As we prepare for the return of several Emmy favorites during the final two months of the eligibility window, we should not forget the shows and performances we already loved this year, like Hulu’s excellent comedy “Only Murders in the Building,” which was once again anchored by memorable, award-worthy turns from stars Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez.
For their work in Season 1, Martin and Short both snagged Emmy nominations for Best Comedy Actor, while the show, which received 17 bids total, was up for Best Comedy Series, which earned all three stars a nomination as executive producers. Gomez, however, was left out of the Best Comedy Actress lineup. But after her character Mabel was framed for murder in Season 2, no one should be surprised if the former child actress joins her legendary co-stars and snags a bid herself this year.
In Season 2, Gomez shows off her impressive range after yet another Arconia resident — pushy board president Bunny (Jayne Houdyshell) — turns up dead. Although her performance is not as showy as that of Short, and while she doesn’t yet have the chops of a veteran like Martin, she nails the deadpan, straight woman routine, making her the indispensable third leg of the comedy trifecta. As Mabel works to clear her name and identify Bunny’s real killer, we also learn more about her, as well as her wants and desires, through a burgeoning new relationship with an artist (Cara Delevingne) and a devastating trip into her past. Gomez never misses a step, but it’s her turn in “Flipping the Pieces,” a late-season episode that sees Mabel finally uncover the reason she has a selective memory, that proves she belongs in the Emmy conversation. And with multiple slots opening up in the race for Best Comedy Actress, timing has never been better.
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Two-time reigning champ Jean Smart is not eligible for the three-peat, as “Hacks” is still filming and won’t air this Emmy cycle. Meanwhile, “Insecure” ended its run and “The Flight Attendant” likely has as well, which means the spots occupied by Issa Rae and Kaley Cuoco are also up for grabs this year. That leaves “Abbott Elementary’s” Quinta Brunson, “The Great’s” Elle Fanning, and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s” Rachel Brosnahan as the lone eligible returnees from last year’s six nominees. It’s not inconceivable then to think Gomez could grab one of the empty slots and she’s currently in fifth place at 11/1 in Gold Derby’s combined odds.
Of course, there are other strong contenders to consider as well, including “Dead to Me” star Christina Applegate, who received nominations for her work in each of the Netflix comedy’s first two seasons and filmed the third and final season following a diagnosis for multiple sclerosis. It’d be foolish to count her out at this point. “Wednesday” leading lady Jenna Ortega will try to follow up her Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations with an Emmy bid. She’s currently in third place with 11/2 odds.
Rounding out the rest of the top 10 are Natasha Lyonne (Peacock’s “Poker Face”), Linda Cardellini (“Dead to Me”), Cecily Strong (Apple TV+’s “Schmigadoon!”) and Bridget Everett (HBO’s “Somebody Somewhere”). Cardellini, who was nominated here in 2020, could return to the fold quite easily, and Strong, a supporting actress nominee in 2020 and 2021 for her work on “Saturday Night Live,” is no stranger to Emmy voters either. However, she seems less likely to make it in unless the second season of “Schmigadoon!” really takes off. A four-time nominee, Lyonne is looking to be Peacock’s acting breakthrough, while Everett is a long shot at best. All of this is to say that Gomez’s Emmy chances have never been better, and you shouldn’t be surprised if her name is finally called on nomination day.
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