ANALYSIS: Emmy Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series 2012   Leave a comment

EPISODE SUBMISSIONS:

• Kathy Bates, “Harry’s Law” (Onward and Upward)
• Glenn Close, “Damages” (I’ve Done Way Too Much for This Girl)
• Claire Danes, “Homeland” (The Vest)
• Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey” (Episode 7: Christmas Episode)
• Julianna Margulies “The Good Wife” (Parenting Made Easy)
• Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men” (The Other Woman)

This year, still Emmyless Kathy Bates is nominated twice: one is for her performance as Charlie Harper’s reincarnation in the Guest Actress, Comedy category. The second is for her performance as the lawyer in this canceled David E. Kelley show. It’s such a shame that this show was finally canceled when it started to pick up already in terms of the quality of the episode. Her season finale episode (which turned out to the the series finale as well) deals with her knowing that her first husband was dead and no one wants to claim the body. It makes Harry re-visit her past and reminisce her relationship with the said husband. While the case of the week does not involved some Emmy bait monologues that David E. Kelly shows are made of, it ends with Bates dedicating a song to her husband. Had there been no solid frontrunner this year, I’d say she has a chance to win. But, for now, the most I can do is keep her in the upper tier. Glenn Close‘s Emmy winning role has already received two Emmys in 2008 and 2009. However, since then, all of Close’s succeeding nominations were paired up with bad submissions. It seems she Close’s team really knows how the game works and were submitting on purpose in order to spread the wealth, which at one hand, is glorious since they’re all for sharing. But on the other hand, it makes you question why they’re clearly sabotaging their chances. Close’s episode this year sounds baity with her visiting a shrink but it’s joined with a hunt for a baby sitter. After viewing Closes’s tape, you’ll feel as it just came and went leaving no impact to voters. Claire Danes, after winning two years ago in the Miniseries categories, is on the hunt again for her second Emmy, and it’s pretty obvious she’ll get it. Week after week, her performance in Homeland has been described as a tour de force, and I’m a testament of that. In her submitted episode, we get to see Danes’ character play bipolar and go batshit crazy. I can see some voters being polarized with this performance, but I don’t think it will be enough to overcome the buzz, critical support, and status that Danes had. After all, this is probably the only major category where in they can reward Danes, and it’s not as if they’re giving it a consolation win. I don’t see her faltering come Emmy time in terms of her odds, and she’s probably one of the few locks in this very competitive year. Moving on, it’s nice to note that voters are really paying attention to Downton Abbey when they nominated Michelle Dockery over last year’s Elizabeth McGovern who wasn’t given much to do this season. Dockery has been very consistent this season, and she would have benefited if ti was judged for a whole season’s body of work rather than an episode. Given that, she did the most she can by submitting the Christmas episode which was the most well received Downton episode of the season. She gets to have a lot of screentime here, but it wasn’t until the last scene that she leaves an impact. I don’t think it will be enough to trump other co-nominees’ submissions, but she’s probably somewhere in the middle of the pack. Current winner in this category Julianna Margulies, and she has a chance to reap a back to back win for her role as Alicia Florrick in The Good Wife. I like that she submitted an episode that has a history of getting awards here: a mother trying to balance her professional and personal duties which was put into test when she thought her daughter was missing. Margulies hits all the right notes here, and I won’t be shocked if she easily wins number two, though Danes is very hard to beat. This is a very good submission, and her only con is that she’s up against a co-nominee who is pretty much unstoppable at this point. Lastly, after being very competitive last year with The Suitcase, Elisabeth Moss is back this year with a less than stellar tape. However, this isa  good submission for her when she decided that she’s not given the worth that she deserves, so she jumps on a new company to work for which will give her the treatment she thinks she deserves. The episode ends up with an impactful scene with co-star Jon Hamm when she broke the news to him. This led to a scene where she packs her things and leaves the elevator smiling. This would have been a more competitive tape for Moss had she been given more screentime when the likes of her co-nominees such as Margulies, and to a certain extent, Danes, were the highlights of their episodes. I don’t think this is the year where we’ll see Moss nab the Emmy.

This category could have been more exciting if Danes wasn’t a sure bet as she is, but since we all know now that she’s taking this, I guess it will really be a shock if any other name will be called by the presenter on Emmy night.

Prediction: Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Dark Horse: Juliana Margulies, “The Good Wife

Complete Rankings:
1. Danes
2. Margulies
3. Bates
4. Dockery
5. Moss
6. Close

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