We’re revealing the thoughts and preferences of voting members of the Television Academy in our annual Emmy Confidential series.
In our next installment of this year’s “Emmy Confidential” series we spoke with a relatively new member of the Television Academy. This member of the actors peer group represents the new wave of Emmy voters; the ones that made last year’s monumental win for Zendaya possible (a performance that this member proudly voted for).
Although relatively new to the Television Academy this actor has been working in the industry for over 20 years on both stage and screen. They’ve recently been seen in a recurring role on a massively popular network sitcom.
This year they prioritized voting for beloved actors that have yet to be given their flowers. They want to make sure actors like Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Michael Kenneth Williams, and Kathryn Hahn are finally awarded the Emmys they deserve after years of being forgotten by the Television Academy.
Outstanding Drama Series – Lovecraft Country
I’ve got nothing but love for all of these nominees but I voted for Lovecraft Country. I know it is probably the underdog here but I wanted to support it because it is one of two shows here created by a woman of color. Misha Green has had a nice renaissance moment and I would love to see her be celebrated for that especially since we never see women receive accolades for horror. Overall, I thought Lovcraft Country expertly straddled that line between drama and horror. One of the other reasons I voted for it was because the production value for the show and we have never seen anything like it.
I loved this season of The Crown because we were able to explore Princess Diana but more interesting to me was being able to find out know more about Prince Charles. He was always an enigma to me so exploring him further was so fascinating. Then there’s Bridgerton and I was so excited to see a period piece with actual Black people up in there. I love Pose and it reminds me of my time in New York City. This category is it.
Lead Actor in a Drama Series – Jonathan Majors, Lovecraft Country
Billy Porter is my friend so of course I am rooting for my friend. His performance in this past season is just… I don’t even have adjectives for how perfect he is. On top of that this story parallels his own experience. In the end he doesn’t need my vote.
In the end the person that I voted for was Jonathan Majors. I love his work and I think he is one of the most underrated actors working today. This was such a physical role and that should be rewarded. Every time I see him it’s a completely new performance and new energy. I would love to see him be recognized for that.
Lead Actress in a Drama Series – MJ Rodriguez, Pose
There are so many darlings in this category that have already won something. They never give us a bad performance and as fabulous as they are they don’t need my vote.
I voted for MJ Rodriguez. What she was able to accomplish on Pose was truly something special to watch. It was special to watch her navigate the character of Blanca and navigate this industry as a trans woman. She is probably the most humble actress I have ever met in my entire life. I hope she makes history.
Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – Michael Kenneth Williams, Lovecraft Country
This breaks my heart because the person that I voted for is no longer with us. When I voted for him I had no idea he would no longer be here. If he wins I know I will be shedding some tears and not being here to enjoy that moment. It will be a tragedy.
I was happy to see O-T nominated. What he does on The Handmaid’s Tale is so underrated. He is generally someone we normally wouldn’t see nominated. Then there is Giancarlo Esposito who is so yummy at being a villain.
Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Aunjanue Ellis, Lovecraft Country
Aunjanue is someone who has been around forever. I mean she has been around since Undercover Brother! There was an episode they dedicated to her character [I Am.] and it was one that if you don’t have the acting chops to pull it off it could have been a hot mess. But instead it was an example of an actress at the top of her game. Between this and King Richard I hope she has a fantabulosu year.
Outstanding Comedy Series – black-ish
I think black-ish is a smart show that has never been shown some love. I would love them to win at least once. If there was an award for the cast they would definitely have won by now.
This was a category that didn’t excite me as much as some of the others. People are very excited about Ted Lasso but I’m not. I found it corny.
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series – Anthony Anderson, black-ish
If I had been a member for the past ten years I would have voted for Anthony every time. I remember him for three things; Barbershop, The Departed, and black-ish. Those are three very different projects and only a truly gifted actor would be able to pull all of them off. People take him for granted but what he does is not easy.
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series – Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish
I voted for Tracee because she is another one that never gets love. It would mean so much to see her finally win. I worry that people don’t take her seriously because of her lineage [as the daughter of Diana Ross] but she has more than proven that she can hold her own. She has no shame and will do anything for a laugh. That is the mark of a great comedian.
Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live
He finally seems to be given the autonomy to create his own work and create the sketches that he wants to make. I remember back in the beginning when he was playing Whoopi Goldberg and thinking “Why are they doing him like that?”
He’s a great writer and that was on display with his work this season.
Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Cecily Strong, Saturday Night Live
Cecily is hilarious. We know Kate has range but she doesn’t need another Emmy. She’s hilarious as Milania Trump and everyone else she plays but after seeing her on Schmigadoon it became clear how versatile she is. I would love to see her finally recognized!
Outstanding Limited Series – The Underground Railroad
I know a lot of people are experiencing slave drama fatigue but this was told from a completely different vantage point. This was a show with a completely different energy. As someone who has seen many of these narratives over the years I can tell you this was something completely different. This is something that needs to be seen and shows aspects of the time that are never portrayed. This show is necessary in every way.
Barry Jenkins also introduced us to these incredible new talents in Thuso Mbedu, Aaron Pierre, and Chase W. Dillon. Where does Barry Jenkins find these people? Their performances are exemplary, and I hate that they weren’t nominated.
Lead Actor in a Limited Series – Ewan McGregor, Halston
He brought the thunder. He was given this crazy arc and he never once treated this performance as a caricature. Ewan really went there. I know a lot of people didn’t watch it but he was so good.
I wanted to vote for Hugh Grant. He’s a comedic actor and I had no idea he had that sinister side in him.
Lead Actress in a Limited Series – Cynthia Erivo, Genius
To tackle Aretha Franklin is one thing but to play Aretha Franklin and also do the vocals is a whole other level. To nail that singing and do it so well, there is no doubt she was the best of the year! However I could have done without that last scene with her in that fat suit singing Nessun Dorma.
Supporting Actor in a Limited Series – Paapa Essiedu, I May Destroy You
This was an understated yet powerful performance in a crazy show. I love performances like that. I really wanted to go with my heart here and I couldn’t shake that character and my heart went out to him after every episode.
Supporting Actress in a Limited Series – Kathryn Hahn, WandaVision
She’s been around for so long but she is still able to show up and surprise us. Although we tend to look at her as a comedic actress I think she perfectly handles both comedy and drama. Here she had to adapt her character to so many different sitcom models and she nailed it each and every time. I don’t think we’ve ever seen her win an award and I’d like to see it finally happen!