Emmys 2011: Predicting Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Here’s how it works: some of these ladies will get nominated, some deserve to get nominated and some haven’t got a chance in hell. I am listing everyone who’s a real player, but for MY dream ballot, the chosen six are written in orange. As I have said in the past, this is my list; if you don’t like what’s on it, go sign up for a website and make your own list.
Khandi Alexander, Treme The New Yorker’s Hilton Als says KA “acts as though her life depends on it” and he’s right. From playing a crackhead on HBO’s The Corner to the time her son died on ER (to this day, one of the most realistic death-notice scenes ever filmed) to this season’s gang rape on Treme, Alexander acts. I said this last year, and I will say it again, this woman not only deserves an Emmy, but an Oscar, SAG Award, Golden Globe, every award handed out for acting. She is, quite simply, phenomenal.
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife – No one plays rich like Baranski. I wonder if she comes from a wealthy childhood… Last season, I expected her to win the Supporting Actress Emmy over Archie Panjabi, who was too new. She didn’t. This year, though, Baranski was given an even meatier storyline, with the threat to leave Lockhart/Gardner and start her own firm and then the duplicitous double cross of Michael Ealy’s Derrick Bond. Love her.
Mae Whitman, Parenthood – Is there a teenager on TV with as much real-life angst as Whitman’s Amber? Maybe. Some shows live off of teenage angst. Of course, few actors can handle whatever is thrown at them with the same finesse as Whitman. Whether it’s Parenthood’s trademark “everyone talk at once” scenes or Amber realizing that even her backup school rejected her (which I don’t get; she’s clearly very intelligent), Whitman is always up for the challenge. And on an ensemble like Parenthood, that’s a pretty hefty statement.
Kristin Bauer van Straten, True Blood – Nobody – I repeat, nobody – can deliver a one-liner like our favorite lady vampire. Promoted to series regular due to her success with the fans, van Straten has outshone many of True Blood’s more prominent names, stealing scene after scene. Any time she gets to work with Nelsan Ellis’ Lafayette is a good day for viewers.
Regina King, Southland – A bit more of a lead actress in my opinion, but all is fair in acting and awards season. King, a veteran actress who has been working since she played Marla Gibbs’ daughter on 227, has no major awards to her name, yet is one of the most critically acclaimed young actresses working today. People love her, but she gets no love. It makes no sense. With the addition of a young boyfriend (coincidentally, her new partner’s son) and a suspension from a job she lives for, King had plenty to sink her teeth into this season. And, like the professional she is, she hit a home run every single time she was at bat.
Sara Ramirez, Grey’s Anatomy – The most likely of the Grey’s girls to get a nomination, based on the musical episode that was built all around her. With a premature baby, paralysis, a gay wedding boycotted by her mother, and pounds of additional luggage, Ramirez’ Callie was given center stage and she showed us what she’s got. The amazing voice doesn’t hurt.
Kim Dickens, Treme – As NOLA expat Janette explored several famous kitchens in New York, she was away from most of the action, but her love of her former city, coupled with her disappointment over her own restaurant closing, made for great drama. As much as Treme embraces jazz, this season it became a show all foodies can love, through the eyes of Dickens. I want, must eat, can almost taste her shrimp and grits!
Margo Martindale, Justified – Name one actor, male or female, who owned every single scene on every single episode of the entire season. Martindale, a veteran character actress is the only person working this year who can make that claim. Her backwoods barracuda brought new expectations for a female tough guy. She lived in the character of Mags Bennet as though she literally had spent fifty-something years living in the hills of Kentucky, from the accent to the facial ticks to the way she walked into a space. This is a tough category and Justified didn’t receive any nominations last year, so any chance is a long shot. Of course, the show did pick up a prestigious Peabody Award and Martindale (The Hours, Days of Thunder, Lorenzo’s Oil, Dead Man Walking, Marvin’s Room, The Firm, Nobody’s Fool, Lonesome Dove name merely a few worthwhile movies she’s been in) has worked with virtually every member of NATAS. If ever there were a deserving underdog…
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife – She won last year and will certainly be nominated this year. Her storyline only got better with the revelation (spoiler alert!) that she slept with her best friend’s husband (albeit before they were best friends). I’m not including her on the orange ballot simply because she’s already won and this is the hardest category. I’m a huge fan.
Michelle Forbes, The Killing – Maybe the NATAS will make up for not nominating her for her turn as Maryann the Maenad on True Blood. Or maybe all of the crying will get to them. Forbes is an impressive actress and deserving of a nomination.
Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy – Having done Emmy-worthy work for the entire run of the series, Oh has been nominated 876 times. And won none. She does have a Golden Globe and SAG Award from season 1. But this year, as Christina Yang dealt with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Oh excelled. From serving beer at Joe’s Bar to that fishing trip when she broke down, Oh’s work was exemplary. Unfortunately, Grey’s is no longer an Emmy magnate, so don’t expect a nomination. But wouldn’t it be nice if she snuck in anyway?
Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy – Unfortunately this was Wilson’s weakest year. I don’t know if she asked for time off or if Shonda Rhimes just cut back her screen time. Either way, whenever she walks into a scene, we sit up and take notice. Wilson could telekinetically send over her lines from her home and still do an excellent job. Still, the heart of Grey’s.
KaDee Strickland, Private Practice – I have actually always been a fan of this southern belle with a bite, but no one took notice until Strickland’s Charlotte was brutally raped this season. The scenes immediately following the rape are the best in the history of the show. Ironically, Strickland brought her character to life through such a personal attack.
joseph’s choice to win: If Margo Matindale doesn’t win, the Emmys might as well close up shop and go home. Some fine – and very deserving – actresses make the list and I would shoot someone I don’t like if it meant Alexander or King would finally get their long-deserved recognition, but Martindale was a revelation.
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