Sunday, July 12, 2015

2015 Emmy Nomination Predictions: Best Actress in a Drama Series

2015 Nomination Predictions
Claire Danes "Homeland"
Viola Davis "How to Get Away With Murder"
Taraji P. Henson "Empire"
Julianna Margulies "The Good Wife"
Taylor Schilling "Orange is the New Black"
Robin Wright "House of Cards"

Other Contenders - Kerry Washington "Scandal", Michelle Dockery "Downton Abbey", Lizzy Caplan "Masters of Sex", Ruth Wilson "The Affair", Elisabeth Moss "Mad Men", Tatiana Maslany "Orphan Black", Vera Farmiga "Bates' Motel", Caitriona Balfe "Outlander", Tea Leoni "Madam Secretary", Patricia Arquette "CSI: Cyber", Gillian Anderson "The Fall", Olivia Colman "Broadchurch", Keri Russell "The Americans", Mariska Hargitay "Law & Order: SVU", Katey Segal "Sons of Anarchy", Megan Boone "The Blacklist", Elizabeth McGovern "Downton Abbey", Ellen Pompeo "Grey's Anatomy", Eva Green "Penny Dreadful", Connie Britton "Nashville", Hayley Atwell "Agent Carter", Mirelle Enos "The Killing", Olivia Williams "Manhattan", Halle Berry "Extant", Ginnifer Goodwin "Once Upon a Time", Katherine Heigl "State of Affairs", Elizabeth Hurley "The Royals", Diane Kruger "The Bridge", Juliette Lewis "Secrets & Lies", Mary McDonnell "Major Crimes", Debra Messing "The Mysteries of Laura", Anna Paquin "True Blood", Amanda Schull "12 Monkeys", Gabrielle Union "Being Mary Jane"

Commentary - It is interesting to see this dichotomy between film and television. While the Oscars female acting categories have been lean in recent years, lacking in diversity, and a microcosm of the racist and sexist film industry as a whole, with few too quality roles for women, the Emmys have been booming in those same races with so many contenders it is hard to choose. Television is thriving and continuing to rise by embracing new technologies, and by embracing the diversity of the country. Everyone watches television, so matter who or what you are, there are probably multiple programs out there that appeal to you as a viewer. And this year, there is no better place to look to prove this than the three Best Actress races at this year's Emmys. The nominees are going to be talented, diverse, and far too many great performances are going to be left out. Not because the Emmy voters are stuck in their ways or dumb (they are a bit stuck, but still far more inclusive than their film counterparts), but because there is simply too much talent on their ballots. For example, between Viola Davis and Taraji P. Henson, there is a good chance that, for the first time, an African-American actresses wins this award. I had initially also included Kerry Washington in that lineup, and think that she is stronger than most assume, but like I said, this is a brutal category, and these two new contenders are probably going to knock out several veterans. That includes Elisabeth Moss (who was left off last year), Vera Farmiga (same although she has a great set of episodes this season), Lizzy Caplan (a surprise nominee last year, but a bit too subtle up against powerhouse performances), and Michelle Dockery (the one I am most hesitant about leaving out. Let's not forget that voters love love love love love Downton Abbey). I don't think it is going to be a complete sweep of the category, as I am still including Danes, Margulies, and Wright, although this year no one is safe. The final slot is particularly tricky and as I am typing this Michelle Dockery is inching back into that slot. It could be Ruth Wilson, who won the Globe, but whose buzz has faded over the last six months. It could be one of those aforementioned veterans looking to get back in, it could even be newcomers to the race like recent Oscar winner Patricia Arquette, Tea Leoni, Eva Green, Olivia Williams, Olivia Coleman, or Caitriona Balfe. But I think it is Taylor Schilling who is going to make the cut. Voters loved Orange is the New Black on the comedy side, and it is a far more dramatic than it is humorous, and Schilling had a particularly good season with some really great dramatic moments. I think that they love the show and her enough for her to beat out some stiff competition. But watch out for Michelle Dockery, she is stronger than you think.

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