Thursday, August 27, 2020

Emmy Predictions 2020 - Who Will and Should Win for Supporting Actress in a Drama Series?

The nominations have been announced for The 72nd 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 Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

The Nominees Ranked By Which Should Win:
  1. Sarah Snook for HBO's Succession - "The Summer Palace"
  2. Fiona Shaw for BBC America's Killing Eve - "Management Sucks"
  3. Helena Bonham Carter for Netflix's The Crown - "Cri de Coeur"
  4. Samira Wiley for Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale - "Sacrifice"
  5. Thandie Newton for HBO's Westworld - "The Winter Line"
  6. Julia Garner for Netflix's Ozark - "In Case of Emergency"
  7. Meryl Streep for HBO's Big Little Lies - "I Want to Know"
  8. Laura Dern for HBO's Big Little Lies - "Tell-Tale Hearts"

The actors on Big Little Lies did everything they could to sell a story that was much more inconsistent in its second season. Even with those big names nominated, the storytelling problems prevent me from ranking Meryl Streep or Laura Dern too highly. They remain great and beloved figures in the industry. They had delightful and infectious moments in the show too. They just wouldn't be at the top of the field for the standout performances of the year. In fact, I would counter that Fiona Shaw had her best season ever on Killing Eve. The first two seasons were heavily devoted to Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer. Shaw was nominated last year. The third season essentially made her the grounding presence as her universe was shaken. It was a significant story that was consistent all the way through despite problems elsewhere in the narrative. That resonates well in my mind. Sarah Snook, Samira Wiley and Thandie Newton left a similar impression. They are consistently strong performers on their respective shows. Snook stepped up in a major way in the second season of Succession that showed her character was just as despicable and cruel as the men in the ensemble. It was incredibly captivating despite the numerous falls on her path to success. She was told over and over again that she was worthy of recognition and control. And then, it was cruelly taken away from her by the father whose mood shifts on a regular basis. That pattern of life was completely lived in and fleshed out so the audience felt every traumatic beat. That's why she has risen to the top as the performer most deserving of winning here.

The Nominees Ranked by Which Will Win:
  1. Helena Bonham Carter for Netflix's The Crown - "Cri de Coeur"
  2. Sarah Snook for HBO's Succession - "The Summer Palace"
  3. Meryl Streep for HBO's Big Little Lies - "I Want to Know"
  4. Julia Garner for Netflix's Ozark - "In Case of Emergency"
  5. Thandie Newton for HBO's Westworld - "The Winter Line"
  6. Laura Dern for HBO's Big Little Lies - "Tell-Tale Hearts"
  7. Samira Wiley for Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale - "Sacrifice"
  8. Fiona Shaw for BBC America's Killing Eve - "Management Sucks"

Two former champions are once again nominated in this race - Thandie Newton and Julia Garner. Meanwhile, Samira Wiley and Laura Dern previously won for The Handmaid's Tale and Big Little Lies in different categories. However, the conversation may not primarily be around them competing to prevail once more. Garner absolutely has a case because Ozark continues to gain momentum with the voters. That stands in contrast to The Handmaid's Tale and Westworld which are fading away. Big Little Lies did so as well. And yet, it did extremely well for its actors the first time around. Plus, the esteemed Meryl Streep was given a weighty and consequential role. It being the sole series with two nominees may help push it over the edge. However, Newton and Garner both won opposite multiple nominees from other shows. So, that may not be much of a winning argument at the moment. No one can actually be ruled out immediately. They all are worthy nominees who did impressive work on their respective series. Helena Bonham Carter probably has the best episode submission. The finale was pivotal for her character. The Crown is well-regarded by the voters as well. Sarah Snook had an incredibly active season on Succession. She almost could have moved up to Lead Actress. She opted for this race, which is more competitive overall. She still stands out though. This could be a race where the episodes matter or name recognition is enough support needed to win. The expanded field makes it more complicated to figure out who has the edge.

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