Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:
Conchata Ferrell, Two and a Half Men "Repeated Blows to His Unformed Head"
Pro: Ferrell has the most screentime of all the nominees (11 minutes), so voters will see her the most (plus she has a ten second cameo in Holland Taylor's submission). On top of delivering hilarious one-liners, Ferrell also has two memorable scenes. Her first is when she is crying in Charlie's bathroom, comiserating over how her daughter let her down when she got knocked up. The second comes at the end, as Ferrell helps deliver her own granddaughter.
Con: The biggest problem for Ferrell is that despite her own Emmy status (this is her third nomination), Taylor is more respected in the industry. It will be difficult for fans of the show to vote for one actress over the other, particularly in a situation where one actress had better material.
Jenna Fischer, The Office "The Job"
Pro: What Fischer may lack in pure hilarity, she makes up for with charm, sympathy and honesty. She has a moderate amount of screentime (roughly 8 minutes) but she makes the most of it. What will be key to her potential victory is the impact that her submission packs. The final three minutes (the final three minutes of the episode) are Fischer's finest moments. With tears in her eyes, it's hard to deny her anything.
Con: The role doesn't command huge laughs and despite having that wonderful final scene, will it be impactful enough to sustain in voters' minds after watching four other ladies?
Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds "Pittsburgh"
Pro: If voters are looking for the next boozy diva of this category (hello Karen Walker) then Perkins could certainly pull ahead. Her best scene is when she whips out a gun on Mary-Louise Parker, shooting at the cabinets, not realizing the gun is loaded. Plus, some voters might think she was robbed last year.
Con: Perkins' biggest problem is the lack of screentime (she clocks in at roughly 3 minutes). Aside from the gun scene, her other scenes are very brief and probably won't leave much of an impact on viewers. Voters are probably not as fond of Weeds as we would like to think.
Jaime Pressly, My Name Is Earl "Jump for Joy"
Pro: She has three big scenes that will probably attract voters (spanning roughly 7 minutes of screentime). The opening scene summarizes why she's in court and subsequently, we learn about Joy's previous convictions. She also is funny when having a phone conversation with both Earl and Catalina. And she gets to act drunk, while pole dancing. She too might be seen as overlooked from last year.
Con: After failing to win last year in a weaker field, it seems like Pressly is doomed to be a forever also-ran in this category. The love for the show has also dwindled (still no Jason Lee in Best Actor) and her submission highlights her character at her most white-trash.
Holland Taylor, Two and a Half Men "The Sea Is A Harsh Mistress"
Pro: She makes the most of her screentime (8 minutes), as she puts down her sons, while at the same time, taking advantage of Charlie's charity. The studio audience seemed to have had an uproarious response to seeing Taylor in giant fake lips, which could potentially get voters to crack a smile. Her last big scene with Charlie shows some sympathy as she reveals that she worries over Charlie's well-being. And the last two winners of this category where an over-bearing mother and a high society drunk. Taylor's character is both.
Con: Same problem as Ferrell, only switched. Taylor is highly respected, as she earns herself her fifth overall nominations (with a previous win in Supporting Actress-Drama for The Practice). But her submission is not as awesome as Ferrell's.
Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
Pro: She gives a vicious performance in the hospital scene with Judith Light and then a brief moment with Alan Dale. She lords over these scenes with gusto and if voters are in the mood for such a stylized performance (as well as a comeback story), she has potential to be a very popular winner.
Con: However, despite those scenes, in the remainder of her 6 minutes of screentime, she doesn't come close to matching them. The editing proccess will make her performance seem very uneven (a problem that will also hurt Perkins). On top of that, her character is an über-bitch that will likely get no sympathy from voters
Let's eliminate Elizabeth Perkins and Vanessa Williams. The former's submission is just not enough here and the latter will garner scattered votes, but not enough to muster a win. Jaime Pressly is probably not going to win, but I would say that because her submission is funnier, she outranks the first two. Holland Taylor is more likely to siphon votes away from Conchata Ferrell, which will allow Jenna Fischer to just barely squeak by with her first Emmy award.
1. Jenna Fischer
2. Conchata Ferrell
3. Holland Taylor
4. Jaime Pressly
5. Vanessa Williams
6. Elizabeth Perkins