Now that I’m done with the TV movie and miniseries categories, let’s now begin to dissect the guest acting categories of the drama and comedy series of the past television season. For today, we’ll be highlighting the Guest Actress in a Comedy Series nominees. While I personally am still opposed with combining variety performers into this, it seems like they’re here to stay, but I wish there was room for Sarah Baker in Louie, which will definitely make my personal ballot for this year. Now as for the actual nominees…
Proving that she really has a hold in the guest actress category may it be drama or comedy, Joan Cusack gets her fourth consecutive nomination as Sheila Jackson in Shameless. Not only is she still the most nominated actor from her show, but she still has a perfect track record when it comes to getting nods for all her seasons. The move to comedy is an advantageous move for this one SNL regular since her submission this year is indeed funny. In “Liver, I Hardly Know Her“, we see Sheila resort to an alternative cheaper plan in order to fix Frank’s liver problems only to see it go awry. This ended with a glorious moment for Sheila when she decided to marry Frank in the hospital.
Speaking of SNL ladies, we have Tina Fey getting her fourth nod as well in this category, once again, for hosting the season opener of SNL. At this stage, as much as I love Tina, this is just name checking on their part since she’s not even the focus of this episode, and even her cold opening has her giving the spotlight to the newbie cast members of the said show. Her only funny bit in this is the Girls parody and that happened in the first segment after the intro. The rest of the episode has her but on a limited use.
The other SNL host nominated this year is Melissa McCarthy who’s now enjoying her third bid in this category as a host for this variety program. While I’m still confused how she lost the first year (though in hindsight that was Kathy Bates playing Charlie Sheen, so I should have known better), her material keeps on getting weaker over the years. The same can be said about her hosting stint this year, though I must admit that of all six episodes here, she has the broadest (re: in your face) comedic style in her episode. She gets to be physically funny and does her usual “angry woman” shctick in it. On one hand, this might work to her advantage, but on the other, if she was passed up the last two years, I don’t see how it will all change up for this year then? I have to say though that between Fey and her, the latter’s submission is miles ahead better than the former.
And dominating this category is Orange is the New Black filling up half of the six slots in this lineup. Getting that surprise nod is Natasha Lyonne who plays Nicky Nichols on the show. Lyonne’s submitted episode “WAC Pack” fortunately is a flashback of her character so that works well on her side. But then again, she shares the flashback scenes with that of Laura Prepon’s character, and hers was the dramatic arc of the episode. It has her dealing with the drug addiction, and seeing a mother in Red, and I don’t know if that’s enough to stand out in this race.
Laverne Cox also gets a flashback of her own in the Directing nominee episode “Lesbian Request Denied” which was directed by Jodie Foster nonetheless. As Sophia, we have witnessed in this episode how she deal with her gender reassignment operation and unlike, Lyonne, she was the focus of this episode. It is an open secret though that it wasn’t Cox who played the male version of Sophia in the episode and it was her twin brother, so I don’t know if it will affect the voting pattern. Methinks that people won’t even realize that, and think that it is Cox doing double duties which can work well on her favor.
Lastly, submitting the same episode as co-star Cox is one of TV’s breakout stars Uzo Aduba. Sure it’s crazy (eyes! LOL) to think that she submitted the episode which has her co-nominee’s flashback, but when you watch it, Aduba’s moments were the comedic breathers of the said submissions. In this, she gets to be totally crazy with Piper’s character calling her “dandelion” and following her everywhere. The episode also ends with Suzanne doing a “revenge” to Piper after her continuous dismissal of her. It is a pure comedic performance as compared to the two other Orange ladies.
While I’m not sure if Orange is the New Black will be rewarded with acting wins for lead star Taylor Schilling or supporting actress veteran Kate Mulgrew, I think it will find its win over here. I see it as a two person race between Uzo Aduba and Laverne Cox. Aduba needs to overcome the great moments that Cox had in their submission, though the buzz for her is really growing. However, one factor that might be telling in figuring this out is that the guest tapes aren’t edited for the first time this year, so that puts her at some sort of a disadvantage. Add the fact that it will be a historical moment if the Emmy makes a statement of rewarding a transexual, and I predict Laverne Cox to win the Emmy here via a strong combo of submission and narrative. If they’re not in a giving mood for Orange here, then expect Melissa McCarthy to finally grab a win in this category then.
Prediction: Laverne Cox, “Orange is the New Black“
Alternate: Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black“
01. Laverne Cox, “Orange is the New Black”
02. Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black”
03. Melissa McCarthy, “Saturday Night Live”
04. Joan Cusack, “Shameless”
05. Natasha Lyonne, “Orange is the New Black”
06. Tina Fey, “Saturday Night Live”
Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.
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