leading lady Emmy Rossom.

Part 3: If I Had an Emmy Ballot...

As usual, my first choice should be obvious from the picture at the top of the post. Lauren Graham is giving one of the best performances on her little show called Parenthood. The thing about her performance is that she is able to nail the style of the show. She can be very good in both the comedic moments and the dramatic moments. She is also capable of going above and beyond what would normally be asked from a leading actress. Just watch some clips from the penultimate episode or season finale of Parenthood. In sequences in those episodes she was brilliant. I don't think that the Academy will notice her, but it would be great if they did.

Lena Headley has a very difficult job on Game of Thrones. She has to make a character who has no likable qualities at all a character that we love to hate. Headley did a fantastic job creating the character Cersei Lannister. She does a fantastic job showing the cunning and intelligence behind her character. The character might not be someone that you like, but she's someone who I don't despise. She may not be the lead of the series, but I would give her my vote in this category.

Delroy Lindo may have brought of the fireworks to The Chicago Code, but Jennifer Beals helped bring an emotional center to the Chicago Code. She wasn't perfect, and took a while to settle into the role, but it was when her performance kicked in the final episodes of the series that I could justify adding her to this list. Her performance in those final episodes was fantastic and full of emotion. Teresa Colvin was also a strong-willed character, and that's a quality that Beals showed very well. She has no chance at a nomination, but I still wanted to single her out here.

I have only seen bits and pieces of the Good Wife this season, but there's no denying that Julianna Margulies is giving one of the best dramatic performances on television right now. From what I have seen of her work on the show, it tends to be more on the subtle side. But when she gets to show some deep emotion, that's when the subtlety becomes brilliant.

That's all I have for this category. The problem stems from the fact that I don't watch Mad Men and I haven't seen any episodes of Friday Night Lights that are up for Emmy consideration this year. I can't judge actresses on work that I haven't seen this season. So, I will only suggest four actresses for nomination (even if I hear that Hendricks and Britton are deserving).

That's a wrap on this category. If you have some thoughts that you would like to share on my predictions/picks, or some predictions/picks of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Tomorrow: We wrap up the drama acting awards with Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama.

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