2015 Emmys Review (Comedy Categories)

unbreakable

Ever since I was little, I’ve always been a fan of entertainment awards. I remember cheering loudly every time Rugrats won the Nickelodeon Choice Award for Favorite Cartoon (the show pretty much won every year during its prime.) Yes, awarding mostly wealthy celebrities is silly. Yes, awards are 100% subjective. Yes, X never wins, X totally deserves to win, Y always wins, awards are political and biased! But, still, there’s something so fascinating about the art and practice of prizing, particularly when it comes to the “EGOT.” I love “studying” awards and watching programs and movies that have been nominated for them. So, on this blog, I certainly plan on discussing various awards and the nominees and who I think will/should win.

Today, I will be discussing the nominees of all the major Comedy categories, including guest performance, writing and directing. I’m ranking the contenders based on personal preference, not making an “objective prediction.” Those will come later.

Episode submission information courtesy of Gold Derby.

Guest Actor:

Ranking

  1. Bill Hader – Saturday Night Live (“Bill Hader”)
  2. Jon Hamm – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (“Kimmy Makes Waffles”)
  3. Bradley Whitford – Transparent (“Best New Girl”)
  4. Paul Giamatti – Inside Amy Schumer (“12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer”)
  5. Louis CK – Saturday Night Live (“Louis CK”)
  6. Mel Brooks – The Comedians (“Celebrity Guest”)

“12 Angry Men” was one of the funniest episodes of comedy I have seen all year. I’ve probably watched the special five or six times. The entire cast of the episode work well together, and it’s nice to see the episode represented here, but there were performances in that episode I thought were more memorable than Giamatti’s. Giamatti is an inexplicable Emmy favorite, so the fact that he was singled doesn’t come as too much of a shock. Ultimately, anyone from the top 3 would be deserving, but Bill Hader is my personal favorite here. If I had to choose a stand out sketch from that episode, it would be the “Cat in the Hat” sketch. His line reading “Linda!” still has me in stitches…Dan Cortese.

Worthy Snubbed Performance

Josh Charles (Inside Amy Schumer), Nick DiPaolo (Inside Amy Schumer), Jim Florentine (Louie), John Hawkes (Inside Amy Schumer), Chris Hemsworth (Saturday Night Live), Dwayne Johnson (Saturday Night Live), Nick Kroll (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Nathan Lane (Modern Family), Ki Hong Lee (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Jerry Minor (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Michael Rapaport (Louie), Seth Rogen (The Comeback)

Guest Actress:

Ranking

  1. Pamela Adlon – Louie (“Bobby’s House”)
  2. Gaby Hoffmann – Girls (“Home Birth”)
  3. Joan Cusack – Shameless (“Milk of the Gods”)
  4. Christine Baranski – The Big Bang Theory (“The Maternal Combustion”)
  5. Tina Fey – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (“Kimmy Goes to Court”)
  6. Elizabeth Banks – Modern Family (“Fight or Flight”)

This one is a no-brainer for me. “Bobby’s House” is definitely my favorite episode of Louie this year, and Pamela Adlon pretty much gives her strongest performance on the show. From her reaction to Louie getting beat up by a woman to the end where she breaks up with Louie after pretty much emasculating him, Adlon just hits it out of the park (as does Louis CK but we’ll get to him later). I’m so happy Adlon got a nomination, along with Hoffman, who makes the most of her limited screen time. Her episode is when her character attempts to give birth in her bath tub, to disastrous effects (don’t worry, it’s not a depressing episode). Hoffman deserved a nomination last year as well, so go Emmy voters! The only nomination here that seems useless is Elizabeth Banks’s, who was probably name checked because…Pitch Perfect, Hunger Games, and, yeah, Modern Family.

Worthy Snubbed Performances

Laurie Metcalf (The Big Bang Theory), Lennon Parham (Veep), Emily Robinson (Transparent), Amy Sedaris (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), June Squibb (Getting On)

Supporting Actor:

Ranking:

  1. Tituss Burgess – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (“Kimmy Goes to School”)
  2. Tony Hale – Veep (“East Wing”)
  3. Adam Driver – Girls (“Close-Up”)
  4. Andre Braugher – Brooklyn Nine-Nine (“The Mole”)
  5. Keegan-Michael Key – Key and Peele (“Sex Detective”)
  6. Ty Burrell – Modern Family (“Crying Out Loud”)

