With her performances on both HBO’s “The Leftovers” and FX’s “Fargo,” Carrie Coon is in the unique position of starring on two TV shows at the same time. Coon continues to add new depths to Nora Durst every week on the final season of “The Leftovers,” while on “Fargo” she plays police chief Gloria Burgle who has unknowingly stumbled onto a murderous crime spree. And I believe that Coon deserves Emmy nominations for both performances.
In Season 3 of “The Leftovers,” Nora continues searching for meaning and purpose as the grieving mother who lost her entire family in the Sudden Departure. After pursuing a group claiming to send people to the same place as those who departed, it’s not clear if Nora really wants to bust the group or if she wants to give everything up and be zapped with the hope of reuniting with her family again.
Through the first half of “The Leftovers”’ final season, Coon plays Nora as the complicated, flawed person she is, one who is still lost in this world even when she tries to regain some level or normalcy. There is a fiery power in her performance, portraying a woman whose steely resolve can easily crumble when things take a turn for the worse. Watch our video recap of “The Leftovers” episode 4.
Coon plays a similar kind of character on “Fargo” as Gloria, too, feels slightly lost in a brave new world in which technology has overtaken face-to-face, human interaction. In “The Law of Non-Contradiction,” her big showcase episode, Gloria heads to Los Angeles to investigate her murdered stepfather’s past. While the audience knows this is simply a red herring, Coon’s practical optimism is infectious to watch as she comes away with a greater understanding of her family and the world around her.
For playing two of the most thoughtful, complex women on television, Coon deserves the kind of Emmy attention she has unjustly been robbed of the past two years. Despite winning a Critics’ Choice Award in 2016 for “The Leftovers,” Coon has been snubbed from all other TV awards groups including the Emmys, all the while playing the kind of rich, emotional character many actors dream of playing.
Coon is submitting in Best Drama Actress for “The Leftovers” and Best Limited Series/Movie Actress for “Fargo” at this year’s Emmys. The competition for both categories is stacked, but Coon has greater odds of snagging a nomination for “Fargo.” Emmy voters clearly love the show, awarding it Best Limited Series in 2014 and showering it with eight acting nominations over two seasons. While Coon may not be a household name, her excellent work in “Fargo” may be too good to ignore.
On the flip side, getting into Best Drama Actress could be tough. Voters have completely snubbed “The Leftovers” for both seasons, and it’s not clear if they are even watching the show. The competition is fierce, with old favorites like Viola Davis (“How to Get Away with Murder”), Robin Wright (“House of Cards”) and Claire Danes (“Homeland”) still in the mix with buzzy new stars like Claire Foy (“The Crown”), Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) and Evan Rachel Wood (“Westworld”). Yet, with this being the final season of “The Leftovers” it’s imperative that Emmy voters acknowledge Nora Durst, one of the best characters in modern television, by giving Coon a richly overdue nomination.
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