Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Emmy Predictions: The Comedies

We continue on from yesterday with a look at this year's Emmy Awards.  Tuesday we went through all of the Drama predictions (spoiler alert: Game of Thrones does well), but today it's all about making us laugh, and honestly, I'm a little bit wondering if we might see the ends of some streaks, as even the Emmy Awards have their limits on how often you can win a trophy.  Let's head right into the categories, shall we?

Best Comedy Series

Master of None
Modern Family
Silicon Valley
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

The Lowdown: Last year, after five consecutive victories for Modern Family, Veep finally found a way into the conversation, thus stopping MF from making Emmy history.  With there finally being a show to focus on in a battle between the two series, I suspect that win repeats; part of why Modern Family kept winning (my theory, at least) is it was with a plurality, but no other show really screamed "Best Series!" in a way that felt obvious so it won with probably 35-40% of the vote.  Even new nominees Black-ish and Master of None seem like they're more here because there's not a lot of standout comedy on television these days rather than out of "we must honor this!"  As a result, expect Veep to win a second term (I'm sorry, I had to do it at least once).

Best Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Aziz Ansari, Master of None
Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth
William H. Macy, Shameless
Thomas Middleditch, Silicon Valley
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

The Lowdown: Yikes.  Anyone else think this looks pretty weak?  I honestly hadn't really thought about the sorry state of comedy on television (mostly because I tend to think TV has hit a bit of a nadir compared to the previous decade in general), but man if you take drama out of the equation this becomes even more problematic.  I think that Tambor is probably going to win a second trophy since that feels like the right answer, but I wouldn't be stunned if Anderson or even William H. Macy (whose never won for this role) managed a mild surprise.  Still, with the Best Series citation it's likely going to be Tambor.

Best Actress in a Comedy Series

Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Laurie Metcalf, Getting On
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish
Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

The Lowdown: Not remembering who the nominees were, I kind of thought I'd go for an upset here and dethrone Julia Louis-Dreyfus.  I mean, after all, she's won five Emmys in this category, including the last four for Veep, but looking at these nominees it seems hard to imagine anyone getting it over an Emmy titan like JLD.  None of the returning nominees seem to have had the same impact this season, and the new nominees all got in based on a weak field.  I might buy an argument for Tomlin or Metcalf, both of whom are big enough Emmy favorites that they could rival Louis-Dreyfus on that front, but not for such underseen shows.  Props once again go to Selina Meyer.

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Louise Anderson, Baskets
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Tony Hale, Veep
Keegan-Michael Key, Key and Peele
Matt Walsh, Veep

The Lowdown: Honestly, this may be the first Emmy race we've encountered where I genuinely have no idea.  Let's walk it back: Key, Walsh, and Braugher all seem to be here mostly out of love of show or name, but aren't actually a threat.  Part of me wonders in a seven-wide field, where the bar will be lower, if Ty Burrell is still an option, but I'm going to count him out as well.  That leaves Hale, who has won this twice, against the newcomers Burgess and Anderson.  I know the smart money is on Anderson, a longtime stalwart who got nominated somewhat out of nowhere, but will the Emmy voters go for a show that most hadn't even heard of prior to the nominations announcement?  My guess is no, and so I'm going with another trophy for Hale, who has a fantastic submission episode (if those still matter, he'll win).

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Anna Chlumsky, Veep
Gaby Hoffmann, Transparent
Allison Janney, Mom
Judith Light, Transparent
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Niecy Nash, Getting On

The Lowdown: Part of me wonders if McKinnon might do what no other SNL cast member seems capable of lately-winning in this category, if only for the Television Academy to get tacitly political (you just know she'd get out an "I hope I get to keep playing this part after November" to thunderous applause).  Part of me wonders if the Academy will realize that Judith Light hasn't won since her days as Karen Wolek on One Life to Live, and give her another trophy.  And part of me wonders if Anna Chlumsky is just doomed to be nominated again and again without ever taking that trophy.  But most of me wonders whether it will be Hale, Louis-Dreyfus, Tambor, or Allison Janney that makes the "let's mix it up a little" joke in the press room after winning yet another statue.

And there we go-we'll head into Miniseries tomorrow, but I have to say I'm a little disappointed.  I anticipated being adventurous (and still feel like Hale is vulnerable), but went with a full repeat of last year's winners.  Do you think there's any upset potential?  Anyone in particular you're hoping will take it?  Share in the comments below!

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