Thursday, August 31, 2017

Emmy Predictions 2017 - Who Will Likely Win for Guest Actress in a Drama Series?

The nominations are in for The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The final round of voting has occurred. So, it's time to speculate on who is likely to win in each major category. Next up for analysis is Guest Actress in a Drama Series.

The Nominees:
  • Alexis Bledel for Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale - "Late"
  • Laverne Cox for Netflix's Orange Is the New Black - "Doctor Psycho"
  • Ann Dowd for HBO's The Leftovers - "The Most Powerful Man in the World (and His Identical Twin Brother)"
  • Shannon Purser for Netflix's Stranger Things - "Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly"
  • Cicely Tyson for ABC's How to Get Away With Murder - "Go Cry Somewhere Else"
  • Alison Wright for FX's The Americans - "The Soviet Division"

There is so much greatness in this category that it seems impossible to just pick one winner out of the bunch. Of course, there is one notable exception that stands out like a sore thumb. Shannon Purser was perfectly fine on Stranger Things. But there was no reason for Barb to blow up in the cultural zeitgeist as much as she did. She was a plot device that the show tossed aside not knowing how big a reaction that would create with the audience. There was no reason for her to get a nomination. There's certainly no reason for her to win - especially in this category with insanely talented actresses where most of them are giving the performances of their careers. And yet, strange things have been happening in this category as of late. I love Margo Martindale on The Americans. But for the past two years, she has won in this category even though she only appeared onscreen for two minutes. When the show actually gives her a good story to work with, she's excellent and deserves those wins but doesn't get nominated. So, it wouldn't surprise me if all the buzz about Stranger Things and Barb leads to a victory for Purser. It would just be one of the biggest upsets of the awards which would confirm that there really isn't any meaning to them anymore.

This really should be a race between Alexis Bledel, Laverne Cox and Alison Wright. There's an urgency for all of them to win because it's not guaranteed that they'll be nominated in this category again next year. Bledel delivered a stunning performance on The Handmaid's Tale that completely blew everyone away. She deserves to be the frontrunner in this race. It's that mesmerizing of a performance. Her submission episode is terrific because it highlights all the emoting she needs to do with just her face - specifically her eyes. It's a traumatizing episode that's brutal and dark. But her performance is absolutely stunning and should win. But Cox went through a similar experience in the fourth season of Orange Is the New Black as her character was stuck in solitary confinement and slowly losing her mind. That was a terrific story on that show. Plus, it would be a historic moment for the Emmys as Cox would be the first trans performer to win. She has the material to pull of the upset. Wright does as well. It was a complete surprise to see her pop up on The Americans again this year after her story seemingly came to its tragic conclusion. But seeing what life has become for her character in an entirely new world showed the true cost of the main narrative. It ended on an uplifting note. A piece of hopefulness amidst the sadness. Wright played those conflicting feelings well and could provide the show with its sole victory for the year once more.

Of course, Ann Dowd and Cicely Tyson are dark horse contenders for the win as well. They just happen to be one of the few nominations for their respective shows. That makes it seem unlikely but not impossible. It's still an immense shame that The Leftovers never got more recognition from the Emmy voters. The third season will more than likely rank as my number one show of 2017. And Ann Dowd is the only nomination it got this year. Of course, she is terrific in her episode. It's the more elaborate, fantasy episode of the season. It's a ton of fun. Dowd is a major part of that. Meanwhile, I stopped watching How to Get Away With Murder awhile ago. So, I have no clue what Tyson did this year. But I know she was so much fun to watch on the screen in her first ever appearance in the series. So, that energy probably continued in the third season. Plus, she's a legendary and well-respected actress. The voters' love for her could lead to victory as well.

Should Win: Alexis Bledel
Will Win: Alexis Bledel
Dark Horse: Laverne Cox and Alison Wright