• Joan Cusack, “Shameless” (Can I Have a Mother?)
• Loretta Devine, “Grey’s Anatomy” (If Only You Were Lonely)
• Julia Ormond, “Mad Men” (The Phantom)
• Martha Plimpton, “The Good Wife” (The Dream Team)
• Jean Smart, “Harry’s Law” (The Rematch)
• Uma Thurman, “Smash” (Tech)
Joan Cusack caps off another nomination for Shameless, and this time, she gets a much baitier episode with a speech in the middle and longer screentime to boot. While this goes to show that they like Cusack’s character, I think they’ll go for another nominee that has a stronger and more dramatic showcase. Current champ Loretta Devine also has a shot of reaping a repeat win in this category, and if she managed to win last year for a lesser screentime, then she’s certainly in contention this year. However, is this really a role that requires two Emmy wins? I doubt it. 2010 Emmy winner Julia Ormond has another Emmy bid this year, and her role as Megan’s mom Marie Calvet. She’s very sexy and seductive in her role, and she gets to have a moment in the middle of her submitted episode. What hinders her is the fact that Mad Men is still Emmyless in terms of acting victories, and I doubt that Ormond will be the first one that they’ll reward. Martha Plimpton finally gets a nomination for her The Good Wife stint, and she was loud, effective, and had chemistry with the whole cast. While I wouldn’t be shocked with a possible win (Raising Hope fans might vote for her here), she lacks the key Emmy moment that would have sealed the deal. Jean Smart takes a very baity role being the arch nemesis of Kathy Bates’ Harry, and while The Rematch is not her best submission possible, she still nailed it with key scenes delivered left and right. It also did not hurt that she’s an Emmy favorite. Lastly, Uma Thurman takes on this year’s favorite character, Marilyn Monroe, and even did an interpretation of the infamous Happy Birthday Mr. President number in Smash, but lacks the dramatic gravitas that will give her an edge in this category.
Overall, I put Jean Smart as my prediction in this category, though I wouldn’t be shocked with a Loretta Devine repeat, Joan Cusack upset, or even a Martha Plimpton victory. But in the end, I’ll be sticking with the safe choice and go with favorite Smart.
Prediction: Jean Smart, “Harry’s Law”
Spoiler: Joan Cusack, “Shameless”