When it was first announced (by, of course, the best awards site on the net Gold Derby) that Tituss Burgess had submitted this episode, I thought he was sort of following the hype. “Peeno Noir” has sort of become an unofficial breakout hit for Burgess. I thought he had funnier, more meaningful moments in “Kimmy is Bad at Math” (werewolf) and “Kimmy Kisses a Boy” (cosby sweater)…even “Kimmy Goes to a Party” (let it go) or “Kimmy’s in a Love Triangle” (no entourage movie!) would have been great. But I seriously forgot how much screen time Burgess has in “Kimmy Goes to School” and all the hilarious moments he nails (“I’ll give you a 100 bugs” “Did you say bugs?” “Run Lillian!”) And, yeah, he does slay in “Peeno Noir.” This all proves that Burgess is an undeniable break out success and he is absolutely my first choice for the win. Please don’t disappoint me, Emmys. Don’t give Ty Burrell a third Emmy!

Worthy Snubbed Performances

Fred Armisen (Portlandia), Beck Bennett (Saturday Night Live), Laurence Fishburne (black-ish), Noel FIsher (Shameless), Josh Gad (The Comedians), Alex Karpovsky (Girls), Taran Killam (Saturday Night Live), Stephen Mangan (Episodes), TJ Miller (Silicon Valley), Cameron Monaghan (Shameless), Kyle Mooney (Saturday Night Live), Garrett Morris (2 Broke Girls), Robert Michael Morris (The Comeback), Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation), Randall Park (Fresh of the Park), Jordan Peele (Key and Peele), Sam Richardson (Veep), Mel Rodriguez (The Last Man on Earth), Peter Scolari (Girls), Reid Scott (Veep), Timothy Simons (Veep), Matt Walsh (Veep), Zach Woods (Silicon Valley), Damian Young (The Comeback)

Supporting Actress:

Ranking

  1. Jane Krakowski – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (“Kimmy Gets a Job”)
  2. Kate McKinnon – Saturday Night Live (“Taraji P. Henson”)
  3. Anna Chlumsky – Veep (“Convention”)
  4. Gaby Hoffmann – Transparent (“Rollin'”)
  5. Niecy Nash – Getting On (“7th Annual Christmas Card Competition”)
  6. Mayim Bialik – The Big Bang Theory (“The Prom Equivalency”)
  7. Allison Janney – Mom (“Dropped Soap and a Big Guy on a Throne”)
  8. Julie Bowen – Modern Family (“Valentine’s Day 4: Twisted Sister”)

So, this is a category I was really excited for. The surprising nods towards Hoffmann and Nash made me especially happy. There are a couple notes I have here. One, I had a hard time deciding whether I liked Bialik’s tape of Janney’s tape more. Janney has more screen time and some great physical comedy (+ a really nice emotional punch at the end). However, Bialik had a couple great scenes, including her depressing prom memories, and that scene where Sheldon admits his love for Penny. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter because they’re ranked 6 and 7 but…I think I’d be a little less depressed if Bialik wins her first Emmy. But, honestly, after watching all these episodes again, I knew it had to be between Krakowski, McKinnon, and Chlumsky. Jane Krakowski, the Queen of irreverent one-liners, is my top pick. But, overall, this is a very strong category.

Worthy Snubbed Performances

Lauren Adams (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Becky Ann Baker (Girls), Alex Borstein (Getting On), Sufe Bradshaw (Veep), Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia), Aidy Bryant (Saturday Night Live), Sara Chase (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Hadley Delany (Louie), Hilary Duff (Younger), Tamsin Greig (Episodes), January Jones (Last Man on Earth), Carol Kane (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Amy Landecker (Transparent), Jane Lynch (Glee), Debi Mazar (Younger), Sol Miranda (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Ursula Parker (Louie), Miriam Shor (Younger), June Squibb (The Jack and Triumph Show), Cecily Strong (Saturday Night Live)

Directing:

Ranking

  1. Jill Soloway – Transparent (“Best New Girl”)
  2. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller – The Last Man on Earth (“Alive in Tuscon”)
  3. Louis CK – Louie (“Sleepover”)
  4. Armando Iannucci – Veep (“Testimony”)
  5. Mike Judge – Silicon Valley (“Sand Hill Shuffle”)

This is truly a perfect line up. Not saying that there aren’t other episodes as deserving of a nomination; but I have zero issues with this particular line up. I am so glad Veep finally got recognition in this category, but “Testimony” seems like more off a writing accomplishment than a directing. “Sleepover” is a great choice; my favorite moment of the episode is the very beginning when Louie and her daughter watch that Broadway play starring John Lithgow, Michael Cera, Glenn Close and Matthew Broderick. That scene really honors, yet parodies, modern drama. My number one choice is Jill Soloway, who submitted an episode that is mostly composed of flashbacks. I truly believe Transparent‘s a drama…but I can’t deny how beautifully directed it is, particularly the scenes involving Emily Robinson.

