Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Emmy Predictions 2016 - Who Will Likely Win for Supporting Actress in a Drama Series?

The nominations are in for The 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The final round of voting is now taking place. So now, it's time to speculate on who is likely to win in each major category. Next up for analysis is Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

The Nominees:
  • Emilia Clarke for HBO's Game of Thrones - Episode: "Book of the Stranger"
  • Lena Headey for HBO's Game of Thrones - Episode: "The Winds of Winter"
  • Maggie Smith for PBS' Downton Abbey - Episode: "Episode Six"
  • Maura Tierney for Showtime's The Affair - Episode: "204"
  • Maisie Williams for HBO's Game of Thrones - Episode: "No One"
  • Constance Zimmer for Lifetime's UnREAL - Episode: "Mother"

As I've mentioned in several other categories this year, a field with three nominees from the same show makes it likely that one of them will win. Emmy voters made their newfound love of Game of Thrones known last year with many notable wins - including Best Drama Series. And now, the show has taken over three of the slots in this race. It was only a few years ago when no actors besides Peter Dinklage got nominated. And now, many of them are. That's impressive for any show to do. Lena Headey and Emilia Clarke have been strong contenders for the win in past years as well. They've come up short but this could finally be their year. This is Maisie Williams' first nomination. Her addition to the field could really benefit one of the GOT women. Voters who watch the tapes will see three episodes of the fantasy series. That could leave a big impression - especially if they are fans of the show.

If someone from Game of Thrones wins, I would most likely predict Lena Headey. Everyone thought she was going to win last year for a phenomenal episode. She did not. She lost to Uzo Aduba who isn't even nominated this year (a tragedy in its own right!). This category has undergone a pretty interesting shakeup with some really surprising but deserving first time nominees. But Headey stayed which signifies strong support for her. Three nominations for Game of Thrones shows strong support. So, if she has the strongest backing of those three, she will win. The conversation about the show this season is all I have to base this prediction on. As I've mentioned before, I don't watch. But from what I've heard, it was an impressive year for the female characters. Clarke, Headey and Williams deserved these nominations. But when looking at who should win, I've just heard much more about Headey - both during the season and afterwards.

Of course, this could be the category where Downton Abbey gets its farewell award. It's a show that Emmy voters have absolutely loved. We can argue over whether or not it deserved to get as many nominations as it did in its later years. But it's what happened. That support over the years likely means voters will find a way to give it one last win. Maggie Smith is the only former winner amongst the nominees this year. She fell off this list. And yet, she was able to come back for the final season over Joanne Froggatt. That shows renewed passion. She probably won't be there at the ceremony to accept the award. She never comes to the award ceremonies stateside. But it would still be a nice sendoff for the show. But can the voters justify crowning her instead of the other nominees? I don't know. It does remain a strong option though.

And lastly, we can't count out Constance Zimmer or Maura Tierney either. They are standout performers on both of their shows. The Affair got no Emmy love beyond Tierney. On paper, that probably makes her quite the long shot for a victory. And yet, she only continued to get better on the show as her perspective was added to the show's unique perspective shifts. That revealed a whole new layer of nuance that was greatly appreciated and gave Tierney a lot of strong material to work with. Meanwhile, UnREAL may be the best role that Zimmer has ever gotten to play. She's been a part of Emmy-nominated ensembles before. But this role was all about her. It can be an off-putting and horrifying character but Zimmer does such a phenomenal job in making that textured in a way that feels like a fully-realized human being. She may suffer from the second season being a complete dumpster fire though. Voters mainly look at the seasons nominated. But they are aware of things happening in the present. Zimmer is deserving for Season 1. All of this just makes this race one of the closest ones to watch come Emmy night.

Should Win: Constance Zimmer
Will Win: Lena Headey
Dark Horse: Maura Tierney and Maggie Smith