Friday, July 8, 2011

Emmy Predictions 2011: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy

Amy Poehler is Leslie Knope on "Parks and Rec"
Credit: NBC
This post is a part of a series on the 2011 Emmy nominations. I continue my coverage with the category Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy after the jump.

Part 1: Last Year's Nominees
Edie Falco-"Nurse Jackie" *Winner
Toni Collette-"United States of Tara"
Tina Fey-"30 Rock"
Julie Louis-Dreyfus-"New Adventures of Old Christine"
Lea Michele-"Glee"
Amy Poehler-"Parks and Recreation"

With Julie Louis-Dreyfus gone, there's room for one new actress in this category. OK, there's room for two because Lea Michele should not get nominated again for Glee.

Part 2: My Predictions
Edie Falco-"Nurse Jackie"
Laura Linney-"The Big C"
Toni Collette-"United States of Tara"
Tina Fey-"30 Rock"
Amy Poehler-"Parks and Recreation"
Martha Plimpton-"Raising Hope"

Edie Falco won last year, so she will be back. Toni Collette won two years ago, so she should be back. There's no way that Tina Fey doesn't get a fifth straight nomination in this category. Amy Poehler was noticed last year, so I imagine that she will be back this year. Laura Linney is on a Showtime "comedy", she plays a character with cancer, and is has won Emmys in the past, so she's as close to a lock as Falco. The sixth slot in this category was a little tougher to pick. I ended up going with Martha Plimpton because she was the most realistic option out of the people who were left.

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

As always, my first choice should be obvious from the picture on this post. Amy Poehler has been doing amazing work on this season of Parks and Rec. She has provided a strong center for the show as both a comedic actress and an actress who can nail emotional moments. She has really grown on me this season because she has nailed all of the material that she was given. If there weren't any Showtime women in this category, she would be a good bet to win.

30 Rock has never been my favorite show, but Tina Fey has been doing great work this season. She continued to be very, very funny as Liz Lemon. She never does incredibly deep emotional work on the show, but she still does a great job with everything that she is given. If I had to single out an episode for her, it would probably be either the penultimate episode or the episode where her relationship with Matt Damon ended. The better of those two would be the latter.

The next actress is doing great work on a show that I love, but it isn't really a great show. Kaley Cuoco has been fantastic as Penny for the show's entire run, and this season was no exception. She has functioned as the emotional center for the show and has been a great character to follow when the nerds have gone too far into craziness. She has consistently been great in this role, even when the show wasn't at the top of its game.

The next actress is doing great work on a show that don't love. Martha Plimpton has been giving a very strong performance as the Mom of the Chance clan. She has helped ground the show with a performance that it both hysterically funny and full of heart. She may not be the lead of the show, but she certainly stands out quite a bit in this category.

This is a very light category, so I was only able to come up with five choices. My fifth and final choice is Courtney Cox from Cougar Town. She is not the technical lead of the show because the show has no lead, but she does provide a strong center with whom the other people in the cast to interact. She gets to be both funny and also gets to add some heart (especially with the material with Travis at the end of the season). In a heavier category, she wouldn't make it on my list, but with the lightness of this category, she stands out among the top 5.

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.

Sunday: I move on to Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy.

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