Cast Art of American Horror Story: Freak Show
Welcome to my Dream Emmys! I’m sure you were thrilled about many of this year’s nominations, but I bet there were some snubs that really pissed you off. So i took it upon myself to award some of the best in television. Here are my dream nominees and winners in the drama categories.
Best Lead Actress
Winner: Mariska Hargitay - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Mariska Hargitay gives the performance of her career in the latest season of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Her character, Detective Olivia Benson, goes from being the hero to the victim as she is kidnapped and assaulted by a sociopathic serial killer/rapist. Hargitay is chilling, intense, brave in a game-changing season of SVU.
Lizzy Caplan is now playing in the big leagues in Showtime’s sexy period drama Masters of Sex where she plays a driven single mother Virginia Johnson. Claire Danes continues to carry Homeland on her shoulders as the mentally-troubled CIA agent Carrie Matheson. Bates Motel would be nothing without Vera Farmiga’s lovably manipulative Norma Bates. Keri Russell does stellar work as Soviet spy Elizabeth Jennings on FX’s espionage drama The Americans. And Robin Wright steps up her game as the power-hungry Claire Underwood in the second season of Netflix’s House of Cards.
Best Lead Actor
Winner: Matthew McConaughey - True Detective
Newly Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey has been on a hot streak which has transcended into television. He stars as the complicatedly mystifying detective Rust Cohle on the first season of HBO’s anthology series True Detective. In an eight-episode arc that had its ups and downs, McConaughey’s excellence remained consistent.
Bryan Cranston went out with a bang in the final episodes of Breaking Bad. Although he doesn’t take the top prize in my book this year, his legacy as the iconic Walter White will live on forever. Jon Hamm continues to give an effective performance as the dashingly and at times intoxicated Don Draper on the four-time Emmy winner Mad Men. Matthew Rhys has reached Cranston-like levels of talent as Soviet spy Phillip Jennings this season on The Americans. Kevin Spacey is ruthless and intimidating as president-hopeful Francis Underwood on House of Cards. And Michael Sheen gives a complex performance as Dr. William Masters, a pioneer in the study of sexual behavior on Masters of Sex.
Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Anna Gunn - Breaking Bad
There’s no doubt that Anna Gunn had her finest moments during the last season of Breaking Bad. Her character, Skyler White, has been one of televisions most developed supporting characters. Her heartbreaking performance had us on the verge of tears.
Betsy Brandt had always been underrated in her incredibly talented cast, but she does her best work in the final season of Breaking Bad. As Marie Schrader, she becomes her DEA husband’s engine in taking down Heisenberg and Brandt’s work should not longer be ignored. Frances Fisher gives a touching performance as Lucille Langston, a woman who gets a second chance on motherhood on ABC’s freshman drama series Resurrection. Caitlin Fitzgerald is optimistic and painful as Dr. Master’s family-yearning wife Libby on Masters of Sex. Lena Headey excels as the beautifully manipulative Cersei Lannister on HBO’s Game of Thrones. And Annet Mahendru becomes a crucial role as the conflicted double agent Nina Sergeevna on The Americans.
Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Peter Dinklage - Game of Thrones
Peter Dinklage continues to be single-handedly the greatest among his ensemble cast on Game of Thrones. As Tyrion Lannister, he is placed on trial for murder and raw emotion bleeds out in some of Season Four’s most memorable moments.
Noah Emmerich has hit the role of his career as FBI agent Stan Beeman whose work and family life are crumbling beneath his feet on The Americans. Dean Norris went out in a blaze of glory as Hank Schrader, who would stop at nothing to bring Heisenberg to justice during the final episodes of Breaking Bad. Mandy Patinkin continues do solid work as CIA head Saul Berenson on Homeland. Aaron Paul concludes his incredible breakthrough performance as Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad. And Kurtwood Smith is very moving as a grieving father Henry Langston whose son comes back to life on Resurrection.
Best Guest Actress
Winner: Allison Janney - Masters of Sex
The wonderfully talented Allison Janney holds much of the spotlight on Masters of Sex as Magaret Scully, a married woman seeking to fulfill her sexual desires. She literally bares all in a raw, heartbreaking performance.
