We’re revealing the thoughts and preferences of voting members of the Television Academy in our annual Emmy Confidential series.
Next up in our “Emmy Confidential” series we spoke with a longtime member of the actors branch. This actor has been a committed member of the Television Academy for nearly four decades with a long career in comedy, drama, and daytime television.
As a longtime member of the Television Academy, they are no stranger to the endless campaigns from the various networks. This year, they attended plenty of drive-in events at the Pasadena Rose Bowl Stadium. The event for Pose was a standout with Sir Elton John making a surprise appearance; however, they had never seen as much fanfare and crowds as there was for the WandaVision event. Because there were less events this voter was also sent plenty of Uber Eats and Postmates codes from networks to enjoy while binging this years nominees. In fact they were sent over $600 worth of codes from various networks (and we thought the campaigning for a Golden Globe was too much). Last year the talk of the town was the Baby Yoda toys handed out at The Mandalorian event, this year’s equivalent was the fancy chess board sent to voters by Netflix in celebration of The Queen’s Gambit.
This year a lot of their favorite series were left out of the Emmy conversation so they made a couple of left field decisions, some that even surprised themselves. After having worked in the entertainment industry for decades this voter has a lot of friends on the ballot. Like most years, they went into the season expecting to vote for their friends instead they were pleasently surprised by shows introduced to them by their own daughter, shows that they think are revolutionizing television and because of that deserve to be honored with the top awards of the year.
Outstanding Comedy Series: Hacks
My daughter is now a standup comedian and I really enjoyed diving into this world and wanted to encourage it. I was immediately drawn to this world and especially Jean Smart’s Joan Rivers-esque portrayal of an aging comedian.
My second choice would have been The Flight Attendant. I don’t understand all of the love for Ted Lasso. I know I’m alone in that but I never connected to the show.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Anthony Anderson, black-ish
I vote for Anthony a lot. Besides being a funny, good actor, he is a nice guy and I want to reward that. This year there were a lot of nominees I didn’t care for.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Jean Smart, Hacks
She blew me away with her understanding and portrayal of what a standup comic goes through. It felt genuinely realistic. She brought something very deep into this role. I believed every second of her performance.
Tracee is always delightful but not always wonderful, and there is a difference. She is always nominated because she is Tracee but I didn’t see anything so outstanding to convince me to vote for her. Kaley Cuoco was charming but not in the same level as Jean.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Carl Clemons-Hopkins
Because I didn’t love any of the performances from Ted Lasso or Saturday Night Live I went with the guy from Hacks. Overall it was a simple choice of process by elimination, but he was good and I liked his scenes with Jean.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
I went with Kate McKinnon again. I think she always does a fantastic job. Unless there is someone that blows me away I will always vote for Kate.
I thought the girl from Hacks was good, but she never rose to the same level as Jean Smart. She had such hard shoes to fill and I don’t think she quite got there. Maybe next year she’ll surprise me and I’ll feel inspired to vote for her.
Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: Bernadette Peters, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
She is an incredible actress. Her performance on Zoey’s was so out-of-the-box here but she has also been around a long time and deserves to be recognized. I also think Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is one of the best shows this year and should be recognized somewhere.
Guest Actor in a Comedy Series: Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live
Morgan Freeman is kind of a shit in real life. Now that I’ve met him and had an uncomfortable moment it’s hard for me to vote for him. I’d vote for him if he was undeniably good but that isn’t the case here.
However, I think Alec Baldwin’s Trump is undeniable and this might be the last year he does it.
Outstanding Drama Series: The Boys
I found this category irritating because most of the shows I loved weren’t even nominated. In the end I went in a different direction and voted for The Boys. It’s an irreverent, fun show that I normally wouldn’t vote for. It might be a little too violent but given that it became one of the nominees I thought “What the hell, I’m gonna vote for it!” I thought it would be another stupid boys club show but after a few short minutes I was hooked.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Matthew Rhys, Perry Mason Mason
This was a tough one. At first, I didn’t like Perry Mason but after a while it won me over. I was a huge Perry Mason aficionado as a child, so it took a couple of episodes for me to get used to all of the changes they made. He played him as this weird, drunk, fucked up character but eventually he became the character that I know.
Then there is the great Billy Porter. It’s really hard to look at that list and not vote for him but he has won before for this role.
