FINAL EMMY PREDICTIONS 2012 - Comedy
As I did last week, this time, I'll rank all of the comedy nominees in order of probability to win. . .
1. MODERN FAMILY - It's the safe choice. That being said, it isn't the best one (and this is coming from someone who loved the first two seasons). They're too many jokes that don't land. The performers don't shine like they have in the past. Still, what can beat it?
2. CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM - It's never won anything major, outside of a single directing award back in 2003. However, in my opinion, the laughs came more frequently here than in Modern Family. Additionally, Family was not recognized in the writing field. Could be an indicator of voters cooling to it.
3. GIRLS - Personally, I don't see what Emmy voters saw in the show's first season, but the recognition in major categories like Lead Actress, Directing, Writing and Casting is nothing to sneeze at. Some see it as the new Sex and the City.
4. VEEP - Had the first half of the 8-episode season been as strong as the second, it'd be a bigger threat. It can be funny, but many times, the jokes are hit-or-miss. No nominations in directing or writing hurt.
5. 30 ROCK - Even though Season 6 (like Season 5) was a vast improvement over the show's disappointing fourth, 30 Rock's best days are behind it. Additionally, it's already gotten its three consecutive Comedy Series wins. Feels like this is a year for Modern Family, or some new blood.
6. THE BIG BANG THEORY - Even die hard fans of the show would have to agree: this wasn't a great season. Last year, it had a much, much stronger batch of episodes.
1. Jim Parsons (THE BIG BANG THEORY): We get the usual from Sheldon. Plus, he flips his hair like a teenage bad boy. Parsons' character, once fresh and funny, is now tired and borderline annoying. However, if last year was any indication, voters don't feel comfortable looking elsewhere for a winner, and with no one most of us can champion like Steve Carell, they have little incentive to crown a new funnyman.
2. Louis C.K. (LOUIE): As he did last year, C.K. submits an episode that is short on laughs and big on heart. In "Duckling," Louie gets in touch with his sensitive side. Playing against type can help a performer, but is this too subtle for voters?
3. Larry David (CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM): Although he's won a Golden Globe for his performance, David has never received an Emmy. He's got some great moments in the episode (the sex scene with the antisemitic woman is particularly hilarious), and if voters step out of the comfort zone and reward someone who's overdue (see last year's winner Kyle Chandler), David could pull off a mini-upset.
4. Alec Baldwin (30 ROCK): The live episode is more about how the show's directed than anything else, but Baldwin is funny as Joey Montero. Like the show, however, his time for collecting trophies has passed, at least as far as Emmys are concerned (SAG awards are an entirely different story).
5. Jon Cryer (TWO AND A HALF MEN): If you're wondering how this man keeps getting nominated, your guess is as good as mine. He's not particularly funny in his episode, but as far as I'm concerned, he never has been.
6. Don Cheadle (HOUSE OF LIES): Generally, I like Cheadle as an actor. He should be happy with the nomination, however. The performance isn't too remarkable, and the show isn't much better.
1. Julia Louis-Dreyfus (VEEP): Frankly, I'd be shocked if she lost. She knocks it out of the park in all of her show's first season episodes. "Tears," however, may have been her best submission. We get a whole range of emotions from Selina. It's hers to lose, and yet, this doesn't quite feel like a done deal.
2. Amy Poehler (PARKS AND RECREATION): She's overdue. She probably should have won at least one time in the past two years. Like C.K., her character is less funny here, which shows her range. However, the season as a whole was mediocre, and the fact that Parks wasn't nominated in the Comedy Series category may work against her.
3. Tina Fey (30 ROCK): Even though Fey's already won here before, she submitted a brilliant episode. She's hilarious in "The Tuxedo Begins." The statistics work against her, though. There's been a brand new winner in this field for some time now.
4. Zooey Deschanel (NEW GIRL): Deschanel's fine in "Bad in Bed," but New Girl's pilot was a better choice. She may be a little too quirky to pull off a win.
5. Lena Dunham (GIRLS): She's not especially funny or even too memorable in her episode, although she does scream a little too dramatically when her boyfriend's clipped by a passing car. But there's no denying she's the "it girl" at the moment, and as we saw last year with Melissa McCarthy, sometimes that's all you need to win.
6. Edie Falco (NURSE JACKIE): I just don't see it happening. Even though Falco's character has always been (majorly) passive aggressive, at least she had some great quips in the episode that won her an Emmy. No such luck this time.
7. Melissa McCarthy (MIKE & MOLLY): Last year's winner is the most unlikely to succeed this time around. She's not funny here. In fact, no one in the episode is funny. The laughs from the studio audience even feel forced. For those who believe her win last year was undeserved (I would be among them), at least she was given more to work with there than she is in "The Dress."
1. Eric Stonestreet (MODERN FAMILY): Even though he's already won here before, if voters are actually picking the winner based on the best episode submission, it's Stonestreet's. Easily. From my perspective, he's the ONLY nominee who's actually funny. Additionally, he's great in the episodes submitted for Comedy Series consideration ("Door to Door," especially). This is a weak year for funny supporting actors, though, and as a result, anyone (maybe except for Hader) could win.
