Emmy episode analysis: Lily Tomlin (‘Grace and Frankie’) makes a daring escape from ‘The Home’

One of the Emmys’ favorite funny ladies, Lily Tomlin garnered her 25th career nomination this year for Netflix‘s “Grace and Frankie.” Tomlin already has six Emmy Awards under her belt, but she remains on the hunt for her first Best Comedy Actress trophy for portraying the earthy Frankie Bergstein, a role that has earned her four consecutive nominations.

Tomlin earned her first two Emmys for writing and producing the variety special “Lily” (1973). She scored two more for writing “The Lily Tomlin Special” (1975) and “The Paul Simon Special” (1977), and then a fifth prize for producing another variety special, “Lily: Sold Out” (1981). Her most recent win was Best Voice-Over Performance for “An Apology to Elephants” (2013).

For her nomination this year Tomlin has submitted the fourth season finale, “The Home,” to Emmy judges. The episode finds Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie confronted by their respective children, who are concerned the duo are no longer physically or mentally capable of living alone in their beach house. Frankie lashes out at them when she and Grace are presented with a list of “signs that your parent may be ready for assisted living.”

Grace and Frankie eventually make the move, tricked by their children into thinking they’re doing each other a favor, but they’re not the least bit happy about it. Frankie is told by staff that there is no painting allowed outside of the facility’s art room, and when her fondue pot is confiscated it’s the last straw. She and Grace figure out their kids’ manipulative plan, steal an ambulance cart and drive back to their old beach house.

Will “The Home” deliver a seventh Emmy for Tomlin to place on her mantel? Let’s look at the pros and cons.

PROS

A beloved veteran of the big and small screen, Tomlin has yet to emerge triumphant for this role, so many voters may consider her due for a win, even with half a dozen past victories in other categories.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”), the winner of six consecutive Best Comedy Actress Emmys, is out of the running this year since “Veep” was off the air for the season, providing Tomlin a clearer path to the podium.

Tomlin has about 20 minutes of screen time in “The Home,” which makes it an ample showcase for her, providing her with a range of comic and dramatic material to demonstrate her versatility. Frankie’s rage at both her children and the assisted living community is palpable, and it’s impossible not to root for her and Grace as they bolt from the facility.

CONS

After building up its Emmy nominations total each season — one nomination for the first season, two nominations for the second and four nominations for the third — “Grace and Frankie” is back down to three nominations, with Fonda snubbed for Best Comedy Actress. That might suggest voter interest in the series has waned. To date “Grace and Frankie” has yet to win any category.

While Louis-Dreyfus sits on the sidelines this year, another potential juggernaut — Golden Globe winner Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) — has entered this Emmy field, and her show has 14 total nominations, far more than any other comedy represented in this category.

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before winners are announced on September 17. Be sure to also predict winners for the Creative Arts ceremonies slated for September 8 and 9. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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