Shifting gears now to lighter fare, Radina Papukchieva joins me to discuss who will win in the major comedy categories.
Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
As great as it would be to see Kristen Wiig win for the various cooky characters she’s played on SNL over the years, I think one of the Modern Family ladies will take home this award. Wiig’s years on SNL made her a household name and helped her branch out into film (last year’s Bridesmaids was a career-maker for Wiig). Kathryn Joosten, nominated posthumously for her role on Desperate Housewives was a fine actress whose best work was on The West Wing, not the Marc Cherry show that overstayed its welcome.
My pick: Julie Bowen took home the Golden Globe for her portrayal of Claire Dunphy last year, but Sofia Vergara, I think, has made great strides in her career. Gloria also had better storylines and material than Claire, although both women have been stellar throughout Modern Family‘s three seasons. My pick is Vergara. She’s been overlooked too often. Her performance in the first season of the show was incredible and really gave her character a great foundation for the next two.
Radina’s take: Kristen Wiig! It would be an honorary Emmy for her, since she left SNL at the end of last season to pursue her acting and writing career. She made late Saturday nights in front of the TV worthwhile, and was the best thing to happen to SNL in the past years. Sofia Vergara is also a favorite, however, with the saucy version of herself on Modern Family. The ease with which she plays Glorrrrria makes her performance all the more funny.
Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Max Greenfield, New Girl
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live
The entire adult cast of Modern Family is up for an Emmy this year. Among the men, Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s performance has been overlooked over three seasons on ABC. Ty Burrell took home the Golden Globe and the Emmy for his Phil Dunphy last year. Eric Stonestreet won this award two years ago. I think it’s great to see Max Greenfield nominated for New Girl, arguably the only new comedy of last year that has the chance of having any staying power, but his overacting and general over-the-topness exhausts me as a viewer. Bill Hader’s Stefon and his impersonation of James Carville are the greatest things to happen to SNL in the last five years, but they won’t be enough to take the award from the Modern Family guys.
My pick: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, for being consistently great and for playing Mitchell with realness. It’s sometimes harder to play a subdued character than an over-the-top one. His most fierce competition would be Ty Burrell, who had some really great moments this season.
Radina’s take: It’s pretty safe to say it’s going to someone from Modern Family, they are all nominated! Who, I really can’t decide. It’s a tie between Ty Burrell and Ed O’Neill for me.
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Lena Dunham, Girls
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
A category with two veteran TV actresses and former Emmy winners (Edie Falco and Julia Louis-Dreyfus), two comedy superstars (Tina Fey, Amy Poehler), two first-time nominees (Lena Dunham, Zooey Deschanel) and the incumbent. Melissa McCarthy won this category last year for her work in Mike & Molly. I can’t help but think her Oscar-nominated turn in Bridesmaids tipped the award in her favour.
Process of elimination: I don’t think Tina Fey stands a chance, even though she is one of my personal favourites. Zooey Deschanel may lead the only new network comedy that connected with audiences, this isn’t an adorability Emmy, it’s an acting one. Lena Dunham has received a lot of flack for her HBO show: I don’t think Girls‘s strength is its acting. I so desperately want Amy Poehler to win: Parks and Recreation is criminally under-appreciated and Poehler’s Leslie Knope is one of the most loveable characters on TV. Unfortunately, I think Parks and Rec will continue to be ignored.
That leaves a Melissa McCarthy repeat, badass Edie Falco and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
I absolutely loved the first season of Veep, though critics weren’t entirely sold. There are some solid one-liners, and I think it’s the lovechild of a potty-mouthed West Wing and Parks and Rec.
Nurse Jackie has been improving with every season, and that’s in large part due to Edie Falco and her badassness and fearlessness. Melissa McCarthy is a two-time nominee Sunday, also getting some love for her guest appearance on Saturday Night Live. I think that splits her possibility of winning both, with voters more likely to reward her for Mike & Molly.
My pick: Edie Falco for Nurse Jackie. This would be her fifth Emmy, winning three times for The Sopranos and in 2009 for Nurse Jackie.
Radina’s take: Amy Poehler, please.
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis C.K., Louie
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
The fact that The Big Bang Theory is one of the highest-rated shows on television makes me lose faith in humanity a little. I’m aware “the masses” aren’t discerning, but the show for me is the equivalent of someone scratching their fingernails on a chalkboard. Ditto for Two and a Half Men: Jon Cryer is nominated in lead actor category this year after previously being considered a supporting actor (thanks to tiger-blooded Charlie Sheen’s departure).
Alec Baldwin won in 2008 and 2009, Jim Parsons in 2010 and 2011.
Don Cheadle is the best thing about House of Lies, an uneven new show that’s sometimes a mess.
My pick: Louis C.K. in Louie, one of the best comedies on television by one of the most brilliant comedians today. It would also be unwise to underestimate just how much the industry respects Louis C.K. for his work. He writes and directs and edits most of Louie. He is up for six Emmys Sunday night (a writing and directing nod for Louie, and three nominations for Louis C.K.’s Live at the Beacon Theater special).
Radina’s take: Alec Baldwin collects Emmys and Golden Globes for a reason: he’s simply the best. However, with Baldwin and Jim Parsons winning this category for the last four years, it would be nice to see a fresh face get recognized, and Louis C.K. is a deserving nominee.
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
Chris McKenna, Community, “Remedial Chaos Theory”
Lena Dunham, Girls, “Pilot”
Louis C.K., Louie, “Pregnant”
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation, “The Debate”
Michael Schur, Parks and Recreation, “Win, Lose, or Draw”
Hopefully, Parks and Recreation can be honoured in this category because it was snubbed in Outstanding Comedy Series. It is up against stiff competition, however, with HBO’s Girls, one of the most controversial new series, and Lena Dunham’s “voice of her generation” b.s. It’s a show that is not accessible or enjoyable. And for a comedy, it’s just not funny. Community‘s only nomination comes in the writing category, but I feel it’s too little, too late for the flailing NBC show.
My pick: Amy Poehler for Parks and Recreation‘s “The Debate,” as a consolation prize for not winning the lead actress category.
Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Since 2007, the award has gone to 30 Rock (2007, 2008, 2009) and Modern Family (2010, 2011). The Big Bang Theory is a ratings juggernaut (I don’t understand how or why) and Girls and Veep are HBO’s newest. Curb Your Enthusiasm is the oldest show in the bunch. A little peeved that Parks and Recreation, Community and Louie weren’t nominated. Three of the best comedies on TV aren’t nominated for the best comedy on TV…
My pick: I think it’s unlikely that Modern Family doesn’t three-peat, even though this was its weakest season. I’d love to see 30 Rock take it again. It really bounced back after a less-than-stellar season five.
Radina’s take: First of all, Parks and Recreation is not nominated? Community is not nominated? 30 Rock is nominated for the fifth year in a row, in its ,by far, least funny season? And who even watches The Big Bang Theory? OK, rant over. It would be between Curb Your Enthusiasm or Girls, for me. I haven’t even seen a single episode of Girls, but I’ve been meaning to, and a show that raises so many critics off their seats can only be good. But Modern Family is an audience favorite so it will probably get the Emmy.