Monday, June 22, 2015

Emmy Predictions 2015: Who Will and Should Be Nominated for Guest Actress in a Comedy Series?

Voting has commenced for The 67th Annual Emmy Awards. Until June 26, voters will cast their ballots for the biggest awards in all of television. And now, it's our time to predict on what will happen - and what we would really like to.

Next up for analysis is Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.

The Nominees in 2014:
        Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black (WINNER)
        Laverne Cox, Orange Is the New Black
        Joan Cusack, Shameless
        Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live
        Natasha Lyonne, Orange Is the New Black
        Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live

This category sees a lot of turnover from last year. The three ladies from Orange Is the New Black are not only forced to the drama field but also up to the supporting category. Neither of the Saturday Night Live hosts did so again this year - though Tina Fey is back for her appearance on her Netflix comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. That means Joan Cusack is the only returning face playing the same character as last year. That makes this category very interesting to predict.

Before I start my speculation on who's mostly likely to pick up a nomination this year, I have to break down the rules for this post. First of all, my 6 picks are essentially the nominees I would select if I was an Emmy voter filling out a ballot. That means I can only pick the actors who submitted themselves for consideration in the field. Plus, I have to honor the Emmy's new rules regarding what classifies as a drama vs. a comedy as well as who is a supporting actor vs. a guest actor. As much as I believe Orange Is the New Black is a comedy and Shameless is a drama, I have to honor the way that the organization has decided to classify them. It's also fair to assume that some stuff that could be deemed spoilers for any of the following shows will come up in discussing an actor's performance on said show. And now, without further ado.....

My 6 Picks for Who Should be Nominated for Guest Actress in a Comedy Series:
  • Rhea Perlman in FOX's The Mindy Project: I had my reservations regarding her casting on the comedy before its third season. I hadn't been a fan of her performances in recent years. And yet, this role was so perfect for her that it showed that she is just as capable and deserving of awards recognition now as she was back in the day for Cheers. A magnificent performance that had true depth to it and brought the best out of co-stars Mindy Kaling and Chris Messina.
  • Kyra Sedgwick in FOX's Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The notion of Andre Braugher's Captain Holt getting a nemesis was amusing. And then, Sedgwick appeared on the screen and quickly made their rivalry one of the best running stories of the season. She was able to match Braugher's very specific performance while also bringing even better work out of him - all while having a lot of fun herself.
  • Susie Essman in Comedy Central's Broad City: Casting Susie Essman as Ilana Glazer's mother on the hit comedy was standard casting. And yet, Essman was capable of being just as much as fun and hilarious as her onscreen daughter. It was fun and amusing watching the parent-daughter duo run around the city looking for knock-off purses and then go to a funeral and talk about pegging. It was a hilarious guest performance with some true bite to it.
  • Octavia Spencer in CBS' Mom: Spencer was fantastic in her brief appearances on the multi-camera dramedy in its first season. But her character was given even more depth as she returned a changed woman from her stint in prison in year two. It was a character that brought focus and attention to religion as a coping device. Spencer made things personal and that allowed for some great interactions with the rest of the all-star female cast.
  • Mary Steenburgen in FOX's The Last Man on Earth: As one of the few survivors of the apocalypse, the FOX comedy was the latest in a strong year of performances for Steenburgen. Her Gail initially described herself as a "dumb, Southern girl" but as the final episodes of the season played out, Steenburgen showed the true depth to this woman as someone with both sexual desires and an object of sexual attraction and admiration.
  • Kiernan Shipka in Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: This was also a strong year for Shipka as her devastating turn on Mad Men came to a close. But she was also hilarious in her one appearance on Kimmy Schmidt's first season as Kimmy's violently angry half-sister. It was a standard construct character that Shipka made so compelling to watch and left me wondering if she can come back for more.
  • Also in the conversation: Pamela Adlon - FX's Louie; Christine Baranki & Laurie Metcalf - CBS' The Big Bang Theory; Patricia Clarkson & Kelly Ripa - Comedy Central's Broad City; Joan Cusack - Showtime's Shameless; Beverly D'Angelo - CBS' Mom; Tina Fey - Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; Kathryn Hahn, Rashida Jones & Megan Mullally - NBC's Parks and Recreation; Jenifer Lewis - ABC's black-ish; Eva Longoria - FOX's Brooklyn Nine-Nine; Rita Moreno - The CW's Jane the Virgin; and Lennon Parham - HBO's Veep.

My Predictions for Who Will Actually Be Nominated for Guest Actress in a Comedy Series:
  • Tina Fey in Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Fey has stacked up many Emmy nominations over her career. She was a fixture for her lead role on 30 Rock and as a writer. Her appearance on her latest creation was funny in its parodic roots. It was a lot of fun and voters will easily respect that.
  • Joan Cusack in Showtime's Shameless: Back when the show was a drama, she has the only one amongst the cast to be recognized by the Emmys. The transition to the comedy category didn't effect that last year and shouldn't this year either. Though it is amusing that she has also been labeled a guest star despite appearing in the majority of the episodes each season and the year that the Emmys change the rules is the year when she actually is a guest star.
  • Kathy Bates in CBS' Mike & Molly: Bates is a perennial Emmy favorite no matter what she does. She won for Two and a Half Men and American Horror Story: Coven - neither of which were all that great roles. Mike & Molly returns her to the format that led to a win in this category a few years ago. Her nomination is basically a guarantee. 
  • Kyra Sedgwick in FOX's Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Sedgwick was a regular nominee in the Lead Drama Actress field during her time on TNT's The Closer and eventually won too. Sure, she dropped out of getting nominated after that. But that shouldn't work against her here because her performance and name recognition is so strong.
  • Rita Moreno in The CW's Jane the Virgin: The moment that her casting was announced on the critically beloved show she was a contender in this race. However, her nomination will probably be determined on whether or not the voters welcome Jane the Virgin with a staggering amount of nods - or if they just do Gina Rodriguez.
  • Octavia Spencer in CBS' Mom: Spencer was one of the names many believed would get a nomination a year ago. She didn't. But now, without the major competition from OITNB, she stands a much stronger chance of getting in.
  • Also in the conversation: Pamela Adlon - FX's Louie; Elizabeth Banks, Tyne Daly & Kristen Johnston - ABC's Modern Family; Christine Baranki & Laurie Metcalf - CBS' The Big Bang Theory; Ellen Barken - Showtime's Happyish; Carol Burnett - FOX's Glee; Patricia Clarkson, Susie Essman & Kelly Ripa - Comedy Central's Broad City; Laverne Cox, Laura Dern & Rhea Perlman - FOX's The Mindy Project; Beverly D'Angelo - CBS' Mom; Kathryn Hahn, Rashida Jones & Megan Mullally - NBC's Parks and Recreation; Gaby Hoffmann - HBO's Girls; Jenifer Lewis - ABC's black-ish; Eva Longoria - FOX's Brooklyn Nine-Nine; Lennon Parham - HBO's Veep; Kiernan Shipka - Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy SchmidtJune Squibb - HBO's Getting On; and Mary Steenburgen - FOX's The Last Man on Earth.

Do you agree or disagree with my picks? Who do you think should be nominated in the Guest category this year? Speculate below in the comments!