Best Comedy Actress is essentially a two-woman race at this year’s Emmys, and while I am sticking my neck out for underdog Melissa McCarthy (“Mike and Molly“) because of her fantastic episode submission, my fellow Editor Marcus James Dixon is going for the easy call of Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep“). Below, I enumerate the top 5 reasons why McCarthy is going to win her second Emmy, and why Dixon is so very wrong.
1. The perfect submission
Last year, McCarthy was dropped from the Best Actress line-up but has come roaring back and has submitted an excellent episode. Molly is heading into therapy for the first time, something to which of Hollywood can relate. The topic of her deceased father comes up and her therapist shows her how to properly mourn his loss, something she’d never done after losing him when she was just 10. The opening scene with the therapist is laugh-out-loud comedic perfection and the closing scene with her on a swing set giving a last farewell to her father is heartbreaking. We laugh and we cry with and for Molly.
2. Loss of a parent = Emmy
Roseanne Barr won her Emmy for “Roseanne” with an episode that was quite similar. She mourns the loss of her father, who she actually didn’t quite like that much, and says a final goodbye to him which certainly clinched her Emmy. On the Comedy Actor side Ricky Gervais (“Derek“) is the Gold Derby odds on favorite to win for an episode he submitted in which his father passes and he gives a brilliant farewell cry to him, much like McCarthy. So, why can’t McCarthy do it?
3. Emmys love to hug
Our fearless leader Tom O’Neil, who wrote the book on the Emmys, has preached one thing that has always seemed to hold true: Emmy loves to give hugs. So with that in mind, who would Emmy rather hug: A funny, sorrowful daughter or a selfish politician? Easy call.
4. Selina Meyer is unlikable
Dreyfus is brilliant as Veep Selina Meyer but her writers did her no good by giving her a great episode with a scene that makes you dislike her. I know Selina is sarcastic and evil but never has she been as nasty as she was here. After learning that a reporter’s phone recorder was left on while she and her staff were discussing the good and bad financial supports of her presidential campaign she lets out a side of her that is a complete turn-off. She scolds her staff that has stuck with her and calls them each losers; there’s nothing funny about it. For me, that point turned me off of Selina. And I’m not even considering how Selina shunned some refugees after learning and celebrating that she had become President thanks to the deteriorating health of the First Lady. So she laughs in the bathroom and all is well? Nope.
5. Equal star power
Louis-Dreyfus may be beloved in the TV industry, but McCarthy is no also-ran. We’re talking about an Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning actress on a Chuck Lorre CBS show. Since 2004 only one sitcom leading lady has been able to knock out a slew of single-camera actresses to take home the Emmy, and that was McCarthy.
Do you agree with me that McCarthy is the frontrunner, or is Dixon onto something with his Louis-Dreyfus prediction?
Make your own Best Comedy Actress predictions below our dueling Editors’ slugfests for this category.