Let’s now move on to the Drama Guest Actress contenders for this year. Last year, Allison Janney easily wins one of her two comeback Emmys for her performance in Masters of Sex. And she’s back in the running again. As a matter of fact, three of the nominated performances from last year are back while two are from the same shows with a different actress nominated. Let’s begin.
The best/worst case of name-checking this year happens to be Emmy winner Margo Martindale, who unfortunately continues to be the only acting performance recognized from The Americans. Her submission this year is the episode titled “I Am Abassin Zadran” where she appeared for only two minutes in the whole tape. Sure, Loretta Devine won for a short tape in 2011, but I do’t think that’s even comparable to this really short reel.
Nominated for her guest turn in Scandal is first time Emmy nominee Khandi Alexander who plays Mama Pope. In her tape “Where the Sun Don’t Shine”, we see Maya being held hostage in a room thinking that Olivia will save her. Alexander appears in only three scenes with one of them being a “tape-worthy” moment when she shut down Olivia. I believe Alexander is being helped by the fact that she also appears in TV Movie Bessie this year because her stronger works in Scandal the previous seasons resulted to Emmy snubs.
When Kate Mara was nominated here last year, it’s basically because of that much-talked about train scene in the second season opener of House of Cards. This year, it’s co-star Rachel Brosnahan getting in for her performance as Rachel Posner. Submitting the season finale episode ” Chapter 39″, the tape showcases a complete story arc for the actress which benefits her a lot because it would appeal to voters who don’t even watch the show regularly.
Dame Diana Rigg receives her third consecutive nomination for playing Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones. Her tape this year is the episode “The Gift” where we see the fierce matriarch doing many agreements to save her grandkids. She has some confrontation scenes in this one, though I don’t think it’ll be enough to merit her a victory even if the voters are head over heels with Game of Thrones now.
Aiming for back-to-back wins here is current champ Allison Janney, once again nominated for her work as Margaret Scully in Masters of Sex. This year, she submits the season opener “Parallax” where she had that scene with onscreen partner Beau Bridges confronting about his sexuality and one where she had to conceal what happened to his character. It’s a pretty lackluster tape as confirmed to her winning one last year because she’s mostly relegated to reacting to Bridges (who’s the star of this episode). She still has a chance to win though had this category lacked a specific frontrunner…
…which it didn’t because Cicely Tyson got in for her role as Ophelia in How to Get Away with Murder. Tyson was also the frontrunner last year for her work in The Trip to Bountiful only to lose in an upset by Jessica Lange, but she’s in the most buzzed about show in the group. In her episode “Mama’s Here Now”, she visits and assists daughter Annalise (Emmy nominee Viola Davis) who’s suffering a personal predicament. In here, Tyson was sassy, funny, dominating, and it’s the perfect tape that gets rewarded with an Emmy. I think it’s one of the most buzzed performances of the season, and one who leads the pack both in buzz and in tapes.
Prediction: Cicely Tyson, “How to Get Away with Murder”
Alternate: Rachel Brosnahan, “House of Cards”
01. Cicely Tyson, “How to Get Away with Murder”
02. Rachel Brosnahan, “House of Cards”
03. Allison Janney, “Masters of Sex”
04. Khandi Alexander, “Scandal”
05. Diana Rigg, “Game of Thrones”
06. Margo Martindale, “The Americans”
Check my other 2015 Emmy prediction analysis here.
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