My daughter loved Rege-Jean Page and begged me to vote for him but I couldn’t. He was simply nominated because he’s a good-looking man.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: MJ Rodriguez, Pose
I voted for MJ and I hope she makes history. There is an excitement and enthusiasm in her performance that drew me to her. I went to the Pose FYC event and watched her perform with Billy Porter. It was a night to remember.
I know a lot of people within the academy who simply refuse to watch Pose and I think you can figure out why. I implored my peers to watch it to learn about their fellow human beings but they refused. But for every person I knew that refused to watch the show there was twice as many people who cared about her and loved her performance.
I know there is some excitement for the girl that played Princess Diana [Emma Corrin] but she never moved me. She was fine but I didn’t find it true to the Princess Diana in my head.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Giancarlo Esposito, The Mandalorian
I decided to vote for Giancarlo Esposito. He’s been around for a long time and hasn’t won yet. I am not in love with The Mandalorian as a whole but I did find him to be entertaining.
I didn’t watch The Handmaid’s Tale this year because it scares the hell out of me. It’s so close to the reality we almost came to and I couldn’t bring myself to watch it. I almost voted for my friend Bradley Whitford but he’s won before I wanted to reward someone new.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale
Shockingly I went with another well-respected, veteran actress. I didn’t see a lot of this new season but I always trust her to be great.
Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Timothy Olyphant, The Mandalorian
This category made me mad because Carl Lumbly should have been nominated for Falcon and the Winter Soldier not Don Cheadle. I love Don Cheadle but he had like two lines. What the hell?
In the end I voted for Timothy Olyphant because I think he is hot. He’s also an actor that I think mixes comedy and drama well.
Charles Dance is a shit so there was no way I would vote for him.
Guest Actress in a Drama Series: Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale
No one in this category blew me away so I went with who has impressed me in the past. Alexis Bledel has done strong work on The Handmaid’s Tale and she continues to be good.
Normally I would have voted for Phylicia Rashad but there was no way I would have voted for her this year. She never should have shown support for a rapist. She took it back but it is too late.
Outstanding Limited Series: WandaVision
I think WandaVision made television history by making a sitcom within a sitcom within a drama. It’s structure was very clever and it blew me away. At first, I didn’t care at all that they were paying homage to these different eras but my daughter convinced me to keep watching and then it all clicked. It’s brilliant.
If they hadn’t of been in the same category I would have voted for Mare but ultimately I was won over by this groundbreaking structure of WandaVision. I really wanted to vote for both. I hear a lot of people talking about Mare though, my friends and I couldn’t get enough of it. There were a couple of weeks where it was the only thing anyone wanted to talk about.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series: Paul Bettany, WandaVision
My daughter begged me to vote for Paul. He was entertaining and he had pretty good timing. He also had to suffer through all that makeup.
I thought Hugh Grant honed it and the show as a whole [The Undoing] was terrible. I also refuse to vote for the Hamilton cast.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series: Elizabeth Olsen, WandaVision
I wanted to reward the show across the board. Elizabeth had balance comedy and drama while also incorporating confident narration and confusion. She had a hell of a range. She put her own spin on these portrayals of Mary Tyler Moore and Samantha. We knew what she was doing but she never lost her own character. That takes a strong actor.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series: Evan Peters, Mare of Easttown
I found what he did to be cute. I can’t explain it but I liked what he did in Mare. He’s a young cop with a crush on Kate Winslet. There was this cute, endearing aspect of him and I found it convincing.
Overall, this was a weird confusing category. The Hamilton guys don’t deserve their nominations. I don’t understand how that Queen’s Gambit boy was nominated with nothing to do especially over such a good actor like Bill Camp.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series: Kathryn Hahn, WandaVision
I thought she was great as Agatha, especially in the last few episodes. Kathryn Hahn is another one of overnight success stories that took 25 years. She’s been steadily working forever on shows like I Love Dick (which was awful). I even remember her as the receptionist on Crossing Jordan.
Before I watched WandaVision I was sure I was going to vote for Jean Smart. Mare was one of the shows I was most excited for and I thought Jean did a great job as this interesting mother of a very bizarre sheriff. They created this weird, fascinating family dynamic. At that point I hadn’t seen Hacks and I knew there was no doubt I was voting for her here.
Some of those scenes between Jean and Kate were hilarious especially that funeral / car scene. HYSTERICAL.
Either of these women deserve to win and ties are rare but this would be the perfect moment for one.