Ann Dowd has emerged as one of television’s finest character actors. Her guest spot as Dr. Master’s overbearing mother was an enjoyable addition to the cast of Masters of Sex. Kate Mara gives an effective and a shockingly brief performance as Washington insider Zoe Barnes on House of Cards. Margo Martindale continues to be vital as ranking Soviet member Claudia on The Americans. Julianne Nicholson is downplayed yet still moving as Dr. Lillian DePaul on Masters of Sex. And Diane Rigg provides some comic relief as the down-to-earth Olenna Tyrell on Game of Thrones.
Best Guest Actor
Winner: Pablo Schreiber - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Many of you know him as Pornstache on Orange is the New Black, but on Law & Order: SVU, he’s a horrific monster. As William Lewis, a serial killer and rapist, he uses his charm to get away with murder and is truly a criminal mastermind as he kidnaps Olivia Benson in her most life-threatening situation. Schreiber captures what a TV villain should be: smart, manipulative, and pure evil.
Michael Bowen returns as the neo-Nazi Uncle Jack as he ultimately become the show’s villain in the final season of Breaking Bad. Beau Bridges gives one of his best performances of his career as Barton Scully, a married man struggling with his homosexuality on Masters of Sex. Tracy Letts makes a great counterpart to Patinkin’s Berenson as political adversary Andrew Lockhart on Homeland. Robert Morse gives a musical farewell as Bert Cooper on the episodes leading to conclusion of Mad Men. And Costa Ronin is a fun addition to The Americans cast as Oleg Burov.
Winner: The Americans
This is the one category I created for my Dream Emmys and this year, it goes to The Americans. Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell give masterful performances and have great chemistry as husband and wife, mother and father, and undercover Soviet spies Phillip and Elizabeth Jennings. Noah Emmerich, Margo Martindale, and Costa Ronin do some great work and supporting actors Allison Wright, Richard Thomas, and Susan Misner are put to work as well, but Annet Mahendru wins the title of MVP as she gives the most impressive performance for such an up-and-comer. Also worth noting are Holly Taylor and Keidrich Sellati who are given the task to make child roles in adult dramas interesting.
The cast of Breaking Bad comes at a close second with the incredible performances the final season included. Cranston, Paul, and Gunn hit it out of the park and Norris and Brandt step up their game. The unsung actors of the cast like Bob Odenkirk, RJ Mitte, and Laura Fraser also deserve praising. The actors of Game of Thrones continue to keep things lively. Some of the other notable performances this year go to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gwendoline Christie, Maisie Williams, and Rory McCann. Along with Spacey, Wright, and Mara, House of Cards finds great talent in Michael Kelly, Sakina Jaffrey, Sebastian Arcelus, and Reg E. Cathey. Mad Men’s cast continues to display fine work from Elisabeth Moss, John Slattery, Christina Hendricks, and Kiernan Shipka. And Masters of Sex has many juicy performances worth mentioning from Teddy Sears, Annaleigh Ashford, Nicholas D’Agosto, and Helene Yorke.
Winner: “Ozymandias” - Breaking Bad
This was no contest. “Ozymandias” may be single-handedly be one of the best hours of television written in the last decade. The episode marked the tipping to to Breaking Bad's ultimate resolution resulting in death and the destruction of family. ”Ozymandias” was intense, emotional, and captured what Breaking Bad was all about.
"Echos" marked the ending of a remarkable second season of The Americans. Filled with twist and turns, the episode leaves us begging for more until Season Three. “Felina” was a poetically-written finale that tied (nearly) all of Breaking Bad's loose ends and laying some of television's most beloved characters to rest. “The Long Bright Dark” introduced us to the beautifully grim world True Detective takes place. “Love and Marriage” juggles the story lines of Masters of Sex it forms an intricate web of relationship and emotion. And “Waterloo” is a wonderfully satisfying set-up to Mad Men's final episodes.
Winner: “Who Goes There” - True Detective
True Detective had terrific direction, but “Who Goes There” features it at its best. Aside from the mesmerizing imagery and top-notch acting, this episode features the incredibly crafted six-minute tracking shot, never seen in television. Those six-minutes alone deserve gold.
