Make Your Case: Best Lead Actress in a Comedy

For the next week, (Pop) Culturally Informed will be running a brand new series called Make Your Case, where Ben and Nina will take on one major category in turn for next week’s Emmys, pick who they think should win, and make their case. Note: We aren’t going to say who WILL win, but who should. Sometimes these will be one and the same- but we like to choose the road less traveled whenever possible because we are both contrarians. Enjoy!

Guys! I’ve actually watched all of these shows! Well, except for Nurse Jackie, because a) definitely thought that already ended and b) that’s not a comedy. Apologies, Edie.

Anyway, this category is hella stacked, and though we might as well gird our loins for reigning Emmys Queen Julia Louis-Dreyfus to maintain her crown, this is the worthiest bunch to topple her we’ve seen in a while. The venerable Lily Tomlin is nominated for Grace & Frankie, in which she is absolutely charming; Lisa Kudrow is here for The Comeback‘s comeback, which was one of the deepest, most carefully studied performances I’ve seen on television in a good long time (while still being ass-kickingly funny); and Amy Schumer found her way in for, well, Inside Amy Schumer, since 2015 is clearly her strongest, funniest year yet. But there’s a different Amy I want to focus on right now, and it is the perfect, incredible, Pawnee goddess that is Amy Poehler in her final season of cult-favorite sitcom Parks & Recreation.

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Make Your Case: Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

For the next week, (Pop) Culturally Informed will be running a brand new series called Make Your Case, where Ben and Nina will take on one major category in turn for next week’s Emmys, pick who they think should win, and make their case. Note: We aren’t going to say who WILL win, but who should. Sometimes these will be one and the same- but we like to choose the road less traveled whenever possible because we are both contrarians. Enjoy!

I feel silly even pretending like I’m going to address any of these other nominees, particularly because (and I am admitting my total failure as a pop culture “writer” right now) I don’t even watch any of these shows that aren’t Game of Thrones. Well, I guess that’s technically not true. I’ve watched the near entirety of Better Call Saul, and am big enough to admit that Jonathan Banks is an insanely talented human who I would probably watch change a tire onscreen for thirty minutes straight. I’ve seen House of Cards and gave up on it once it became clear that it was actually kind of a garbage show, but one with a very glossy exterior. Again, I’m not good at The Good Wife, but Alan Cumming is one of my favorite people to ever exist on the planet. (Did you know he has a perfume called Cumming?!) Downton Abbey, otherwise known as Nap, isn’t exactly on my DVR Series Recordings, so, sorry, Jim Carter, and Bloodline is just the Hemlock Grove of Netflix (which makes Hemlock Grove the Hemlock Grove of Hulu, somehow, I think), so, extra sorry, probably very good Ben Mendelsohn. This year, like all other years, I have eyes for one supporting actor, and it’s Peter Dinklage from (doy) Game of Thrones.

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Make Your Case: Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

For the next week, (Pop) Culturally Informed will be running a brand new series called Make Your Case, where Ben and Nina will take on one major category in turn for next week’s Emmys, pick who they think should win, and make their case. Note: We aren’t going to say who WILL win, but who should. Sometimes these will be one and the same- but we like to choose the road less traveled whenever possible because we are both contrarians. Enjoy!

Are you SO excited for me to announce, at the beginning of all six of my Make Your Cases, that this category is the best?! Ah, this truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Anyway, this category is the best and is full of gorgeous, talented women who have all separately portrayed beautifully nuanced characters with real depth and humanity. Except for Joanne Froggett, but that’s mostly because I refuse to watch Downton Abbey when I could just take an Ambien with a glass of wine instead.

As for these other ladies, I love all of them a lot. I don’t keep up with The Good Wife like I should, but Christine Baranski is, and has always been, a gem. Emilia Clarke is finally figuring out how to act as Daenerys faces more struggles on Game of Thrones, and Lena Headey had her first real banner season on the same this year, letting her frown wiggle and weep for her while she was paraded naked and filthy in front of her entire constituency. (Cannot write the word “constituency” without thinking of this dude.) Uzo Aduba breaks my fucking heart on Orange is the New Black, and I think her range and depth and vulnerability is basically the eighth wonder of the world (and also, her stylist is on point, but that’s neither here nor there).

