This is the first in our 2017 Emmy Confidential series. Publishing all week, the Emmy Confidential series allows Emmy voters the opportunity to anonymously discuss what they voted for and why in major Emmy categories.
Our first Emmy Confidential post comes from an actress who currently co-stars on a cult favorite network comedy. This is her first year as a member of the Television Academy, and she found the voting process an exercise in insanity. She confessed that voters appear challenged to watch all available content. She sounded disappointed upon realizing what a money game the Emmy process ultimately is. More isolated groups like the Hollywood Foreign Press or Critics’ Choice hold increasing esteem with our Comedic Actress. She’s convinced they’re actually seeing everything in contention when members of the industry likely aren’t.
As she scrolled through the several hundred actors in contention, she found herself gravitating toward names she knew. As a good voter, our Comedic Actress recused herself from any category in which she failed to see all nominees. She invests more of her television-watching time in dramatic series as she performs comedic roles in her day job. She’s ready for a change when she steps off camera.
Generally, our Comedic Actress really liked Stranger Things and The Handmaid’s Tale, the latter of which truly resonated with her due to our current political and social environment. She didn’t finish House of Cards Season 5 because she felt it truly jumped the shark. And her favorite sitcom of the year (ABC’s Speechless) received zero Emmy nominations.
Drama Series – The Handmaid’s Tale
Our Comedic Actress voted for Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale for Drama Series. She felt the combination of impeccable crafts, acting, and the adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel resulted in compelling television. She did, however, have to step back from it from time to time given the intensity of the series. It didn’t bother her enough to abandon the property as many have, but it wasn’t an easy sit. She also voted for Elisabeth Moss in the Drama Actress race to recognize not only a lifetime of Moss’s tremendous performances but also her dedication to the difficult role. When asked about whether or not she thought Moss’s Scientology background would impact her chances of winning, our Comedic Actress didn’t think so.
“I’d read an interview where she talked about it,” our Comedic Actress remarked, “and I thought she handled the question beautifully. It really shouldn’t impact her chances, and if people aren’t voting for her because of it, then they’re not voting for the right reasons.”
Comedy Series – Veep
With her favorite Speechless out of contention, our Comedic Actress gravitated toward HBO’s Veep. While she sounded somewhat resigned to the fact, she appreciated the incredible level of difficulty at mounting a show like Veep during an increasingly difficult political arena. She was also a fan of HBO’s Silicon Valley but felt that series, while consistently funny, would be funny in any era or external circumstances. She did not, however, vote for perennial Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus for Comedy Actress. That vote went to surprise nominee Pamela Adlon for Better Things.
TV Movie – No Vote
Our Comedic Actress did not vote for the TV Movie category. She followed her personal rule of not voting when she hadn’t seen all of the nominees. Historically, she has been a fan of Sherlock and loved Black Mirror. However, the submitted episode of San Junipero was her least favorite of the third season. That episode failed to resonate as significantly as Men Against Fire did.
Limited Series – Feud: Bette and Joan
FX’s Feud: Bette and Joan completely won over our Comedic Actress. She fully responded to the performances, the writing, and the overall atmosphere visualized through the series. She loved the sets, the costumes, and the colors employed to tell the story of Joan Crawford and Bette Davis’s infamous feud. When asked about the Olivia De Havilland controversy, she did not think the negative publicity would impact the series’s Emmy fortunes at all. In fact, she applauded De Havilland’s grit at age 100 for striking out against Hollywood as they did not consult her on the material.
Love for Feud carried over to the Limited Series actress race which Emmy watchers heatedly followed all year. This category became something of a Sophie’s Choice moment for her as she agonized over which performance to honor. She loves Carrie Coon and finds it shocking that her staggering performance in The Leftovers wasn’t recognized. Still, she wasn’t as crazy about Coon in Fargo and could not vote for her here despite love for The Leftovers. Her votes came down between Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon for Feud, ultimately settling on Lange because of all that Ryan Murphy asked Lange to do in the role. Had the actresses switched parts, she would have voted for Susan Sarandon. Our Comedic Actress felt that the role of Joan Crawford simply carried more weight in the series than Bette Davis’s role did.