Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Emmy Predictions 2019 - Who Will and Should Win for Lead Actress in a Drama Series?

The nominations have been announced for The 71st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. So now, it's time to speculate on who will and should win in each major category. Next up for analysis is Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

The Nominees Ranked By Which Should Win:
  1. Jodie Comer for BBC America's Killing Eve - "I Hope You Like Missionary!"
  2. Sandra Oh for BBC America's Killing Eve - "You're Mine"
  3. Mandy Moore for NBC's This Is Us - "The Graduates"
  4. Emilia Clarke for HBO's Game of Thrones - "The Last of the Starks"
  5. Viola Davis for ABC's How to Get Away With Murder - "He Betrayed Us Both"
  6. Robin Wright for Netflix's House of Cards - "Chapter 70"
  7. Laura Linney for Netflix's Ozark - "One Way Out"

This is a strange collection of nominees this year. Some perennial favorites managed to stay in the race over some really noteworthy and acclaimed performances from newcomers. Viola Davis and Robin Wright probably wouldn't have been at the top of everyone's list of the most impressive performances of the past year in television. They have always done respectable work on their shows. There just felt like more excitement elsewhere. The same goes to Laura Linney even though this is her first nomination for Ozark. She too has long been favored by these voters. It's just not really a notable show that deserves that kind of attention. In fact, it seems as if the Killing Eve leading ladies are far ahead of the rest of the race. The second season may have gotten a little too convoluted with its overall plot but it still featured stunning work from both Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer. It was a special series when it debuted a year ago. It remained just as unique this year with these breakout performances from both actresses. Elsewhere, it's wonderful that Mandy Moore has finally gotten into the race for always being reliably strong on This Is Us. Meanwhile, Emilia Clarke's character had a problematic season on Game of Thrones to say the least. She did her best to sell every twist and turn. That is commendable. It's just not the most exciting outcome for this particular category.

The Nominees Ranked by Which Will Win:
  1. Sandra Oh for BBC America's Killing Eve - "You're Mine"
  2. Emilia Clarke for HBO's Game of Thrones - "The Last of the Starks"
  3. Jodie Comer for BBC America's Killing Eve - "I Hope You Like Missionary!"
  4. Laura Linney for Netflix's Ozark - "One Way Out"
  5. Robin Wright for Netflix's House of Cards - "Chapter 70"
  6. Viola Davis for ABC's How to Get Away With Murder - "He Betrayed Us Both"
  7. Mandy Moore for NBC's This Is Us - "The Graduates"

A year ago there was speculation over whether or not Sandra Oh would be the first actress of Asian descent to win in this category. She lost to Claire Foy but that narrative still persists for her standing in this category. In fact, Jodie Comer also being nominated may actually help one of them prevail in this category. Again, it may all rely on episode submissions. Sure, that may not historically be a good signal for which nominee will actually win. In fact, it varies from category to category. This could easily be a field in which the voters just want to reward Emilia Clarke for the entire work she did on Game of Thrones across eight seasons and not just what she was asked to do in the final year. That could easily be a story that happens the night of the ceremony. The voters have proven a strong love towards the fantasy show. Peter Dinklage may be the only actor who has won but that could realistically change at any moment this year with such a strong array of contenders. Meanwhile, it wouldn't be surprising if Laura Linney or Robin Wright prevailed simply because they have the Netflix machine backing them. The HBO voting block is the one that largely gets all the attention. But Netflix prevailed a year ago. And now, it may be looking to continue that momentum. It helps that Linney is a previous winner and that Wright has been a stable fixture of the category for the past decade. It's more difficult to see Viola Davis winning again simply because the voters recognized her performance early on and basically decided that was enough for that particular show. And finally, Mandy Moore seems like a long shot despite the overall enthusiasm for This Is Us.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my predictions? Let me know in the comments below!