As I mentioned earlier, the strikes this summer and fall didn’t actually give me time to catch up on new shows I’d heard good things about. Instead, I watched a lot of movies and plenty of older TV. So this year I’m forgoing any limited/anthology series awards. I could have finagled those categories to include Justified: City Primeval and The Curse, but that didn’t feel right. So here are my picks for comedy and drama.
ENSEMBLE IN A COMEDY SERIES
Adam Scott, Ryan Hansen and Martin Starr rejoined Ken Marino in the trenches, while Megan Mullally and Jane Lynch had some success outside the catering world. But it was new cast members Tyrel Jackson Williams (as an aspiring social media star) and Zoe Chao (as a hopeful chef) who brought their own chaotic energy to this shit job, producing some of the biggest laughs of the year.
ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Harvey Guillén, What We Do in the Shadows
Guillermo finally got his wish (becoming a vampire), but with a slew of unintended consequences. The conflict led to some of the show’s most tender moments, in addition to some of its grossest sight sags.
ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Diane Morgan, Cunk on Earth
I thought long and hard about putting another redhead here (Emma Stone), but ultimately I had to choose the woman who kept a straight face asking real experts the dumbest questions about world history. It’s a remarkable achievement, but not as remarkable as Belgian techno anthem “Pump Up the Jam.”
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Tim Baltz, The Righteous Gemstones
BJ has long been my favorite character on the show. But this season he finally grew a backbone, standing up for himself and standing up to the man who made him a cuckold in the funniest, naked-est fight on TV. Baltz often stole scenes with a line-reading (or even an outfit), but this season he stole the whole show.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Belinda Bromilow, The Great
In a similar vein, Bromilow (as Peter’s aunt Elizabeth) took on an expanded role as Catherine’s chief adviser, reshaping Russia in her own image. She’s clever and kind but also insatiably horny and not afraid to get her hands dirty.
ENSEMBLE IN A DRAMA SERIES
While I try not to repeat when handing out these awards, it was basically impossible not to give the ensemble award to the cast of The Bear once again. The acting from the core cast got even better, and performers who had smaller roles in Season 1 (Abby Elliott, Matty Mathias) played a much bigger part and rose to the occasion.
ACTOR AND ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, The Last of Us
Pairing these two because their performances wouldn’t work without the other. Pascal could just be sullen and Ramsey could just be bratty. Together, their characters have such a deep connection that they make us feel every agonizing moment they’re apart.
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Ebon Moss-Bachrach, The Bear
The character with the most growth over the course of the season, with every triumph earned because of his ability to turn Richie from an asshole with a heart of gold into a mature, take-charge man with a purpose. His journey into fine dining and service? It’s a love story. Baby, just say yes.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Juliette Lewis, Yellowjackets
While Melanie Lynskey rightfully dominated the first season, Lewis took over in Season 2. Kidnapped by Lottie’s cult, she spends most of her time in captivity looking for a way to escape. But while her former teammate’s philosophy might be a little cuckoo bananas, it forces her to confront the demons that plagued her long before their plane crashed in the wilderness. Few performers are more suited for such a role.