Bellamy Young Makes 'Scandal' Better: This Woman Deserves an Emmy

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Bellamy Young as Mellie Grant in 'Scandal'
Bellamy Young as Mellie Grant in 'Scandal'

The Emmy nominations voting has begun, and while we can predict some of the usual awards season favorites, we have a few of our own picks — first-time nominees and under-the-radar picks alike — who deserve the honor this year. We're highlighting seven of those stars with video mash-ups of their best work, for your consideration.

The Scandal-ous affair between Washington D.C. fixer Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) wouldn't be as deliciously illicit if it weren't for "the other woman" — his wife.

It would be easy for us to root against uptight, scheming, ambitious Mellie Grant, but Bellamy Young's brilliant portrayal makes it a fair fight.

This season, Young dialed it up to 11 as we gained deeper insight into why the first lady acts the way she does. She broke our hearts during a flashback in "Everything's Coming Up Mellie," which took us back to the time before Fitz became governor of California — a time when they were happy and in love. But their relationship took a turn toward a ditch when Fitz's father, Big Jerry, raped Mellie.

[Related: Emmy Nominations to Be Announced by Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly]

Mellie kept mum and began to distance herself from her husband, which explains why she's become the ice queen she is now. But this season, that mask began to slip, and everyone saw just how damaged Mellie is. That vulnerability and hurt and rage finally burst out in the season finale, when Fitz learned the truth and confronted her. Mellie broke down sobbing in his arms.

Once upon a time, we wondered why Fitz didn't just divorce that, uh, witch. But now? It's complicated.

That reversal came about thanks to great writing, but also thanks to Young. She slips effortlessly between cold-blooded political ruthlessness, angry spurned wife, and wounded bird. She plays drunk better than anyone else on television (no one makes swigging moonshine look as classy as Mellie Grant). And Young reels off Shonda Rhimes's dense dialogue at insane speeds.

Kerry Washington gets a lot of (much deserved) attention as the lead in Scandal, but the show wouldn't be what it is without Young as her foil. In a cast filled with stellar actors, she stands out. Need further proof of why Young's excellent work is deserving of an Emmy nomination? Check out this compilation of memorable Mellie moments. Cheers, baby!

Scandal returns this fall, Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.

 

Click through this gallery to see all of our picks... and captions spoiler alert if you're not caught up on a particular show!


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