If TV.com Ran the Emmys: Our Dream Nominees for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

By Kaitlin Thomas

Jun 13, 2014

The 2014 Emmy nominations ballots are out, which means it's time to decide whose names we'd like to hear called on Thursday, July 10 when the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences announces the shows and actors who're officially in the running for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards.

I asked some of my fellow TV.com staffers to join me in choosing our dream nominees, and after hours of internal debates and monologues that would make even Scrubs' JD tell us to shut up already, we've boldly narrowed down our picks—and as you'll see at the bottom of this page, we're prepared to defend them, too!

Each day for the next couple weeks, we'll be bringing you our highly sought-after, well-respected, and very prolific thoughts and opinions on which shows and actors should make the cut. We've already revealed our selections for Supporting Actress in a Comedy and Supporting Actor in a Comedy, and today we're discussing leading ladies.

Editors' Note: You may notice that some of our nominees don't match up with the official Emmy ballots. That's not a mistake; we've taken a few liberties because we're only "dreaming" about the 10 "major" categories, and we didn't want to leave out deserving performers based simply on their submission strategies and our coverage plans. In come cases you may see folks from the miniseries and guest-star races in our lead and supporting wish lists.


WHY TAYLOR SCHILLING: I was initially against Schilling's performance in Orange Is the New Black, if only because it, along with her character Piper, were the least interesting and least sympathetic aspect of the show. I can't tell you exactly when that changed for me, but the reason it did is that I realized that despite being the lead in this massively talented ensemble, Schilling was doing what we normally find great supporting actors doing: reacting to everyone else around her, and grounding her reactions in some dramatic honesty. The show's bigger, meatier performances work in no small part because Schilling treats them exactly like how we'd imagine a white, privileged lady from Brooklyn would treat them. Throughout Season 1, Piper refused to make eye contact and plodded along, quietly flummoxed and deferential... until she snapped, and Schilling let all of Piper's confusion, isolation, and denied privilege come pouring out. — Noel Kirkpatrick

WHY EMMY ROSSUM: Showtime is hoping that submitting Shameless as a comedy will give the show and its cast a better chance at getting nominated, but Rossum's work feels especially odd on this side of the race. Still, there's a reason she's one of those performers who constantly appears on dream Emmy ballots, and I couldn't not include her. Shameless's fourth season took Fiona on a journey that began with a good job and health perks, led to an alcohol-infused tailspin, and concluded with a short stint in prison, and Rossum killed it every step of the way. The show's wild swings in tone can be frustrating, but with Rossum holding things together (even while Fiona is falling apart), Shameless, much like the Gallaghers, makes it work. — Cory Barker

Who would YOU nominate for Lead Actress in a Comedy?

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  • ReeceLeonard Jun 18, 2014

    Julia Louis-Dreyfus
    Amy Poehler
    Abbi Jacobson
    Ilana Glazer
    Taylor Schilling
    Lena Dunham

    with Julia Louis-Dreyfus winning.

  • AndreaMcCooey Jun 17, 2014

    Mindy Kaling is hilarious. As is Amy Poehler.

  • crazedtvhead91 Jun 17, 2014

    I just find that I always make this strange noise at the back of my throat whenever Lena Dunham is nominated for anything. Then I realize that I'm staring at the ceiling because apparently I'm rolling my eyes. What's up with that?

  • rye06p Jun 15, 2014

    Emmy Rossum
    Amy Poehler - Winner
    Taylor Schilling
    Julia Louis-Dreyfus
    Abbi Jacobson
    Ilana Glazer

  • marlonjones Jun 15, 2014

    I can't believe nobody mentioned Melissa McCarthy...shame on you!
    It's a toss between her and Julia Louis-Dreyfus for me.
    Taylor Schilling is great, but I wouldn't classify it as comedy.

  • nexpose Jun 15, 2014

    Remember you guys on the staff don't have to write about what it'd be for drama since it'd be the Game Of Throne awards, haha. Or I guess the upcoming one still has Breaking Bad so yeah. :P

  • davorsite2 Jun 14, 2014

    Taylor Schilling is my choice. I give this show a chance and now I'm hooked on it.

  • NatalyParent Jun 14, 2014

    Zooey Deschanels (New Girl), I like her weirdness. Melissa Fumero (Brooklyn Nine Nine), a model employee that wants so much to please her boss.

  • docspector Jun 14, 2014

    Malin Ackerman and Ashley Rickards both did great work for shows not enough people saw.
    Nobody on Community is arguably a "lead actress".
    Similarly, Martha Plimpton was great on "Raising Hope", but that should be a supporting nod, not a lead nod.
    Kristen Bell probably is a lead on House of Lies, but that's too dark a comedy to win a comedy award.

  • Veronikamdov Jun 14, 2014

    Well Emily should win all Emmy for eternity but.. her strenght isn´t in comedy parts, jesus. But seriously - can anyone explain to me why she hasn´t already win? Is there anyone, ANYONE who would see her and would critisize her acting? Would you even for a minute have a feeling that she isn´t heart broken, hard working, unhappy and strong Fiona? Honestly - I think she is as equally (if not better) good actor as Aaaron Paul, Bryan Cranston, Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Jessica Lange... (yeah, yeah - you will hate me that I put someone so young as Hugh here but he belongs there)

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