Culture of Pop

Emmy Picks: Best Guest Actress in a Drama

Photo credit: Ali Goldstein for Netflix.

Photo credit: Ali Goldstein for Netflix.


The Emmy ballots are out, which means it’s time to talk about who deserves to get nominated. Here are my Emmy picks for best guest actress in a drama.

Who Should Win

Natasha Lyonne (Orang is the New Black

Episode: “Empathy is a Boner Killer”

Natasha Lyonne plays cynical, snarky inmate Nicky Nichols. In this episode, Nicky finds herself torn between the temptation of heroine and her recovery. Despite her best efforts to stay on the right track, she’s betrayed and punished.

Who Else Should Be Nominated

Arielle Kebbel (UnREAL)

Episode: “Return”

Arielle Kebbel plays Britney, the designated “bitch” on UnREAL‘s show-within-a-show Everlasting. Britney understands that she’s being set up to look bad, but when her childhood is brought up as a way of manipulating her, she can’t hold it together and disappoints herself by going off and providing the show with the footage they want of her acting like a stereotypical bitch.

Rosario Dawson (Marvel’s Daredevil)

Episode: “The Man in the Box”

Rosario Dawson plays Claire Temple, a nurse who’s asked to participate in the cover-up of a friend’s murder. She makes the tough decision to resign.

Cicely Tyson (How to Get Away with Murder

Episode: “Anna Mae”

Cicely Tyson plays Ophelia Hartness, Annalise’s mother. She has a blunt, crass nature that plays well off of Annalise. This episode runs the gambit from lighter moments that are rich in subtext to raw emotional drama and Tyson is great at both.

Lorraine Toussaint (The Fosters)

Episode: “More Than Words”

Lorraine Toussaint plays Dana Adams, Lena’s mother. She tries to play peacekeeper when Lena refuses to forgive her step-brother for using hate speech against Dana decades ago.

Eliza Coupe (Quantico)

Episode: “Turn”

Eliza Coupe plays Hannah Wyland, a confident and assertive FBI agent. Her strong presence plays well and Coupe really understands Quantico‘s tone.

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