Worthy Snubbed Episodes (one episode per show)

The Comeback (“Valerie Gets What She Wants”), Girls (“Home Birth”), Glee (“Dreams Come True”), Parks and Recreation (“One Last Ride”), Transparent (“Moppa”), Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (“Kimmy Kisses a Boy”),  Younger (“Pilot”)

Writing:

Ranking

  1. Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, and Tony Roche – Veep (“Election Night”)
  2. Louis CK – Louie (“Bobby’s House”)
  3. Alec Berg – Silicon Valley (“Two Days of the Condor”)
  4. Will Forte – The Last Man on Earth (“Alive in Tucson”)
  5. David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik – Episodes (“Episode 409”)
  6. Jill Soloway – Transparent (“Pilot”)

Another strong category, but there were a couple instances when the wrong episode was nominated and/or chosen for a represented show. During my binge watch of Transparent last fall, I grew to really like the show. However, the pilot episode did not draw me in all that much, and i had to convince myself to continue watching afterwards. If Jill Soloway had submitted a later episode (like the final episode) for consideration, then she might higher up here. Same goes for The Last Man on Earth. The first episode does a great job of establishing the world, but it’s not as funny or clever or crazy as some of the later episodes where there are more characters in play. Honestly, it is time for Veep to win a writing award. It is the best written comedy on television, and “Election Night” (the season finale) is the perfect representative for this season.

Worthy Snubbed Episodes (one episode per show)

black-ish (“Pilot”), Bojack Horseman (“Later”), The Comeback (“Valerie is Brought to Her Knees”), Family Guy (“Roasted Guy”), Getting On (“The 7th Annual Christmas Card Competition”), Parks and Recreation (“One Last Ride”), South Park (“Freemium Isn’t Free”), Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (“Kimmy Goes Outside!”), Younger (“Pilot”)

Lead Actor:

Ranking

  1. Will Forte – The Last Man on Earth (“Alive in Tuscon”)
  2. Louis CK – Louie (“Bobby’s House”)
  3. Matt LeBlanc – Episodes (“Episode 405”)
  4. Jeffrey Tambor – Transparent (“The Letting Go”)
  5. Anthony Anderson – black-ish (“Sex, Lies, and Vasectomies”)
  6. William H. Macy – Shameless (“A Night to Remem…Wait, What?”)
  7. Don Cheadle – House of Lies (“It’s a Box Inside a Box Inside a Box, Dipshit”)

This one was tough for me rank…It’ll probably be even tougher for me when I actually make a real prediction. I was unimpressed with Don Cheadle’s last two episode submissions, but he actually did good work (particularly his scenes with Kristen Bell and Donis Leonard Jr.) here. William H. Macy is, honestly, one of my least favorite things about this show (well, at least his character…who should have died a long time ago), but he chose an admittedly great episode to represent him. I was more disappointed with Tambor’s submission. I know he’s wrongfully placed in the comedy category, but he should have submitted a darker, more dramatic episode (like the weirdly ignored, yet brilliant season finale where Tambor’s character harshly chastises her daughter). I truly had a tough time deciding between Forte and CK for my top spot. Louis CK submitted “Bobby’s House,” where he has that gender bending roleplaying scene with Pamela Adlon. It’s a relatively quiet and meek performance, but CK plays that vulnerability well, particularly the moment when Pamela breaks up with him. I’d love to see Louis CK, LeBlanc or even Tambor win (and we can be thankful that Jim Parsons won’t be in the running this year), but Will Forte gave a truly stellar comedic performance. He is consistently the funniest thing about his show and is rarely overshadowed by anyone (no shade, the entire cast is great). I wouldn’t have chose then first episode for him, but Forte admittedly has a nice mix of comedy, delusion, and depression. I am so glad Forte received a semi-surprising nomination here, but a win would (of course) be better and deserved.

