Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

So, I had some time on my hands this weekend and I decided to start judging the Emmy tapes. I know I put up a schedule a few days ago on which categories I would do when, but I changed my mind! So sue me lol. Anyway. The first categories is Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.


Candice Bergen as Shirley Schmidt on Boston Legal
Rachel Griffiths as Sarah Walker on Brothers & Sisters
Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy
Dianne Wiest as Dr. Gina Toll on In Treatment
Chandra Wilson as Dr. Miranda Bailey on Grey’s Anatomy

When you look over these nominees you can’t deny that all of these women are brilliant on their shows, but when it comes down to it, the Emmy Awards should be about one thing and one thing only, The Tapes. After viewing all five tapes, it comes down to this, 2 of these actress don’t belong in this category. Not over the work of the other actress’ on the top 10 list and not over the group of women left off the top 10 list.

Candice Bergen
I will admit that I am not a viewer of Boston Legal, to me it will always be the wannabe version of The Practice (when it was good.) Let me first start off by saying that Candice Bergen is an amazing actress and not surprisingly she is great in this tape! Shirley’s father, who has Alzheimer’s, injures himself after he attempts to jump out his hospital room window. Shirley knows that the man in front of her is not the man her father was, but a man who’s Alzheimer’s has taken over his life. Shirley wants to end his suffering and ask Alan (James Spader) to go to court to fight for a Morphine drip so that her father can die peacefully. This tape is exactly what Emmy voters love. First it is a show that the Emmy’s love. Second, the nominee is a multiple Emmy winner and third, the tape is “bait.” Now, if you guys know me, you know that I hate that work bait, but I am sure I will be saying it a lot more in the next few days. Anyway, Candice is perfect from the moment she is on the screen and she is heartbreaking throughout, but there is one small problem. Well, it is not a small problem, it is a big problem, James Spader basically outshines her for about half of her tape. The director really let her down basically almost cutting her out of most of the trial scenes and Spader totally takes over the tape. Of course, she has a great moment at the end of her tape when her father does die and she has a breakdown, but I think with that huge chunk of her tape being taken over by Spader will hurt her chances. She is for sure a dark horse, but I don’t think she is the lead pony in this race.

Rachel Griffiths
First, let me start off by saying that I think it is pure crap that Rachel doesn’t have an Emmy for her amazing work on Six Feet Under, but I am going to judge her based on this tape alone. Sarah and her Husband Joe are getting divorced, when they go into a meeting to discuss the divorce with their lawyers, Joe comes out of nowhere and says that he is going to petition the court for full legal custody. This tape is so subtle, Rachel has this way of taking these highly emotional scenes and she plays them so differently than most other actors or actress would play them. That is what makes her such a great actress. We see her character wanting to fight, and she does, but she really only lets her emotions show full out in two scenes, the scene with Joe when she finds out that he has already been collecting letters and the scene where she is talking to the judge. In her other scenes, she keeps her emotions right under the skin, almost ready to pour out, but willing them back. It is quite a remarkable trait in an actor. To watch a person give a performance with so much emotion, yet not choosing the “normal” theatrics is very powerful. The only part that doesn’t deal with her children is when she is at her family’s house watching the debates and what is great about this scene is that she is there, but the whole scene has nothing to do with her character, but you never forget she is there and at the same time it is nice to see that her character can try and distract herself enough to be with her family even though she is fighting to keep her kids with her. The very last moment of her tape, with Sally Field on the steps is very powerful and could very well win her the Emmy.

Sandra Oh
To be honest, I don’t have much to say about Sandra’s tape, because I don’t find one second of it Emmy worthy. Christina finds out that Dr. Burke has won a medical award and she is crushed, but instead of her tape going the emotional route, we are stuck listening to Christina singing “Like a Virgin” in the morgue for most of the episode. Then at the very end she has a small monologue where she tells Dr. Webber that she was Burke’s hands the past year. Don’t get me wrong, Sandra Oh is an awesome actress and she probably should have won in the past for any of her nominations, but this is not an Emmy worthy tape. Not at all.

Dianne Wiest
I just want to say that I love the setup of this show, it truly give two actors 30 minutes to play. The idea of this show, as an actor, just thrills me, but to see it is just heaven. Dianne Wiest is a brilliant actress, I mean hell the woman has two freaking Oscars and she is great on this show, but she screwed up her submission big time. Wiest plays Gina, a retired therapist, who gets a visit from Paul (Gabriel Byrne), another therapist who stopped his therapy with her nearly ten years ago. He says that he is back because he is afraid that he is losing his patience with his patients, but in the end Gina doesn’t think that is true at all and thinks that the real issue is actually the trouble in his marriage. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that this is the worst tape in the category, like I said that honor goes to Sandra Oh, but Wiest has at least two other tapes that she could have submitted that could have put her in a dead heat for the win, but in the end, what hurts her most is that the tape is mostly about Paul and I have to say, that with this tape she shouldn’t have been nominated.

Chandra Wilson
Here is the setup, Miranda and her husband are having marriage problems. Instead of sitting down and discussing it, Tucker chooses to talk to her about it minutes before she has to leave for work, and Miranda tells him that she doesn’t have the time and rushes out for work. Tucker continues to call Miranda all day and finally pages her, she finally calls and finds out that her baby Tuck has been injured because someone left the baby gate opened and the bookshelf fell on him. Don’t get me wrong, just from reading that you can tell that this episode was surely bait for Chandra Wilson to have an Emmy tape, but here is the thing. It doesn’t matter, because Wilson’s hits this performance out of the park! I have heard people say that it is Wilson’s worst performance on the show, but the pure raw emotion of the performance is amazing. I find it funny about these people because a lot of the time they are the ones to come out and complain about baity performances, but in the end, the writers are the ones who write the episode and it is the actors job to perform them. In the end, don’t downgrade the performance because you find the tactics of the writers wrong. Anyway, Wilson is fantastic in this tape.

This is basically a two person race, with one dark horse. Oh and Wiest are out, if either of them win it is pure bullshit. If Wiest wins it would be because of who she is and if Oh wins it would be because people felt she was “overdue.” Bergen is the dark horse here, she has a great tape, her show is nominated for Best Drama Series and the Emmy Voters love her, this is her 9th nomination and she has 5 prior wins. In the end though, it comes down to two women, Chandra Wilson and Rachel Griffiths. It is going to be a tough race to the stage for both to get that Emmy, and I would totally be happy if either of them won. In the end, I have to give it to Rachel Griffiths. Don’t get me wrong, Chandra Wilson is great, but both tapes deal with children and the quiet way that Griffiths is in her tape is just remarkable to watch. I think that her control with the material will give her the slight edge.

My Rankings:
1. Rachel Griffiths
2. Chandra Wilson
3. Candice Bergen
4. Dianne Wiest
5. Sandra Oh

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