Tuesday, August 29, 2017

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

The nominations are in for The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The final round of voting is happening now. So, 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:
  • Uzo Aduba for Netflix's Orange Is the New Black - "People Persons"
  • Millie Bobby Brown for Netflix's Stranger Things - "Chapter Seven: The Bathtub"
  • Ann Dowd for Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale - "Offred"
  • Chrissy Metz for NBC's This Is Us - "Pilot"
  • Thandie Newton for HBO's Westworld - "Trace Decay"
  • Samira Wiley for Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale - "Night"

The race for Supporting Actress in a Drama Series is incredibly unique this year because the list of nominees is completely different from those nominated in 2016. No one from last year is once again nominated. That's crazy and occurred because Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey weren't on the ballot. So now, there is a ton of fresh blood in this race. In addition, a previous winner returns to the category. It was surprising to see Uzo Aduba get snubbed last year. So, it's very exciting to see her back in this race. She's basically the only actress in this category with a recent Emmy track record as well. She has already won twice for her role on Orange Is the New Black. She would be incredibly deserving for a third trophy as well. Her submission episode is so brutal and devastating. It's as effective as it is because of her completely committed and tragic performance. If the voters are watching the episodes, it would be hard to disagree that Aduba should win.

And yet, Thandie Newton gave one of the best performances on a new show over the past year. Westworld only worked because of how entertaining Newton was as a host robot who was waking up to the true reality of her existence. It was a compelling story that worked because it wasn't trying to fool the audience like so many of the other stories were. It was being completely upfront about what was happening. So, the audience could accept that corner of the show more. But also, Newton was just captivating in the role. She was vicious and brutal as she staged a takeover. Her episode also reminds us of what she has lost in this world and the manipulations she's had to endure. It's a very multi-dimensional character brought to life by an extraordinary performance. I would say it's the best performance given by the six nominees. And usually, that is enough to win an Emmy.

But one can't just say that this should be a race between Newton and Aduba because there really is no idea what to expect. Any one of these nominees could surprise with a victory and it would make sense somehow. Ann Dowd and Samira Wiley benefit from both being nominated. That gives them two episodes to impress the voters instead of just one. They both appear in each episode as well. The episodes are the premiere and the finale of The Handmaid's Tale. Those are some questionable choices. I honestly think Wiley would have been better served in selecting the penultimate episode. It would still be very exciting if she won. She would win for a terrific year on two different shows. But Dowd probably has the edge if one of them is going to prevail in this race for playing the more harsh and manipulative character of the show.

However, the biggest spoiler may actually be the youngest nominee: Millie Bobby Brown. Child actors haven't always fared well at the Emmys. It was significant that Brown got nominated. It showed the overall support for Stranger Things amongst the voters. The show has a solid shot of picking up a few victories in a number of categories. This could easily be one of them because Brown does so much great acting without actually speaking a whole lot. Meanwhile, Chrissy Metz is a dark horse contender as well. I was surprised she got a nomination. Not because I think she's bad on the show. She actually elevates the poor story material that is given to her. She would deserve to win if the show actually gave her a consistent story that was different from the norm. Plus, "Pilot" may not be the best submission. But again, she's a serious contender because of the overall support for This Is Us across the board.

Should Win: Thandie Newton
Will Win: Thandie Newton
Dark Horse: Uzo Aduba