Last year at the Emmys, the Actress in a Drama Series category was largely over before it started. It was widely considered to be such a slam-dunk that Viola Davis was going to win to “How to Get Away with Murder” that there wasn’t need for much debate.
This year, we do think we are talking about a little more competition. The second season of the ABC drama didn’t always have the spark of season 1, and while Viola remains fantastic, she’s up against a really strong crop of people this year. Below, we’re going to do our best to assess not only the strength of everyone, but also who some of the early favorites are right now of winning the show.
Claire Danes (“Homeland,” Showtime)
Viola Davis (“How to Get Away with Murder,” ABC)
Taraji P. Henson (“Empire,” Fox)
Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black,” BBC America)
Keri Russell (“The Americans,” FX)
Robin Wright (“House of Cards,” Netflix)
Analyzing the field – This is the part of the article where we narrow down the field, but with this particular category so unpredictable, there’s not as much to say here. What we will state is that even though Danes and Wright are near the bottom of our personal list of contenders, they do probably still have a slight chance of taking this home.
Who should win – There’s a temptation to say Henson, given that Cookie Lyon is arguably a top-five TV character at the moment and she is routinely the person carrying “Empire.” Yet, at the same time you’ve got Maslany, who plays several notable characters and is at times dominates the screen time on her show. Just like there were years we wanted to see her nominated for this to no avail, this is the time we want to see her take the trophy home, even if it is a longshot.
Who will win – Given that the Emmys are prone to repeats, we do think that Davis is arguably still the favorite and would be a worthy winner. Yet, at the same time you certainly cannot rule out Henson or even Russell if there is vote-splitting elsewhere. While “The Americans” is a fringe show for many people, she’s brilliant on it and there is enough of a devoted audience there that it could have a shot.
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