Sunday, July 12, 2015

My Emmy Ballot: Guest Performances

Seems like every year now the Emmy nominations sneak up on me! Well come this Thursday, we'll see what the TV Academy in all of their wisdom (haha) have chosen to honor with nominations. Before that happens, I just want to quickly put forth the performances and shows I would've put on my personal ballot. First up, the guest acting categories!

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 don't agree.

Guest Actor, Comedy
Jon Hamm, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Ki Hong Lee, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Zachary Quinto, Girls
Seth Rogen, The Comeback
Stephen Schneider, Broad City
Bradley Whitford, Transparent

The highlight of my list is certainly Whitford playing a cross-dressing man, a tricky role his infused with a lot of heart and commitment. Speaking of commitment, Hamm hammed it up as a crazy cult leader to perfection while co-star Hong Lee played up his adorability to great effect. Schneider is here simply for one of the best scenes on TV this past year... and yes it involves a strap-on. Rogen played himself and my love for the show made it totally work for me. Finally, Quinto was just too good as a pretentious selfish snob.

Alternates: Jon Glaser, Keegan-Michael Key and Ben Schwartz (Parks & Recreation), Scott Bakula (Looking), J.K. Simmons (Saturday Night Live), and Lee Pace (The Mindy Project)

Guest Actress, Comedy
Christine Baranski, Big Bang Theory
Laura Dern, Drunk History
Susie Essman, Broad City
Kathryn Hahn, Parks & Recreation
Rhea Perlman, The Mindy Project
Kyra Sedgwick, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Drunk History is pretty great and Dern's episode when she plays Nellie Bly is a fun highlight. Essman is perfect casting for Ilana's mom while Baranski's hilarious return as Leonard's cold, clinical mother is always a treat. Hahn's acerbic turn was the perfect foil for Ben/Leslie as was Sedgwick against Captain Ray Holt. Finally, Perlman really made the role of Danny's mom completely her own that I almost can't imagine the show without her at this point.

Alternates: Patricia Clarkson and Kelly Ripa (Broad City), Rita Moreno (Jane the Virgin), Octavia Spencer (Mom), Megan Mullaly (Parks & Recreation), and Laverne Cox (The Mindy Project)

Guest Actor, Drama
Dominic Cooper, Agent Carter
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife
Ross Marquand, The Walking Dead
Lars Mikkelsen, House of Cards
David Hyde Pierce, The Good Wife
Corey Stoll, Homeland

The Good Wife always has amazing guest stars and this year Fox and Pierce were the MVPs amongst the men proving to be great competition for the leading lady. Mikkelsen was superb as the Russian president making life difficult for American and the Underwoods. Marquand was a refreshing surprise in his normalcy in a show full of insanity. Stoll was a solid presence in a show that needed a reboot while Cooper did well to bring his movie-like charisma to the small screens.

Alternates: Michael Mando (Better Call Saul), Beau Bridges (Masters of Sex), Jefferson Mays (The Americans), Dylan Baker (The Good Wife), and Aaron Stanton (Mad Men)

Guest Actress, Drama
Rosario Dawson, Daredevil
Linda Lavin, The Good Wife
Courtney Love, Empire
Julianne Nicholson, Masters of Sex
Kiernan Shipka, Mad Men
Lois Smith, The Americans

Courtney Love? Yes, she was fantastic essentially playing a version of herself (plus a hired assassin on Revenge!). Dawson didn't have much to do this season, but her scenes made me miss her in scenes without her. Lavin and Smith are revered veterans and rightly so bringing quiet gravitas to their roles. Shipka has been consistently astounding throughout the show's run and in those last few episodes, she shone. And finally, the way Allison Janney broke my heart last season on Masters of Sex was exactly how Julianne Nicholson broke my heart this past season and should be getting the same praises as the former.

Alternates: Allison Janney (Masters of Sex), Carrie Preston (The Good Wife), Gina Torres (Revenge), Cicely Tyson (How to Get Away with Murder), and Alison Brie (Mad Men)

Tomorrow I'll talk about my picks for the supporting categories followed by the leading categories on Tuesday and my picks for Best Comedy and Best Drama on Wednesday.

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