2005: Glenn Close, “The Shield” [WRONG]
2006: Geena Davis, “Commander in Chief” [WRONG]
2007: Minnie Driver “The Riches” [WRONG]
2008: Glenn Close, “Damages” [CORRECT]
2009: Glenn Close, “Damages” [CORRECT]
2010: Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife” [WRONG]
2011: Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife” [CORRECT]
2012: Claire Danes, “Homeland” [CORRECT]
After the very funny ladies of comedy, we move on to the dramatic actresses of the past TV season. Aside from comedy supporting actress, this is the other category that has a tie in the final nominations resulting to seven nominated performances. Despite that, it is still shocking that supposed perennial nominee and 2011 winner Julianna Margulies missed for the Good Wife when she could have trumped three to four performances here. Oh well, off to the actual nominees.
This bunch of women can be divided into two parts: the supporting borderline competing in Lead women and the actual lead females of their respective shows. Let’s start with the former. After receiving her first nod last year, Michelle Dockery easily sneaks in a consecutive nod for the show. Truth be told, it’s one of the expected noms since she managed to get in at the Globes and SAG earlier this year as well. For her submission, she went with the season opener (which co-stars Maggie Smith and Jim Carter also went with). I don’t think much of her chances since it’s an easy filler nod this year.
Two time nominee this year Elisabeth Moss receives her fifth consecutive nomination for the show. It is really interesting to note that for the past three years, both she and co-star Jon Hamm have been submitting the same episode for consideration. This year, they both opted for the season finale In Care Of. While this is an okay submission for her, Moss wasn’t given much to do this season that merits her possible Emmy. If anything, she better puts all her odds for Top of the Lake since she’s one of the frontrunners there.
We also have Robin Wright as one of the newbie nominees this year for her work in House of Cards. I was always skeptical of Wright’s chances as a nominee, since it’s pretty clear that she has better chances if she competes in Supporting. But it seems as if this move worked for her better since she also got nominated here. She went with Episode 10 of the season which is one of her stronger episodes, but once again, I’ll be going back to the notion that this would have been a more competitive tape in supporting.
Now let’s go to the leads of their shows. Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga gives A&E a reward for a fruitful campaign as she gets in for Bates Motel. While this genre isn’t something that is usually noticed by the ATAS, I think the movie star pedigree of the actress paved the way for this nomination. I also like that she went with the pilot episode of the show because it’s the best way to introduce her character, and while others might turned off with what happens to her character in the middle of the episode, it shows Farmiga’s range in it.
Speaking of submitting the pilot, Connie Britton surprisingly receives her fourth nomination in a row for a record of three different shows. This time, her role as country diva Reina James in Nashville gives her the nomination. I’m really awed with how Britton managed to snatch this nod, but I’ve figured that she probably has been a semi-favorite now by ATAS in terms of getting nominations. Still, I think the soapy nature of her show will limit votes to come her way.
Lastly in this group, we have current TV it girl Kerry Washington for her fierce performance in ABC’s Scandal. Washington has always been one of my sure to predict nominees since it’s the first time in a long span of time that a black actress was nominated in this category. That narrative alone will apply for her already. That said, she wisely submitted their season’s most buzzed episode Happy Birthday Mr. President. Like Britton, I think the soapy nature of her show plus the fact that it’s really not a tour de force acting showcase will get her close to the prize but not ultimately going home with it.
And as for the single rose who carries her show but with a shared co-star, current title winner Claire Danes aims to be the next back to back winner here since Glenn Close in 2008 and 2009 for her layered role as Carrie Mathison in Homeland. There’s nothing much left to be said about Danes since this is probably the best role in television right now, and she has the receipts to back it up. This is also the type of role that gets multiple awards, and with her sweeps at televised awards since last year, it will be an easy feat for her. She submitted Q&A, which some might argue as more of Damian Lewis’ episode, but their tag team works best when they act against each other, and this set up benefits them greatly.
Now as for who’ll win, I’d say it’s an easy number two for Miss Danes. The Emmys won’t easily dispatch Homeland and in case they might give away some of their wins last year to other shows this year, this is probably their safest category. Coming off to a distant second is Vera Farmiga who I can see pulling off a Bryan Cranston type of win back in 2008: a small trial season show for a known veteran in a very baity role. But in the end, yes, it’s still Claire’s to lose.
Prediction: Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Runner-Up: Vera Farmiga, “Bates Motel”
1. Claire Danes, “Homeland”
2. Vera Farmiga, “Bates Motel”
3. Kerry Washington, “Scandal”
4. Connie Britton, “Nashville”
5. Robin Wright, “House of Cards”
6. Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men”
7. Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey”
My predictions in the other Emmy acting categories are available here.
Meanwhile, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl