Sunday, June 28, 2015

Dream Emmy Ballot 2015: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Anna Chlumsky as Amy Brookheimer in Veep

Amy finally snapped and it was about time!  It was hard to be a standout in this large, almost too large, ensemble this past season, but Chlumsky was an MVP at standing out, Amy would be so proud.  There were two moments that stood out to me for her this season, the one where she quits, and the one where she returns.  In between all of that she has some of the best one liners.

Allison Janney as Bonnie in Mom


Bonnie had a rough year.  While she fell back in love with her daughter's father, he then passed away, and she had a hard time coping.  Janney once again tackled the deeper issues of this show with aplomb, in lesser hands this character could be a joke, but she is brilliant.  While dealing with her husbands death she turns back to booze and drugs to cope, her addiction drives a wedge between her and her daughter.  Once again this sounds depressing, but Janney knows how to get the laughs she deserves.

Jane Krakowski as Jacqueline Voorhees in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Many will compare this Krakowski character to Jenna Maroney, and while there similarities, namely narcism, Krakowski is brilliant in both roles.  In Kimmy goes on a Date, you get to explore the characters back story, the audience finds out that she is Native American, and its pretty hilarious watching her to be young woman trying to shuck her heritage.  Krakowski adds new layers to this character, something Jenna did not have, and its fun to see her explore this character.

Niecy Nash as Didi Ortley in Getting On

Niecy Nash Getting On

Nash derseves recognition for this role, not just because she gives the best side-eye to the other idiots working with her, but because she is hilarious, and gives heart to this role.  Nash's standout moments involve her trying to prevent one of her patients from drinking, its funny to watch her wrestle a bottle of vodka away from, but also touching to see her hold the patients hand as struggles with the issues.  Nurse Ortley is no nonsense, and this moment captures Nash's brilliant performance perfectly.

Andrea Navedo as Xiomara Villanueva in Jane the Virgin

I love Xiomara because sometimes you wonder if she is the mother or daughter in the relationship with Jane, and Navedo is just so much fun.  While Xiomara could be seen as one note, Navedo puts so much love into her character that you can't help but realize that this woman tries so hard to do and be everything for everyone in her life.  Xiomara is that loving mother,  who will make a fool of herself so that Jane is not embarrassed at a school dance; she really does bring a lot of laughter and love to this role.

Lauren Weedman as Doris in Looking 

Doris could have easily just have been another Fag hag, or just Dom's bestie, but Weedman's performance gave this role the depth it deserved.  Watching Doris deal with the death of her father was pretty rough, but the episode balanced the humor and  heart this character would often exude, death episodes are often just about the sadness, but Weedman's performance provided the layers to make this one of the best performances this year.

Runner Ups: Stephanie Beatriz in Brooklyn Nine-Nine,  and Carol Kane in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Dream Emmy Ballot 2015: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Andre Braugher as Captain Ray Holt in Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Andre Braugher | Photo Credits: Erica Parise/Fox

In season two Captain Holt proved his deadpan humor to be some of the funniest moments on television.  Holt's rivalry with Madeline Wuntch (Kyra Sedgwick) was one of the funniest I have ever seen, their back and forth rivaled a buttoned up gay Sam Malone and Diane Chambers. This season Braugher's performance took this character to a new level, and that was shown in the chemistry he developed with the rest of the cast, which made his performances even stronger.

Titus Burgess as Titus Andromedan in The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Living For Titus! 6 Videos of Kimmy Schmidt Star Tituss B...

I have two words for you, Pinot noir!!!  Burgess turned what could have been a one dimensional sidekick into one of the most beloved this year.  Titus Andromedan is a self involved man trying to find fame in New York, and this role could have been one note, but Burgess has the chops to add layers to the vulnerability of this character.  Burgess gave the funniest performance in 2014-2015 Emmy season.

Jaime Camil as Rogelio de la Vega in Jane the Virgin

Jaime Camil as Rogelio de la Vega on "Jane the Virgin"

#ItMustHappen #JaimeCamilDeservesAnEmmy #RogelioForLife.  Jaime Camil is brilliant as the narcisiistic self involved, celebrity dad of Jane.  Oh, did I mention he is obsessed with his twitter following, and loves to talk in hashtags?  Rogelio is another supporting player who could have been shrill or portrayed in less than flattering way, but Camil let's the absurd speak for itself; he also lends his heart and soul to this role, which adds great dimension to this character.

Ken Jeong as Chang in Community


Haaaaam Girl, is a catch phrase that of course got its own hash tag on twitter, it was even trending for a while. Over the years Ken Jeong was the Stella of Community, his groove always seemed forced or off, but this year the writers found their groove with him, and Jeong's talent took this and ran.  Chang had some great moments this season whether it was his five minutes of fame from his slogan, when he saved Garrett's wedding, or farting when Abed said "cool" representing the fourth season of Community, one thing was clear Chang finally felt cohesive within the Greendale gang.  Jeong sold it!

