Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Emmy Awards 2011 - Who Will Win Supporting Comedy Actress?

        In about one month, the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards will be held which will reward the best in television this past year. Leading up to the announcements of who will win, I will be looking at all of the acting categories and trying to predict who will bring home the trophy.
        Today, I will be looking at the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series category. 

The Nominees:
     Julie Bowen - Modern Family
     Jane Krakowski - 30 Rock
     Jane Lynch - Glee
     Sofia Vergara - Modern Family
     Betty White - Hot in Cleveland
     Kristen Wiig - Saturday Night Live

        Five of these nominees have been nominated in prior years for these same roles: Bowen (2010), Krakowski (2009-2010), Lynch (2010), Vergara (2010), and Wiig (2009-2010). In the sixth slot, this will be the fourth time that White has been nominated in this category with two prior wins. Lynch was the winner in this category at the 2010 Emmy Awards. 
        The winner in the category is determined by Emmy voters watching an episode each nominee submitted for consideration and casting their ballet on who they think was the best. 
        Just like Emmy voters, I have watched all six of the episode selections and my opinion will be based on how I think Emmy voters will react to the material in these episodes. Here is a breakdown of my thoughts. 

Julie Bowen: Episode "Strangers on a Treadmill"
     - The bright side about having co-stars competing in the same category is that each person will get double the exposure unlike the other nominees. That fact certainly helps Bowen this year. In her episode, she is funny as she tries to stop her husband, Phil (Ty Burrell) from saying his terrible jokes at a realtor banquet. Then in Vergara's episode submission, Bowen is the main focus as she tries to make a new neighbor drive slower for safety concerns. Both episodes showcase her talents very well and she could very well be the dark horse winner in this category.

Jane Krakowski: Episode "Queen of Jordan"
     - She has been nominated in this category for the past two years but she never has really had a great episode that would propel her into the winner's circle. This year is sort-of similar: She is in the middle of pact. Her character in this episode is very funny as she stages her own intervention when the network tries to make a reality show. Her biggest problem though is the fact that in the episode she is just a background sub-plot. The other stories take the majority of the focus which will decrease her odds of winning. 

Jane Lynch: Episode "Funeral"
     - Like I said with Bowen, it sure does help when you appear in another nominee's episode. That is what is happening with Lynch. Her episode on Glee was her best Sue all season - it offered funny one-liners and some dramatic material as she deals with the death of her sister. Voters love rewarding dramatic material in the comedy categories but usually with the supporting categories they stick to the funny moments. Luckily, Wiig chose the episode in which Lynch hosted Saturday Night Live in which she is absolutely outstanding. With the most screen time out of the nominees, it will be hard for voters to forget her... plus she is hosting the awards!

Sofia Vergara: Episode"Slow Down Your Neighbors"
     - With co-stars in the same category, it helps because you are seen in both episodes. That may help her Modern Family co-star but it really doesn't assist Vergara. Her episode submission really confused me. She really does nothing in the episode other than ride a bicycle which even isn't the main focus of the episode. The episode showcases Bowen's talents much more so than Vergara's. This choice really makes Bowen a contender but pretty much takes Vergara out of the running.

Betty White: Episode "Free Elka"
     - The newcomer to this category isn't really new. This year, she might be nominated for her work on Hot in Cleveland but she's been up for this award three times for her time on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Critics love her! Based on her entire episode, I don't really think she'll win but she very well could because she's Betty White! In the episode, her character is in jail which in itself sounds hilarious and in the first scene she really shines with her performance alongside surprise guest Mary Tyler Moore as her cell mate. However, other than that first five minutes, she doesn't really offer much to the rest of the episode besides some one-liners. 

Kristen Wiig: Episode "Host: Jane Lynch"
     - In this particular episode of SNL, Wiig stars in a lot of the sketches and she's funny in the majority of them. But there's one huge problem! Like I said before this is the episode where Lynch appeared and in every sketch that Wiig appeared in (except one) so does Lynch and frankly Lynch outshined Wiig for the entire episode. This will probably make Lynch grab her second trophy while Wiig will stay at the bottom of the pact. 

Overall, this category is basically predictable with Lynch coming out on top once again. However, it is not a runaway for her like last year. Either White or Bowen could easily pull an upset. 

My Rankings
     1. Jane Lynch
     2. Betty White
     3. Julie Bowen
     4. Jane Krakowski
     5. Kristen Wiig
     6. Sofia Vergara