2012 Emmy preview: ‘Downton Abbey,’ ‘Homeland’ actresses face off

Just as we said about the race for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series award at the 2012 Primetime Emmys, the actress side of the award is going to be rather predictable. We have one nominee that seems to be head and shoulders above the rest — and on this occasion, there is also one nominee that has raised eyebrows when it comes to how they are even there to begin with.

Let’s dive into the rankings, and be sure to share your thoughts on your favorites in the poll at the bottom of this article.

6. Kathy Bates, “Harry’s Law” – Callie Thorne from “Necessary Roughness” is just as likely to win this award, and she’s not even nominated (though she should be). “Harry’s Law” was a little bit of a better show than critics often give it credit for, but we also have to best honest in admitting that it was hardly a masterpiece. Specifically, her character preached for a few minutes too long in every episode.

5. Glenn Close, “Damages” – You can never really rule out an actress of Close’s caliber for this award, but we also aren’t too optimistic about her chances this year. “Damages” as a show just doesn’t have the buzz that it once had, as critics have moved away from the show’s small audience and to the next “cool” thing (which you will see at the end of this article).

4. Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey” – Mary is not necessarily the easiest character within the “Downton Abbey” universe to like, but we can’t really discount Dockery’s performance on the show because of it. Her biggest problem here is that she is up against three other actresses here who are more familiar to voters, and give such stellar performances week in and week out that they are difficult to ignore.

3. Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife” – This wasn’t “The Good Wife’s” best season on record, but Margulies is probably going to be a perennial contender here for as long as this series is on the air. Unfortunately, this year she is up against someone new and refreshing, and an actress who somehow continues to up her game year after year.

2. Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men” – Peggy Olson leaving SCDP was one of the most powerful moments of “Mad Men’s” entire five-year run — it was never loud or emotional, but there was quiet power in every word. Moss has mastered the art of subtlety quite possibly better than any actress that is currently on TV.

1. Claire Danes, “Homeland” – There was no actress better than Danes on TV this past year, and it doesn’t matter if you are talking about comedies or drama series. Carrie is not an easy role to play — in particular since you don’t really know for sure just whose side she is really on — but there were so many layers here that we were captivated by every move that she made. The biggest challenge Danes faces for season 2 is that we don’t know how she is going to be able to top herself.

If you wan to check out some more of our Emmy rankings, be sure to either click here or on the photo to the right of this article.

Photo: ABC


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