And we’re back with the Emmy coverage! After a ten day hiatus, here’s the second half of the Emmy analysis process over here at Tit for Tat. After doing the guest acting and longform categories last week, let’s move on by doing the supporting ones this week. And we begin with the drama supporting actresses of the year.
Earning her fifth consecutive nomination, Christina Hendricks survives another year of getting nominated for Mad Men. This year, she submitted The Strategy, which isn’t a totally bad submission given how she’s really not much of a non-factor this season. Hendricks surely seems to be one of those affected by the Emmys lack of enthusiasm over giving Mad Men an acting award because she has submitted great episodes before (Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency, The Other Woman) to no avail. I don’t think her fate will change this year though.
Coming off a one year-snub, Joanne Froggatt gets in for a second time for her role as Anna Bates in Downton Abbey. She surely nailed her submission by going with Episode 2 in which her character was raped by the end of the episode. It’s truly a competitive storyline and one that has worked wonders before in the past for other actresses. However, the main detriment to Froggatt’s episode is that her scene comes during the last five minutes of the episode, and I don’t know if it will be impactful enough to be anyone’s top ranked performance.
Then there’s Froggatt’s co-star, 2012 winner Dame Maggie Smith. At this point, Smith is probably a prominent case of name-checking. I really don’t think she herself even bothers anymore, and I won’t be surprised if people involved with the show are the ones submitting for her. That said, I have to say that they did a terrible job this year by submitting for her Episode 8. In this one and a half hour long submissions, Smith rarely appears and is mostly relegated to reacting a thing or two with the other characters. It’s really not worthy to watch the whole episode especially if you’re not the show’s fan.
Speaking of winners, current champ Anna Gunn is in the running for a consecutive win. And that makes that possibility closer because she submitted Ozymandias which is basically one (if not the) of the finest hours of television the past season. Gunn gave a very complex performance here that started with her being calm and quiet and she gets more intense as the episode progressed. She has a breakdown scene, a confession scene, and it has all the makings of a winning tape it’s not even close with how the rest of these women submitted.
Like Hendricks, Christine Baranski is also on her fifth consecutive nomination for The Good Wife. Season wise, it really is an outstanding season for Baranski with everything that has happened to Diane Lockhart from the firm separation and her supposed promotion at the beginning of the season to her dealing with Will Gardner at the bottom end of the show. She has lots of tapes to choose from so it is quite controversial that she went with The Last Call as this is an episode where it’s mostly an ensemble piece. Is it her best submission? I don’t think so. But is it a bad submission? I don’t think so as well. While she’s not the far standout in it, she was given lots to do and showcased an icy Diane at the beginning with the intern scene, vulnerable with her scenes with Alicia, and commanding with the firing of the client. It’s an underrated good tape in hindsight, and a competitive one.
And lastly, replacing her co-star Emilia Clarke last year, Lena Headey is the fourth Game of Thrones actor to receive an individual Emmy nod after Peter Dinklage, Dame Diana Rigg, and Clarke. Headey submitted one of the most buzzed episode of the season The Lion and the Rose. While not as debatable as Baranski’s submission, Headey gets to have that breakdown scene at the end. Hell hath no fury like a mother scorned indeed, and I can see this channeling votes for her.
In the end, Anna Gunn is so far and away this competition it’s not even funny. It seems like stars are written for her to win a second Emmy as the token farewell Emmy acting win, and so she can join multiple Emmy winning co-stars Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston. While this category has been notoriously a venue for these out of the field wins from mid 2000s to 2010, the past three years all went with the frontrunner (Margo Martindale, Maggie Smith, Anna Gunn). Baranski is competitive as well, and she’s the only show’s chance to continue the trend of rewarding one Good Wife female actress per season (Archie Panjabi in 2010, Julianna Margulies in 2011, Martha Plimpton in 2012, and Carrie Preston in 2013). Joanne Froggatt would have had more chance to upset had Maggie Smith’s submission helped her here, but she was non-existent in the latter’s episode that it did not increase her chances at all. But for now, I’m sticking with the thought of 2x Emmy winner Anna Gunn.
Prediction: Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad“
Alternate: Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife“
01. Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad“
02. Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife“
03. Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey“
04. Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones“
05. Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey“
06. Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men“
Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.
For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl