Daily Arts writers and editors’ look at who should be nominated for Emmy Awards Continues with Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:
Matthew Barnauskas, TV/New Media Editor:
Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live” — McKinnon was the backbone of SNL this year, anchoring a cast that is still trying to find its sea legs during a period of transition. Whether it’s performing as the increasingly frustrated Hillary Clinton or a jaded alien abductee, McKinnon was a consistent shot of laughter.
Kaitlin Olson, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” — It’s still a shame that after ten seasons, IASIP still barely receives any recognition from Emmy voters. This is especially the case with Olson, a talented physical comedian who often bears the brunt of punishment for the IASIP gang as the eternally put-down Dee Reynolds.
Noel Wells, “Master of None” — I enjoyed few relationships more than that of Dev and Rachel in “Master of None” and a large part of this is due to the performance of Wells, a former SNL featured player. Bringing genuineness to the character of Rachel, Wells alternatively sold the highs and lows of a new relationship in the modern era.
Kether Donohue, “You’re the Worst” — In lesser hands the character of Lindsay could have been just a stereotypical bimbo. However, “You’re the Worst” continued to fight convention in its second season as Lindsay attempted to strike out on her own, forming a character that, while often clueless, captured the struggles of never being ready for adulthood.
Jane Krakowski, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” — To put it simply, no one captures self-absorption better than Krakowski delivering Tina Fey-penned lines.
Alex Intner, Summer Managing Arts Editor:
Donna Lynne Champlin – “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”
Ivonne Coll – “Jane the Virgin”
Yael Grobglas – “Jane the Virgin”
Christina Hendricks – “Another Period”
Allison Janney – “Mom”
Jane Krakowski – “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
The amount of comedic talent on television right now is immense, and these six women bring performances that are among some of the best out there. Champlin has an immensely difficult role on “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” playing the main character’s best friend, Donna. There’s no denying how the seasoned Broadway actress stopped the show during her big musical number in the musical comedy’s season finale, “After Everything I Have Done For You.” Coll provides a much-needed emotional base to “Jane” every week, as her pathos has caused me to cry many tears during the show’s second season. Grobglas also has a difficult role on “Jane” as Petra, a character whose allegiances change on a weekly basis. She grounds the character in a way that makes me able to root for her. Hendricks looks like she’s having a grand old time as the evil servant, Chair, on “Another Period” and the comic results are side-splitting. Janney is just remarkable on “Mom,” as she brings not only great comic timing but great poignancy to the sitcom. Lastly, Krakowski, a nominee last year, fits perfectly into Tina Fey’s writing style, and brings many laughs on “Kimmy Schmidt.”
Anay Katyal, Summer Senior Arts Editor:
Saffron Burrows (“Mozart in the Jungle”)
Karen David (“Galavant”)
Jane Krakowski (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”)
Anna Chlumsky (“Veep”)
Julie Bowen (“Modern Family”)
Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live ”)
Much of the cast of “Mozart in the Jungle” had laudable showings in the series’ second season, but among them, Saffron Burrows and her role as confident and astute musician Cynthia Taylor functions as an integral fixture of an already acclaimed show (and rightfully so). Despite it’s (arguably premature) cancellation, Karen David left her mark (and indelibly so) with her performances in “Galavant,” bringing to life a bastion of fantasy and comedy both playfully and skillfully. Jane Krakowski, as Jacqueline White, builds on her strong first season showing in “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” continuing her run as a lovable, offbeat companion to the show’s protagonist. “Veep” would be amiss without Anna Chlumsky’s presence; her role as uptight and selfless Amy Brookheimer seamlessly blends equal parts sass, competence and hilarity. Now a fixture in network comedy, Julie Bowen’s work on “Modern Family” has become ubiquitous with hilarious and relatable comedy show characters; in the show’s latest iteration, Bowen’s loving and hilariously unconventional parenting style fails to lose steam. Though “Saturday Night Live” has seen its ups and downs and has received its fair share of criticism, a constant fixture of humor within the program is Kate McKinnon and her knack for stupefyingly accurate (and hilarious) impressions and sketch comedy skills, a job she manages with ease and fun.
