While we said that the Emmy category for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series was one of the easiest ones to predict for this season, the field for actresses is a completely different story. There are so many strong contenders here that there will really be snubs no matter where you go, and these leading ladies cover the full gamut of shows.
With that in mind, let’s just get straight into who should (and will) be nominated in this category for the 2012 show next month. (Be sure to check out our other entries in this feature by clicking this link.)
The deserving nominees
Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation” (NBC) – Really, the closest thing that this category has to a lock nomination at the moment. The election made for one of the best years that “Parks” ever had, and Poehler is a big reason why. However, will Leslie be a character that voters rally around enough?
Tina Fey, “30 Rock” (NBC) – We actually don’t see Fey as a sure thing this year, mostly because of the competition along with the fact that actors on long-tenured shows occasionally can be ignored. With this being said, Fey really paved the way for some of the other ladies on this list to even be here.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” (HBO) – Before this show even premiered, we would have put the former “Seinfeld” star on here. Thankfully, it just so happens that this a hilarious satire of the political system. Despite the fact that her character is a pretty terrible person, she is probably our pick to win this year.
Zooey Deschanel, “New Girl” (FOX) – After getting a little close to over-the-top territory through some of the earlier episodes, Zooey and showrunner Liz Meriwhether found the actress some balance here for a quirky character with plenty of heart — and a love for her roommate that she isn’t quite aware of yet.
Beth Behrs, “2 Broke Girls” (CBS) – We get it at this point — critics don’t like this show, and admittedly there are some major problems with some of its characters. However, Behrs’ Caroline Channing is the sort of delusional socialite that you actually want to root for, and despite Kat Dennings’ cynical one-liners she has emerged as the star of the show.
Ashley Rickards, “Awkward” (MTV) – Yes, that’s right — we put an MTV show here. The fact that Rickards is now up for a Critics’ Choice Television Award proves that this is a performance worth taking seriously — that is, if you can stop laughing first.
Honorable mentions: Laura Dern (“Enlightened”), Martha Plimpton (“Raising Hope”), Jane Levy (“Suburgatory”), Krysten Ritter (“Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23”)
The likely nominees
Amy Poehler – As we said, she is the safe — and deserving — choice for Emmy voters to make.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Depending on how in the mood the voters are for politics, this could end up becoming a two-person race between Julia and Amy.
Zooey Deschanel – Zooey will get a nomination on star power alone, but her character is an acquired taste — and you typically either love her or can’t stand her. That’s not the best stance ever for voters.
Melissa McCarthy (“Mike & Molly”) – She won last year, and you always have to remember that the Emmys do like to have one show on their list that at least pulls in some pretty big ratings. (“New Girl” did at first, but fell over the course of the season.) The only thing that hurts McCarthy is that her nomination last year may have been as much for “Bridesmaids” even though this is a TV awards show.
Laura Dern, “Enlightened” (HBO) – The good news for Dern is that Emmy voters are the sort of people who caught “Enlightened” when it was on the air. Unfortunately, they are also the only people probably watching it.
Lena Dunham, “Girls” (HBO) – While Fey and Edie Falco (“Nurse Jackie”) are probably going to be contenders, “Girls” is the sort of new show that the Emmys like to support in order to look hip. The issue here is that there really isn’t much hip about Dunham’s show — or funny for that matter (but that won’t stop it from getting some love here).
Will receive votes: Tina Fey, Martha Plimpton, Edie Falco, Laura Linney (“The Big C”).
Do you think that this is one of the best categories of the year, and who are you rooting for to win? Be sure to share your thoughts in the poll and comment box below!
Photo: Academy of Television Arts & Sciences