Robert Michael Morris as Mickey Deane in The Comeback
The Comeback is the most scathing look at the Hollywood system, in a good way, the show nails the dark path an aging actress must take.  How do you soften, add even more humor, and heart to this show, Mickey Deane!  Mickey was the grounding force in Valerie's life, and even as suffered through cancer, he still would do her hair, and throw out some of the best one liners on television. Morris is terrific in this role; he gave The Comeback the heart it needed to bring the show home in its final moments helping Valerie understand what mattered.  Morris nails every moment of this role, and he gave one of the most under rated performances of the year.

Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson in Parks and Recreation 

Over the past 7 seasons Ron Swanson has mostly stayed the same, in true Ron style; he also grew in many ways as a husband, father, and in this season as a friend.  The episode "Ron and Leslie" is reason enough to nominate this man.  Ron started out this last season even more stuck his ways than usual, but there was a reason, and in the episode where he and Leslie are trapped in the old office you get a glimpse at what it looks like for Ron's heart to break, Offerman as usual was brilliant, but it was this moment that made him one of the most iconic television characters of all time!

Runner Ups: Jim Rash-Community, Gary Cole-Veep, Tony Hale-Veep

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Dream Emmy Ballot 2015: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Uzo Aduba as Suzanne 'Crazy Eyes' Warren in Orange is the New Black

crazy eyes

Watching 'Crazy Eyes' get manipulated by 'Vee' was not fun.  In her flashback episode Suzanne is a young woman who's innocence shines through; she has a heart of gold, but can become easily attached.  Uzo Aduba nailed this character's need for a prison mother who could bend her to her whim.

Carrie Coon as Nora Durst in The Leftovers


In a show that was so polarizing, and overwrought, there were performances like Carrie Coon's that made this show strong.  What happens when your entire family just disappears?  As Nora Coon navigates this existence, going from being a living shell of a human to raging against this experience.  One of the strongest performances this year.

Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway in Mad Men


In the final season of Mad Men, I loved watching Joan stand up to the establishment.  Joan sold her body to become a partner a few years ago, but in this season she refused to sell herself to prove her worth again.  Christina Hendricks captured so many brilliant aspects of this character over the year, but she nailed her curtain call.

Elizabeth Marvel as Heather Dunbar in House of Cards


In an uneven season Elizabeth Marvel was the stand out in House of Cards.  Watching Heather Dunbar rail against Francis and the political system was master acting, but was even better was when she colluded to become part of those dark dealings.  I loved watch Marvel nail the humble politician who evolved into her own person, the stand out of the third season.

Maura Tierney as Helen Solloway in The Affair


If looks could kill.
I have always worshipped at the alter of Maura Tierney, from News Radio to ER, and I am glad she has gotten another fantastic role to sink her teeth into.  Helen Solloway could have been a thankless part, but Tierney's acting nails every aspect of this woman, from her old free spirited nature rebelling against her rich parents to the privilege she loves (down deep).  Tierney deserves to be honored for fleshing out this character.

Lorraine Toussaint as Yvonne 'Vee' Parker in Orange is the New Black


One of the darkest television characters, most irredeemable I ever encountered on television.  'Vee' blew into Litchfield with guns blazing, a former inmate she was a master manipulator used to running the show, but she had to reestablish her turf.  Watching Toussaint take down and manipulate, especially Suzanne was difficult, but there are so few female characters that are created in this light, and I loved the way Toussaint played this; she has always been fantastic, and this role showed her talent on a whole new level.

Runner Ups: Lena Headey-Game of Thrones, Danielle Brooks-Orange is the New Black, and Amy Landecker-Transparent

Monday, June 8, 2015

Dream Emmy Ballot 2015: Outstanding Guest Actor and Actress in a Comedy Series

I like the range you get from the contenders for Guest Actor and Actress in a Comedy series.  The range on these nominees goes from John Hamm a cult reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne in The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt  to those that straddle the line of hilarious and heartbreaking like Becky Anne Baker in Girls.

When you look at the silly in this category you still see the immense talent, Hamm's Richard Wayne Gary Wayne is one of my favorite guest roles in a comedic series ever.  Susie Essman falls into this category as well, and boy was she fantastic as Ilana's mother; she has been great in so many other things, but this role made her stand out in a way she hasn't before, without cursing as much.  Essman is a comedic genius.  It was also fun to see Kyra Sedgwick let down her hair and take on a role that was straight comedy; watching her try to nail Holt, in more ways than one was epic.

While many of these roles are all about the laughs, many walk the tight rope, and delve in the darker or more realistic realms of humor that do not just tickle the funny bone, but rather make you laugh in a different way.  Pamela Adlon has always walked this line on Louie, but it was her performance in "Bobby's House" that flipped gender roles in many interesting ways, her performance made you laugh and think a little bit deeper.  Zachary Quinto's guest turn in Girls also made you look at relationships with a different lens, and gave one of the strong performances from Girls this season.

Watching each of these 12 performances hit different comedic notes, and they each deserve a nomination in their perspective category this year!

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
John Hamm- The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Laurence Fishburne-Black-ish
Chris Parnell-Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Michael Rapaport-Louie
Ben Schwartz-Parks and Recreation 
Zachary Quinto-Girls

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Pamella Adlon-Louie
Becky Anny Baker-Girls
Julia Duffy-Looking
Susie Essman-Broad City
Kyra Sedgwick-Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Jennifer Lewis-Black-ish