[With there being extremely few candidates for Lead Actress honours (Seriously, I struggled to even find five), I will alas be unable to fill seven days’ worth of candidates. As a result, however, this gives me a great chance to make up for some of my past errors, if you will. And so, after a marathon week of viewings, I am prepared to add two more to the supporting players lists. The Lead Actress series will begin on Sunday. For all of the past candidates, head to the For Your Consideration Index]
Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Justin Kirk (Andy)
After a Golden Globe nomination in a notoriously difficult to enter category, Justin Kirk is looking to be in pretty good shape for the upcoming Emmy awards. While the Hollywood Foreign Press has been notoriously kind to cable television, especially compared to the Emmys, I still think that Kirk has a real chance. Andy is the obnoxious brother-in-law, the knowledgeable uncle, the scheming Rabbinate student, and pretty well the male comic highlight of this series. In a show heavy with drama, Kirk always offers a light-hearted sensibility that is both welcome and hilarious. You never really become emotionally invested in his storylines, but they are a breezy ride that allows the drama to flow from Nancy and Co. without bogging the series down. Whenever the show needs comic relief, it’s very easy to throw Andy into a situation, or give him a monologue…and comedy just happens. That quality, noticeable within even a single episode, makes Justin Kirk worthy of Emmy consideration.
Admittedly, I haven’t finished the show’s second season, but already Andy’s presence is just as strong as it was in the first one. From the moment Andy arrived in the family’s kitchen setting off the smoke alarm after breaking in, the character has been a breath of hazy but wonderful air for the show’s dynamics. This season has seen him expand into his own storyline, joining the Rabbinate and trying to romance his dead of admissions…and getting into some sexual exploits in the process. This is nothing new, perhaps, but Kirk just keeps getting better in the role. Flashes of brilliance within Andy are fantastic: his explanation of Noreaga and Panama to Shane was just a brilliant line reading from Kirk, and the entire series is chock full of them. I would compare him most to Neil Patrick Harris on How I Met Your Mother: often not in the show’s “main” storyline, he steals every single scene he’s in. And that’s an Emmy worthy performance.
Episode Selection: “Last Tango in Agrestic” (Aired August 28th, 2006)
I don’t really need to say anything about this episode. It involves all sorts of things: Silas putting a hole in a condom (Argh, Silas, you frustrate me), Nancy getting married to her DEA agent boyfriend so that he won’t be forced to testify against her, and then Nancy rents a house to grow weed out of. Really, Andy doesn’t even have a storyline.
But he does have this scene. And this scene could very well single-handedly win him an Emmy award.
YouTube – “Last Tango in Agrestic”
Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Elizabeth Perkins (Celia)
I don’t know how Elizabeth Perkins does it. Celia is a complete and utter bitch, and yet I am always rooting for her. I seriously think that the way she treats her daughter, her husband, her friends, her community, and just about everything else is so deplorable that it would even overpower the cancer sympathy. And yet, I find her hysterical, and want her to torture everyone and anyone she can get her hands on. She’s a villain in the traditional sense: we do root for Isabelle, her daughter, and her husband Dean in their fight against her tyranny. But in the end, I think I’m rooting for Celia. Perkins embodies Celia’s bitchiness, her insecurities, in such a way that I don’t really know how she has yet to win a major award for her work. Every single time she walks into Nancy’s home unannounced, I wonder how someone so ridiculous could exist…but then seconds later believe it all. As the bitchy and delightful Celia Hodes, Elizabeth Perkins is more than Emmy worthy.
What Perkins does so well is embody this narcissistic bitch in such a pleasant fashion. In the span of just the show’s second season she destroyed her daughter’s life further, had an affair with someone she previously hated, got kicked out of her own house, and was absolutely hilarious in her fight against drugs and her immediate asskicking at the hands of Shane and Silas, respectively. What I love most about her character, however, is that she is pretty well the only person who doesn’t know what Nancy does for a living, and that constant fear that she will find out is basically driving me crazy. She is so oddball, so hilarious, but her existence and naivety is also keeping the show’s dramatic tension at an all time high. I’ll be talking about the show in more detail later, but Perkins is the part that keeps things light…and heavy. All with one fell swoop of ungracious bitch, and that’s how I like it.
Episode Selection: “Pittsburgh” (Aired October 30th, 2006)
I don’t like this selection for one key reason: she’s not really all that funny in the episode, and it doesn’t feature her enough for my liking. Celia’s episodes while running for city council featured her in much greater detail, and there was no single moment in this, the season finale, that stood out for me.
As a result, I will showcase perhaps her best scene of the season from “Mrs. Botwin’s Neighbourhood”. This episode is also not Celia focused, but at the very least it has a moment where her character really stands out.
YouTube – “Mrs. Botwin’s Neighbourhood”