Lead Actress - Drama

Rachel Griffiths

Series: “Six Feet Under”

Years on show: 2

Emmy pedigree: First nomination

Episode submitted: “The Secret”

2001-02 shining moment: Whether it was sleeping with surfers, screaming at Nate or trying to come to terms with her whacked-out parents and brother, Brenda was an emotional train wreck.

Pro: Griffiths already has the Golden Globe for supporting actress and her acting chops are universally applauded.

Con: Her character is so unlikable and complex. Will that play against her?

Quotable: “I think the things that we really want tend to be the things that we have to put ourselves out there to get. It’s very rare, I think, for anyone, no matter what their occupation, that things just fall in their lap.”

Critical viewpoint: “Brenda’s contradictory behavior became disturbing this year, (turning) on a dime from clear-sightedness to self-delusion. Plus, the Australian Griffiths gets extra credit for using a pitch-perfect American accent.” Matthew Gilbert, the Boston Globe

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more