2. Ty Burrell (MODERN FAMILY): Because this wasn't a spectacular year for supporting actors in comedies, voters may decide to look at performances from multiple episodes when it comes to choosing a winner. If that's the case, then Burrell probably wins. He's not at all memorable in the episode he chose, but he's very good in others voters will see ("Virgin Territory," "Aunt Mommy.")
3. Ed O'Neill (MODERN FAMILY): He's a respected television veteran who's never gotten that big prize from any major awards venue. He's sweet and sincere in the episode he submitted, and he's funny in "Treehouse." But he probably won't be seen in the latter (it's Stonestreet's submission) and he doesn't get much screen time in "Baby On Board."
4. Max Greenfield (NEW GIRL): It could happen for him. This is really anybody's to win, and he has some funny scenes in "Control." Going on instinct, however, I don't see him pulling it off.
5. Jesse Tyler Ferguson (MODERN FAMILY): Some have dubbed him Season 3's MVP of Modern Family, but I don't see it. He had a much stronger year in the show's second season. He has the "I love you dance" scene in his favor, but that's about it.
6. Bill Hader (SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE): I'm very happy he was finally recognized. That being said, he's the only nominee I think has basically no shot at winning. He's had better skits in the past, and despite how it looks on paper, it's actually harder for variety performers to triumph in these categories.
1. Mayim Bialik (THE BIG BANG THEORY): What works against her is the fact that she doesn't have a giant amount of screen time. When she's on, however, she nails it. The tiara scene is probably memorable enough to carry her through to a win.
2. Kristen Wiig (SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE): Between Bridesmaids success in 2011 and her blossoming film career in 2012, this feels like it's Wiig's time to shine. After all, her movie co-star McCarthy was able to capitalize on that wave of momentum last year. But the Emmys are notorious for failing to honor comedy performers with goodbye awards (in addition to Carell's surprising lost, both United States of Tara's Toni Collette and Ugly Betty's Vanessa Williams weren't even nominated in their respective series' final seasons). Additionally, the Mick Jagger episode is more about the buildup of Wiig's emotional sendoff than it is about her performance.
3. Julie Bowen (MODERN FAMILY): You spend the whole episode waiting for Claire to have her moment, where we're knocked out by her performance, or beside ourselves laughing (or both!). There's a hint of this near the end, but, ultimately, that moment never comes.
4. Kathryn Joosten (DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES): Unfortunately, art imitated life as Joosten followed the same path as her character and passed on. She appears to have been admired by many in the industry, so she may secure enough votes for a win, but I'm thinking one final nomination will act as her real reward.
5. Sofia Vergara (MODERN FAMILY): I'm not sure who's in charge of picking the episodes for Sofia, but she has a habit of making bad choices. Outside of the scene where she pretends to scream for Manny, there's not much here to write home about. In her defense, however, it was an off year for the staff writers.
6. Merrit Wever (NURSE JACKIE): It won't happen, but at least we can tell her character's in a comedy (unlike the series' protagonist).
1. Jimmy Fallon (SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE): SNL performers are usually a viable threat in the guest spots. While I didn't think Fallon necessarily knocked each skit out of the park every time, he was hilarious in the Michael Buble segment (particularly his Sting impersonation). He also has the most buzz in his favor.
2. Michael J. Fox (CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM): He's not particularly funny here, but the nominations in both drama and comedy categories in the same year (how many times has that happened before?) showcase just how much voters like this guy. That might actually be enough for him to win.
3. Will Arnett (30 ROCK): He's due for a win, given how many times he's been nominated for playing the same character. He has a few good lines, and neither Fallon nor Fox feels like a lock here, so it could happen.
4. Jon Hamm (30 ROCK): Even though he's just a few steps away from appearing in blackface (a big no-no, in my book), Hamm's undeniably hilarious in the live episode. But is the performance too short to warrant a trophy? I think it may be (and he'll probably pick up his first Emmy for producing the fifth season of Mad Men anyway).
5. Greg Kinnear (MODERN FAMILY): He's perfect in the role. He lays on the charm and clearly has fun doing it. It's not the kind of guest spot that typically results in wins, however.
6. Bobby Cannavale (NURSE JACKIE): Cannavale may very well be funny and engaging in most of his Nurse Jackie episodes. If you were to judge him based on his submission alone, however, you'd never think it. He's the only nominee I'm positive won't win.
1. Maya Rudolph (SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE): Two big things work in Rudolph's favor: (1) she's funny (especially in her turn as Maya Angelou), and (2) she was part of SNL's absolute best episode from the past season. The former is effective for obvious reasons, and the latter has helped Justin Timberlake win a pair of Emmys in recent years. Her biggest competitor is another actress who guest starred on the sketch comedy series, but make no mistake: Rudolph is the one who deserves it.
