2011 Emmy Nomination Predictions – BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS in a DRAMA and COMEDY

emmy 2011 supporting actress predictions

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS in a DRAMA SERIES
 
KELLY MACDONALD as MARGARET SHROEDER in BOARDWALK EMPIRE
 

After first being enchanted by her in the British TV movie The Girl in the Café (directed by Harry Potter’s David Yates) Kelly MacDonald has been on my radar, a talented Scottish actress who, as Margaret Shroeder, must juggle the idiosyncrasies of a lilting Kerry-Irish accent whilst dressed in early 20th century garb in what is very much the role of a second class citizen. Her performance is nuanced, delicate yet strong. Nucky Thompson may be the show’s protagonist, but Mrs Shroeder is its heart.

KIERNAN SHIPKA as SALLY DRAPER in MAD MEN
 

mad men sally draper

Matthew Weiner must have a time machine. Luck just doesn’t-can’t-cut it. When Shipka first joined Mad Men as the oldest child of the Drapers, she was given a line here and a line there, popping up every now and again with a plastic bag over her head to remind the audience that Don and Betty have children. Then season three gave her more material, and she handled it all like a pro. Then season four happened. She lost her baby fat and she was upgraded to main cast member and the transformation was stunning. So good was the writing and her performance that she managed to take a story which could have felt arbitrary, and flourished, with beyond-her-years acting talent. She embodied one of the best coming of age characters (in, thanks to Weiner and co, what is one of the best coming of age arcs) on one of television’s best shows. Pretty impressive for an eleven year old.

ARCHIE PANJABI as KALINDA SHARMA in THE GOOD WIFE
 

THE GOOD WIFE "Wrongful Termination" Season 2 Episode 19

There is simply no one on television, male or female, lead or supporting, who oozes chemistry like Panjabi. She’s the most curious scene-stealer I’ve seen in a long time: no monologues or breakdowns, stoic and calm as to be stony (if not for Panjabi’s weird charisma), yet she commands your attention. When the mystery that is Kalinda steps into the scene, your interest piques. Last year’s Emmy champ was once again brilliant: from taking a bat to Porter’s car to witnessing her relationship with Alicia implode when her past involving Peter Florrick was revealed, she remains as enigmatic as ever.

CHRISTINA HENDRICKS as JOAN HOLLOWAY in MAD MEN
 

mad men season 4

Christina Hendricks’ Joan Holloway is one of the best things about Mad Men. Her icy stare is offset by her colourful outfits and fiery hair, her confidence and authority besmirched by social circumstances. She’s one of the show’s most intriguing characters.

EMILIA CLARKE as DANAERYS TARGERYAN in GAME OF THRONES
 

game of thrones hbo dragons

Okay, let’s get this straight. Clarke, who has only acted in paltry guest roles in one or two British soaps not even I have heard of, had to play a young girl who is sold off to a warlord as his bride, raped on her marriage night, then proceeds to fall in love with him, while all of the action of the rest of the stories is on another freakin’ continent. Oh, and it’s in a made-up language called Dothraki, and much of her dialogue is in Dothraki. She spends much of her time naked or in dresses that are about as modest as open blinds. By the end of the series she has to convince us that she has enough strength within her to be the Mother of Dragons and lead an army. Yeah, one could say this was a pretty demanding task. And Emilia Clarke pulled it off effortlessly. Vulnerable, strong, pawn, manipulative, Clarke is the single most impressive thing about Game of Thrones.

MARGO MARTINDALE as MAGS BENNET in JUSTIFIED
 

The fact that I placed Margo Martindale’s Mags Bennet in front of Emilia Clarke’s Danaerys Targeryan tells you something about how damn majestic Martindale was. A well-known character actor, Martindale dominates this awesome list of supporting actresses. Her performance was poetic.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS in a COMEDY SERIES
 

AMY RYAN as HOLLY FLAX in THE OFFICE
 

amy ryan the office

Who doesn’t think Amy Ryan is awesome? No one. Good. That’s what I thought. And let’s hope that’s what the Television Academy members think too. Ryan managed to rival the brilliant Steve Carell as the perfect match for his Michael Scott.

SOFIA VERGARA as GLORIA DELGADO-PRITCHETT in MODERN FAMILY
 

MODERN FAMILY "Flash, Dash, Crash"

What’s not to love abot Vergara’s fun and sexy performance as Gloria? From her Spanish-crazed freakouts, to her warm and often over the top adoration for Manny and the rest of her family, Gloria is a hilarious delight.

KRISTEN WIIG as SKETCH CHARACTERS in SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
 

SNL may have hit a creative slump, but one thing is as strong as ever: Kristen Wiig. Nominated before for her unbelievably funny turn as every sort of crazy, insipid character you could imagine, there’s little question she should be nominated again, especially since her film Bridesmaids did so well, which will hopefully put her front and center in Emmy voters’ minds.

ALISON BRIE as ANNIE EDISON in COMMUNITY
 

Annie was given a lot of great things this season, from “Dungeons and Dragons” to “Certification in Mixology” but those final two episodes “A Fistful of Paintballs” and “For A Few Paintballs More” offered her character a layer we haven’s seen before which were sad and sweet, and a gruff toughness that was hilarious (“Hey! Christina Ricci!”)

BUSY PHILIPS as LAURIE Keller in COUGAR TOWN
 

Cougar Town is one of the most underappreciated shows on television and Busy Philips’ performance is completely deserving of some Emmy love. Her daffy performance of Laurie is funny, bright and lovable.

JULIE BOWN as CLAIRE DUNPHY in MODERN FAMILY
 

Julie Bowen is the funniest thing about Modern Family. Playing the anxious and prissy Claire Dunphy, her role as mother, daughter, sister, wife is the heart of the show. Bowen has mastered acting with her facial expressions, but her line readings are also hysterical and sometimes quite poignant: when she and Phil swap places for a day and he begs to return to his ‘dad’ state claiming that he doesn’t like being her, her reply “Nobody does,” is actually profound: what makes it even better is that Bowen treats it as a throwaway line.

 

So that concludes my picks for the female supporting roles. Let me know your picks in the comments below.

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