This week I’ll be pretending that I have an Emmy vote and discussing my picks for all the major categories. Once it gets closer to the time that nominees are actually announced, I’ll do an official “picks” column. Today: Outstanding Comedy Series!
Well, we are finally to the series awards. First up is Outstanding Comedy Series, which features a number of big time newcomers and some solid stalwarts that won’t be ready to give up their position.
Parks and Recreation
The NBC comedy grew into its own skin early in season two and quickly became the best comedy on all of television. If there was any justice in the world, being the best comedy on television would mean that it would win the Emmy acknowledging it as such. Parks and Rec doesn’t have the buzz or romantic anchor that make good promos like The Office, but it has a whole lot of heart, perhaps even more than its 9 p.m. cousin. The writing and performances were sharp all season and the series has a number of great individual episodes it can submit that are Emmy-worthy.
Parks and Recreation might be the “best” comedy of the year, but damn if Community isn’t my favorite. The pop culture references and intertextuality might turn off the general viewer — or Emmy voter — but they are tailor-made for a viewer like me and based on the responses I’ve read and obtained personally, the same goes for most college-age person. But like Parks and Rec, Community has a surprising amount of heart behind all those film and pop culture references.
The Starz comedy that just finished its second (and probably final) season will sure as hell not be nominated for real or even come close to sniffing the ballot, and that’s a shame. I’ve talked about the series a lot here on the blog and gave it lots of praise when I nominated Adam Scott and Lizzy Caplan, but here’s some more. I’ve mentioned all the humor, but it seems like Party Down is actually very realistic in the way it portrays young people attempting to break into Hollywood’s bottom rungs anyway they can. In that way, it’s much better than the completely ridiculous and conflict-averse Entourage, a series that’s also humor-averse and always gets nominated. Ugh.
Though its third season was more uneven and sometimes more frustrating than its glorious second season, Chuck remains one of the most enjoyable series on television. It has so many things working against it to get a real nomination — its hour-long length, the genre-mixing, its still sort-of low profile — but is still deserving to be acknowledging for accomplishing a lot in its third season. No series on television balances slapstick comedy, smarter, pop culture-infused humor, quality action set pieces and romantic melodrama than Chuck. None. That’s obviously credit to Chris Fedak, Josh Schwartz and their wonderful writing staff and of course, the performers. Hey, at least there’s a season four!
I’ve noted on numerous occasions that I am not the biggest Modern Family fan in the world, but there’s no question that it’s A.) the most buzzed-about new half-hour series and B.) pretty damn solid for what is. I think I have a problem enjoying family comedies for whatever reason, but this is definitely the best one I’ve seen in recent memory. There’s absolutely no way Modern Family doesn’t get nominated and it’s probably sitting on the inside spot to actually win this award. I still think there are other, better series out there, but the ABC product deserves to be in any top six, that much is for certain.
This last slot was difficult to determine. I love The Office and assume that it will be nominated based on its few strong episodes, but gosh were some of those efforts this year bad. Same goes for How I Met Your Mother. I mostly love Glee as well and assume it will be nominated here, but just can’t put the insanity of those last nine episodes behind me. Thus, I went with the three-time repeat winner that was better than I thought throughout its fourth season in 30 Rock. It’s a guaranteed nominee and will have to tussle with Modern Family for the victory and honestly, I’d be more okay with 30 Rock winning this season than I was last year. Season four is an improvement over the generally mediocre season three.
Tomorrow: Drama series! The final post!
Past days of the Dream Ballot