"Chapter 14" definitely was House of Card's strongest episode, which served as the Season Two premiere, and sets the tone for the rest of the season. “Comrades” did a similar job with The Americans, but does greater at foreshadowing what’s to come. “Felina” felt surreal in a sense that its direction flowed seamlessly in Breaking Bad's series finale. “Manhigh” was the perfect sum-up of Master of Sex's strong first season. And “The Watchers of the Wall” was Game of Throne's most-focused episode filled with action and suspense.
Winner: Breaking Bad (AMC)
Breaking Bad will be remembered as one of the best television shows of our lifetime. With outstanding acting, terrific writing, and the direction from show creator Vince Gilligan, there has been no show celebrated like this more since The Sopranos.
Now that Breaking Bad is off the air, I can easily say that The Americans is the best drama currently on television. Combined as a political thriller and a family drama, this FX sophomore series truly has Breaking Bad potential. Game of Thrones had its best year yet and where it left off leaves us begging for more. Mad Men may have lost some steam last year, but it gained back some momentum this year prepping for next year’s final episodes. Masters of Sex is one of TV’s freshest dramas, balancing a class-act drama with such an edgy premise. And True Detective has established a new genre in the anthology series, keeping itself concise with its performances and storytelling.
The Americans - 10 Nominations, 1 Win
Bates Motel - 1 Nomination, 0 Wins
Breaking Bad - 11 Nominations, 3 Wins
Game of Thrones - 6 Nominations, 1 Win
Homeland - 3 Nominations, 0 Wins
House of Cards - 5 Nominations, 0 Wins
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - 2 Nominations, 2 Wins
Mad Men - 5 Nominations, 0 Wins
Masters of Sex - 11 Nominations, 1 Win
Resurrection - 2 Nominations, 0 Wins
True Detective - 4 Nominations, 2 Wins
Click on the link below for my Dream Emmys in the comedy categories!
What shows would be included in your Dream Emmys?
Well, I can’t say that I’m disappointed, but then again I’m not thrilled about this year’s Emmys either.
Nearly everyone that won tonight has won before (Parsons, Louis-Dreyfus, Burrell, Janney, Cranston, Marguilles, Paul, Gunn, Bates, Lange, etc.), many of them winning last year. Despite the addition of fresh television programming such as Orange is the New Black, Silicon Valley, and True Detective, Breaking Bad won the top prize for its second and final time for Best Drama and Modern Family won its fifth consecutive win for Best Comedy (cue the eye-roll).
Nonetheless, let’s delve into tonight’s big winners and losers.
Pretty Much All of the Mini-Series/Movie Actor Winners
It was pretty much expected that Fargo and The Normal Heart were going to each win its respective award for Best Mini-Series and Best Movie. However, the acting categories were real head-turners. First, the Supporting Actress award was expected to go to either Fargo's Alison Tolman or The Normal Heart's Julia Roberts. Instead, it went to Kathy Bates from American Horror Story: Coven. Second, Matt Bomer was expected to win Best Supporting Actor for his highly-praised performance in The Normal Heart yet it went to Sherlock's Martin Freeman. Third, the Lead Actress award was expected to go to Cicely Tyson (The Trip to Bountiful) but instead went to returning champ Jessica Lange (AHS: Coven). Finally, Billy Bob Thorton, Mark Ruffalo, Idris Elba, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Martin Freeman all lost to Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch. Many considered it to be a three-legged race between Thorton, Ruffalo, and Freeman. Clearly, they were wrong.
Orange is the New Black
Orange is the New Black made a big splash in the nominations but went home empty-handed at the Emmys (aside from Uzo Aduba’s win for Guest Actress at the Creative Emmys ceremony). It’s easily one of the most talked-about shows and is arguably one of the best comedies out there. It’s a real shame that the TV Academy hasn’t realized it yet.
While it’s no surprise that Bryan Cranston would win one last time for his iconic performance as Walter White on Breaking Bad, Matthew McConaughey was as equally deserving if not more for is role on HBO’s crime drama True Detective. Not to discredit Cranston, but he had already won three times and with McConaughey, it was a one-time performance for the anthology series. It would have been nice to have given him the honor he deserves.
