The Emmy nominations will be announced July 19, and we’re already wondering who will end up nominated; in particular, the question of New York media darling Lena Dunham weighs upon us. Ms. Dunham, creator of HBO’s Girls, could get anywhere between zero and four nominations as creator, writer, director, and star of the show (she could get even more if multiple episodes are nominated for their directing and writing, which seems like a long shot). But is her acting Emmyish enough to stand up to a crowded category? Here are the six actresses whom we think will land in the winners’ circle:
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation: Ms. Poehler’s little-watched NBC sitcom inspires slavish devotion among its fans, and Ms. Poehler is the most important element of a talented ensemble. She’s like Ms. Dunham, but more establishment.
Tina Fey, 30 Rock: She’s the creator, writer, and star of an aggressively outré comedy–that’s been honored consistently through its now six-season run. She’s like Ms. Dunham, but way more venerable.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep: She’s the center of a well-regarded and often profane HBO comedy–and the past recipient of two Emmys, for Seinfeld and The New Adventures of Old Christine. She’s like Ms. Dunham with a better pedigree.
Laura Dern, Enlightened: Though not widely-watched, Ms. Dern’s Enlightened pushed the boundaries even of what HBO was capable of doing with the medium; her show was tragic and comic at once, and her performance transcended embarrassment to a sort of empathetic brilliance. She’s like Ms. Dunham, but middle-aged-people hip and not young-people hip.
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl: The show set off a firestorm of criticism in the media for Ms. Deschanel’s persona before it even aired–the question of “how should a girl on TV be?” was weirdly central to the discourse around this pretty unassuming actress. She’s like Ms. Dunham, but somehow a little less controversial? (Everyone seems to have gotten over it.)
Lena Dunham, Girls. Given how central Ms. Dunham has been to the discourse of the latter half of the TV season, we have to assume she’ll get in here. Or maybe we’re just overthinking it!