We asked you who gave the best performance last week in the fourth episode of HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” “Push Comes to Shove” (you can still vote in the poll here). Overwhelmingly, Nicole Kidman won for the second time with 59%. Rounding out the top three were Reese Witherspoon in second place with 14% and last week’s winner Shailene Woodley with 9% of the vote. Santiago Cabrera was not far behind with 8%. On his heels were Alexander Skarsgard with 7% and Iain Armitage with 2%.
Kidman may very well be the whole series’s most valuable player after previously winning our reader poll for week two. Her character, retired lawyer Celeste, dipped her toe back into the working world and realized she missed it. Then she wrestled with how to tell her volatile husband Perry (Skarsgard). With two victories as “Big Little Lies” MVP at just past the half-way point of the series, Kidman could be positioned to win the Emmy that eluded her when she was nominated for “Hemingway & Gellhorn” in 2012.
Witherspoon has ranked relatively high in each of our polls despite her character Madeline’s pricklier nature and personality. This week she revealed that she had an extramarital affair with Joseph Bachman (Cabrera), the director of the “Avenue Q” production she’s been fighting for. Only an actress with the ability to be so likable could get away with such bad behavior and keep the audience on her side, and Witherspoon has managed to do that for the whole series so far.
Woodley was able to come in third place with her few scenes as Jane felt temporary relief following her confession last week that her son Ziggy (Armitage) was conceived by rape, but she continued to face questions about whether or not Ziggy was violent. And Armitage might not have as much screen time as his older co-stars but has shown a quiet maturity well beyond his eight years landing him 2% of the vote. Both should be strong contenders for Emmy nominations for their performances.
Cabrera was able to go from a secondary character to major factor in the storyline as we learned about his character’s past relationship with and continued longing for Madeline. Skarsgard may play the most unlikable character in “Big Little Lies” as the wife-abusing Perry, but he has consistently made an impact with his performance. The HBO veteran previously starred in both “Generation Kill” (2008) and “True Blood” (2008-2014) and could now find himself in the best position among the men of “Big Little Lies” to score an Emmy nomination.
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our Emmy odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on July 13. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums.