66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

Emmy Drama Lead Actress

Hi there! We’re already nearing the end of Tit for Tat’s 66th Emmy Awards predictions coverage, and it’s now time to do the last acting category of the year. Yesterday, I mentioned how Drama Lead Actor seems like the closest category as it’s between Bryan Cranston and Mathew McConaughey. The dramatic ladies, however, provide the opposite as this category can really go anywhere. Really. ANYWHERE.

We really would not have this problem at all had Robin Wright decided to submit Episode 17 of House of Cards. But then she didn’t. Instead she went with the season finale where she has a breakdown scene at the stairs for more or less 45 seconds. Sure it puts the usually icy Claire Underwood some heart, but this doesn’t win you an Emmy. To be fair to Miss Wright though, many have won with lesser tapes before, so it’s not as if her chances are already floating dead on the water. But it made her frontrunner status really, really vulnerable.

After surprisingly missing last year, Julianna Margulies is back for her fourth Emmy nod for the role of Alicia Florrick in The Good Wife. This year, she submitted “The Last Call” which had Alicia dealing the horrible news of Will Gardner’s death. Like her winning episode “In Sickness“, Margulies does a lot of crying here which could work well in her favor. She comes off as really sympathetic in the episode, and the voters will have no problem feeling for the loss she had. She also does have a conversation with her daughter about God and existence and I can see that appealing well to the voters. Had the Good Wife manage to do their Emmy comeback with a bang and not a whimper, Margulies would have been a frontrunner here for sure.

Speaking of dealing with loss and grief, three time nominee Michelle Dockery has the same story as she copes up with the loss of her husband in the fourth season opener of Downton Abbey. In here, Dockery’s dealing of his death is more subdued as she becomes cold and distant to her family and to the servants at the house. It takes a breakdown and confrontation scene with Jim Carter for her to soften out. With this being an almost two hour tape, Dockery wasn’t stolen of screentime as she was in it ample enough to complete in this category.

And since they always come in threes, current champ and 2x winner here already Claire Danes is nominated for Homeland once again. And in her submission, the season finale “The Star“, she intends to save her lover Brody in Tehran, but as the plan faltered along the way, she instead witnessed his fate ending. Unlike the two other grief stricken submissions, Danes did not deal with the aftermath alone in her episode, as we witness the whole thing in the episode. This is also probably Carrie’s most sympathetic story yet among Danes’ past Emmy reels and is one where voters get to sympathize with her. However, is she really gonna go three-peat for a show that the Academy has already bowed out of?

While Masters of Sex wasn’t able to penetrate (pun intended) the major Emmy drama categories, Lizzy Caplan is the exemption to the rule, as her Virginia Johnson role brought her first Emmy nomination. It is wise of her to go with the pilot episode where we witness her character go through certain lengths (pun intended…again) in order to work for Michael Sheen’s Dr. Masters. The whole episode also showed how Dr. Haas becomes quite obsessed with her which ended to a confrontation in a party and a heavy slap scene between Virginia and him. I think it’s a wise submission on her part to go with the pilot since it showed Virginia’s journey and it has that slap scene confrontation which brings the OMG drama in it.

Now while Caplan brings the OMG drama aspect in her show, Kerry Washington brings the OMGDRAMA in hers. Of course it has to be in bold letters because (and I suggest you read this using Kerry’s slow enunciation and delivery for more dramatic flair and effect) “THIS.IS.WHAT.SCANDAL.IS.ABOUT.” Last year, Washington did submit the show’s buzziest episode regardless of her acting in it. This year, however, she went with an episode that highlighted her so she submitted “The Fluffer.” In it, Olivia did her duties as a daughter to her father helping him take out B613, her duties as a lover to President Fitz by confronting Mellie’s lover, her duties to her group by sleeping with Jake in order to get the password. It’s a competitive tape especially if voters can get over the drama theatrics nature of the show.

I really don’t know what to do with this category anymore. If only Robin Wright did not screw up her submission. then I guess it’ll be one of the easier calls of the night. But I guess that these three grieving ladies will battle it out for the most desolate actress on TV thus leading the way for Lizzy Caplan out of nowhere victory here. She and her arc stands out from all the drama (including Kerry’s lip quivering) so might as well go take the risk and predict Janis Ian for the Emmy.

Prediction: Lizzy Caplan, “Masters of Sex
Alternate: Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife

Full Rankings:
01. Lizzy Caplan, “Masters of Sex
02. Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife
03. Claire Danes “Homeland
04. Kerry Washington, “Scandal
05. Robin Wright, “House of Cards
06. Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

 

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