Emmy Episode Analysis: Comedy Guest Actress frontrunner Uzo Aduba (‘Orange is the New Black’) is crazy good

it is easy to see why recent Critics’ Choice TV Award winner Uzo Aduba (“Orange is the New Black“) is our frontrunner for Best Comedy Guest Actress as she steals every scene in her episode submission “Lesbian request Denied.” That is the same one submitted by rival nominee  Laverne Cox and we break down the pros and cons of it below.

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SYNOPSIS: Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren (Aduba) has set her sights set on new inmate Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) and makes her intentions very clear, serenading her in the yard and pursuing her throughout the episode. 

Piper seeks advice on how to let Crazy Eyes down gently. However, she discovers that blunt honesty might be the only way as she is forced to firmly reject her advances. This has repercussions that last throughout the rest of the season. 

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Aduba may not be in every scene but her appearances are so memorable. Her character  comes to life — a seriously unhinged love-struck inmate aptly named “Crazy Eyes” by her fellow cellmates. Her first scene has her running after Piper, the object of her affection, in the prison yard, enthusiastically reciting a love poem to her and singing “chocolate and vanilla, swiiiiirl”. It is funny, endearing, and very different to the work of the other actresses in this category. The highlight has to be the now-famous “I will CUT you” scene in the prison cafeteria. It makes such a huge impact that more than makes up for the lack of screen time in the episode.

Being in a hot new show with that reaped three bids in this race (Laverne Cox and Natasha Lyonne) will help Aduba, as she features, albeit in smaller doses, in Lyonne’s episode too.

The episode ends with “Crazy Eyes” meandering up to Piper’s cell and defianly peeing on the floor, as if to mark her territory. It is so outrageous, as the “I don’t give a f***” music is blaring in the background. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her, and many Emmy voters will be hard-pressed not to write down her name.


Screen time is an issue. She really only has four full scenes in which to shine, and could be seen as delivering more of a punchline in an amusing B-story rather than an award-worthy comedic performance.

Her biggest hurdle is co-star Laverne Cox, who has the A-storyline in “Lesbian Request Denied.” The episode opens on her face, and focuses on her heartfelt backstory. 

Range might also be a problem for Aduba, as she and she doesn’t get to run the gamut of emotions that would have made her a lock in this category.

According to Gold Derby’s Experts, Editors and Users, Aduba is currently in firstplace to win with 2/9 odds. She is definitely one of the standouts of a very hot new show but watch out for her co-star Cox. 

Predict Best Comedy Guest Actress below using our easy drag-and-drop menu, then discuss all the episodes in our Emmy forums.

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