Molly Shannon (‘The Other Two’): This Emmy Expert warns not to underestimate her for another surprise nomination

The Other Two” premiered this spring on Comedy Central to strong reviews (79 on MetaCritic, 94% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), but can it break through at the Emmys? Though programs like “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report” and “Inside Amy Schumer” have made the network a powerhouse in variety categories, the network has ironically not had much luck in comedy categories. But one of the Expert journalists we’ve polled — Gold Derby’s own Tom O’Neil — thinks Molly Shannon will break through in the race for Best Comedy Supporting Actress. It wouldn’t be the first time she surprised us.

Shannon broke out as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live,” for which she earned a 2000 Emmy nomination in the now defunct category for Best Individual Variety Performance. She returned to the awards more than a decade later with a 2013 bid for Best Comedy Guest Actress for “Enlightened,” and again in that category in 2018 for “Will and Grace.”

One of those nominations came as a surprise. Our odds ranked her 18th with 100/1 odds the year she got in for “Enlightened.” We did see her coming in 2018, but we thought “Will and Grace” would do a lot better than it did overall. It greatly underperformed with only four total noms, but Shannon got in anyway, which is a testament to how much the television academy likes her.

In “The Other Two” she plays Pat Dubek, an overbearing mom trying to ride the wave of her teenage son’s sudden success as a pop star. It’s a broad, scene-stealing performance, the kind that Emmy voters usually love in the Best Comedy Supporting Actress race; consider “Will and Grace’s” Megan Mullally, “SNL’s” Kate McKinnon and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s” defending champ Alex Borstein.

But Shannon also brings an element of pathos to her performance as the circumstances of her husband’s death are finally revealed to the world during her son’s album launch party aboard an airplane. That undercurrent of emotion has helped other women win this race like Cynthia Nixon (“Sex and the City”) and Allison Janney (“Mom”).

It doesn’t hurt Shannon’s case that “The Other Two” role reunites her with creator Chris Kelly, who wrote and directed her to critical acclaim and an Independent Spirit Award for her role as a woman dying of cancer in “Other People” (2016). That performance showcased her range as an actress beyond the broad comedy that made her famous, allowing audiences and industry peers to see her in a different light. So don’t be too surprised if she surprises us again.

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 nominations are announced on July 16. And join in the fun debate over the 2019 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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