Tuesday, August 28, 2012

2012 Emmy Awards Predictions: Lead Actress in a Comedy 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...

Tina Fey in "30 Rock" (NBC)
The queen of comedy and for quite a while the queen of winning emmys, Tina Fey was at the center of '30 Rock's Emmy-reign, winning for producing, writing and acting in the show. In recent years the show's Awards-cache has dropped (this is the first year it didn't receive either a writing or directing nomination), which probably means a win for Fey isn't likely.
Episode Submission: "The Tuxedo Begins"
This episode, in which Liz Lemon pretends to be an old lady and slowly morphs into a weird character that resembles The Joker, is a funny showcase for Fey, but not spectacular enough that it would make Emmy voters suddenly want to award her yet again. 

Lena Dunham in "Girls" (HBO)
"Girls" has been perhaps the most polarizing show of the year and Dunham's character Hanna Horvath has maybe been even more polarizing. There is endless debate over people who find the character too unlikable and can't stand her and those who find those unlikable traits to be an essential part of the show. I fall into the latter category and I think Emmy voters do too, judging from how "Girls" has done pretty well with nominations. 
Episode Submission: "She Did"
Dunham is one of tv's "it-girls" right now, so there wouldn't be much surprise if the Emmys want to reward her with a trophy. The thing that could work against her (besides the apparent backlash for her show) is that she has submitted the season finale, which has a very good scene towards the end in which she fights with her boyfriend, but for the most part is not as much a showcase of her acting abilities as it is an ensemble piece. 

Melissa McCarthy in "Mike and Molly" (CBS)
A surprise nominee and an even more surprising winner last year that certainly benefited from her brilliant and popular performance in 'Bridesmaids' that eventually earned her an Oscar nomination. All in all, McCarthy is a big star now and she is back this year to prove she won that Emmy for being great in 'Mike and Molly' and not because she was hilarious in last year's raunchiest comedy (something I quite frankly don't know if she can prove in any way). 
Episode Submission: "The Dress"
McCarthy gets a lot to do in this episode, in which she tries to lose weight to fit into her wedding dress. She is, however, in 'Mike and Molly', which is not a very good show. I didn't watch the tape she won for last year, but I can only asume it was better than this episode, which is not bad, but pales in comparison to the other submissions. 

Zooey Deschanel in "New Girl" (FOX)
Adorkable Zooey was supposed to be the big comedic breakthrough of the year back when 'New Girl' premiered to huge ratings. After a defeat at the Golden Globes and schedule mistreatment from FOX (which missed on the opportunity of making 'New Girl' the biggest thing since 'Friends' by overestimating how many people would like to watch 'The X Factor') her show became a hit that actually lost viewers as it was getting better. 
Episode Submission: "Bad in Bed"
When I first looked at the nominees, I thought Zooey might be the one with the least chances of winning, but boy did she pick a good episode. Her character hasn't always worked as well as the writers would like it to work, but in 'Bad in Bed' she does some pretty funny stuff in an episode that is overall very entertaining. 

Edie Falco in "Nurse Jackie" (Showtime)
Edie Falco's is a performance that has won this award in the past despite the fact that the performance itself is not very comedic. Falco's good in the role and she had her best season this past year, but there has been much debate regarding wether it is fair to submit 'Nurse Jackie' as a comedy. 
Episode Submission: "Disneyland Sucks"
The Emmys love Falco, having given her four awards in the past (three of them for playing Carmela in The Sopranos) and her episode submission is a pretty good one, not to mention one that will resonate with Hollywood voters (it is about Jackie entering rehab). Here's the thing though, no actress has won twice in this category since 2001 and I don't see a reason why Falco should break that trend this year. 

Amy Poehler in "Parks and Recreation" (NBC)
How can you not love Amy Poehler enough to make her win, Emmy voters? That her wonderful portrayal of enthusiastic little-town government employee Leslie Knope goes largely unnoticed by the American public is shame, but that the industry fails to reward her with a golden statue weirdly seems like a crime. This year Leslie run for office, a plot-line that gave her wonderful material that should work in her favor.  
Episode Submission: "Win, Lose or Draw"
Now that Poehler has her best chance to win, I am starting to believe she won't. "Win, Lose or Draw" is a very emotional episode in which Poehler learns the results of the election for city council. But I wonder if it would only work as good as it does for someone who has watched the whole season and already is invested in Leslie Knope's ark. Poehler could be helped by voters who actually watch the show, but I wonder if she could get enough votes from unfamiliar voters.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in "Veep" (HBO)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus has already won two Emmys (One for 'Seinfeld' and one for 'The New Adventures of Old Christine'). She could likely win a third for a third series this year. 'Veep' sort of stood in the shadow of the much more talked-about 'Girls' when it aired, but it is a show that I think has everything to appeal to voters. Series creator Armando Iannucci has won a lot of awards for his british show 'The Tick of It' (including many for its lead actor) and was nominated for an Oscar for 'In The Loop'. It is also a show about politics which sure gives it the snob appeal that helped 'The West Wing' dominate the Emmys for the first half of the last decade. 
Episode Submission: "Tears"
I, for one, found 'Veep' to be an entertaining and funny show, but not a particularly hilarious or clever one. That being said, 'Tears' is probably Julia Louis-Dreyfus best choice for a submission. It is not only one of the best uses of the series' dark comedic sensibilities, it is also a good showcase for her acting abilities. 

Will Win: It's really hard to say, I could see almost any of them winning. At the end, I think it will probably be between Louis-Dreyfus and Poehler. Gun to m head, I'm going with Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Should Win: I think all of these ladies are very good in their shows (even McCarthy whose show doesn't really give her good material), but I could only choose Amy Poehler who was stellar this season. My second choice would be Dunham. 

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