In a category stacked with so many talented women, we’re hesitant to play favorites. Perennial noms like Tina Fey (30 Rock) and Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) are joined this year by newcomers like Zooey Deschanel (New Girl).

But the standout comedienne of 2012 has without a doubt been Girls creator Lena Dunham. You could call her show the anti-Sex and the City, yet the similarities are not completely lost on us: four gal pals surviving New York City while looking for love and professional fulfillment. As Hannah Horvath, Lena imparts a charming awkwardness to her character that is anything but Carrie Bradshaw-esque, and we couldn’t be more enamored with her. Why do we think Lena deserves the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series?

Her performance is fearless
How many uncomfortable situations can Hannah get herself into? Far more than any normal person, we’d have to say. From making a date rape joke during a job interview to telling her gynecologist that she might not mind contracting AIDS, Hannah’s ability to get things so hilariously wrong is pure comedy gold. Plus, getting naked on-screen as much as she does while flouting Hollywood’s unrealistic standard of physical beauty makes her our hero, period.

She mines her character’s vulnerability for humor
The things Hannah does aren’t always smart, like drinking opium-infused tea before visiting her parents. But her desire to be honest and seek the truth leads to some amusing consequences. The scene in which she tries to end things with her pseudo-boyfriend Adam — by telling him she doesn’t really want a relationship, just a guy who will think she’s the most interesting person in the world and will want to have sex with only her — is so on point yet so farcical at the same time.

She speaks to the modern girl in all of us
Sure, Girls has gotten a lot of flak for showing a limited slice of life as a young woman in New York. And we wouldn’t exactly wish to trade places with Hannah anytime soon (we like our job, thanks very much). But her struggle to live a meaningful life while facing the financial realities of a shrinking economy is something all women in their 20s have felt at some time. With Hannah awkwardness and imperfections and all Lena has created a character we’ve absolutely fallen in love with.

Do you think Lena deserves an Emmy?

Tiffany Wan is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @tiffwanee

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