Emmy season is upon us! Voters have until June 26 to fill 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 Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.
Carrie Coon, The Leftovers
"Devastating" is probably the best word to describe Coon's performance. They say grief comes in waves, but Nora has been swallowed whole by it, which Coon brought to paralyzing, numb life. The Nora-centric "Guest" plunged the depths of that sorrow before letting her find a way to move on and let go of the pain with a simple "holy" hug. It's a marvelous showcase and an obvious would-be submission for Coon.
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Cersi's actions and changing fortunes came to a head in the Season 5 finale when she did her brutal walk of shame through the streets of King's Landing. Stripped of her clothes and dignity, Headey, who was nominated last year, harrowingly exposed (no pun intended) many sides to the ruthless Queen Mother we've never before seen: humiliated, bloodied, vulnerable and humbled. She was very down, but Headey's resolve through the ordeal let us know Cersei is certainly not out.
January Jones, Mad Men
Terminal lung cancer was a cruel fate to befall Betty, but the final brief material yielded some of Jones' best work. That heartbreaking last phone call with Don was perfectly handled by the former nominee, thawing the ice queen enough to show the love between the two, while Betty's insistence on continuing school and defiantly smoking were beautifully tragic reminders that this fascinating, flawed character is determined to write her own ending to a life she didn't always get to lead.
Holly Taylor, The Americans
While we've known that Taylor is a precocious young actress, she truly came into her own in Season 3 when Paige demanded that her parents tell her the truth about themselves, which she in turn tearfully told Pastor Tim. Taylor plays Paige with fierce clarity but also underscores her turbulent inner conflict that has helped Paige become arguably the most important character on the show.
Mae Whitman, Parenthood
This is, obviously, the last time Parenthood can get nominated at the Emmys, which have been strangely averse to the show (though we like to believe that Monica Potter was thisclose to a nomination two year ago). The most visceral of actors, Whitman was aces as Amber awkwardly, anxiously navigated her own way into parenthood. At the very least, let's give Whitman an award for Best TV Crier.
Samira Wiley, Orange Is the New Black
Lorraine Toussaint has received the bulk of the praise for Season 2, and some combo of her, Kate Mulgrew and Uzo Aduba will probably land here, but Wiley was the show's undisputed unsung hero last year. The sole consolation of the breakdown of Poussey and Taystee's friendship was watching Wiley modulate the wealth of pain, anger, sadness and love Poussey felt with such ease.
Who would you nominate?