Who should be nominated for Supporting Actress in a Drama Series at the 2018 Primetime Emmy Awards? We are back with another edition of our annual CarterMatt Emmy Preview Series to answer this very question!
When it comes to this particular field, it shouldn’t be a surprise once more that there are many different options — but, what we do like about Supporting Actress in particular this year is that you’ve got a group of people who really encompass how wide-ranging television can be. Within our particular wishlist this year we hav actors from superhero shows, a medical drama, a time-travel period piece, science fiction, and so much more. Some of these dramas are grittier and more down-to-earth whereas others find a way allegorically to appeal to viewers. These women are shining lights every single second they are onscreen.
In addition to sharing both our dream nominees and some other likely contenders based on current industry projections, at the bottom of this article is a poll for you to vote for your own favorites! We will announce our reader picks on July 11, 2018, one day before the actual Emmy nominations are announced. Hopefully, this is a way to kick off the Emmy campaign period in a fun, super-engaging manner for everyone.
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Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – CarterMatt Wishlist
Odette Annable, Supergirl (The CW) – We’re always perpetually fascinated by actors who can take on two different roles in a single season and that is precisely what Annable had here in Reign and Samantha Arias. On one side of the coin you have a kind, caring friend and mother who wants to excel at her job and be there for others. On the other side, you have a cruel, dangerous, and unwavering force of evil. Annable found a way through season 3 to play both dimensions with excellence, allowing you to understand Sam’s heart and then also her heartbreak as she started to realize the monster living within her. Some of the scenes to especially go back and re-watch are the ones with Katie McGrath from earlier this year, where Sam realizes that the only way to trigger Reign and understand her condition better is to endure tremendous physical pain.
Sarah Drew, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) – In her last stretch as a series regular Drew really went out with some of her best work. The storyline of April Kepner’s crisis of faith was one of her most beautiful of the entire series, largely because it took her down an emotional road where she was able to tackle so many different things. There was pain, suffering, apathy, and then eventually a moment of realization and understanding. Drew really went into the depths with this character and in the process, delivered some incredible scenes with Jesse Williams and many other characters. Yet, it may be her scenes with the Rabbi patient in season 14 that cut us the deepest. These were the moments she found herself again, and in turn, had to be a rock for someone else as they prepared to depart the world of the living.
Thandie Newton, Westworld (HBO) – How can you see Westworld and argue that Thandie is somehow not worthy of this? Maeve is one of the most powerful, gripping characters on television through both the way she speaks, how she acts, and how other characters react to her. Newton inhabits this role with her everything and makes every episode feel like a distinct, but still an important chapter of her character’s life. We give her added credit just because Westworld is a very challenging show — there is a lot to take on and often quite a bit to keep track of in terms of content. Yet, Newton makes much of it appear easy — or at least as easy it can be within such a complicated world.
Aubrey Plaza, Legion (FX) – Just like we find great joy in watching someone play two characters, we also love watching someone continue to make fantastic choices and take on different, complicated characters. We’re not sure Plaza could have found a more perfect follow-up to Parks and Recreation than the FX comic-book adaptation. Lenny Busker is as imaginative of a character as you are going to find — she’s clever, demented, manipulative, and formidable somehow all at once. Noah Hawley’s entire show is a masterpiece being unjustly ignored likely because of its genre; maybe at some point it will find its way into voters’ hearts, but Plaza better be at the forefront of any conversations. Without her, we’re not sure the overall tapestry is anywhere near as fantastic.
Sophie Skelton, Outlander (Starz) – One of the things you really look for when it comes to the Supporting Actress category is someone who managed to do a lot with a little and with that, there is no better example than Skelton through her time as Brianna. While only appearing in the first handful of season 3 episodes, she brought so much depth to a character who has certainly experienced a lot within a fairly short period of time. In particular, we look towards the episode “Freedom & Whisky” as a wonderful example of some of the poignancy she brought to this role — not only was she forced to come to grips with the departure of her mother Claire, but to an entirely different time period where she wasn’t quite sure she would ever seen her again. She had to play not only a young woman feeling loss, but also one with the heart and understanding to believe something that was in so many ways otherworldly.
Constance Zimmer, UnREAL (Lifetime) – Playing Quinn means that you have a lot of different things to juggle. The easy interpretation of this character is that she is tough, she’s manipulative, and she will do everything she can to making the show-within-a-show Everlasting a hit. Yet, that’s just a superficial read on someone who often uses her power and confidence to mask some of her pain, her frustrations with the world, and the need that she does have for others in her life. When Quinn feels something, she feels it raw and it is that rawness that Zimmer exhibits so beautifully — whether it is fighting for her show or even fighting for a way to get through to Everlasting staffers. No matter what she is doing in any given scene, Zimmer’s scenes are consistently gripping.
Connie Britton, 9-1-1 (Fox) – Britton helped to get Ryan Murphy’s new series off the ground in its first season, and with that also did a tremendous job taking on what was at times an enormous challenge — she had to rely on her own relentless dedication as Abby, especially since so many of her scenes were confined to a single location in the call center away from the rest of the main cast. Taking that challenge on alone makes her stand out amidst the field.
Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu) – She is considered by many to be the overwhelming favorite to win and for good reason — for starters, Dowd is a remarkable performer who can bring nuance to a paper bag. Beyond just that, she’s playing arguably one of the most notable characters on all of TV right now in Aunt Lydia. No one else steals as many scenes as she does.
Chrissy Metz, This Is Us (NBC) – Chrissy’s work on the NBC series is consistent and nothing short of fantastic, especially since she finds a way to make Kate into someone so organic and real. We’ve all felt some of her individual victories and some of her trying insecurities. So many of her lows were spelled out over the course of season 2 in a way that was at times tear-inducing; yet, there were few things more empowering on TV this year than seeing her persevere.
Sophie Turner, Game of Thrones (HBO) – While she doesn’t get to have a commanding presence in many of the series’ action-oriented sequences, Turner does get some of the meatiest dialogue and she has evolved Sansa wonderfully over the past seven seasons. As a whole, we consider her a strong candidate to be the most consistently-unheralded performer within the Game of Thrones cast.
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Now, it’s your turn
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