Emmys 2019: Kristen Bell, Emmy Rossum, Sara Gilbert, Drew Barrymore among dream Comedy Actress picks
Welcome to CarterMatt’s 2019 Emmy Preview series! This is an annual tradition that we’ve done on the site since 2013, which revolves around us highlighting some of the best from the TV world. These choices were voted on by our staff, and they represent what the ideal Emmy nominations would be for each category. To go along with that, we then ask you which one of our choices you most want to see recognized with a nomination. It’s strictly for fun, but it’s one of our favorite polls to run and it’s a great way to get the word out there about shows and performers during this key campaign window.
The focus of today’s article is the Actress in a Comedy Series category, one with a vast field of funny people who understand what this genre is. While it’s absolutely about finding ways to make people laugh, it’s also about something more than that. It’s about trying to find ways to appeal to viewers’ hearts and make them want to stick along with you through your journey. In this competitive atmosphere, comedies are about telling good stories, relatability, and finding a way to draw people into a character’s world. These women do all of that while working to produce an overall product that you will want to watch time and time again.
Below, you can see our choices for this category — following the description of our “nominees,” you can find the poll to vote for your favorite. (We’re also including some other popular contenders within that poll to widen the field — Rachel Brosnahan from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Allison Janney from Mom, and Lily Tomlin from Grace & Frankie.)
Voting Rules – Voting will remain open until Monday, July 15 at 1:00 p.m. Pacific time, which is the day before the official nominations are announced. The length of the poll coincides with both Emmy campaigns and lead-up to the official nominations being announced. You can vote however often you’d like; for more technical information if you’re having issues, check out the bottom of this article.
Drew Barrymore, Santa Clarita Diet – The commitment to playing Sheila Hammond is off-the-charts here. Just consider some of what Barrymore had to do — go for broad, physical comedy at times as an undead, human-flesh eating real-estate agent. Yet, still find a way to play heartfelt and empathetic when called to do in the softer moments. The power of her performance, plus her chemistry with Timothy Olyphant, make this a show we’re going to miss dearly.
Kristen Bell, The Good Place – Bell’s had a veritable field day with this show, thanks in part to all of the opportunities handed to her by Mike Schur and the writers. Eleanor is a character who, despite her selfish ways, wants to get better. There’s a chance to play legitimate character development here, and Bell is able to play the show’s lead with the perfect combination of snark and occasional vulnerability. Eleanor’s not perfect, but that’s precisely why we love her so much.
Sara Gilbert, The Conners – Sure, you can argue that Gilbert should know Darlene at this point like the back of her hand, but playing her within this show was a new paradigm. She’d gone from being a supporting character to the lead, a primary focus and point of view. There may not have been any major changes to Darlene in terms of her identity, but Gilbert was stellar in adding to her heart, her energy, and also her understanding of what the writers needed from her through all of season 1.
Julie Louis-Dreyfus, Veep – It goes without saying that Louis-Dreyfus is going to be a favorite for this category as Selina Meyer. There’s a good reason why. As a performer, Julia may do more with one line than any performer of the past thirty years, delivering multiple intentions and punchlines without even batting an eye. She’s brilliantly funny, and while Selina may be far from a likable figure at times, there’s still depth and nuance there. These qualities only add to her absurdity.
Justina Machado, One Day at a Time – Finally, let’s dive into the sitcom world one last time to focus on Machado, who lifts not only Penelope Alvarez but all of the show around her. She’s the heart of the show, the fuel for the funny, and also the focal point of much of the story’s meaning. Her commitment to this world, the character, and the natural feeling of family is why critics and viewers are still so sad over Netflix’s cancellation. It was a world they could see themselves in, and she’s a part of the reason why.
Issa Rae, Insecure – Issa’s performance on this show continues to pack in what you’d want from her — humor, but also still struggle and relatability. Just from the title itself, this is a show where you’re meant to see yourself in the characters. Without Rae’s work, the remainder of the show would fall apart. Her commitment to the show’s signature voice is almost unparalleled, and she still drives towards making Insecure as funny and meaningful as it was at the start.
Emmy Rossum, Shameless – For her final season as Fiona, Rossum had a chance to play a lot. We saw the character’s downward spiral, a complete and utter meltdown, but also a stroke of luck that actually gave her a chance at a new life. She’s the Gallagher who got away and even when things were bad, you still wanted to believe and root for her. Emmy’s work, both in making this character real and also elevating the talent around her, shouldn’t be forgotten anytime soon.
Now, we turn this to you
Be sure to vote for your favorite Comedy Actress contender below!
I can’t see the poll; what do I do? – If you are on mobile, scroll to the bottom of the page and click to view the non-AMP version. If that does not work, give the poll a moment to load! On some mobile browsers, it may take a moment.
How can I vote more than once? – If you are having trouble casting multiple votes, try switching your browser, your device, or visiting the page under private browsing or incognito mode. There should be many handy guides online explaining how to do so if interested.