With Emmy nominations right around the corner I’ve taken the time to reflect on my favorite shows of the past year, my not so favorite shows of the last year, and everything in between to try and determine who was the best of the best. It wasn’t all that easy due to some category messiness (True Detective as a full length drama series and Shameless as a comedy come to mind) but I think I got a good hold on who I would love to see announced on the morning of the nominations.
In a perfect world Modern Family would be barred from all awards love –except for maybe Ty Burrell who is and always has been the best part-Shameless and Orange is the New Black would have a big presence on the nominations list and underappreciated genre heavy shows such as Hannibal and Orphan Black would get their due despite the cold shoulder last year.
Now I understand that I might be missing some notables but despite how it may appear, I can’t actually watch every single show that airs each year no matter how hard I try. However, with the help of my editor Chris we’ve come up with what I think is a worthwhile list of who and what we would like to see on the Emmy ballot July 10th.
So, first up-Comedy!
BEST COMEDY SERIES
Orange is the New Black
To me this year has been all about the comedy. From old favorites such as Veep to the newer kids on the block such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine starting out strong this past year has been a particularly eclectic one for comedy with great selections all across the board. Critics have even begrudgingly admitted that The Big Bang Theory had a good season overall. Which makes my picks so difficult! Louie went off the rails with his most experimental and polarizing season yet while Veep returned to form with a stellar season closer. Orange is the New Black has some of the best written characters on TV with complexity and growth apparent as we watch these beautifully drawn perople. Shameless has the strongest cast on TV period and despite category fraud had it’s best season to date and then there are the newbies Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Broad City which both had me laughing as well as falling in love with the characters. It was a superb year for comedy which makes the likely winners all the more disappointing.
SHOULD WIN: Shameless
Will Win: Modern Family
Best Comedy Actor
William H. Macy (Shameless)
Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Louis CK (Louie)
Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation)
Andy Daly (Review)
Elijah Wood (Wilfred)
Again there is some great talent from all avenues of characters. Andy Daly was the big, critical if not commercial break out of the year with the show Review. Adam Scott got to play lead and therefor got to shake away his “straight man” character and allow more goofiness into his persona while Eliajh Wood has to bridge the “dramedy” genre and managed to successfully do physical comedy as well his quieter, unhinged moments. However, Wood has zero possibility of ever being recognized ever and boy is it such a shame. Louis CK and William H. Macy are two other actors who have been given some more drama to work with but have still managed to bring the humor to the show and Macy’s final scenes of the season four are the best he’s ever been. And then there’s Andy Samberg who at the start of the season was either the reason people were tuning into Brooklyn Nine-Nine or staying away from it. Luckily for fans his shtick was dropped quickly and Jake Peralta was turned into a multi-layered character, rather than simply the one who delivered the punchline.
Should Win: Louis CK
Will Win: Jim Parsons
Emmy Rossum (Shameless)
Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black)
Illana Glazer (Broad City)
Abbie Jacobson (Broad City)
Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)
This list is more than enough proof that there are some amazing actresses in the comedy field. For this category I lean towards the Broad City girls Illana Glazer and Abbie Jacobson for straight out and out comedy. Both have areas where they excel-Glazer has acute timing with her delivery while Jacobson has outright stole scenes with her physicality alone but it’s the two of them together that create a comedic dream team. Considering the unlikelihood of their inclusion there are plenty of other names worth mentioning. Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Amy Poehler continue to do great work seasons into their shows without allowing any of their performances to become dull. Taylor Schilling gets a lot of slack due to Piper being one of the least interesting characters in a show that full of amazing ones which tends to overshadow just how funny she is. Her deadpan, dead eye stares are fantastic and people seem to forget that Piper is supposed to be insufferable. And then there is Emmy Rossum who has been doing some of the best work on television for the past four seasons of Shameless. Considering she was never nominated under the drama category there’s only slim hope she’ll get one here but I’ll be foolishly naïve for the time being and believe that voters will actually be judging on the caliber of work put in and nominate her. She was at her best this season and should be recognized for it.
