Tuesday, July 14, 2015

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

Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter in Marvel's Agent Carter

The more I think about this character, the more I respect the performance from Atwell in Agent Carter.  Peggy Carter's character was further developed from the original Captain America film in the perfect way.  Atwell not only proved she was a bad ass agent, and super hero in her own right, but that she could tackle the gender dynamics of her time without letting it knock her down.  Watching Peggy finally let go of the memory of Steve was also touching, you got to to see this woman navigate every aspect of herself, which is rare in the comic book world.  Atwell's performance is a strong reminder Marvel needs to let more women take charge in their material.

Viola Davis as Annalise Keating in How to get Away with Murder

If you think you knew everything before or about Annalise you were wrong.  Davis is bombastic as this attorney who is navigating a troubled marriage on top of her stakes career. Sounds like silly concept, and in the wrong hands Annalise and this show could have been just another run of the mill procedural with a through line, but Davis is fantastic in this role; she yells, cries, but you also find that she is not one note, and its Davis' performance that give her the dimension she needs.

Eva Green as Vanessa Ives in Penny Dreadful

I just finished season one of Penny Dreadful in one week, and that's because Eva Green.  While I liked season one, Vanessa Ives is the reason to love this show.  The show is at times an over the top exploration of characters from literature in navigating "reality." Watching Green as she is possesed by the devil was impressive, there was no pea soup, but Green is haunting in these moments; she truly frightens you under your covers at times.  Outside of these moments you get to see her back story with her friend Mina, and her falling in love with Dorian Grey.  These moments create balanced well formed character and Green is a phenomenal in this role.

Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyons in Empire

Can a character be deemed iconic after just one season of television?  Henson has certainly created one of the most memorable women in dramatic television in recent years.  Cookie is trying to make up for time behind bars with her children and with her ex-husband's record label.  The thing I appreciate most about this character is the way Henson owns every aspect; she is funny, dynamic, a mother, a fighter, and someone who will own your ass in a second.  Like with Davis Henson turns a character who could be considered campy into a fully fleshed out person; she is not just throwing a drink in someone's face, but she is protecting her family, and Henson sells every moment.  Cookie Lyons is the character creators dream about, but it's Henson's performance that makes her iconic,

Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings in The Americans 

In the first two season's I would argue that the that Rhys stole the show, but in the third season it was Russell who knocked everyone out, sometimes literally.  I have always enjoyed the dynamic between Elizabeth and her daughter Paige, one of the most interesting mother daughter relationships in television history.  This season Paige traveling with Elizabeth to the Soviet Union so Elizabeth could bid adieu to her mother gave even more context to their relationship, and provided some amazing scenes for Russell. Russell navigating their outing as Soviet spies to Paige also provided numerous excellent moments where Russell proved why she is one of the strongest actresses on television today.  Russell was the best part of this season.

Ruth Wilson as Alison Lockhart in The Affair

I always had an idea what was going on in Noah's head, he was more obvious in his actions.  I could not say the same thing about Alison.  Wilson did a fantastic job navigating her crumbling marriage, and the loss of her son.  Many of those moments were heartbreaking.  Watching Alison navigate her tempestuous relationship with her mother, and her affair with Noah showed there were more layers to this character, and things which did not reach the surface.  Wilson is a terrific actress, and its no surprise she won the Golden Globe for this role; she is raw so emotional, but so guarded in her portrayal of this broken woman, you get lost in her character.

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