Emmy Category Analysis: Lead Actress in a Drama Series – Blog

By Abe Friedtanzer

Former winner Zendaya in her exceptional episode of Euphoria

Although none of last year’s nominees for Lead Drama Actress were eligible this year, the shortlist for 2022 is actually pretty close to what this category was two years ago, although with a different actress from The Morning Show in the running. Two Emmy seasons ago, Zendaya was the big winner on her buzzy freshman show, and now her fiercest competition is on a buzzy freshman show, too. Melanie Lynskey is coming off a win from the Hollywood Critics Association. While it’s possible the other four will be considered in the race, it looks like a race between these two.

But let’s dig deeper. Brief descriptions of the nominees below – click on the episode titles for spoiler-filled reviews…

Laura Linney in Ozark


Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh in Killing Eve


It should be noted that this is the farewell nomination for half of this list, for these roles. While Sandra Oh was nominated for the four years of Kill Eve, only his co-star Jodie Comer won for the show’s second season. This year, they are the sole representatives of their show, which gained much more recognition for seasons two and three, so it’s highly unlikely that either of them will win. Linney, on the other hand, won Emmys for every role she was nominated for. except for ozark, and she also directs the installment she submitted for review. I wish the show had a better chance in categories like this, but Garner’s triple spin in supporting actress is her best bet. And then there’s Witherspoon, whose inclusion on costar Jennifer Aniston made me very happy because she had the much stronger season two arc. She also lost all awards season awards to a co-star from her previous nomination, Nicole Kidman in big little lies, so it’s good to see her recognized. Can she win? Definitely not.

Reese Witherspoon with former category winner Julianna Margulies on The Morning Show

This brings us to Zendaya and Lynskey. Objectively speaking, Zendaya feels like the favorite. Her show has more than double Lynskey’s nominations (16 to 7), and Zendaya herself is up for four different awards (music and lyrics for two different songs and as the show’s executive producer). But these sixteen are mostly interim and technical offers, while yellow jackets picked up one directing mention and two writing nominations. In the end, it’s about these two performers, and I think it’s hard to choose. As far as episodes go, Zendaya is a terrific showcase for battling addiction, but Lynskey is also absolutely terrific at hers. In 2020, I picked Zendaya to upset because voters would be torn between Aniston, Colman, and Linney. This year, another victory is certainly possible, but I would give the advantage to Lynskey.

Melanie Lynskey with Warren Kole in Yellowjackets

will win: Melanie Lynskey – Yellowjackets
should win: Melanie Lynskey – Yellowjackets
disclose: Zendaya – Euphoria