Allison Janney‘s Emmy nomination for Best Comedy Supporting Actress this year is her second in a row for playing recovering addict Bonnie Plunkett in CBS’s “Mom.” She’s the defending champ in this category and is also looking for a repeat win in Best Drama Guest Actress for “Masters of Sex.” She has won six of her eight Emmy bids to date and that haul makes her one of the eight most awarded actors in Primetime Emmy history. She hopes her episode submission, “Dropped Soap and a Big Guy on a Throne,” will continue her winning streak.
SYNOPSIS: Christy (Anna Faris) returns home to find her mother Bonnie (Janney) collapsed in the bathroom. Bonnie threw her back out, so she struggles to move or even drink a cup of coffee in the morning. Her doctor prescribes her pain medication, and Bonnie and Christy are both concerned that the pills will threaten their sobriety, but despite her initial pledge to use them only as directed, Bonnie begins to abuse them.
While high on the pain killers, she invites a pair of Christian missionaries in for dinner, but her outlandish questions scare them away. Later, even after having recovered from her injury, she visits a new doctor feigning pain to get a prescription for more pills.
Will this performance put Janney another step closer to Cloris Leachman‘s record of eight Primetime Emmy wins? Let’s weigh the pros and cons:
The Emmys adore Janney so much that she has only lost twice when nominated. She’s also the defending champ, so we know voters admire her in this role.
Janney gives a showy performance and she’s in just about every scene, playing the physical comedy of her back injury as well as a range of emotions: suffering, sober and ecstatically high.
Substance abuse is a popular topic at the Emmys. Consider Edie Falco‘s 2010 Comedy Actress win for playing the pill-popping title character in “Nurse Jackie.”
Like last year, Janney is the only nomination for “Mom.” So while voters have plenty of affection for the actress, they haven’t been nearly as fond of the rest of her show.
The episode ends on a cliffhanger, leaving her story arc incomplete and viewers with a lack of resolution.
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Photo: Allison Janney in “Mom.” Credit: Darren Michaels/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.