Tuesday, August 21, 2012

2012 Emmy Award Predictions: Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Award Shows, my one weakness. Even if they're meaningless, I can't resist them and so, here is my annual attempt at predicting which actors and shows will become winners. These are predictions for the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards which will be broadcast live on Sunday September 23 on ABC.

To win the Emmy, every actor nominated must submit an episode representative of their best work each season. The episodes submitted are then viewed by a panel that votes for what they deem best. Each actor and his/her publicity team pick which episode to submit. Great submissions can help an underdog, bad ones could prevent a favorite from winning. Let's take a look at what these ladies chose. The nominees are...

Glenn Close in "Damages" (DirecTV)
I never really liked "Damages", but I acknowledge there was a time when a bunch of people watched and really liked the show and it had some buzz and nominations and was considered one of the best shows on television. I think all of that is gone, where I had even forgotten the show existed. Thanks to Emmy voters and their love for movie stars on television shows, I remembered.
Episode Submission: "I've Done Way Too Much for This Girl"
Let me just say that the episode will be as present in voters' minds as the show was on mine. Close has won twice already for this role back when the show was somewhat popular, she won't win again.

Michelle Dockery in "Downton Abbey" (PBS)
The big story in this year's Emmy Awards is the love they've shown for British soap "Downton Abbey". Now, Lady Mary (Dockery's character) is considered by many fans of the show to be the heart and soul of the series. By others, she's found to be incredibly shrill and unlikeable, especially when the show started. Most people are on agreement that her character has gotten more likable as the show has gone on, but there is still those who find her annoying. 
Episode Submission: "Episode 7/Christmas"
What's notable for her character in this episode is that she decides to get out of an engagement that would save her social image and retrieve to the US, when she's finally proposed to by her loving Matthew. There is something to charm critics here, I believe, and they certainly love "Downton", but it might not be enough. 

Julianna Margulies "The Good Wife" (CBS)
She was the favorite to win two years ago, submitted terribly and lost. So you can see that the tapes do matter. She did, however, win last year with a much better submission. 
Episode Submission: "Parenting Made Easy"
In which her daughter goes missing. Sounds like a dynamite plot-line for an awards tape, right? Well, it really isn't. The episode is very weirdly constructed and is not as much a showcase of Margulies' talents than an ensemble piece. "The Good Wife" not being nominated for Drama Series this year isn't a good indication either. 

Kathy Bates in "Harry's Law" (NBC)
This terrible show is already canceled, but Kathy Bates is such a beloved actress that the Emmy voters decided to continue their long tradition of nominating every Oscar winning star that appears on tv. This show, however terrible, was created by David E. Kelley, who has an impressive track-record of creating pretty mediocre shows that in turn win Emmys for their stars. 
Episode Submission: "Onward and Upward"
In which Kathy Bates' character must organize her ex-husband's funeral, which in and on itself sounds like pretty baity material for winning an award. However, she doesn't have the trick that many David E. Kelley stars have used to win, which is having a grand, closing argument speech to seal the deal with voters. Maybe that will keep her from winning. 

Claire Danes in "Homeland" (Showtime)
She's the favorite to win. She's the "it" girl in one of the best reviewed television series of the past season. She won the Golden Globe back in January and gives what might be the best performance of her lifetime, which certainly doesn't hurt. 
Episode Submission: "The Vest"
If you are playing a showy, over-the-top, crazy-ass character then show it off. "The Vest" displays Danes at her showiest, craziest best when her character is taken off her medication just when she's about to crack the mystery surrounding a future terrorist attack. 

Elisabeth Moss in "Mad Men" (AMC)
Elisabeth Moss has spend five years doing outstanding work playing Peggy Olsen. Last year she had an amazing submission in "The Suitcase", but lost to Julianna Margulies. Logic would tell you that if she couldn't with that tape, she'll never win, but stranger things have happened at the Emmys.
Episode Submission: "The Other Woman"
Peggy has been more of a supporting figure this season. Other than the scene in which Peggy says goodbye to Don as she leaves the agency, there's not much that she gets to do here. 

Who Will Win? Considering how she's got all the buzz and all the press and how her submission is easily the best of this bunch, Claire Danes shouldn't have trouble getting a second Emmy. 

Who Should Win? Well, I have to give fair where fair is due, Claire Danes is truly superb in "Homeland" and deserves all the praise she's gotten and the Emmy to boost. 

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