Worthy Snubbed Performances

Chris D’Elia (Undateable), Ken Marino (Marry Me), Chris Messina (The Mindy Project), Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley), Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation)

Lead Actress:

Ranking

  1. Lisa Kudrow – The Comeback (“Valerie is Taken Seriously”)
  2. Amy Schumer – Inside Amy Schumer (“Cool With It”)
  3. Amy Poehler – Parks and Recreation (“One Last Ride’)
  4. Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep (“Election Night”)
  5. Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie (“I Say a Little Prayer”)
  6. Lily Tomlin – Grace and Frankie (“The Vows”)

Why couldn’t this category have 7 actors like Lead Actor? We definitely needed a burst of Ellie Kemper or Constance Wu up in here. Anyway, look, nothing would make me happier than to see Amy Poehler FINALLY win her very first Emmy. However, there really wasn’t a comedic performance this season that made me laugh, cry, and just straight up smile with glee as much as Lisa Kudrow’s in The Comeback. Did she submit her strongest episode? No, the finale or the episode where she fights with her husband would have been better. However, even with this “filler episode,” she’s still better than all the other nominees. Considering how much buzz The Comeback lost from the fall to now, the nomination is probably the award itself. But, still, Kudrow is a beast and I’m glad there’s going to be a third season. As for Louis-Dreyfus, while she’ll never be undeserving of a win, after three consecutive wins, I don’t think she really did anything in the season or even if her episode submission that was too different from the past seasons. One should only win a fourth Emmy if they really step it up, and I’m not convinced Louis-Dreyfus was given the opportunity to do so this year. But, again, she is a Queen of comedy and if she does win, I look forward to what funny thing she’ll do during her speech.

Worthy Snubbed Performances

Dove Cameron (Liv and Maddie), Courteney Cox (Cougar Town), Anna Faris (Mom), Jane Fonda (Grace and Frankie), Sutton Foster (Younger), Ilana Glazer (Broad City), Abbi Jacobson (Broad City), Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project), Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Lea Michele (Glee), Tracee Ellis Ross (black-ish), Emmy Rossum (Shameless), Kristen Schaal (Last Man on Earth), Casey Wilson (Marry Me), Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat)

Comedy Series:

Ranking

  1. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
  2. Veep (HBO)
  3. Louie (FX)
  4. Silicon Valley (HBO)
  5. Parks and Recreation (NBC)
  6. Transparent (Amazon)
  7. Modern Family (ABC)

30 Rock is my favorite comedy show of all time; and I was always so happy when the show did well at the Emmys. However, after its third Comedy Series win, the show sort of had an arrow on its back. I always got irrationally angry when people wrote/said “I hope anyone wins but 30 Rock!” It was unfair to single out a show like that just because it had won so many times. But…now I sort of empathize with those haters because, honestly, I would be happy if any show in this category won…except Modern Family. Modern Family is still capable of being really funny. “Connection Lost” was a surprisingly fun episode. However, there are other comedy shows that are doing more daring things out there. Modern Family winning a sixth “historic” Emmy just seems excessive, in an “Amazing Race/Daily Show” sort of way. It just isn’t as great of a show as the other six, and that’s a fact. Even Transparent, which is really just a half hour drama, would be more “deserving” (an empty word but still…) In any case, since The Comeback or even Last Man on Earth couldn’t receive a nom, then I’m personally rooting for Kimmy Schmidt, a show that simply made me smile during a difficult period in my life. However, Veep is pretty overdue. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a beast, but she’s not the only worthy thing about the show. Anyway, I hope voters think out of the box here, but I have a feeling voters will want to make history and vote for the show that’s on track to win more Comedy Series awards than any other show.

Worthy Snubbed Programs

black-ish, The Comeback, Episodes, Fresh Off the Boat, Getting On, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Last Man on Earth

To read my review of the Drama categories, click here.

To read my review of the Limited Series/Movie categories, click here.

To read my review of miscellaneous categories, like Animated Program, Variety Special, and Special Class Program, click here.then click here for more.

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4 thoughts on “2015 Emmys Review (Comedy Categories)

  1. Pingback: 2015 Emmys Review (Movie/Limited Series Categories) | Lifestories

  2. Pingback: 2015 Emmys Review (Other Categories – Part 1) | Lifestories

  3. Pingback: 2015 Emmys Review (Drama Categories) | Lifestories

  4. Pingback: 2015 Emmys Review (Other Categories – Part 2) | Lifestories

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