The Emmys may have knocked “Orange is the New Black” into the drama races this year after it competed as a comedy last year, but Uzo Aduba is back in the running. She contends for Best Drama Supporting Actress after winning Best Comedy Guest Actress in 2014, and if Aduba reigns victorious again for her portrayal of Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren on the Netflix series, she will be the only performer to win for the same role on the same show in both drama and comedy races. To notch her place in the history books, however, she will first need to get past her rival nominees and she hopes to do that with the help of her episode submission, “Hugs Can Be Deceiving.”
Click here to see the updated list of all 2015 Emmy episode submissions
As the bond between manipulative Vee (Lorraine Toussaint) and Suzanne begins to grow we are given a glimpse into Suzanne’s backstory where we learn that she was adopted by a white family at a young age. The family treated her no differently than their other biological child, even while she was harassed by others for her eccentric nature. This treatment of Suzanne seemingly carried on throughout her life, and we later see her crack under the pressure of her parents to perform during her high school graduation, much like the prison Christmas pageant where she ran off the stage at the end of season one.
We then discover that after the Christmas pageant Suzanne ran out of the auditorium to find Piper (Taylor Schilling) in a battle with Pennsatucky (Taryn Manning), and Suzanne, in a rage, knocked Piper out, inadvertently saving Piper from committing a potentially deadly crime. Back in the present day we see Suzanne still treated as an outcast in the prison, with Vee seeming to be an understanding presence, taking Suzanne under her wing.
Does the episode pack enough of a dramatic punch to earn Aduba a historic Emmy? Let’s look at the pros and the cons:
“Hugs Can Be Deceiving” has all the ingredients of an Emmy winning submission: impact, range and huggability, and Aduba is such a force on screen that she commands every scene she’s in.
Last year “Orange is the New Black” was the most nominated comedy series, with five of its actresses garnering bids and Aduba winning Comedy Guest Actress. This year’s shift to drama wasn’t kind to the show overall (it received only four nominations), but that didn’t stop Aduba from becoming the only returning nominee from the show to make the transition over.
Though Aduba could have won with her submission alone under the old voting system with small judging panels deciding the awards, Aduba’s chances skyrocket with the expansion of voting to more of the acting branch (potentially making this more of a popular vote). Consider her SAG victory just eight months ago.
“Orange is the New Black” took a massive hit at the Emmys in its second season. After being the most nominated series on the comedy side last year, it is now the least nominated of the seven Best Drama Series contenders.
To that point, Emmy voters may still think of “Orange” and all associated with it as comic regardless of where it’s competing. And with a character whose nickname is “Crazy Eyes,” it doesn’t help the drama argument much.
There’s stiff competition here. “Mad Men‘s” farewell may lead to a win for Christina Hendricks, while the popularity of “Game of Thrones” could swing it in Lena Headey or Emilia Clarke‘s direction. And with the new voting system, veteran Christine Baranski, having worked with nearly everyone in the industry, could see her name called for her work on “The Good Wife.”
Experts Emmy predictions: All 32 categories
Make your own Emmys picks now to the right or at the bottom of this post. You could win one of our three prizes ($500, $300 and $200 Amazon gift certificates) as well as a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s Emmys line-up).
Last year, our Experts had an accuracy rate of 58.62% when it came to predicting the Emmy winners. That score tied them with both Gold Derby’s Editors and the Top 24 Users (those two dozen folks who did the best at predicting last year’s Emmys). Our Users scored 51.72% (Click on any of these groups to see what they got right and wrong last year.)
Which group will be victorious this year? Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Emmys last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar.
As some of our Users turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, it’s important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our Users racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.
Photo Credit: Netflix