Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Emmy Predictions 2011: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy

Yvonne Strahovski is fantastic on "Chuck"
Credit: NBC
This post is the continuation of my coverage of the 2011 Emmy nominees. Last Week, I took you through the Drama Acting Awards. This week, I will take you through the comedy acting categories, starting with Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy after the jump.

Part 1: Last Year's Nominees
Jane Lynch-"Glee" *Winner
Julie Bowen-"Modern Family"
Jane Krakowski-"30 Rock"
Holland Taylor-"Two and a Half Men"
Sofia Vargara-"Modern Family"
Kristin Wiig-"Saturday Night Lights"

There's very little wiggle room in this category. All of these women are eligible for an award this year. Even with all of the women eligible, there will be some new blood in this category. The new blood will probably replace Holland Taylor who has been vastly overshadowed by her former co-star.

Part 2: My Predictions
Jane Lynch-"Glee"
Sofia Vargara-"Modern Family"
Julie Bowen-"Modern Family"
Kristin Wiig-"Saturday Night Live"
Jane Krakowski-"30 Rock"
Betty White-"Hot in Cleveland"

Jane Lynch, Julie Bowen, and Sofia Vargara will return to the field. Lynch won last year and Emmy voters should still love Modern Family because it has become as complacent as they are. Kristin Wiig isn't a lock to return to the field, but she should return. Jane Krakowski had some of her best material this season, but it was never the focus of an episode. Never bet against Betty White, she's too well loved not to get the final nomination slot.

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

As always, my first choice should be obvious from my photo choice. Yvonne Strahovski is one of my favorite parts of this season of Chuck. If you want to question this, watch Chuck vs. Phase Three. That episode is a showcase of the brilliant mix of comedy and drama that Strahovski brings to the table. She is the grounding force that helps keep this show from ever going too far into the ridiculousness. Honestly, this is one of my favorite performances on TV and I'm very sad that she has no shot of winning this award.

My next choice should be obvious if you are a fan of Community. Alison Brie wasn't always the focus during this season of Community, but when she was at the center of an episode, she was freaking amazing. She nails the show's style of comedy and at the same time, she's able to bring a lot of heart to the show. She is able to bring a sense of both silliness and seriousness to the table, and helps make Annie one of my favorite aspects of Community. I really wish that more Emmy voters would watch Community so that

There's one actress on Glee who can keep me watching every week just with her presence, and that's Heather Morris. This season, she transformed from background player to strong supporting player. She has helped keep me interested in this series because her performance mixes comedy and drama so well. Some of her material with Naya Rivera was so good. She's one of the characters that the writers haven't forgotten how to write, and it shows in that her character is one of the strongest on the show. This allows Morris to shine as one of the strongest six actresses in this category.

There's only one actress in comedy that nails the mix of deadpan sarcasm and genuine heart, and she is Aubrey Plaza. This season, Plaza and Parks and Rec didn't just show off that she does sarcastic extremely well, she showed that she was able to bring a sense of heart to her character. In the alternate universe where she would get a nomination, I hope that she would submit Fancy Party. This episode was a fantastic showcase of her ability to bring genuine happiness to her character.

Of the Cougar Town ensemble, there is one actress that stands out above the rest, and that's Busy Philipps. She helps make Cougar Town so amazing to watch each and every week. Not only is she hysterically funny, but she also creates a character that I care about. Some of her material with Dan Byrd this season was brilliant.

The last actress I'm going to single out is The Office's Amy Ryan. Even though she was only in a handful of the episodes this season, she made them count. She almost single-handedly helped the Office make a stretch of very strong episodes in the back half of the season. She was genuinely funny in most of her episodes, and was able to bring a genuine sense of caring to her role. Ryan was giving a fantastic performance in this role, and if you want to know why, watch the proposal scene in the episode Garage Sale.

Honorable Mentions: This was a loaded category so I have to give some honorable mentions. Yvette Nicole Brown and Gillian Jacobs are essential members of the Community ensemble that had some great material this season. They just missed the cut for the top six. Naya Rivera is giving a fantastic performance in the category, but she has suffered because of some of the Glee writing problems. Jane Lynch suffers from the poor writing of her character, Sue Sylvester. Sofia Vergara and Julie Bowen continue to do great work with the writing they are given on Modern Family. Rashida Jones is a very strong straight woman on Parks and Rec. Mayim Bialik has helped bring some fresh jokes to the Big Bang Theory. She may not be giving a performance that I would call "Emmy caliber," but her performance is worthy of a respectful nod.

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.

Wednesday: I move on to Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy.

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