There’s a record on the line in this year’s Emmy race for Best Comedy Actress, as Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”) could win a consecutive fifth trophy. Hoping to stop her are Ellie Kemper (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), Laurie Metcalf (“Getting On”), Tracee Ellis Ross (“Black-ish”), Amy Schumer (“Inside Amy Schumer”) and Lily Tomlin (“Grace and Frankie”). After watching our editors’ slugfest on this race above, you can find links below to each contender’s episode analysis where we dive into their Emmy pros and cons.
After scoring her first Emmy nomination for “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” could Kemper unseat reigning Emmy-queen Louis-Dreyfus with her episode “Kimmy Goes to a Hotel”? Created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, this Netflix comedy stars Kemper as a cheerful, optimistic young woman determined to start life anew in New York City after spending 15 years trapped in an underground doomsday cult. READ EPISODE ANALYSIS
Louis-Dreyfus has won four in a row for “Veep,” just one shy of Candice Bergen‘s (“Murphy Brown”) record of five category wins for the same character. However, not even Bergen was able to pull off the feat five years running, which means Louis-Dreyfus is within striking distance of claiming a new Emmy record. Is her Emmy episode submission “Mother” strong enough? READ EPISODE ANALYSIS
Three-time Emmy winner Metcalf (Best Comedy Supporting Actress for “Roseanne” 1992-94) is back in contention with an astounding three nominations: in the Best Comedy Actress category for her role as Dr. Jenna James on HBO’s “Getting On,” and in both the comedy and drama guest actress races for roles on “The Big Bang Theory” and “Horace and Pete,” respectively. READ EPISODE ANALYSIS
Ross has earned her first career Emmy nomination for her performance as Rainbow “Bow” Johnson on ABC’s hit comedy “Black-ish,” which is also nominated for Best Comedy Actor for her co-star Anthony Anderson, as well as Best Comedy Series. She has submitted the episode “Sink or Swim” to Emmy voters. READ EPISODE ANALYSIS
Schumer is nominated for Best Comedy Actress for the second year in a row for “Inside Amy Schumer,” but she’s already an Emmy champ: she won the inaugural prize for Best Variety Sketch Series last year for the Comedy Central program. This year she picked up a remarkable six nominations overall and for this category has submitted the episode “Welcome to the Gun Show” to Emmy judges. READ EPISODE ANALYSIS
Legendary actress, writer, and comedian Tomlin earned her 23rd Primetime Emmy nomination this year for her role as a free-spirited divorcee in the Netflix comedy “Grace and Frankie.” Although she has six statues on her mantel already for writing, producing, and narration, a win in this category would be Tomlin’s first for acting. To that end she has submitted the episode entitled “The Test.” READ EPISODE ANALYSIS
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