With last year’s Comedy Lead Actress winner Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag”) out of contention, this Emmy category is up for grabs. This year’s slate of nominees includes three previous Emmy winners and three women looking for their first victory. We have considered the pros and cons of each of their episode submissions to help you make your final Emmy predictions. Who will win the Emmy on Sunday, September 20? Follow the links below for each episode analysis.
Christina Applegate is a seven-time Emmy nominee. She won the Comedy Guest Actress category for “Friend” in 2003. She was nominated for that classic comedy again the following year before landing two consecutive bids for “Samantha Who” in 2007 and 2008. “Dead to Me” netted her two more Comedy Lead Actress nominations as well as a Comedy Series bid this year. She has submitted the episode “It’s Not You, It’s Me” for consideration: Jen (Applegate) tells Ben it was a mistake to sleep with him. Charlie accuses her of burning Steve’s car. She later admits to Jen that she struck and killed Steve because he had insulted her. The following day, she visits Detective Perez at her home.
This is Rachel Bronahan’s fourth Emmy nomination. She has been nominated in this category three times for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” winning for Season 1. She has an additional Drama Guest Actress nomination for “House of Cards.” She has submitted the episode “A Jewish Girl Walks into the Apollo” for consideration: Midge salvages a potentially disastrous club grand opening with her impromptu performance. Susie asks Joel to be the finance manager for Midge since she can no longer be trusted. Midge is shocked to find out she has top billing at the Apollo Theater over legendary comic Moms Mabley. She almost outs Shy Baldwin during her performance.
Linda Cardellini received her second and third Emmy nominations this year, for producing and acting in “Dead to Me.” She has a previous nomination in Drama Guest Actress for “Mad Men.” The actress has submitted the episode “If Only You Knew” for consideration: Judy (Cardellini) and Jen organize Steve’s vigil to avoid suspicion. Judy is encouraged to break up with Michelle since she is so close to Detective Perez. She fights Steve’s fiance, who is four months pregnant, leaving her emotionally charged.
This is Catherine O’Hara’s eighth Emmy nomination. She was nominated in this category last year for “Schitt’s Creek.” Her other acting nomination was courtesy of “Temple Grandin” in the Mini/Movie Supporting Actress race. O’Hara received five writing nominations for “SCTV,” winning in 1982 for the episode “The Moral Majority.” She has submitted the episode “The Incident” for consideration: Moira takes over the Instagram account of her film. As she and Patrick are discussing David’s humiliating bed-wetting incident, it’s accidentally on a live stream for thousands to see.
Issa Rae is a four-time Emmy nominee. She landed a nomination in this category for “Insecure” in 2018. This year, her work as a producer has landed her bids in Comedy Series for “Insecure” and Variety Sketch Series for “A Black Lady Sketch Show.” She has submitted the episode “Lowkey Happy” for consideration: Issa and Lawrence spend an evening discussing their relationship with its flaws and mistakes. They talk about their feelings and desires before Issa ultimately leaves and walks home alone.
This is Tracee Ellis Ross’ fourth Emmy nomination. All four of her Comedy Lead Actress bids are for playing Rainbow Johnson on “black-ish.” This year, she has submitted the episode “Kid Life Crisis” for consideration: Bow and Dre meet a couple without children on an all-inclusive vacation at a beach resort. They fantasize about a trip without kids but soon begin to realize they prefer their normal reality.
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