FYC: Andrew Rannells in ‘Girls’

Joey Moser recommends the Television Academy consider Andrew Rannells for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

I mean no disrespect towards Adam Driver, but he needs to step aside. He’s been Emmy nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for the last three consecutive years even when the show’s Emmy luster has waned. Of course, Driver is not responsible for his continued nomination success, and he’s such a great performer on the show. I only ask him to take a step back and let Girls‘ fifth season supporting actor standout have a real chance to be recognized for his work. Andrew Rannells deserves serious Emmy consideration for his brilliant season five character arc as Elijah.

Elijah has always been more of a funny supporting character on Lena Dunham’s comedy. He would pal around with Hannah as much as he would bring her back to reality. Rannells’ presence on the show has always been welcome, but I’ve personally felt that we never got enough of his Elijah. With his winning wit and willingness to tell anyone the truth, Elijah was always one of the more reliably fun characters in HBO’s lineup. What was missing was a more dramatic storyline, and he received one in this last batch of episodes.

Rannells’ Elijah was given a true love interest for the first time in Girls’ entire five seasons. We’ve seen him with boys or make comments about other men, but he fell head over cautious heels for a prominent news anchor, played by Corey Stoll. Stoll’s Dill Harcourt (what an awesome name, by the way) surprises Elijah as they casually begin dating. It’s a sort of a Manhattan fairytale, feeling like something Carrie Bradshaw would romanticize over. We’ve never seen Elijah’s defenses so down, and the feeling radiates from Rannells’ smile. They even kiss in the middle of Times Square as the camera swirls around them. If this isn’t a romantic comedy dream, I don’t know what is!

Andrew Rannells
Photo courtesy of HBO.

Rannells’ best moments come in the next to last episode, “Love Stories.” Elijah goes to Dill’s station to apologize to him for how they left an argument, but he ultimately wants to put everything on the table. He explains that all the other boys will want to just be in Dill’s life for his fame and what he could give them. Elijah insists that Dill won’t get that from him, and, at that moment, Elijah is smiling broader than he’s ever allowed us to witness (and that’s saying something considering Rannells’ big, adorable grin).

A breakup is always great acting fodder, but Rannells’ breaks our hearts with one simple widening of his eyes. As Dill explains that he is looking “for someone special,” Elijah realizes that his plea to mend their problems is being met with a premature end. As they meet for a tearful goodbye, we are left to wonder if this will make Elijah more guarded towards love. His openness and interest in building a relationship is one of the most interesting things that Dunham has ever allowed his character do on Girls. Elijah’s experience with Dill will change him.

Here’s hoping that Girls makes a strong showing at this year’s Emmy Awards. Everything from the performances to the writing to the direction excelled in season five. I’m in Andrew Rannells’ corner because we’ve all had our heart broken. His face registers the blistering pain of your world crashing around you in a single instant.

Nominate him.

Published by Joey Moser

Joey Moser is an actor and writer living in Florida. You can follow him online on Twitter @JoeyMoser83