Everything Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad swept this year’s Emmys and rightfully so. Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, and Anna Gunn were all awarded for their final performances. Moira Walley-Beckett won for writing one of the greatest hours of television of the last decade (“Ozymandias”). And Executive Producer/Creator Vince Gilligan was showered with a second Best Drama win.
Although it would have been nice to see Taylor Schilling win for Best Actress in a comedy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the queen of television comedy. Her three-year streak for her performance as the incompetent yet determine Vice President Selina Meyer on HBO’s Veep. Her level of talent is above all others.
Allison Janney is one of television’s finest working actresses. She won not one but two Emmys this year for her guest performance on Showtime’s Masters of Sex and her supporting performance on CBS’s Mom. She is truly gifted and the TV Academy has known it for decades.
Seth Meyers joked about how no one remembers the 1976 Emmys because it was on a Monday and it seems that history will repeat itself. He did a fine job as the host but he is certainly not one of the more memorable emcees. And unfortunately, the repeat winners will hurt the ceremony in the long run. Hopefully this will be a wakeup call for Emmy voters to award the worthy nominees, not the safe choices.
Welcome to Emmy Talk 2014! Here are my predictions in the drama categories at this year’s ceremony.
Best Lead Actress
Nominees: Claire Danes (Homeland), Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex) Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey), Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), Kerry Washington (Scandal), Robin Wright (House of Cards)
Will Win: Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife)
Could Win: Claire Danes or Robin Wright
Should Win: Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex)
Should Have Been Nominated: Keri Russell (The Americans)
The TV Academy may have shut out The Good Wife out of the Best Drama category, but I believe they will reward its star Julianna Margulies, a two-time Emmy winner, for the show’s most talked-about season yet. Claire Danes, who has reigned in this category for the past two years, has her odds now set against her after a not-so-well-received third season of Homeland, which also failed to earn a Best Drama bid. Robin Wright has a decent shot as she had greater and juicier presence in the second season of House of Cards.
Best Lead Actor
Nominees: Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Woody Harrelson (True Detective), Matthew McConaughey (True Detective), Kevin Spacey (House of Cards)
Will Win: Matthew McConaughey (True Detective)
Could Win: Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
Should Win: Matthew McConaughey (True Detective)
Should Have Been Nominated: Matthew Rhys (The Americans)
One of the most highly-anticipated categories of the year is this one solely because it’s between three-time Emmy champ Bryan Cranston and newly Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey. It seems like a sure thing that Breaking Bad will walk away with the top prize as well as acting trophies for Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn (see below). But with McConaughey, it was a one-time-only performance and a terrific one at that.
Best Supporting Actress
Nominees: Christine Baranski (The Good Wife), Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey), Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Lena Headey (Game of Thrones), Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)
Will Win: Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad)
Could Win: Christine Baranski (The Good Wife)
Should Win: Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad)
Should Have Been Nominated: Annet Mahendru (The Americans)
Anna Gunn is a sure bet. I mean, have you not seen “Ozymandias”?
Best Supporting Actor
Nominees: Jim Carter (Downton Abbey), Josh Charles (The Good Wife), Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Mandy Patinkin (Homeland), Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), Jon Voight (Ray Donovan)
Will Win: Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)
Could Win: Josh Charles or Peter Dinklage
Should Win: Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
Should Have Been Nominated: Dean Norris (Breaking Bad)
Of all of the acting categories, this is the biggest tossup. The odds are heavily in Aaron Paul’s favor due to his two previous wins and the bountiful love for Breaking Bad. However, it’s not set in stone, or should I say “gold”. Josh Charles made headlines for his shocking exit of The Good Wife, Jon Voight won the Golden Globe for his performance in Ray Donovan, and previous winner Peter Dinklage had a tremendous season on Game of Thrones.
