2011 Emmy Nominations Predictions – BEST ACTRESS in a DRAMA and COMEDY

emmy 2011 predictions best actress

It’s that time of year again. The ballots have been posted and the nominees will be read out on July 14th. So which actresses impressed this year? Below I’ve compiled my own ballot for Best Actress in a Drama/Comedy, because I have way too much time on my hands and I really like lists. These are the performances that stood out the most this year, so without further ado, let the list begin!

BEST ACTRESS in a DRAMA SERIES
 
ANNA TORV as OLIVIA DUNHAM in FRINGE
 

Who knew that Torv could give such a deep, multi layered performance when Fringe first premiered? This year she was absolutely wonderful, she completely stepped up her game and she became, for me at least, the most intriguing thing on a show featuring John Noble and alternate universes.

KATEY SAGAL as GEMMA TELLER MORROW in SONS OF ANARCHY
 

Katey Sagal in SONS OF ANARCHY

Sure, the tattooed dudes of this show are exciting and all, but it’s Katey Sagal’s Gemma who owns the show with her deft handling of the Lady Macbeth matriarch of a motorcycle mob (boo ya, you just got alliterated!)

EMMY ROSSUM as FIONA GALLAGHER in SHAMELESS
 

SHAMELESS (Showtime) Frank Gallagher Loving Husband, Devoted Father Episode 7

William H. Macy is getting some serious buzz for his role as the patriarch of this dysfunctional family, but that’s simply because he’s William H. Macy. The real heart of the show is Emmy Rossum’s Fiona, the put-upon oldest child of a no good mother and an alcoholic father who is forced to raise her siblings in dire financial straits. Rossum is luminous. She deserves an Emmy, and not just because of her namesake.

ELISABETH MOSS as PEGGY OLSON in MAD MEN
 

“The Suitcase” is justly praised for its writing, but it was also one of the most well-acted episodes of television ever, and half of that reason is Elisabeth Moss. It’s shocking to realize that Mad Men has never won an acting Emmy, and outside of Jon Hamm, Moss is the actor most deserving of some winged gold.

JULIANNA MARGULIES as ALICIA FLORRICK in THE GOOD WIFE
 

THE GOOD WIFE "In Sickness" Season 2 Episode 21

After writing about The Good Wife for twenty two weeks this year, I’ve finally learned how to spell her name. She was tremendous this year, particularly in the latter half of the season. Margulies captured every ounce of Alicia’s pain after Kalinda’s betrayal was revealed without ever falling into Emmy-bait hysterics. Hers was a tour de force performance.

CONNIE BRITTON as TAMI TAYLOR in FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
 

Tami freaking Taylor, dude. Tami freaking Taylor. Give Margulies the gold next year. This is Friday Night Lights‘ final season. Send them packing with some statues to make up for all the years you (the TV Academy) flipped them the bird. Tami Taylor-whoops, I mean Connie Britton-is one of the greatest characters on television. I could watch any scene between Tami and Coach all day long. They’ve transcended the television screen and, for anyone who gave the show a chance, became people to aspire to and to be inspired by. They’re not perfect, they never pretend they are, but the Taylors are the best couple on television. Connie Britton’s performance is likely to leave you laughing, punching the air cheering, or on the floor sobbing into your dog. Clear eyes, full hearts CAN’T LOSE!

 

Snubbed actresses: Because I don’t watch Southland, I’m leaving Regina King off the list despite hearing that she’s the best thing about the show. Also, if Nina Dobrev were just playing Katherine on The Vampire Diaries, she might’ve moved into the top four just for giving one of the most delightful performances of the year.

BEST ACTRESS in a COMEDY SERIES
 
KALEY CUOCO as PENNY in THE BIG BANG THEORY
 

Jim Parsons gets all the glory but Sheldon really shines not when he’s chilling with the nerds but when he’s sparring with Penny. Cuoco makes the blonde bimbo a loveable three dimensional character, who for a long time was the only thing keeping this show from being a toilet joke sausage fest. It’s high time Cuoco is shown some Emmy love. Nerd and nice have never had so much spice! (I’m copyrighting that line, btw)

TINA FEY as LIZ LEMON in 30 ROCK
 

30 ROCK "Respawn"

30 Rock was pretty awesome this year and Tina Fey deserves the nomination, and not just because she’s Tina Fey and a four eyed demigod. Though that’s partly the reason.

TONI COLLETTE as TARA GREGSON in UNITED STATES OF TARA
 

UNITED STATES OF TARA Series Finale "The Good Parts" Season 3 Episode 12 (4)

United States of Tara ended its finest season without even pretending it was a comedy. There were about three jokes in the final episode. Yet it’s been constricted to the comedy genre, so fuck it. Who cares if Tara Gregson turned into a psychotic child molesting fourteen year old sadist with a penchant for smacking her children, driving her husband to the pits of despair, poisoning lecturers and stealing babies? That’s funny, isn’t it? Give Collette some (more) Emmy love!

MARTHA PLIMPTON as in RAISING HOPE
 

It’s Martha Plimpton, she’s awesome (and this isn’t just an honorary place because of her fantastic work on The Good Wife). I saw about three episodes of Raising Hope and can tell you she’s carrying that show on her awesome shoulders. Because she’s awesome.

COURTNEY COX as JULES COBB in COUGAR TOWN
 

COUGAR TOWN Cry to Me

The Emmys hate Courtney Cox. Who the hell knows why. She was the funniest thing on Friends for years and Jules shows Courtney Cox at her comedic best: self-deprecating, hilarious and more than a little crazy. She’s also the perfect example of a high wattage star stepping back and gelling comfortably into one of the best ensembles on television.

AMY POEHLER as LESLIE in PARKS AND RECREATION
 

I never thought I’d root for a cancer patient to lose, but if Laura Linney’s insipid cancer whinger nabs this one from Poehler, I’m going to take a bazooka to the Emmys.

 

Emmy snub: Lea Michele of Glee would have gotten onto my list no problem last year (in fact, last year I was such a Gleek I wanted her to walk away with the gold, especially since Michele is a wonderful comedic actress). This year however it became increasingly obvious that the trio of Glee writers were concerned with flashy moments inconsistent with the characters of the show and moaning on for twenty plus hours about how terrible life is for a gay teen. If people are watching Glee, chances are they’re not the small-minded homophobic section of society protesting against evolution and waiting for the rapture (not that all homophobes are religious nuts, so excuse my own small-minded hypocrisy). Preaching to the choir with clumsy allegory instead of developing the other characters and improving the story and giving the show some semblance of consistency just reminds me of the the albums I actually bought in the first season which now stand on my CD rack screaming “sucker!” Well, never again. Okay, rant over.

 

So, that concludes my Emmy ballot for Best Actress in a Drama and Comedy. Let me know your picks (or nitpick some of mine) in the comments below!

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