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CliqueClack Goes to the Emmys – Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy

This week's Clique Clack Goes to the Emmys look at the Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy race, our dream nominations, and who should win it all.

Welcome back to CliqueClack Goes to the Emmys, a column in which I break down my dream nominations (and winners) in a given category. This week — supporting actress in a comedy. Traditionally, this is the hardest category for me, first of all because there are always so many more supporting actors to choose from, and second of all because I tend to gravitate towards comedies with multiple women that I love. (I sadly didn’t have room for everyone from Community or Happy Endings, for example, and eliminating people from Parks and Recreation was like my own personal Sophie’s Choice.) But after much deliberation, the nominees are:

Yvette Nicole Brown, Community
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Busy Phillips, Cougar Town
Maya Rudolph, Up All Night
Casey Wilson, Happy Endings

Every year there’s one female cast member I really think stands out above the rest on Community. The first season I thought it was Allison Brie as Annie, the second season I thought it was Gillian Jacobs as Britta, and this season was all about Yvette Nicole Brown. After a frankly muddled pregnancy storyline in season 2, Shirley really came into her own this year, especially in episodes like “Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism” (which is by far the best argument for her winning it all), and “Urban Matrimony and the Sandwich Arts.”

It’s kind of criminal that Jane Krakowski hasn’t won an Emmy yet. She was my pick for last year, even if she didn’t win. (Boo! Hiss!) While this wasn’t her strongest year, her comedic acting skills even in a relatively weak year are miles beyond what most actresses could dream of. Her stint as a judge of the fake reality show  America’s Kidz Got Singing was as hilarious as her settling into a relationship with her boyfriend Paul (Will Forte) was touching. And kind of weird and gross. But mostly touching.

Speaking of crimes the Emmys regularly commit, how has Busy Phillips never earned herself an Emmy nod? Her character Laurie on Cougar Town is somehow dippy and ridiculous while still being sweet and sympathetic. This season was huge for Laurie, from quitting the real estate business to open her dream cake shop to romancing a soldier stationed overseas online. And that’s to say nothing of her ongoing never-quite-there romance with Travis (played by Dan Byrd), which should be icky. Really, you shouldn’t root for it. I wasn’t rooting for it. But Busy Phillips made me root for it.

Up All Night is, ironically, a bit of a yawn as a show, but the real saving grace for it is Maya Rudolph, who uses her Saturday Night Live-honed chops to add some much-needed laughs and sparkle. It’s not easy to carry an entire show, deliver all the best lines, and not even be a lead actor, but somehow Maya Rudolph manages to do it all.

Choosing the funniest female cast member of Happy Endings is a bit like choosing what flavor of ice cream is most delicious, by which I mean impossible. But this year ultimately was the year of Penny, and so to Penny the nod goes. There are so many great Penny moments, from her participation in the John Hughes scavenger hunt to ultimately triumph against long-time rivals to her evolving relationship with her mom (played by Megan Mullaly, who could easily garner herself a nod for Best Guest Appearance). Plus, it’s just really hard to argue with this performance (excuse the Spanish subtitles):

And the winner is… As hard as it was to deny Wilson the Emmy (and again, it was very hard, what is it with these Happy Endings castmembers nearly taking it all?), this one is going to have to go to Yvette Nicole Brown. She’s criminally under-appreciated, even by Community fans, her work this season (especially against Joel McHale) has been stellar, and how could you have watched the Foosball Episode and not have her win?

It’s impossible. She’s a force to be reckoned with, and it’s about time she got some recognition for that.

Photo Credit: NBC

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