Nominees: ”Chapter 14” (House of Cards), “Episode 4.1” (Downton Abbey), “Farewell Daddy Blues” (Boardwalk Empire), “Felina” (Breaking Bad), “The Watchers of the Wall” (Game of Thrones), “Who Goes There” (True Detective)
Will Win: ”Who Goes There” (True Detective)
Could Win: ”Felina” (Breaking Bad)
Should Win: ”Who Goes There” (True Detective)
Should Have Been Nominated: ”Comrades” (The Americans)
This is another tossup between Breaking Bad and True Detective. “Felina” offered a poetic conclusion to television greatness that is Breaking Bad. However, the well-directed True Detective stepped up its game in “Who Goes There” with that epic six-minute tracking shot (look it up on Youtube). Those six minutes alone deserve gold.
Nominees: ”Chapter 14” (House of Cards), “The Children” (Game of Thrones), “Felina” (Breaking Bad), “Ozymandias” (Breaking Bad), “Secret Fate of All Life” (True Detective)
Will Win: ”Ozymandias” (Breaking Bad)
Could Win: ”Felina” (Breaking Bad) or ”Secret Fate of All Life” (True Detective)
Should Win: ”Ozymandias” (Breaking Bad)
Should Have Been Nominated: ”Echos” (The Americans)
It may not have been the series finale, buy many consider “Ozymandias” to be the single greatest episode of Breaking Bad ever. Emotional, intense, and action-packed, “Ozymandias” captured what the show was all about. Its series finale “Felina” has a long shot, and True Detective's “Secret Fate of All Life” has even a longer shot. Either way, my money's on “Ozymandias”.
Nominees: Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Mad Men, True Detective
Will Win: Breaking Bad
Could Win: True Detective (but not really)
Should Win: Breaking Bad
Should Have Been Nominated: The Americans
Since Breaking Bad is considered to be one of the greatest television shows of the 21st century let alone of all time, it’s very, very, VERY difficult not to see it win the top prize. The only disadvantage the show has is that it’s been off the air for nearly a year. Since then, there’s been lots of great television (i.e. True Detective). But let’s be honest, Breaking Bad is Emmy written all over it.
For my predictions in the comedy categories, click on the link below.
Welcome back to Emmy Talk 2014! Here are my predictions in the comedy categories at this year’s ceremony.
Best Lead Actress
Nominees: Lena Dunham (Girls), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), Melissa McCarthy (Mike and Molly), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black)
Will Win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)
Could Win: Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black)
Should Win: Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black)
Should Have Been Nominated: Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project)
JLD is an Emmy darling. A four-time winner and a fifteen-time nominee, she is looking at her third consecutive win in this category as the goofy vice president Selina Meyer. Previous winner Melissa McCarthy or multiple-nominee Amy Poehler can pull an upset, but Taylor Schilling’s breakthrough performance on Orange is the New Black cannot be ignored. She may not nab the award this year, so watch out for her next year.
Best Lead Actor
Nominees: Louis C.K. (Louie), Don Cheadle (House of Lies), Ricky Gervias (Derek), Matt LeBlanc (Episodes), William H. Macy (Shameless), Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Will Win: Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Could Win: Ricky Gervais (Derek)
Should Win: Anyone Really
Should Have Been Nominated: Andy Daly (Review)
A double-nominee this year, Jim Parsons has won three times in this category as the iconic Sheldon on television’s most-watched sitcom. However, this category is the biggest crab shoot with previous nominees Don Cheadle, Louis C.K, and Matt LeBlanc and first-time nominees William H. Macy and Ricky Gervias for their most recent work. It’s really anyone’s game.
Best Supporting Actress
Nominees: Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory) Julie Bowen (Modern Family), Anna Chlumsky (Veep), Allison Janney (Mom), Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live), Kate Mulgrew (Orange is the New Black)
Will Win: Allison Janney (Mom)
Could Win: Kate Mulgrew (Orange is the New Black)
Should Win: Kate Mulgrew (Orange is the New Black)
Should Have Been Nominated: Niecy Nash (Getting On)
This category marked one of this year’s biggest shakeups at the Emmys. Two of them, Janney and Mulgrew, are the frontrunners. Although Mulgrew gives the stronger performance, perhaps Emmy voters will reward OITNB the top prize instead, letting Janney walk away double-fisted with Emmys (She won Best Guest Actress in a Drama for her work in Masters of Sex last weekend.).
