If you want to see how much great comedy there is out there in 2017, our Emmy contenders for Actress in a Comedy Series are a great place to start. You’ve got in here performers from crazy-intense shows, whimsical shows, pure satire, and also character studies with a big heart at the center of them. There is probably more comedy out there than at any point in television history … which is great in terms of options. It also makes choosing six of the best performances from the past year to be incredibly difficult.
Nonetheless, we’ve chosen our favorites from the category below — take a look at why we think these ladies are worthy, and be sure to vote for your favorite in the attached poll!
How do you vote? It’s easy. Just pick your favorite of the nominees at the bottom of the article, and you can do so however many times you like — you may need to clear the cache first. (Note that if you are visiting on mobile and do not see the poll, you may need to click to view the non-AMP version of the page.) If your favorite is not on our list, be sure to leave us a comment in the box below with your choice. We still want to hear from you!
The 2017 Emmy nominations will be formally announced on July 13. The results of all of our CarterMatt Emmy polls will be formally revealed on July 12 at 9:00 a.m. Pacific. They will officially close in the minutes leading up to that time.
Drew Barrymore, Santa Clarita Diet (Netflix) – One of the stranger and funnier shows of the year, Barrymore excelled at pulling off this fairly ordinary wife and mother who finds herself completely crazed and transformed after becoming discovering a certain taste for human flesh. This show has some of the best physical comedy of the entire year; it’s not even remotely subtle, but it also doesn’t need to be in order to be an Emmy-worthy performance. It just needs to feel real for the world it’s established and also memorable at the same time. Barrymore pulls that off.
Kristen Bell, The Good Place (NBC) – There is something about the way that Bell, Ted Danson, and executive producer Mike Schur find a way to transform you into another world with this show to the extent that you forget about your own. It’s funny, but also heartfelt when it should be and delightfully dark at others. Given that this is a show full of twists, it only makes sense for Bell to be at the center of it given that she’s so fantastic at diverting expectations. She can play an earnest side of Eleanor effectively, but also clearly can tap into some of her character’s darkness with equal effectiveness. You never know quite what to expect, and that is fitting for Schur’s unpredictable world.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (HBO) – You wonder why she gets nominated every single year, but then you see the performance and you’re reminded that this is why. There are few characters as outstanding as Selina Meyer in terms of delivering near-constant laughs. Louis-Dreyfus understands who Selina is, but somehow finds ways to make her funnier every season whether it be a new physical gag or her adopting a southern accent and stealing Gary’s childhood story. She’s not a redemptive character, but Veep proves that you don’t need that to be entertaining.
Issa Rae, Insecure (HBO) – In just the first season alone, Issa managed to find a way to do something on this show that few other actors can in a short period of time: Draw you in, and forge such a close relationship with your audience that it feels like the character is a natural part of your everyday life. Issa is wonderfully relatable in the role of Issa Dee, funny for a wide variety of reasons but then also witty, intellectual, and willing to go the extra mile to achieve a goal / cause further problems for herself and others. Rae experimented with such a wide range of comedy in the first batch of episodes, and all of it worked to show what she can do as an actress.
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin (The CW) – It’s still hard to believe that Rodriguez somehow remains underrated for playing the title character given some of the previous awards-show love thrown her way, but it’s true. This is a performance that can showcase whimsy one second and heartbreak the next. When you stop in and think about everything that happened to Jane this season, this is probably also the season with the strongest overall material. Rodriguez played Jane’s heartbreak beautifully, but then also found a way to channel in hope for the future and a passion for her to live her best possible life.
Emmy Rossum, Shameless (Showtime) – Every year, you wonder if it’s going to be the year where Fiona starts to move forward in her life in the way that other Gallagher clan members do not. Through season 7, we saw some of that — mixed of course with some trademark Gallagher moments that further define the show. Rossum’s great at helping to both steer the ship of Shameless while still crashing it here and there along the way — as is the Gallagher way. Fiona is a deeply flawed person, but also incredibly compelling and someone you want to see make it to happier times.
Now, we leave it to you to vote!
Remember that to see some other Emmy categories posted daily (including Outstanding Drama Series), be sure to visit the link here. (Photo: Emmys.)