Emmy season is upon us! For the next two weeks, voters will be filling out their nomination ballots before the big announcement on July 16. We have a few selections in mind ourselves. Up next: our wish list for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
Abbi Jacobson, Broad City
Ilana Glazer has been getting most of the accolades, including two Critics' Choice nominations, but Jacobson deserves some recognition too. (In an ideal world, both would be nominated.) While Ilana is the zanier — and more stoned — of the two, Abbi's weird in her own way, and Jacobson shines brightest when she gets to call on her slapstick skills. Nothing killed us more this season than her insane drug trip through Whole Foods. That is so not how we recovered from wisdom tooth surgery.
Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
To the surprise of no one, Tina Fey and Robert Carlock knew exactly what they were doing when they wrote the role of Kimmy Schmidt for Kemper. In less capable hands, you'd just wanna strangle this girl. Kemper, however, balances Kimmy's unabashed glee and curiosity with nimbly acted reminders that this Mole Woman is not your average naïf. Kimmy is a survivor who's getting another chance to live life and embrace the little things that we take for granted, and is, like Kemper's performance, strong as hell.
Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback
Valerie Cherish is still a self-absorbed, desperate narcissist, but what Kudrow, who won for Friends and was nominated for The Comeback nine years ago, does so excellently is to offer glimmers of her genuine sincerity and defiance at a sexist and ageist industry underneath her need for validation. The payoff is in the finale, when Kudrow perfectly captures Valerie's Sophie's choice between staying at the Emmys for her category and visiting an ailing Mickey at the hospital. Besides, if Valerie Cherish can win an Emmy, surely Kudrow can too. We do need to see that.
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
A true star-making turn, Rodriguez's magnetic performance is the reason Jane has been a success. Every outlandish gag is tempered by Rodriguez's radiating warmth and believability that she actually just might be an accidentally artificially inseminated young woman in a telenovela world. The hardest part for the Golden Globe champ is just getting in: No actor on a WB/CW show has ever been nominated.
Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer
Schumer is having a moment right now. While parodies and send-ups are nothing new, Schumer's ability to shrewdly deconstruct rape culture and gender politics, and gamely, hilariously play every part with conviction is nothing short of brilliant. As a sketch performer, the Critics' Choice Awards champ had previously been forced to submit in supporting under old Emmy stipulations, but the rule was changed this year to allow performers the option of both.
Constance Wu, Fresh Off the Boat
ABC is the home of awesome sitcom moms and the latest is Jessica Huang. Wu steals the show with her killer facial expressions and amazing blunt deliveries that scare and charm the pants off of us. But it's the adept, full-throttled physicality of her performance that truly brings it home. Pick your poison: her delicious crooning of "I Will Always Love You" or teaching Eddie about date rape.
Who would you nominate?