Best Supporting Actor
Nominees: Fred Armisen (Portlandia) Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Ty Burrell (Modern Family), Adam Driver (Girls), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), Tony Hale (Veep)
Will Win: Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Could Win: Tony Hale (Veep)
Should Win: Braugher or Hale
Should Have Been Nominated: Albert Tsai (Trophy Wife)
Two-time Emmy winner Andre Braugher earned Brooklyn Nine-Nine's sole nomination for his performance as the deadpanning Captain Holt. He'll have to fight off last year's winner Tony Hale. A category once owned by Modern Family has now dwindled down to two nominees. Jesse Tyler Ferguson could be the dark horse for his performance as Mitchell Pritchett, whose season-finale wedding received lots of media attention.
Nominees: ”Elevator Part 6” (Louie) “Episode 309” (Episodes), “Las Vegas” (Modern Family), “Lesbian Request Denied” (Orange is the New Black), “Minimum Value Product” (Silicon Valley), “100” (Glee)
Will Win: ”Lesbian Request Denied” (Orange is the New Black)
Could Win: ”Las Vegas” (Modern Family)
Should Win: ”Lesbian Request Denied” (Orange is the New Black)
Should Have Been Nominated: ”Can’t Fix Crazy” (Orange is the New Black)
Orange is the New Black has its cast to thank for winning in this category. Like Modern Family, the directing award tends to go to the shows with bountiful, colorful characters and OITNB certainly fits the description. However, the TV Academy’s undying love for Modern Family may take the cake.
Nominees: ”Episode 305” (Episodes), “I Wasn’t Ready” (Orange is the New Black), “Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency” (Silicon Valley), “So Did the Fat Lady” (Louie), “Special Relationship” (Veep)
Will Win: ”So Did the Fat Lady” (Louie)
Could Win: ”I Wasn’t Ready” (Orange is the New Black)
Should Win: ”I Wasn’t Ready” (Orange is the New Black)
Should Have Been Nominated: ”You’ve Got Sexted” (The Mindy Project)
Critical darling Louie hasn’t won the top prize, but I think the TV Academy will throw Louis C.K. a bone in this category. The episode in particular, “So Did the Fat Lady”, got lots of attention for Sarah Baker’s heartbreaking monologue-like rant. However, if the number of nominations Orange is the New Black scored this year say something, awards could be heading its way.
Nominees: The Big Bang Theory, Louie, Modern Family, Orange is the New Black, Silicon Valley, Veep
Will Win: Orange is the New Black
Could Win: Modern Family
Should Win: Orange is the New Black
Should Have Been Nominated: The Mindy Project
I think the time has come to crown a new comedy winner. Modern Family has reigned at the Emmys for four years and the tides are now shifting elsewhere. Orange is the New Black is certainly the most talked about comedy out there. With a tremendous cast and brilliant storytelling, these convicts will overturn the Emmys.
For my Dream Emmy nominees and winners, click on the link below.
Stay tuned for my predictions in the drama categories!
Orange is the New Black arguably has the greatest TV ensemble of all time. And it’s only natural that we all have our favorites. Here is my ranking of my top 20 inmates of Linchfield Correctional Facility.
20. Soso (Kimiko Glenn)
Introduced as Season Two’s fish-out-of-water, Soso at first comes off as a chatty chipmunk. I’m sure many of you were thinking, “Will this bitch ever shut up?”. Yes, I was thinking that too at one point, but she soon settled herself in and found her true calling- leading a hunger strike. Although she doesn’t make the wisest decisions, Soso means well and wears her heart on her sleeve. Plus, I can’t wait to see what crazy hippy shit she did in her flashback episode that will likely happen next season.
Most Memorable Quote: "Were you trying to pimp me out?"
19. Norma (Annie Golden)
Although Norma never talks, her face still says a thousand words. She managed to keep her job in the kitchen when her pal Red was dethroned as Head Chef. She even tried to use her ins in the kitchen to try to knock off Vee. She’s totally with it.
Most Memorable Quote: "Just like a blind man I wandered along, Worries and fears I claimed for my own, Then like the blind man that God gave back his sight, Praise the Lord I saw the light."
