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Strong, Smart And Bold

Actress In A Drama Series

August 08, 2007|Tom O'Neil

Episode: "Be Kind, Rewind." Allison (Arquette) dreams about the same day over and over, each time discovering more clues to the mystery of a dead body she spied in a car trunk after a crash.

Plus: Arquette pulled off an Emmy upset in 2005. Here she could do it again thanks to two great scenes: a magnificent rant, plus a shocking nightmare in which she believes her legs have been amputated.

Minus: Fantasy fare usually is cursed at showbiz awards, but, wait -- don't Hollywooders believe this psychic stuff is real?

Patricia Arquette, "Medium"

Edie Falco "The Sopranos"

Episode: "The Second Coming." Carmela (Falco) struggles to cope with her husband's depression, her son's suicide attempt and her daughter's career flip-flop.

Plus: Fab fireworks as she snaps at Tony: "In high school, you were the comedian, the rapscallion, but that was all BS, wasn't it?!" Finally, this tough mafia momma cracks and bursts into tears as she checks her son into the asylum, sighing, "But he was always so happy!"

Minus: Falco has won three times. She had a low profile this season and has little screen time in this episode (13 minutes).

Mariska Hargitay "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"

Episode: "Florida." Benson (Hargitay) discovers shocking family secrets during an investigation of her newfound half-brother.

Plus: Last year's winner returns with powerful scenes as she confronts her dark past. "My mother lied to me about so many things," she admits. "What if this was one of them? I need to know if the man who fathered me was a rapist."

Minus: Procedurals usually don't do well at the Emmys.

Kyra Sedgwick "The Closer"

Episode: "Slippin'." Brenda (Sedgwick) investigates students' deaths while coping with a visit from her buttinsky mother.

Plus: Sedgwick exudes impressive strength of character while taking on the warring street gangs of Los Angeles and a touching vulnerability when Brenda's mom discovers her secret romance.

Minus: Crime dramas like this one don't probe deep enough into Brenda's fascinating, complex character.

Minnie Driver "The Riches"

Episode: "Pilot." Mayhem ensues when con artists assume the identity of a wealthy family killed in an auto crash.

Plus: It's gutsy for a red-carpet lovely to take on the role of a paroled convict and recovering meth addict, but it also gives Driver the chance to grandstand emotionally with a flashy character.

Minus: Emmy voters are notorious snobs and could be turned off by her brazen trashiness.

Sally Field "Brothers & Sisters"

Episode: "Mistakes Were Made, Part 2" Liberal Nora (Field) must deal with her youngest son, Justin, overdosing after being recalled by the Army.

Plus: Just like the Oscars, the Emmys really, really like Field. She's won twice and could prevail again thanks to poignant flashbacks to 2001 when she confronted Justin about his decision to join the military. And modern-day scenes in which she adjusts to widowhood.

Minus: That bad wig worn by Field in the flashbacks.

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