Should Win: Emmy Rossum
Will Win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Best Comedy Supporting Actor
Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Noel Fisher (Shameless)
Tony Hale (Veep)
Lamorne Morris (New Girl)
Adam Driver (Girls)
Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation)
Always an interesting category it seems as if a fair few of these names actually stand a chance of being nominated unless all four of the men on Modern Family are nominated in which case I’ll throw an angry social media fit. Tony Hale seems like a lock after his surprise win last year while Adam Driver continues to oddly be the best thing about the HBO series Girls which had mixed reviews for its most recent season. Lamorne Morris was easily the highlight of season three of New Girl as he channeled a manic energy into his character Winston-a saving grace of a hugely disappointing season. Andre Braugher has been an Emmy favorite in the past so should make a return but a win seems harder. As Captain Holt he broke character tropes and created a straight laced, straight faced boss who meshes well with all of the actors and was hilarious by refusing to emote. Nick Offerman was tremendous as always and actually got to explore new avenues of the character when he got to play dad. And then there’s Noel Fisher. If I could get one pick for one person, only one, to make the ballot it would be him for the tremendous and subtle work he did this season on Shameless as Mickey. Mickey is a tough character to tackle and Fisher did it with delicacy making this rough and tumble kid who’s kind of an ass be hugely sympathetic. I don’t think another actor could pull it off like he did or provide just the right amount of insight into the character’s growth.
Should Win: Andre Braugher
Will Win: Oh someone from Modern Family likely.
Best Comedy Supporting Actress
Melissa Fumero (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Anna Chomsky (Veep)
Danielle Brooks (Orange is the New Black)
Nina Conti (Family Tree)
Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Kate Mulgrew (Orange is the New Black)
Another stacked list but my vote goes with the Brooklyn Nine-Nine ladies who, like Braugher, managed to take typical tropes and flip them. Melissa Fumero is the type A personality but added just enough charisma and neuroses to build a full character. Her dieting storyline and her moments with Peralta are when she truly got to shine. Stephanie Beatriz took a character typically assigned to men-the silent, stoic, rude for no reason-and made it so much more likeable by adding some rarely seen sincerity as well some fantastic delivery. Then there are the Orange is the New Black ladies who are all amazing so picking two is just hard but Kate Mulgrew has the most name recognition and Danielle Brooks had the most flat out comedy in season one. If Veep continues on with its winning cycle Anna Chomsky should have little problem finding a deserved nomination. My out in left field pick goes to Nina Conti for her performance in the under-seen, underappreciated HBO series Family Tree which starred Chris O’Dowd. As the sister with an unusual attachment to her hand puppet Monk she was hilarious, a little sad and her performance was under played so that it didn’t seem showy but was undoubtedly a highlight of a great series.
Should Win: Melissa Fumero
Will Win: Either surprise win for Kate Mulgrew or a Modern Family win…again
Best Writing in a Comedy
The Party (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
So Did the Fat Lady (Louie)
Iron City (Shameless)
Can’t Fix Crazy (Orange is the New Black)
Working Girl (Broad City)
Here’s where I have a bit of a hard time because when it comes to the writing what’s “best” is all up to what you’re looking for in a comedy. I’m looking to laugh and if that’s the criteria my vote would easily go to either “The Party” by Brooklyn Nine-Nine or “Working Girl” for Broad City.
Best Directing in a Comedy
Last Supper (Broad City)
Elevator, Part 6 (Louie)
The Chickening (Orange is the New Black)
Looking for the Future (Looking)
Innovative or artfully done directing isn’t always utilized in comedies but luckily this year had more stand outs. The mentioned episodes of Shameless and Looking both approached scenes with a more cinematic point of view and created depth in worlds already well developed. They took normal sets and places and made them bigger and grander than they were.
And there we are with the comedy! Let me know who your picks would be as well as who you think are the most realistic to win. We can dream right? My drama picks will be up soon!