Sunday, July 10, 2011

My Emmy Ballot: Guest Performances

The Emmy nominations are set to be announced July 14th which is just a few days away. To prepare for the announcement, Andrew and I have been having a few great conversations, tackling each of the main categories and predicting which actors and shows the Emmys will shower with their love. He has been posting all of our talks on his blog, Encore Entertainment. I'll do a postmortem after the nominations come out to see how good my predictions are, but I'd like to take some time the next few days to imagine what my own ballot would look like if I was a voting member of the TV Academy.

Disclaimer: Only performances I have seen are qualified and I'm going to honor the category the actors have chosen to submit themselves in, even when I think it's ultimately wrong.

Today I'll focus on guest actors and actresses. To read my convo with Andrew and see my predictions on these particular categories, click here.

Guest Actor, Comedy
Timothy Dalton, Chuck
Matt Damon, 30 Rock
Eddie Izzard, United States of Tara
John Lithgow, How I Met Your Mother
Jim Rash, Community
Ben Schwartz, Parks and Recreation

Damon and Lithgow are probably the surest bet here for nominations, because Emmys love to nominate 30 Rock guest stars and they can't help but nominate Lithgow for everything he does (he won last year for Dexter). Damon does well to go toe to toe with Tina Fey as her pilot boyfriend while Lithgow does fine work alongside Neil Patrick Harris as Barney's father. I've predicted Izzard to be nominated, but it's not a slam-dunk prediction since the Emmys only have love for Toni Collette on the show. Both Rash and Schwartz though should be recognized for their scene-stealing work from from two of NBC's critically-loved, but audience-starved shows.

Alternates: Darren Criss (Glee), Patton Oswalt (United States of Tara), Justin Timberlake (Saturday Night Live), and Nathan Lane and James Marsden (Modern Family)

Guest Actress, Comedy
Kristin Chenoweth, Glee
Dot-Marie Jones, Glee
Cloris Leachman, Raising Hope
Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live
Megan Mullaly, Parks and Recreation
Parker Posey, Parks and Recreation

There are a few former Emmy winners on this list (Chenoweth, Leachman, Mullaly) and they could find themselves nominated again especially Leachman who has more of a supporting role than a guest role. My love for Parks and Recreation is evident though, but Mullaly goofing it up with real-life husband Nick Offerman and Posey battling it out with Poehler were great highlights of a fantastic season. And yes, my P&R love spilled over to Poehler's stint on SNL. Jones' work on Glee is probably my favorite, second only to the two ladies involve in the Brittana storyline. And finally, I picked Chenoweth less because of her April Rhodes and more because it's Kristing frickin' Chenoweth. Plus I think it was either her or Paltrow.

Alternates: Mo Collins (Parks and Recreation), Tina Fey (Saturday Night Live), Frances Conroy (United States of Tara), and Gwyneth Paltrow (Glee).

Guest Actor, Drama
Nicholas Brendon, Private Practice
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife
Zach Gilford, Friday Night Lights
Johnny Lee Miller, Dexter
Denis O'Hare, The Good Wife
Andre Royo, Fringe

I no longer watch Private Practice, but when I heard about the powerful rape storyline with Brendon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Xander Harris) playing the rapist, I checked out a few of the episodes and well yeah it's as powerful as you'd expect. Plus I'm forever a Jossverse fanboy. One need only watch the performances from Fox, Miller, and Gilford to see how they add so much even in just the few episodes they were a part of. Same could be said about Andre Royo who had to do more in even less time in a more difficult show than those guys and did it quite effectively. Finally, there's O'Hare who I would've nominated here in a heartbeat for his role in True Blood, but he oddly decided to submit himself in Supporting Actor for that role and Guest Actor for his solid work here. I should punish him, but I just can't.

Alternates: Norman Reedus and Lennie James (The Walking Dead), Joe Manganiello and James Frain (True Blood), Bradley Whitford (The Mentalist), and Dallas Roberts (The Good Wife).

Guest Actress, Drama
Joan Cusack, Shameless
Loretta Devine, Grey's Anatomy
Anika Noni Rose, The Good Wife
Jessica Paré, Mad Men
Julia Stiles, Dexter
Evan Rachel Wood, True Blood

There's a bit of category fraud here since Cusack and Stiles clearly belong in Supporting, but submitting here does make it easier for them to be nominated and in any case, they deserve to be honored in either category. Hasn't it seem like it's been forever since these two gave their fans a great performance? Glad they did so this year. The Good Wife probably could've used Rose a bit more this year, but when she did appear, she was quite perfect. Devine was asked to finally do something substantial on Grey's Anatomy as her character struggles with early stage Alzheimers. Finally, Wood looked liked she enjoyed herself very much playing Queen of Louisiana while Paré snuck into our hearts the way her character snuck into Don Draper's.

Alternates: Ellen Burstyn (Big Love), Adrianne Palicki (Friday Night Lights), Carla Buono and Randee Heller (Mad Men), Ana Gasteyer (The Good Wife), and Melissa Rauch (True Blood)

So is there anyone I'm missing? What does your own list look like? Next post will focus on my picks for supporting performances and then after that, I'll talk about lead performances. Finally, I'll end with a post of which shows I think deserve best-of honors. Three more posts in the next three days.


  1. I need Gwynnie to win this Emmy! She needs more awards!

  2. I completely forgot about Jim Rash. He annoys me to no end, but I suppose that that's the point. And, I shall miss Carla Buono on MAD MEN. I loved that episode which ended with her Peggy and Joan in the elevator.

    And, though my heart belongs to Cheno (duh), I can't grudge Jose his Gwynnie love.

  3. In terms of what they did with their roles this season, I'd probably give the edge to Paltrow, but like Andrew says, my hearts belongs to Chenoweth and it really was choosing between the two for me for that final spot.

    Still nothing against her and wouldn't mind at all if she gets nominated!


Thanks for reading. Feel free to drop me a line. Instead of being Anonymous though, pick a name. Any name would do. Thanks again!