Wednesday, July 18, 2012

2012 Emmy Nomination Dreams: The Women

Tomorrow morning at 8:35 am, the nominees for the 2012 Emmy Awards will be announced. Last night, I broke down my list of Top 10 dream nominees for men. Now, it's the ladies' turn!

Remember, these are dream nominees. You won't find the likes of Amy Poehler, Julianna Margulies or Julianne Moore on this list. Those fine women are shoe-ins and will undoubtedly—and rightfully so—be frontrunners in their categories. No, these are the women that I fear will be tragically overlooked by the Academy despite delivering some of the best performances on television this year. With all of last year's nominees returning, the comedy categories are particularly cutthroat. Is it possible that Kristen Wiig won't get a nomination for her final year on SNL? Could the unstoppable Betty White get snubbed? Is last year's winner—and now Oscar nominee—Melissa McCarthy going to be dropped like old news? Not bloody likely (well, maybe the McCarthy thing). There are going to be many snubs worth bemoaning come Thursday, so let's make the most of our time pre-announcement and celebrate some fabulous women.

From vice presidents and doctors to vengeful housewives and drunks, here are the 10 women I would nominate for the 2012 Emmy Awards...

Courteney Cox, Cougar Town
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
You guys, this is getting ridiculous. Courteney Cox has never been nominated for an Emmy. Ever. This is truly baffling, especially when you consider how consistently amazing she has been throughout the last three seasons of Cougar Town. The show may not be the "Courteney Cox Show" it was once supposed to be, but she is the rock of one of the best ensembles on television and it's about time the Academy gave her some recognition.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
She's a twelve-time Emmy nominee, two-time Emmy winner, and now she's the lead actress on an HBO comedy series, so I understand why including Julia Louis-Dreyfus on a list of Emmy "dreams" seems a bit ludicrous. But considering the heavy competition in the category and the fact that her show ran its premiere season in the shadow of the insane buzz surrounding Girls, it's worth mentioning how outstanding she was as the titular VP Selina Meyer. 
Madeleine Stowe, Revenge
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
You'd better watch out, Academy, because if Madeleine Stowe is anything like Victoria Grayson, she will DESTROY YOU if you don't give her a nomination. By season's end, Stowe brought Victoria from ice queen to total evil badass ice queen we can't help but adore. While Emily Van Camp runs around the Hamptons acting depressed and sad, Lil' Vicky Harper gets to chew the scenery and be the diva we root for. 
Eliza Coupe, Happy Endings
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
If I had the room or the time, I'd wax poetic about each of the outstanding cast members of Happy Endings. And while her fellow female castmates Casey Wilson and Elisha Cuthbert also deserve the recognition, I nominated Eliza Coupe's Jane as the MVP of the season. Throughout Season 2, Coupe was game for absolutely anything thrown at her, especially when it came to insane costumes: bacon suits, neon yellow tuxedos, garbage dresses and, of course, Carol Brady right before she was arrested for molesting Bobby.
Sarah Hyland, Modern Family
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Not only does the submission of all Modern Family adults in supporting categories hurt the chances of other shows (especially in the supporting actor category), but it does a disservice to the other fine cast members of the show. Case in point: Sarah Hyland, who blossomed in Season 3 as one of the consistently funniest actors on the show. Her college visit, disastrous truck ride with Cam and, most of all, her Target run in "Express Christmas" all stand out as highlights of the season. In a world where Julie Bowen submits as a lead, would it be possible for Hyland to grab a nomination?
Diane Ladd, Enlightened
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Most of the Enlightened buzz surrounded star Laura Dern, leading to a kind-of-but-not-really surprising Golden Globe win earlier this year. And while I think Dern is fantastic and has a good chance of receiving a nomination tomorrow morning, I'd argue that her real-life and on-screen mom, Diane Ladd, is the most worthy of praise. Need proof? Watch the season's penultimate episode, the aptly titled "Consider Helen," told completely from Ladd's perspective. It's certainly not the most comedic role on television, but it is by far one of the best performances of the year.
Zosia Mamet, Girls
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
As I mentioned earlier, Girls was one of the most buzzed shows of the year. Whether or not that buzz produces any Emmy nominations remains to be seen, though I imagine Comedy Series and a Lead Actress nominations are likely. In an ideal world, Zosia Mamet would be riding the wave to an Emmy nomination, too. Shoshana is the most consistently funny roles on the show, and her performance in "Welcome To Bushwick a.k.a. The Crackcident" was legendary. Dear Academy, will you be Zosia Mamet's crack spirit guide?
Busy Philipps, Cougar Town
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Along with co-star Cox, Busy Philipps is one of only two repeat dream nominees from last year, and goshdarnit she'll be on here every year until the Academy wises up and gives her some props for her outstanding performance as Laurie Keller on Cougar Town. Season 3 brought the usual insane outfits and crazy antics we've come to expect from Philipps, but also showcased her emotional side as she struggled to figure out her feelings for Travis. The critic community has always praised Philipps' performance, and it's time for the Emmys to do the same.
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
I must admit that, for me, Cersei Lannister was not a highlight of Game of Thrones Season 1. She had some good scenes with Ned Stark and her lover/brother Jamie, but I never found her particularly compelling. Season 2 certainly changed all that, and I now treasure every second Lena Headey gets on screen. From her vicious back-and-forths with Tyrion to her manipulation of Sansa, she proved just how valuable she is to the enormous cast of Westeros.
Jessica Capshaw, Grey's Anatomy
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Listen, I know what you're going to say. Grey's Anatomy jumped the shark. No one watches Grey's Anatomy anymore. Grey's Anatomy is ancient history as far as the Emmys are concerned. Well, guess what? I watch it and I still love it and I'll be damned if Jessica Capshaw didn't give one of the best performances of the year as Dr. Arizona Robbins. She can be bubbly and sweet, angry and powerful, or heartbroken and sobbing—all over the course of one episode. After taking a bit of a backseat to Sara Ramirez last season, Capshaw took center stage in Season 8, which culminated in a plane crash that may or may not have killed her. I selfishly hope Robbins survives, just so I can continue having my weekly dose of Jessica Capshaw.

Tomorrow morning we'll know for sure who the Academy loved and who they snubbed. In the meantime, who do you hope gets nominated on Thursday? Do you think anyone on my list has a chance for a nod? Sound off in the comments!

[Image Sources: ABC, HBO]
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