I struggled to not pick Lena Headey this year, because at this point, anything could lie ahead for everybody’s favorite poisonous bitch Cersei Lannister, and there’s no way she doesn’t have one or two more banner years in here. This year was a year of big finales, and I couldn’t live with myself, truly, if I picked anyone other than the radiant, perfect, indomitable Christina Hendricks for her final season as Joan Holloway on Mad Men.

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Make Your Case: Actor in a Drama Series

For the next week, (Pop) Culturally Informed will be running a brand new series called Make Your Case, where Ben and Nina will take on one major category in turn for next week’s Emmys, pick who they think should win, and make their case. Note: We aren’t going to say who WILL win, but who should. Sometimes these will be one and the same- but we like to choose the road less traveled. Enjoy!

Okay, let’s get this out of the way: if Jeff Daniels wins again, I’m done. Seriously, I’m done forever. I’ll leave Earth.

That aside, this category could not be more packed with talented dudes. We’ve got both leads from True Detective, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. We’ve got Bryan Cranston, fresh off the final season of Breaking Bad. We’ve got Kevin Spacey, fresh off a Southern-fried murder spree on House of Cards. And we’ve got poor old Jon Hamm, whose work on Mad Men will go unrecognized forever and ever because the world is a horrible place. But, that being said, I have to get behind a continued McConaissance – Matthew McConaughey, for the win.

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Make Your Case: Best Actress in a Comedy Series

For the next week, (Pop) Culturally Informed will be running a brand new series called Make Your Case, where Ben and Nina will take on one major category in turn for next week’s Emmys, pick who they think should win, and make their case. Note: We aren’t going to say who WILL win, but who should. Sometimes these will be one and the same- but we like to choose the road less traveled. Enjoy!

Okay, I know I’ve said this about almost every category, but I actually love every nominee in this category. Every single one. I love Lena Dunham (Girls) for being unafraid and honest and hilarious on Instagram. I love Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly) because she never fails to make me laugh embarrassingly loudly and I would watch an entire movie of her throwing watermelons at people. I love Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) even though I don’t watch her show, because she’s just kind of a total badass. I love Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black) for finding the timing and jokes and humanity in an otherwise irritating character. I really truly deeply love Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep) because she’s just fucking incredible in every way. But the lady I love most of all in this category is Amy Poehler (Parks & Recreation), because not only is she the actual goddamn greatest, but it’s ABOUT TIME.

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Make Your Case: Best Actress in a Drama Series

For the next week, (Pop) Culturally Informed will be running a brand new series called Make Your Case, where Ben and Nina will take on one major category in turn for next week’s Emmys, pick who they think should win, and make their case. Note: We aren’t going to say who WILL win, but who should. Sometimes these will be one and the same- but we like to choose the road less traveled. Enjoy!

Let me begin by saying that this is an excellently stacked category. We have mainstays like Claire Danes (Homeland) and Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), both of whom have taken home this particular statue before. We have buzzy fan favorites like Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex), Kerry Washington (Scandal) and Robin Wright (House of Cards). We also have Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey), whom I have already forgotten about. (Her?)

These are all lovely and talented women, but I’m going to have to make a decision here, and it’s not easy – but my gut has to go with Kerry Washington. I know, I know. Allow me to explain.

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Make Your Case: Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

For the next week, (Pop) Culturally Informed will be running a brand new series called Make Your Case, where Ben and Nina will take on one major category in turn for next week’s Emmys, pick who they think should win, and make their case. Note: We aren’t going to say who WILL win, but who should. Sometimes these will be one and the same- but we like to choose the road less traveled. Enjoy!

I feel I have to be upfront here – I only have a passing familiarity with most of these nominees. Mostly because I don’t watch Downton Abbey or The Good Wife. Sorry, Maggie Smith and Christine Baranski… oh, and Joanne Froggatt, I legitimately have no idea who you are. (I have seen a bunch of sassy Maggie Smith quips from Downton, though, and she fucking rocks.)

That being said, now that I’ve made it clear that I shouldn’t be writing this article at all, we’re down to two lovely ladies from shows I actually do watch: Christina Hendricks from Mad Men and Lena Headey from Game of Thrones, my pick for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

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