Lorraine Bracco holds a trump card in this year’s Emmy game. But Sarah Jessica Parker is throwing the dice.
With Emmy rules dictating that lead acting nominees in a series choose just one sample episode from the season for consideration, thesps are forced to bet on singular snapshots to showcase their depth and maximize their bid with voters.
The choice for drama contenders is more obvious: Bring on the emotion. But in the comedy category, it can be tricky: Do you uncork the laughs, or mix it up with some underlying poignancy?
In the dramatic actress category, Bracco’s choice is an obvious tour de force — an episode in which her normally stoic character has a breakdown after being raped. It has plenty of heft and helps her chances of overcoming the belief by some industryites that she’s really a supporting player competing among lead thesps.
But Parker is wagering that voters want dark drama in the comedy slots. And they often do — but usually balanced with light laughs.
Parker keeps things heavy throughout her “Sex and the City” episode choice, even gushing tears when she’s dumped by her beau after confessing she cheated on him.
But two of Parker’s competitors in the category — “Ally McBeal’s” Calista Flockhart and “Everybody Loves Raymond’s” Patricia Heaton — are betting on a mix of laughs and tugs on the heartstrings in their submitted episodes.
“Will & Grace” star Debra Messing and “Malcolm in the Middle’s” Jane Kaczmarek are mixing it up: Both submitted flashback episodes in which their characters battle their male co-stars in flashbacks to key relationship moments. Curiously, both end with them in rainstorms at night.