18. Sister Ingalls (Beth Fowler)
Sister Ingalls is the one to turn to for advice. With religious morals and elderly wisdom, many of the inmates look up to her. We got to know her a lot better in Season Two, where we discovered she was a nun gone wild before being incarcerated. She became the face of Soso’s hunger strike for change of inmate treatment. There was MLK, Gandhi, Harvey Milk, and then there’s Sister Ingalls.
Most Memorable Quote: "I’ve masturbated."
17. Yoga Jones (Constance Shulman)
If you ever need to physically unwind, company at lunch, or just someone to talk to, you turn to Yoga Jones. Kindhearted, gentle, and humble, she seems to be one of the very few genuine people in the prison.
Most Memorable Quote: "Sometimes you just wanna feel something."
16. Black Cindy (Andrienne C. Moore)
Black Cindy is the queen of sass in Linchfield. Her laughs are iconic and her dance moves are infectious. She may have been one of those luggage-robbing TSA agents that we all hate, but we sure do love her in prison.
Most Memorable Quote: ”Bitch! If grateful paid the bills we’d all be Bill Gates.”
15. Tricia (Madeline Brewer)
In Season One, we were introduced to Tricia, the sick pup of the inmates. As shown via flashbacks, she lived off the streets and stole, or in her words “pay her debts”. Tricia was Linchfield’s most lovable and fragile inmates. She unfortunately passed away of a drug overdose, one of the show’s saddest moment.
Most Memorable Quote: "Reflect, yo."
14. Gloria Mendoza (Selenis Levya)
Tensions were high when Mendoza took over as Head Chef of the kitchen. Whether you liked this job promotion or not, she knows how to lay down the law. She does her best to hold her own against Red’s and Vee’s partnerships/manipulations. Don’t cross Mendoza or she may chop something off.
Most Memorable Quote: ”I don’t trust any of you crazy bitches. You both fuckin’ scorpions.”
13. Big Boo (Lea DeLaria)
Raunchy, mouthy, and horny, Big Boo the lone wolf. She looks after herself and herself only. She has no solid alliances whether she attempts to form them or not. Perhaps she needs some TLC, but nevertheless, she is OITNB's most colorful characters. By the way, have you seen her dance?
Most Memorable Quote: "Ain’t no party like a Big Boo party."
12. Nicky (Natasha Lyonne)
Got to talk your problems out? Come to Nicky. Want to hear the truth about how the system works? Come to Nicky. Need someone to fuck? Come to Nicky. Nicky is everybody’s pal. She’s one of the few people in prison that has no enemies.
Most Memorable Quote: "It’s like the Hamptons, only fuckin’ horrible."
11. Sophia Burset (Laverne Cox)
Sophia always looks fabulous and that’s because she is fabulous. On top of being the inmates’ go-to hair stylist, she’s a good listener and gives good advice. And her heart is as golden as her hair.
Most Memorable Quote: "I don’t do sausage on my breakfast sandwich."
10. Poussey (Samira Wiley)
Poussey is definitely one of the most developed characters of the prisoners. Beginning as Taystee’s soft-spoken partner in crime, she became her own person in Season Two when Vee started stirring trouble. She’s levelheaded, reliable, and trustworthy. You can’t ask for much more in an inmate. Plus, she’s got a pee funnel.
Most Memorable Quote: ”I want the kind of job where I could just chill, you know."
9. Morello (Yael Stone)
The romantically optimistic Morello is a happy-go-lucky inmate. Emotionally vulnerable planning her dream wedding in prison, she makes the best out of prison by landing the job as a driver. Heartwarming and heartbreaking, Morello is the sweetest thing.
Most Memorable Quote: ”You don’t go Jessica Simpson when you’ve got Rihanna.”
8. Pennsatucky (Taryn Manning)
You may hate her or love to hate her for that matter, but you’ve got to admit that Pennsatucky is one hell of a television character. Psycho-religious Pennsatucky is a self-proclaimed almighty attempting to spiritually enlighten her fellow inmates to the point of threatening their lives, specifically Piper Chapman. No one can ever forget their brawl in the snow that capped off Season One. What a cliffhanger! In Season Two, we found out she’s still alive (with new teeth!) and appears to have turned a new leaf since the smackdown. Actually, she was sort of pleasant. Either way, Pennsatucky is bat-shit crazy and she’s wonderful for it.
