The Golden Globes: Best Actress -- Drama
The species known as television viewers (scientific name blearyeyeus videoboxus) are an odd sort. When it comes to comedies we tend to converge on the same watering hole . . . in other words, we all like to laugh and we watch many of the same shows as our friends do. When it comes to dramas, though, the species can be a bit picky. Take me, for example. I'm a big fan of shows like ER and Bones, but have never watched an episode of Grey's Anatomy or Lost. There are others who are big fans of those two shows, but can't stand ER or Bones.
Why do I bring this up? Well, when it came time to write the post on the Golden Globe nominees for best actress in a drama the pickiness surfaced. That's why, rather than me writing 'Never watched the show' in my analysis of the five nominees, I decided to turn this post over to some of the other members of the TV Squad staff to give their opinions of the actresses and who should win.
So, thanks in advance to Anna, Jen, Brett, and Jay, and let's begin after the jump.
Patricia Arquette, Medium
Brett Love: With a previous Golden Globe nomination and an Emmy win to her credit, Arquette should be one of the favorites to win. It's well deserved too. Much like Kyra Sedgewick in The Closer, Medium succeeds and fails mostly on the back of Arquette. Where Lilly, Falco, and Pompeo are often relegated to the background as the rest of their ensembles take center stage, almost everything in Medium revolves around Arquette. She handles the pressure well, playing what is a difficult role. Allison DuBois is a complicated character that moves constantly from the home life where she is happy just being a mother to the terror of watching someone die in her dreams. She doesn't have the luxury of a show that gets top ratings or has a big buzz factor, but she does deliver a great performance every week.
Edie Falco, The Sopranos
Jay Black: I thought that David Chase wrote the second episode of this season specifically so Edie Falco could win an award. Remember the scene where she was praying at Tony's side while he was in the coma? She was telling him how sorry she was that she said that he was going to hell. She cried, but in a refined Meryl Streep way, not in an over-the-top indie film actress kind of way. In fact, she had such a show-stopper of a soliloquy, I thought the title of the episode was, "Edie gets her 4th Emmy and 3rd Golden Globe." It's perfect submission material. I think she's a shoo-in simply because of the theatrical nature of the show -- she gets a chance to showcase over the course of a longer shooting schedule with scripts that have had more time to gestate. It helps that she's on a better show, too. It's a lot easier to emote when you're bouncing off world class actors like Gandolfini than when you're trying to generate some emotion in front of a Green Screen cloud of big black smoke.
Evangeline Lilly, Lost -- Lilly was the actress who had the most feedback.
Jen Creer: Personal favorite of mine. But I'd be happy with a win from Falco, Sedgwick, or Lilly. She is treading on kind of dangerous territory-- she breaks into this huge, breathtaking smile sometimes that is going to become gimmicky like Julia Roberts' smile trick if she isn't careful. But she is a very open, honest actress. She doesn't seem to hide much, but she always has more and more and more layers, so she is also complicated. One of the things that impresses me the most about Lilly is her ability to convincing and easily convey a multitude of emotions. She is multi-faceted. But I will say that even though I like her, I think Falco and Sedgwick are the better at their craft. They are also older and have much more experience. For a first project, Lilly is breathtaking (and I am not talking about her looks, though, of course, she is beautiful).
Anna Johns: This could be Evangeline Lilly's year. While Lost ain't so hot this season, she practically stole the show during season two. Her role as Kate has her switching from tough chick to lovesick puppy, torn between Sawyer and Jack. While some of the other female characters have disappeared into the background (Sun, Claire), Kate remains a dominant force on Lost and I, for one, miss her when she's not featured in an episode. The only thing going against her? Like I said, Lost ain't so hot right now.
Brett: For me, Lilly shouldn't even be nominated. I don't think there is anything about her performance that shows exceptional ability, which is not entirely her fault. The show has so many characters that she disappears for weeks at a time, and even when on-screen so much of what they are given to do is quick bits of dialogue and then off to something else.
Ellen Pompeo, Grey's Anatomy
Jen: [Ellen] acts like she is asleep most of the time. And she has irritating mannerisms and ticks that she thinks passes for acting. She doesn't register any genuine emotion. Her character is pretty muted and boring and flaky and tedious, and she must be one hell of a good lay, because I don't know why anybody would put up with her romantically otherwise. I see nothing that indicates whatsoever that she would be a good surgeon, or even intelligent enough to have graduated from college, let alone medical school. Top surgeon? Please. And her doe-in-the-head-lights response, with her arms up like she is getting to run away approach to each medical case doesn't make it any better.
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Jen: She is razor sharp, but her voice drips this honeyed sweetness that belies her ability to rip anyone to shreds with a couple of really well-chosen phrases. One of my favorite character quirks (don't know if it's Sedgwick's choice or the director) is that she is rail thin, but the character eats CONSTANTLY. She never stops eating. She is always eating candy bars at really inappropriate moments. She plays dumb sometimes, just to throw people off further (and boy do other characters fall for her looks). Like I said, haven't seen much of the show, but was impressed with what I have seen.
Anna: Kyra Sedgwick has built a wonderfully quirky character with Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson on The Closer. She wears her JC Penney dresses with pride--having no clue that her clothes don't even match--and her southern "Thank You" gets bitchier every week. Sedgwick is a real contender this year because she strikes a difficult balance with Brenda's character: she can play a fumbling idiot and be the source of the episode's comedy, and then she can turn around and be the source of its drama, too.
Who should win:
Jen: Without having seen Medium or Sopranos, I'd give it to Sedgwick.
Brett: If I had my pick, I'd give the award to Sedgwick.
Anna: I'd say Sedgwick. But after reading Jay's comments, it sounds like Edie Falco is going to get it.
Who will win: If network synergy wins out I'd say Medium's Arquette. If not, then I'd say Sedgwick or Falco.