Emmy episode analysis: Anna Chlumsky (‘Veep’) drops a bombshell that could change Amy’s life and career

For the past six seasons, Anna Chlumsky has played keen politico Amy Brookheimer on HBO’s two-time Emmy-winning Best Comedy Series “Veep.” Chlumsky has earned five Comedy Supporting Actress Emmy nominations for the role, which not only places her in esteemed company including Agnes Moorehead (“Bewitched”), Sally Struthers (“All in the Family”) and Kim Cattrall (“Sex and the City”), but also makes her the veteran of this year’s line-up.

In addition to her five consecutive Emmy nominations for “Veep,” Chlumsky has received four consecutive SAG Award nominations for the series as a member of the ensemble cast and a bid at the Critics’ Choice Television Awards in 2016.

In the sixth season finale “Groundbreaking,” the episode Chlumsky submitted for Emmy consideration, Amy (Chlumsky) helps former President Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) finalize the plans for her namesake library at Yale University. When a new, more exciting career as a political consultant arises, though, Amy must decide if she’s willing to finally distance herself from Selina and confronts her boss about her future at the library groundbreaking ceremony.

Could Chlumsky finally take home her first Emmy Award for the most-nominated season of “Veep” to date (17 bids)? Let’s dive into the pros and cons of Chlumsky’s submission:


“Groundbreaking” boasts a great story arc for Amy that allows Chlumsky to explore different facets of her character. She shines during the scenes in which Amy contemplates her future with Selina, particularly when she offers her boss the ultimatum that she either take full responsibility for the presidential library or quit. The episode also features new flashbacks that let Chlumsky revisit some of Amy’s funniest character traits and add a layer of depth to Amy’s difficulty walking away from Selina. In her final scene, Chlumsky also gets to deliver one of the most memorable moments of the episode when Amy tells Dan (Reid Scott) that she’s pregnant with his baby.

Chlumsky may benefit from vote-splitting because all of the other nominees in the her category (Vanessa Bayer, Leslie Jones, and reigning champion Kate McKinnon from “Saturday Night Live,” and Kathryn Hahn and Judith Light from “Transparent”) compete with one or more of their co-stars. Coupled with the television academy’s overall support for “Veep” at an all-time high with 17 nominations for the show’s sixth season, a split in votes amongst her competition could provide Chlumsky with a major advantage.

Chlumsky has earned five consecutive Emmy nominations, but she has not yet taken home the trophy. Voters may consider her overdue for recognition, especially when her co-stars Louis-Dreyfus and Tony Hale have both taken home multiple prizes for their roles on the series.


While Chlumsky has a substantial plot line in “Groundbreaking,” the rapid pace of “Veep” makes her scenes speed by without it ever feeling like Chlumsky gets enough of the spotlight. Her biggest scenes also tend to be more dramatic, while her funniest lines of dialogue and facial expressions tend to happen in the larger, ensemble moments. So in comparison to the other actresses in the category, Chlumsky’s submission may not feel as substantial.

Although Emmy favorite Allison Janney, who beat Chlumsky twice in this category in 2014 and 2015, moved up to compete in the lead category this year, Chlumsky still faces stiff competition. McKinnon could easily win a second trophy for her viral performances as myriad political figures on “Saturday Night Live,” while beloved television and theater veteran Light could finally take home her first Primetime Emmy for her best season on “Transparent” to date.

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