Happy Emmy nomination day! In a few hours time the title of this can probably be changed to Emmy Nomination Snub Rage List and before they are announced I wanted to make a note of the performances I would love to see recognized this year. Some of these are pretty much locks and will make the cut later, while others have an outside chance and there are of course the complete pipe dream entries.
There are sure to be some that I have missed and so this list doesn’t end up turning into thesis length I’m going to narrow it down to choosing from five shows. The slight loophole (because this list is mine) is I can pick more than one person from the same show.
First up drama!
Many words have been dedicated to The Americans here at TV Ate My Wardrobe and a good third of those are related to the outstanding performances Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell give on a weekly basis. The real tension of this show goes far beyond wigs and spy missions; it Philip and Elizabeth’s complicated relationship that takes The Americans to the next level. Realistically I’m not sure either of them will crack into their respective categories and just in case they don’t I’ve got the perfect gif reaction lined up.
There is a lot to love about Empire and at number one on pretty much everyone’s list is probably the same name – Cookie. Taraji P. Henson takes a larger than life character and imbues her with vulnerability and power (she shared her surprising inspiration for Cookie here). And when it comes to style there is no other character that wears patterns or hats quite this well. I will definitely be throwing my shoe at someone if she doesn’t get a nomination.
Nobody quite made me feel their character’s pain in the same way as Carrie Coon in The Leftovers from her scream of anguish (which I just rewatched and now my keyboard is soaked in tears) in the standout episode of the season “Guest” to her silent wail in the season finale. It isn’t just her despair that made this such a great performance, but also because she injected some much needed romantic fun into a show that at times leaned so far into the darkness. I for one was thrilled to have a couple to ship.
I really want the whole cast of Mad Men to get recognized for their acting talents in the final season, but somehow Vincent Kartheiser has never been nominated for an Emmy. This is unlikely to change even if his reading of “The King ordered it” is pure Pete Campbell perfection. Elisabeth Moss made me cry (sofa confessions) and cheer so loud (roller skating, supreme office strut) which makes her my ultimate Mad Men nominee.
Even when the plot is a little bit all over the place you can guarantee that Tatiana Maslany will ground whatever craziness with whichever seestra she is playing. After three seasons it might be easy to take it from granted how she makes you forget that she is playing everyone, but I still find myself in awe every week. What makes her performance even more impressive is that when they introduced yet another clone (this time Krystal) there was an instant connection (Jordan Gavaris deserves a big shout-out here) and empathy toward her plight.
Nothing would make me happier than seeing Lisa Kudrow repeating Valerie Cherish’s Emmy success and the return of The Comeback after 10 years could have soured the memory of the beloved ‘cancelled too soon’ show. Instead what it did was once again give a searing look at Hollywood including how it treats aging stars. The blowjob episode was devastating and hard to watch, which also makes it one of the most important moments on TV from the past year.
Season 2 of Broad City took everything that was great about its first year and made it even better from Val, to new BFF and Whole Foods shopping partner Bingo Bronson, Kelly Ripa and Ilana’s mother. Abbi and Ilana detailed another crazy birthday night out and gave the perfect response to being told to smile. All that is left to say is Yas Kween(s)!
A performance that can make me laugh and cry in equal measures with Gina Rodriguez delivering (no pun intended) in both areas. The world of Jane the Virgin can be kind of out there and the show moves at a pace to rival Orphan Black, but as with Tatiana Maslany this show has a lead that can ground the crazy and make you feel every bit of pain and joy that she does.
Another show I would give all the awards to with BFFs Gretchen and Lindsay each clinging to some expectation of the life they should be living while embracing the one they think they shouldn’t. For Lindsay this is playing wife to a husband she doesn’t love while partying with Gretchen on the side and Gretchen attempts to ignore the very real feelings she has for Jimmy. Both Kether Donohue and Aya Cash are brilliant and I still have Lindsay’s haunting drunk rendition of “This Woman’s Work” playing on repeat in my head.
The “Last Fuckable Day” sketch from the season opener is hilarious and sadly too fucking accurate; this is one example of how good Inside Amy Schumer has been this season a long with boy band parodies which ring true to the episode long take on 12 Angry Men. Now there are magazine covers galore and her movie Trainwreck is out in the US this weekend and this really is the year of Amy Schumer.