The emmy nominations are one day away, so here are my picks for the female nominees, regardless of whether it's a feminist thing or not - here's what I think. Here's how I would do it if I got to choose the nominees.
Best Actress in a Comedic Role:
1. Kaley Cuoco - The Big Bang Theory
Reasons: She is really good at making the whole street smart/people smart vs. book smart dichotomy entertaining. She has amazing chemistry with each of the male leads on the show and she has added some real depth to her character this season with her feelings for Lennard. Plus, she's not just a pretty face - she isn't afraid to be goofy. This is the way every comic actress should be.
2. Alyson Hannigan - How I Met Your Mother
The "adorable girlfriend" character has never been so funny. She's not just a female sidekick, she's a superstar of comic timing and delivery. She's also quite the physical comedian, who holds her own whenever the show gets slapstick-y.
3. Cobie Smulders - How I Met Your Mother
She somehow makes Canadian jokes funny and fresh again. She's a total ingenue, but she makes the ingenue interesting and finds the humour in her.
4. Leighton Meester - Gossip Girl
I say Gossip Girl is social satire, so Blair Waldorf is a comedic role. Meester brings the crisp delivery and telling expressions that punctuate the show's brilliant one-liners. Blair is the villainesque character you want to root for, and part of that is because she's so bloody funny.
5. Tina Fey - 30 Rock.
Liz Lemon is neurotic and bizarre but she makes you revel in being what society often considers pathetic. She has lots of follies, but she seems to have fun. Single girls aren't pathetic and they aren't all obsessed with finding husbands - sometimes they're just independent individuals who are better off on their own. Fey's performance creates something of an anti-Carrie Bradshaw, and it rocks!
Best Actress in a Dramatic Role
Sandrah Oh - Grey's Anatomy
Could someone just give this girl a bloody emmy already? She's brilliant, okay? Even without any dialogue, she conveys more emotion in a single expression than Ellen Pompeo does in an entire episode.
Jeanne Tripplehorn - Big Love
This season, Barb went crazy as a control freak, and it was amazing. Love the character development. The whole show is nuanced, but Tripplehorn's character in particular is subtle but complicated.
Chloe Sevigny - Big Love
Her character gave us a lot of dramatic turns this season. Affairs with office-workers and secret children may have come off as melo-dramatic in the hands of a less skilled performer, but Sevigny brings the goods.
Glen Close - Damages
She's Glen Close, so need I say more.
Ginnifer Goodwin - Big Love
Bill should be proud - all three of his wives made my list. She's just such an endearing yet disturbing character. How did Margie end up the way she is? 23 with three kids living in a polygamous marriage with a man who won't even let her pursue her own business goals? This season, Margie became more rebellious and started openly defying Bill and going behind his back to make her dreams come true. It was a subtle shift sometimes, and more blatant and other times, but Goodwin made her character's evolution seem believable, and for that she definitely deserves an emmy nomination.
All in all, I think we can be proud of what women performers have accomplished this year on television. If only people would watch 30 Rock, and other shows starring women, they might learn to appreciate this too.