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Emmys 2011: Outstanding Comedy Series

June 22, 2011

Outstanding Comedy Series

The ballot allows for ten nominees, but they typically narrow it down to six. I’m not sure what they’re doing this year, but this is what I am doing: I’m giving you ten options. The six that would be on MY dream ballot – meaning some of them haven’t got a chance in hell of a real nomination – are written in orange. As I have said in the past, this is my list; if you don’t like what’s on it, go sign up for a website and make your own list. 

30 Rock – Ummm… it’s been nominated four times. And won three consecutive times. Nice track record. In 2009, it was nominated for 22 Emmys (the most ever in a single year for a comedy series). Overall the show has been nominated for 79 different awards and won 29. That’s a holy shit moment when you really take a second to think about it. There’s no chance it won’t be nominated. 30 Rock is the The West Wing of comedies.


Community – This one’s a hard one. No nominations last year, despite its quietly brilliant season. Possibly too intelligent for its own good, the show does great stand-alone, themed episodes. It took me a few episodes to get into the show, but once I did I am quick to give credit where it’s due. The producers and writers take chances with this one and isn’t that what the Emmys are about?


 Parks and Recreation – I tried watching it three times. I mean, it’s from Amy Poehler and she’s hilarious (the Sarah Palin rap on Saturday Night Live still makes me laugh until I cry). Rob Lowe is on it. I just don’t get it. Sorry.

Cougar Town – Despite growing pains that had the show evolve from a show worthy of the Cougar Town name to an ensemble comedy that is the closest thing TV will ever get to recreating Friends, the Cul-de-Sac Crew has endured. Easily all three women in the cast could garner – and win – an Emmy. The guys… maybe not, but I see the potential. This show is woefully underrated. It’s much better than people think.


 The Big Bang Theory – One of the top-rated comedies on the air, Big Bang could easily have gone the route of Two and Half Men (and by that I mean: be a horrible, over-hyped show that needs to go away forever). Instead, it became a smarter show with its move to Thursday nights and casts’ raises. The slight change in direction with the addition of Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch has only given them more room for growth.


GleeModern Family racked up all of the awards freshman year, but Glee has been on a roll during their sophomore year. The one-two punch of pop culture phenomenon and Kurt’s gay storyline propelled the show into headline after headline. It’s a good – but uneven show. A nomination is a lock, though. Hell, a win wouldn’t shock me.


Nurse Jackie – It’s on Showtime and stars former winner Edie Falco; there’s no good reason not to nominate it. It’s the funniest of Showtime’s dramas that pretend to be comedies, with a really good supporting cast (Merritt Wever owns any scene she’s in and that’s saying a lot when she’s up against Falco; Anna Deveare Smith is hilarious chasing after Michelle Obama’s endorsement of All Saints). Hell, just writing those few sentences made me want to nominate it myself.


The Big C – Unfortunately Showtime’s newer comedies tend to address seriously unfunny situations and center on the lead, giving her (yes, her) an opportunity to get her name on an Emmy ballot. Not that seeing Laura Linney on the ballot will hurt my heart; she could easily be nominated and win. Her show? It’s very good. I totally see them getting a nomination.


United States of Tara – It’ll never happen. Never. Cancelled after only three seasons and viewed as a vanity vehicle for lead Toni Collette, but this season the show fulfilled its pilot promise with deep storytelling and a dark, dark turn that made me wonder if it really qualifies as a comedy. That being said, this season – with the addition of new alters, Eddie Izzard and a fleshing out of the supporting cast – was hands-down the best of the series. It went out with a bang.


The Office – Zzzzzzzzzzzzz………. But everyone else loves it.


joseph’s choice to win it all: United States of Tara had an amazing season, but isn’t really a comedy. Glee had moments of genius, but also some serious clunkers. 30 Rock never fails to impress, but Tina Fey has 3000 Emmys. I’m going with Cougar Town. They’ll never win in real life; might as well win on my sofa. Besides, they gave us Penny Can (“Penny Can!”) and that has to count for something!

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