2. Melissa McCarthy (SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE): McCarthy is the one with all the buzz. The truth is, she's only somewhat entertaining. Most of the time, the jokes don't land. In a few skits (like the one with the Hidden Valley Ranch lady), you can tell she's really trying to pull the laughs out of you. They don't come naturally like they do with Rudolph. Hopefully, voters will see this and reward the performer who's comedic timing is much more effortless.
3. Dot-Marie Jones (GLEE): As she was last time, Jones is convincingly moving as Coach Beiste. It's not a comic turn, but comedy winners aren't always going for laughs (i.e. Tony Shalhoub). I don't think she'll win, but she absolutely deserved her second nomination.
4. Elizabeth Banks (30 ROCK): She's really settled into her role, much in the same way as Arnett and Elaine Stritch (who was snubbed). Regardless, the turn doesn't have the emotional or comic weight of the aforementioned three. It should be noted, however, that she's picked up more buzz in recent weeks.
5. Kathy Bates (TWO AND A HALF MEN): Bates essentially chews scenery for a couple of minutes by smoking a cigar and, as Charlie reincarnated in a woman's body, enjoying her new physique. Like the show, you might find yourrself grinning periodically, but it's nothing to write home about.
6. Margaret Cho (30 ROCK): No offense to Ms. Cho, but this is a waste of a nomination. Surely there were a number of other women who were more deserving of that sixth slot. Ellen Barkin (Modern Family), Patricia Clarkson (Parks and Recreation) and Stritch (30 Rock) are just a few ladies who would have been worthy replacements.
1. LOUIE (Louis C.K.): Since 2002, the award here has gone to a different show. Hour-long episodes often help (Desperate Housewives, The Office and Glee can all attest to that). C.K. seems like the smart choice. His second season received more love from the voters, and this is probably his best shot at walking away with a win.
2. CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (Robert B. Weide): If voters decide to buck their own trend, Weide could win his second Emmy for directing this HBO comedy. However, winning in the past actually hurts his chances for a repeat.
3. MODERN FAMILY (Steven Levitan): Setting up the finale as a live action soap opera will probably strike some voters as inspired directing. For others, it's hard to get passed the fact that a lot about this episode just doesn't work.
4. GIRLS (Lena Dunham): The first season's final episode doesn't scream "Best Director!" Like the writing (and the series, I would argue), it's very subtle and somewhat distant. There is another area where Dunham has much better odds.
5. MODERN FAMILY (Jason Winer): This is one of the few episodes from Modern Family's third season that struck the right tone (so it's interesting that it wasn't submitted for Comedy Series consideration). However, this is more of a well-written episode than a well-directed one.
6. NEW GIRL (Jake Kasdan): Like "Virgin Territory," New Girl's pilot works (outside of Deschanel) because of the writing, not the directing.
1. GIRLS (Lena Dunham): Like Louis C.K., Dunham is nominated as her show's lead performer, director and writer. She obviously made a positive impression on Emmy voters with Girls' first season. Pilots have a good track record of winning in the writing category (for both dramas and comedies). She's not a sure thing, but she has the advantage nonetheless.
2. LOUIE (Louis C.K.): If C.K. is shut out of the acting and directing fields, he'll probably win here. I just don't see him going home empty-handed this year.
3. PARKS AND RECREATION (Michael Schur): If every episode from the show's fourth season was as good as the finale, it probably wouldn't have been snubbed for Comedy Series. Between Poehler's performance and the anticipation surrounding the results of the election, the episode really resonates. Schur could easily upset Dunham and C.K.
4. PARKS AND RECREATION (Amy Poehler): This could potentially act as Poehler's consolation prize were she to lose Best Actress. Schur's script, however, is more impressive.
5. COMMUNITY (Chris McKenna): It's nice to see Community make an appearance somewhere outside of the animation field. "Remedial Chaos Theory" was arguably the best episode from the show's third season. The problem is that the episode stands out due to Jeff Melman's direction, not necessarily McKenna's script.
1. VEEP - It's the new show on the block with a fresh, funny cast. This is one area where series' first seasons have an advantage over shows that have been on for a while. The performances haven't become tired yet because we haven't seen them before.
2. GIRLS - It's also new, and you get the sense that it has a little more love from Emmy voters. But Veep's ensemble is much stronger.
3. MODERN FAMILY - Perhaps if Season 3 wasn't an off season, it could repeat. However, given that it lost to Glee when it was still fantastic, it looks like voters may be looking to spread the love here anyway.
4. NEW GIRL - It's also a freshman series, but no one else from the series (outside of Greenfield) really stands out when compared to Deschanel.
5. NURSE JACKIE - It was a much bigger threat to win this in its first and second seasons. Now, it's just nominated to fill the category.
6. THE BIG C - The lack of nominations for any guest performers, series regulars or even the show's leading lady pretty much eliminates the casting department's chances altogether.
If I Could Pick the Comedy Winners. . .
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