Monday, June 27, 2011

Emmy Predictions 2011: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama

Margo Martindale was amazing on "Justified"
Credit: FX
This post is the beginning of a series of posts on the upcoming Emmy nominations for 2011. Over the next two weeks I will be taking you through the major acting and series awards building up to the nomination announcement on July 14th. How this will work is each post will be broken up into three parts: last year's nominees because Emmy voters tend to be complacent, my predictions for the nominations, and who I would pick if I had an Emmy Ballot.

I'm going to start today with Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama. (As an FYI, you can download the performers ballot here to see where actors submitted themselves). You can find everything after the jump.

Part 1: Last Year's Nominees
Sharon Gless-"Burn Notice"
Rose Byrne-"Damages"
Archie Punjabi-"The Good Wife" *Winner
Christine Baranski-"The Good Wife"
Christina Hendricks-"Mad Men"
Elisabeth Moss-"Mad Men"

The reason why I'm including this is Emmy voters have a tendency to be very complacent with their nominees and tend to nominate the same people year after year. In this category, Rose Byrne is ineligible because Damages took the year off and Elisabeth Moss submitted as lead, leaving two completely open slots. Sharon Gless will leave a third open slot because she didn't get nearly enough screentime this season to get another nomination.

Part 2: My Predictions
Archie Punjabi-"The Good Wife"
Christine Baranski-"The Good Wife"
Christina Hendricks-"Mad Men"
Margo Martindale-"Justified"
Emilia Clarke-"Game of Thrones"
Kelly Macdonald-"Boardwalk Empire"

Punjabi, Baranski, and Hendricks are locks for a nomination after being nominees last season. Margo Martindale should get a nomination after giving the performance of the year. I'm hoping for a lot of Emmy nominations for Game of Thrones and Clarke should be one of the people who are noticed if the show itself is noticed. There is enough buzz surrounding Kelly Macdonald that she should be able to score a nomination.

Part 3: If I had an Emmy Ballot...
My first choice should be obvious from the picture at the top of this post. Margo Martindale gave the best performance of the season (in my TV viewing). There was not another villain on the television on the television landscape that was as well crafted as Martindale's Mags Bennett. Part of that was the writers, but most of the credit for that performance should go to Margo Martindale. Her performance nailed both the almost-sweetness and the menace behind her character. She deserves to win for this award. If you don't think so, watch the final scene where Mags exited the series, that scene says it all.

One of the strongest characters on the first season of Game of Thrones was Emilia Clarke's Daenerys Targaryen. Clarke did a great job with shaping the character and making her jump a lot more then Dany did in the earlier parts of the book. The performance that Clarke gave was one of the strongest on the show. She shined in the role and showed the emotional ups and downs of the character very well. She had the very difficult job of showing all of those ups and downs, and was still able to take the performance to the next level.

One of the strongest aspects of this season of Parenthood was the performance that Mae Whitman gave.  Some of the material this past season was not as strong as other material she was given, but Whitman did a fantastic job with everything she was given. She did an amazing job with all of Amber's ups and downs. I don't know a single Parenthood fan who didn't cry during the scene in the junkyard from the finale (that's also partially Craig T. Nelson's doing, but she was great in that scene too). Also, she was able to hold the screen while Lauren Graham was on camera, which is an amazing feat in itself.

I'm having a lot of trouble filling my other three slots with potential nominees that I'm as passionate about as I am the earlier three, mostly because I don't watch Mad Men (although, I am planning on catching up over the summer). So when I reach this point, I'm just going to list off the people with whom I would fill out the category. Laurie Holden did a great job on this season of the Walking Dead, but that's about all I can remember from the performance. Michelle Fairley didn't light up the screen like her other co-stars, but she did a great job with the more subtle material that she was given. I wish Sharon Gless was given more screentime on Burn Notice, because she does an amazing job with what she is giving in each episode.

So that's the first Emmy predictions post! Feel free to share your thoughts on my picks, or your predictions/nominee choices in the comments.

Tomorrow: I move on to Supporting Actor in a Drama.

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