Most Memorable Quote: ”I’m an angel of God. I mean, look at my dress.”
7. Taystee (Danielle Brooks)
Taystee was an early-on favorite when entering Linchfield. She’s down-to-earth, nice, and pretty hysterical. We get to know her a lot better in Season Two, with her complicated backstory with Vee and how that takes affect on her life in prison. One of the most conflicted inmates this season, Taystee eventually sees the light and rekindles her wounded relationship with her best pal Poussey.
Most Memorable Quote: ”So I’m sitting there, barbecue sauce on my titties, and I’m like ‘What the fuck? Again?”
6. Miss Rosa (Barbara Rosenblat)
Miss Rosa was definitely one of the more downplayed inmates during Season One, but we’re glad she had much more of a presence in Season Two. A former bank robber, a cancer-battling Rosa gives her tricks of the trade with a young cancer patient as they form an unlikely friendship. Her screen time may have been relatively brief, but Miss Rosa is truly a touching person.
Most Memorable Quote: ”Always so rude, that one.”
5. Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren (Uzo Adub)
Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren was definitely our first WTF inmate we were introduced to. She claimed Piper as her prison wife and with that marked her territory by pissing on the floor of Piper’s cell. But soon, we realize that she’s more than looney. She has feelings and her heart is always in the right place. Just goes to show that even some of the best people are misunderstood.
Most Memorable Quote: ”Chocolate and vanilla swirl!”
4. Vee (Lorraine Toussaint)
Just because you’re not a nice person, that doesn’t stop you from being great. Vee is truly one of the best TV villains in recent memory. intimidating, manipulative, and monstrous, she makes her big debut in Season Two as a returning inmate who calls the shots. She makes Pennsatucky look like Elmo.
Most Memorable Quote: ”I’m an adult. It gives me the right to make bad choices.”
3, Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling)
Piper Chapman is our guide to Linchfield Correctional Facility. She’s more than the privileged white girl that her fellow inmates initially thought of her. She evolves from playing the victim to being the survivor. She’ll overcome anyone who stands in her way (Red, Pennsatucky, Alex, Healy, Figueroa, etc.). Piper may be on the brink of sanity, but she’s still our hero.
Most Memorable Quote: "I’m scared that I’m not myself in here and I’m scared that I am."
2. Miss Claudette (Michelle Hurst)
She may run a tight ship and may be difficult to share a bunk with, but Miss Claudette is the unsung inmate at Linchfield. She did not welcome Piper with open arms. Eventually, they get along and soon form a unique bond. Violent behavior sends Miss Claudette to maximum security towards the end of Season One and we haven’t seen her since. It’s a shame because she truly is a lovable gem. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she’ll make a return for Season Three.
Most Memorable Quote: "Hope is a dangerous thing."
1. Red (Kate Mulgrew)
No one can compare to Red. Introduced as the angry Russian that ran the kitchen, we soon discover that she’s a mother figure to many of the inmates. Once dethroned from the kitchen, she starts a new side gig as a smuggler. But her business and life are threatened when Vee turns to Linchfield and we immediately stand behind Red. She is tough, smart, caring, and affectionate. Every time she speaks, I just want to give her a hug. Now how many times can that be said about a convict?
Most Memorable Quote: "2 strikes, that’s all she gets. Russians don’t play baseball."
The Senior Pack (Dale Soules, Yvette Freeman, Judith Roberts, & Patricia Squire)
The Senior Pack, made up of Frieda, Irma, Taslitz, and Jimmy, welcomed Red into their group when she had no one else to turn to. Made up of years of experience and wisdom, they form the prison’s one true sisterhood. They soon assist Red in operating the green house, the heart of her smuggling operation. Introduced in Season Two, Jimmy was sadly released for reasons of insanity and Taslitz was transfered after attempting to kill Vee (she should have worn her glasses). They are quiet, they are loyal, they are great.
Most Memorable Quote: ”How about I kill the bitch?”
You can read my review of Season Two at the link below.
Who’s your favorite inmate?