Megan Mitchell, Daily Arts Writer:
Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory”
Amy Farrah Fowler is one of the trio in CBS’s long-running sitcom “The Big Bang Theory.” Although Bialik’s performance in the series does not draw the sam hysterical laughter as the other nominees, you’ll find yourself doing the “awkward laugh” over many of her antics and sexually repressed innuendos. In real life, Bialik holds a PhD in neuroscience, which makes her role in the “Big Bang” all that more entertaining because she actually understands the inside jokes that are so often made on the show. Overall, her eccentric demeanor and emotional frustration towards her platonic boyfriend create a warm chuckle in a show where humor is often replaced by pre-recorded and dry sitcom laughter.
Julie Bowen, “Modern Family”
Julie Bowen is the collective mother of network television. Not only can Bowen relate to the everyday struggles of mothers across America, but can simultaneously produce a catharsis amongst teenagers by reaching the poles of motherhood and parenthood spot on. As the slightly sane and terribly relatable mother on “Modern Family,” Bowen creates a television experience unlike any other on the network. Without her character, the family would surely crumble to pieces and the show would lack the sensibility only a mother can bring to life on screen. The equally balanced character that Bowen so miraculously juggles is a feat in itself, and she does it oh-so-well.
Donna Lynne Champlin, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”
What does it take to be considered “crazy” on a show that specializes in crazy behavior? Your name in Broadway-style shimmering lights during a musical number, perhaps? Then Donna Lynne Champlin is your girl. Paula is a character that takes the word “insane” to new levels. Not only does she embody her own outrageousness, but she fully accepts it and continues to do so on a daily basis. She sings our praises on a weekly basis and makes us stupid laugh in the best way possible. If “Face Your Fears” doesn’t get stuck in your head for a week or so, then you’re probably incapable of accepting humor into your life. If she doesn’t receive an Emmy nomination, then the voters probably didn’t stare at the sun long enough.
Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”
NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” has once again fallen on an election year. To any avid viewer of the satirical late-night comedy show, one can expect sketches aimed at mocking the presidential candidates to outrageous, yet accurate, portrayal of their real-life counterparts. In this aspect, Kate McKinnon’s forte is Hillary Clinton, who made numerous reappearances throughout the show’s 41st season, accompanied by spoofs of Bernie Sanders portrayed by Larry David. McKinnon’s upcoming “Ghostbusters” role carries her style of humor from the Rainbow Room to the silver screen, further proving her dynamic ability to cover the spectrum of comedy both smoothly and effectively.
Jane Krakowski, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
When you’re an actress in a show of comedians, it’s difficult to stand out as a supporting actress to the lead cast. Jane Krakowski stands out as a lead in the newest season of Netflix’s great original series, “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” In its second season, Krakowski has (literally) gone off of the reservation. Broke and scheming, we find Mrs. Voorhees in the juxtaposed roles of high-society entertainer and blossoming activist in a role only Krakowski could portray. Throughout the second season, her character has continued to develop into an independent woman struggling to find her place in the world, proving that vulnerabilities don’t tear you down but make you stronger.
Chelsea Peretti, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” — My Dream Winner
There are always a few cast members that provide comic relief during difficult situations. For a series such as “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” where almost no comedy relief is necessary, Peretti manages to find a way. Not only is she as outrageously flamboyant on screen as she is in person, but Peretti is also just naturally that funny. Her character demands the attention of the screen, using humor as an extension of her personality. Although at first glance her character may scream “static,” Gina is far from the background; acting as an eerie personification of everyone’s crazy friend in a way that allows her to stand out from other cast members and flaunt her outstanding personality, complete with dance moves. The fact that her comedic talents have not diminished throughout three seasons of “Nine-Nine” stands testament to her remarkable talents in the comedic genre.
Sam Rosenberg, Daily Arts Writer:
Kether Donohue – You’re the Worst
Tara Lynne Barr – Casual
Ivonne Coll – Jane the Virgin
Gaby Hoffmann – Transparent
Jane Krakowski – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Andrea Martin – Difficult People
This past TV season in comedy has been notably exceptional, especially in the writing and lead performances. However, the supporting cast members of these shows have also made big strides in making their shows function well. I believe this particular group of supporting actors and actresses stands out in their respective TV shows, not only for providing the laughs and authenticity to their shows, but also for helping bring out the emotional weight and three-dimensional qualities of their characters through their engaging, nuanced performances.