Unpopcult at the Emmys part 2: Best Supporting Actress and Best Guest Actress

As I think I’ve said before, I don’t quite know the point at which a recurring “guest” actor becomes a “supporting” one.  (Yes, I know it’s something to do with how they’re designed in the credits, and in what category they submit themselves for consideration.)  So I’ve lumped these categories together.

Starting, then, with the nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy:

Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester, ‘Glee’

Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy, ‘Modern Family’

Sofia Vergara as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett, ‘Modern Family’ 

Kristen Wiig as Various Characters, ‘Saturday Night Live’

Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney, ’30 Rock’

Holland Taylor as Evelyn Harper, ‘Two And A Half Men’

‘Modern Family’ is one of the big winners in the 2010 noms, and either Julie Bowen or Sofia Vergara would be worthy winners, but this time round I reckon it’s Jane Lynch’s to lose.  I would like to have seen the sublime Merritt Wever in here, but there we go.  Jane Adams of more-of-a-drama-if-you-ask-me ‘Hung’ might have sneaked in too.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama:

Sharon Gless as Madeline Westen, ‘Burn Notice’

Rose Byrne as Ellen Parsons, ‘Damages’

Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma, ‘The Good Wife’

Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart, ‘The Good Wife’

Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris, ‘Mad Men’

Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson, ‘Mad Men’

A very strong category, this one:  five potential worthy winners and Rose Byrne.  I’m sorry, but I just don’t see what Byrne does as “acting”, in any meaningful sense of the word.  As for the others:  the noms give me yet another opportunity to bore on about my love for ‘The Good Wife’.  In my review of the season-ender I hoped for a bit of Emmy love for the supporting cast, and I’m delighted to see two of them get a shout here.  Archie Panjabi and Christine Baranski turned in two very good performances in their own ways: personally I thought Panjabi was better, but Baranski’s ability to steal scenes might count in her favour. 

I wonder whether ‘Mad Men”s third season was so long ago in America, and so routinely brilliant, that voters might lose sight of just how good it remains.  I’d be cool with the terrific Elisabeth Moss winning, although it might be argued that Christina Hendricks actually did her chances more good by dropping in and out of the last few episodes, thus heightening her impact.  And, of course, she was in the hospital waiting room scene with Jon Hamm, which justified the existence of TV all by itself.  As for Sharon Gless – why not?  And it’s good just to see ‘Burn Notice’ edge its way onto the slate.

Notable omissions: no-one from ’24’ (Cherry Jones apparently declined to put her name forward), no-one from ‘Grey’s’, no Lisa Edelstein. But it is a very stong category.

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy:

Christine Baranski as Beverly Hofstadter,’The Big Bang Theory’

Kathryn Joosten as Karen McCluskey, ‘Desperate Housewives’

Kristin Chenoweth as April Rhodes, ‘Glee’

Tina Fey as Host, ‘Saturday Night Live’

Betty White as Host, ‘Saturday Night Live’

Elaine Stritch as Colleen Donaghy, ’30 Rock’

Jane Lynch as Dr. Linda Freeman ‘Two And A Half Men’

I haven’t seen half of these, but based on buzz it looks like Betty White’s year: apparently she was terrific, and she’s the only one left…

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama:

Mary Kay Place as Adaleen Grant, ‘Big Love’

Sissy Spacek as Marilyn Densham, ‘Big Love’

Shirley Jones as Lola Zellman, ‘The Cleaner’

Lily Tomlin as Marilyn Tobin, ‘Damages’

Ann-Margret as Rita Wills, ‘Law And Order: SVU’

Elizabeth Mitchell as Juliet Burke, ‘Lost’

I haven’t seen half of these either, and I’m not over-enthusiastic about the ones I have seen.  So, y’know, whoever.  Maybe Elizabeth Mitchell.

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5 thoughts on “Unpopcult at the Emmys part 2: Best Supporting Actress and Best Guest Actress

  1. CJ Cregg July 10, 2010 / 9:54 am

    I’d be delighted for Sharon Gless or Christina Hendricks too, Jed. Lovely to see Burn Notice on there, I agree.

    There does seem to be the usual fudging going on in the noms. I know she was in the “supporting” bracket last year too, but regardless of Rose Byrne’s abilities, surely she’s always been just as much the lead (if not more) as anyone else on that show? Or did that change in series 3? I gave up after 4 eps this year so you will know better than me, Jed.

    Also, I don’t really understand why folk who appear in Saturday Night Live should be in the same category as folk who appear in series like Modern Family and Glee, when the shows themselves are submitted in completely different categories – is that not a bit wrong? I’m no thespian but isn’t “acting” in a sketch/variety show completely different to being in a comedy-proper if you know what I mean? Why not have an “Oustanding Guest Actress in a Music, Comedy or Variety Series” (The “Comedy” series in the “Music, Comedy or Variety Series” category seems to mean something different from the kind in “Outstanding Comedy Series”) to cover SNL etc, while keeping “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series” for the story-based rather than sketch-based comedies, if you know what I mean?

    PS – On-topic, but slightly tangentially – is it just me or are Holland Taylor and Christine Baranski spookily similar?

  2. Red July 10, 2010 / 2:15 pm

    Elizabeth Mitchell’s nomination for guest actress was for The End. As you probably know form my big string of comments, I’ve just finished Lost. I’m pretty sure Juliet only had two speaking scenes in the whole 1 hr 45, one with Jack and one with Sawyer, both of them pretty short. I would have thought dying tested her skills rather more, but maybe she wasn’t a guest then.

  3. Red July 10, 2010 / 2:18 pm

    Oh, and big up Michael’s mom.

  4. Jed Bartlet July 10, 2010 / 8:46 pm

    Rose Byrne’s role in season 3 was the same as it’s always been. I’ve seen that debate elsewhere, but I understand that ultimately the actors choose what category to submit themselves in (for example – the whole ‘Modern Family’ team submitted themselves in the supporting categories), and with Glenn Close as lead actress there isn’t much room for Rose Byrne there as well.

  5. CJ Cregg July 10, 2010 / 9:04 pm

    Jed Bartlet :

    …..with Glenn Close as lead actress there isn’t much room for Rose Byrne there as well.

    That’s what I mean about the fudging. It’s obviously so that she gets a shot at a nom without having to compete with GC, rather than about RB’s actual role. Not against the rules, obviously, and there are plenty of these strategic decisions in the noms, as you say, but it does seem a bit false to me.

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