‘Griselda’ will finally bring Sofia Vergara back to the Emmys

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Sofia Vergara is back on our small screens in a big way thanks to the her new Netflix series “Griselda.” The lavish production chronicles the rise of Griselda Blanco, known as the “cocaine Godmother,” as she flees from Medellín, Colombia, to Miami and creates one of the most notorious cartels in history.

Vergara gives her best performance in years as the ruthless, demanding, and brutal Griselda. She owns every scene she’s in and eats up not just the scenery but the entire cast, too. She commands every moment and delivers a complex portrait of a powerful woman, with critics agreeing Vergara is at the top of her game.

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Barry Levitt (Empire) observed: “‘Griselda’ has given Vergara the chance to prove that she’s also a gifted dramatic actor — a challenge she more than rises to. Vergara (who also serves as executive producer) practically dissolves into the role, delivering an astonishing performance… Vergara is such a force, delivering a character that’s both a complete terror and someone who can nurture with motherly love. Her cartel adoringly refers to her as ‘the Godmother,’ and it is Vergara’s ability to effortlessly shift between these two modes that makes her such a striking presence. Every moment hangs on Vergara’s work.”

Proma Khosla (Indie Wire) noted: “Vergara’s take on Blanco is tough and determined, but quite visibly vulnerable, even tentative, about her own capacity for violence and discipline… Fact or fiction, Vergara’s performance casts a sharp light on how she has been underutilized in her career, and just how long a shadow she can cast with production power and a team that knows and pushes her potential.”

Tom Gliatto (People Magazine) wrote: “Vergara’s performance is an irresistible star turn that never sacrifices an almost- retro sense of glamour, no matter how many hit jobs Griselda orders. Using a cigarette as an elegant prop, Vergara could be in an old black-and-white Hollywood production. You can imagine her standing on a balcony, half listening to a cocktail being shaken in the room behind her while a band plays a rumba below.”

Vergara is set to be an Emmy contender once again after four prior bids. She was nominated for Best Comedy Supporting Actress in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. Those bids were all for “Modern Family” and although she never won, it shows she was very much liked. Unfortunately, Vergara just hasn’t had many projects since “Modern Family” to showcase her talents as an actress, least of all her dramatic talents. But “Griselda” is exactly that. Emmy voters like nominating performers who can prove they are versatile, particularly in this category.

Stand-up comedian Ali Wong won earlier this year for her dramatic role in “Beef;” comedic performer Michaela Coel was nominated for her dark and dramatic turn in “I May Destroy You;” and Regina King switched things up by starring in the superhero series “Watchmen,” which won her an Emmy. Emmy voters value versatility and Vergara proves she has that with “Griselda.”

Vergara also portrays a real person in this series, another surefire way to snag a bid in this category. Recent such nominees include Jessica Chastain (“George & Tammy”), Sarah Paulson (“Impeachment: American Crime Story”), Lily James (“Pam & Tommy”), Julia Garner (“Inventing Anna”), and Amanda Seyfried (“The Dropout”). Vergara fits the bill here, too. Vergara is also a big name in TV thanks to her stint on “Modern Family,” and big TV names tend to do well in this category. Paulson has been nominated a bunch of times here, most recently for “Impeachment: American Crime Story,” Garner was nominated for “Inventing Anna,” and Kerry Washington picked up a bid for “Little Fires Everywhere.”

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