It's not only HBO performers that are trying to make a late entry into the lead comedy actress race. Another is Krysten Ritter of ABC's "Don't Trust the B," which airs its third episode tonight.
Ritter has already established herself as an awards-worthy actress through such performances as her guest arc on "Breaking Bad" a couple of years back. Her part as as Chloe on "Don't Trust the B" is fairly far removed from her more introverted "Breaking Bad" work, but the common ground is how magnetic she clearly is.
Speaking of common ground, Ritter and "Don't Trust" co-star Dreama Walker (June) offer an interesting kind of parallel to Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs of CBS' "2 Broke Girls" — amid obvious stylistic differences, each of their programs offers a dark, raunchy comedic take on two roommates thrown together in New York. But one premiered only two weeks ago, while the other launched back in September, and you have to wonder what kind of difference that might make in the splitting-hairs world of the Emmys.
Dennings, who like Ritter probably has the meatier of the two roles on their respective shows, has had more time to build attention for herself, which can only help even if "Broke" somehow already feels like yesterday's news. Melissa McCarthy offers a recent precedent of a freshman series star grabbing the lead comedy actress Emmy (though as we've said before, having "Bridesmaids" come out during Emmy season really seemed to turbo-thrust McCarthy's candidacy).
The thing that Ritter might have in her favor is that while Dennings' Max is often deadpan, Ritter's Chloe is pretty darn electric. That's the kind of thing you need to make an impact this late in the game.
It's hard to overcome the feeling that Ritter's sitcom arrival might be too late for this year's Emmys, compared with those who have been doing this for months or years, but it's definitely a performance that deserves a look.