2011 EMMY AWARDS Best Supporting Actress PREDICTIONS

So, it’s that time of year again, and I’m going to be counting down my predictions for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role Drama and Comedy for the 2011 Emmy Awards. If you disagree or agree or just want to throw in a comment or observation, sound off in the comments below.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS in a DRAMA SERIES
 

Is there anyone missing here? This is a pretty fair list. Sure, I might have replaced Forbes and Baranski, but you really can’t even argue with the inclusion of these two actresses. I wish Kiernan Shipka from Mad Men and Emilia Clarke from Game of Thrones had been nominated, but there’s always next year. Personal peeves aside, this is a list of actresses I can totally get behind.

6. CHRISTINE BARANSKI as DIANE LOCKHART in THE GOOD WIFE
 

THE GOOD WIFE "The New Day" Season 3 Premiere (2)

The Emmy’s love their veterans. Hence the lack of Mae Whitman and Kiernan Shipka. Baranski is a really good actress, but Lockhart’s storyline this year really was not superior to either of the aforementioned actresses. Whatever. She’s out of contention for the gold, she has more than enough of her own. Right? Right, Emmy gods? Right?

5. MICHELLE FORBES as MITCH LARSEN in THE KILLING
 

The Killing Michelle Forbes

The premise of one day = one episode really hampered the show’s success after three episodes and a million minutes of Forbes sobbing led to one of the rare cases when I found myself getting irate by a mother’s grief four days after her daughter was murdered. Never before did I slap my forehead and mutter, “Come on! Get over it!” where the murder of the teenager was concerned, but The Killing really tested my (and the nation’s) nerves. But man did she sob well. (oh, and Forbes is actually a classy actress who should’ve been nominated for her role on Battlestar Galactica years ago, so there’s that.)

4. KELLY MACDONALD as MARGARET SHROEDER in BOARDWALK EMPIRE
 

Schroeder is the emotional core of the show, and Macdonald is far more charismatic a lead than Buscemi. She should arguably be in lead actress category, but who cares. Macdonald gave an ace performance and gave the audience something to latch on to in a show which was often too cool to care.

3. ARCHIE PANJABI as KALINDA SHARMA in THE GOOD WIFE
 

Kalinda sharma

Last year’s surprise winner, Panjabi was doubly impressive this year and she may very well surprise again and take home the gold for her role as the seductive, secretive Sharma. I don’t think anyone could begrudge her the gold for giving a performance where she has unbelievable chemistry with literally everything on screen with a beating heart.

2. CHRISTINA HENDRICKS as JOAN HOLLOWAY in MAD MEN
 

mad men season 4

Christina Hendrick’s portrayal of Joan Holloway is probably the only work which I could see the Television Academy honoring over Margo Martindale’s Mags Bennet. The combination of Hendrick’s performance and the writing fleshes out her character into more than the one note mean girl secretary she so easily could have been. Joan is confident, suave, she always knows what to say, she has an enviably clear idea of where the line is and how far you can come up to it. She’s such a great character, and yet she’s never superwoman: she’s stuck in a crappy marriage she can’t get out of, in a crappy job she’s too smart for. Outwardly she’s stunning, inwardly she’s a mess, but not in the pseudo-complex, simpering way writers often thinks defines a woman’s vulnerability, but a mess because she’s stuck in a rut and can’t see a way out. She’s a fascinating character, and Hendricks embodies her beautifully.

1. MARGOT MARTINDALE as MAGS BENNET in JUSTIFIED
 

There’s not way she can’t win, is there? Please tell me there’s no way we will not be seeing Martindale strut up those steps. She’s one of the best character actors in Hollywood, but that’s not why she should walk away with the gold on the 18th. Mags Bennett is one of the best villains in television history, and that’s not me being hyperbolic.

No one could offer poison and comfort with such ease. Martindale’s Mags Bennett transcended mere television and became something poetic, an incarnation of extreme loose fire capitalist success and the hefty immoral tragedy it encompasses, a tale of motherhood, of honor and duplicity, of human lies and human resourcefulness and ruthlessness and love and compassion. It was about six Shakespeare plays rolled into one character. You look back over those episodes and you tell me I’m wrong.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS in a COMEDY SERIES
 

Is there anyone missing from this crowd? Fetch a pen and paper, would you? Allison Brie from Community failed to make the list, as did Aubrey Plaza and Rashida Jones from Parks and Recreations, never mind Busy Philips from Cougar Town and Amy Ryan from The Office and…oh, you know what? This is ridiculous. I declare anyone not nominated a winner!

6. JANE LYNCH as SUE SYLVESTER in GLEE
 

Glee is marred by unfulfilled potential, and Sue Sylvester, once its most consistent go-to for a great one-liner, is an embodiment of the inconsistent, bi-polar nature of what could have been the best show on television, but what is now just known as the most disappointing. Don’t count her out: she’s a class act comic actress, she’s last year’s winner and she’s hosting the show, so don’t put it past the notoriously complacent Televsion Academy to give her the gold: though if they do, I’ve strong suspicion it’s because of the voters’ affection for Jane Lynch, and not their love of Sue Sylvester.

5. BETTY WHITE as ELKA OSTROSKY in HOT IN CLEVELAND
 

It is literally illegal not to nominate Betty White. Punishable by death by trampling horses. I swear.

4. JANE KRAKOWSKI as JENNA MORONEY in 30 ROCK
 

30 Rock (NBC) "Plan B"

She’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but Jenna’s transvestite dating, neurotic Gloria Swanson meets Lady Gaga lovechild is often the funniest part of a show featuring a dream team of Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin. That’s impressive.

3. SOFIA VERGARA as GLORIA DELGADO-PRITCHETT in MODERN FAMILY
 

MODERN FAMILY "Flash, Dash, Crash"

She’s charming and funny, but her star dimmed a little in the second season as the writers failed to give her and Ed O’Neil storylines to match their peers. If she gets an Emmy it will be well deserved, but there are others who might earn it more.

2. KRISTEN WIIG as SKETCH CHARACTERS in SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
 

KRISTEN WIIG

She’s the only thing really keeping the sketch comedy show funny. Outside of the occasional appearances of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, if there’s a skit worth finding on SNL Sunday morning, you can be sure that she’s a part of it. Plus, the sleeper megahit status that Bridesmaids has becomes might push her up to the stage, if only so voters can be guaranteed a good acceptance speech.

1. JULIE BOWEN as CLAIRE DUNPHY in MODERN FAMILY
 

Bowen has the most difficult challenge on the show: she’s playing the neurotic straight man, a character who has been played with zero praise by countless actors since the dawn of film, since the dawn of theater, all of whom have fallen into the black hole of “humorless plot obstacle”.

Bowen not only exceeds the stereotypes, but she transcends the role’s constraints and has become the show’s funniest, most heart-warming characters. The writers often try to pin emotional moments on the less conventional relationships, but it was Claire’s blink and you’ll miss it reply to Phil’s “I don’t like being you.” comment which summed up her character and all its flaws, neurosis and charm in an instant and affirmed what’s so great about her and the show: “Aw,” she says just as the scene is about to cut, “Nobody does.” Just give Bowen the Emmy already!

 

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

Follow me on Twitter @CiaraMoyna