2012 Emmys Pre-Nominations Top Contenders (Comedy Series)
Interestingly enough, there was a time when, before the actual nominations came out, voters would narrow down all the contenders to the “top 10″. They obviously don’t do that anymore. But…we can still assume which contenders are at the top of the voter’s minds. Before I release my official nomination predictions around early July, I am going to run down which 10 or so contenders are the biggest threats…and maybe some personal long shots that I believe voters should consider. Here we go!
I am basing the category placements, based on the official ballots which were just released. Here they are.
For more Emmy discussion, visit my Emmy page.
In alphabetical order, here are the top contenders for Best Comedy Series.
1. THE BIG BANG THEORY - Pros: The show received its first Best Comedy Series nomination last year. Along with that, they were just nominated for SAG Awards for the ensemble and the Producers Guild Award. It’s also just been nominated for a Television Critics Award and a Critics Choice Award. And, of course, the show’s MVP Jim Parsons has won two consecutive Emmys among many other things. The show is very very hot and more popular than ever are watching it! And, this season, it even surpassed American Idol in the ratings for a few weeks. If the voters are going to nominate one multi-camera sitcom (and they always do), this show has the best chance at getting that nomination. Cons: The humor tends to be a bit “low brow,” which won’t please the snobby members of the Academy. Um…that’s it.
2. COMMUNITY - Pros: The show won an Emmy last year (it was a special, individual Emmy for their Animated Christmas special but…it’s still technically one more than 30 Rock.) The show was also just nominated for a Hugo Award for arguably the strongest comedy episode of the season “Remedial Chaos Theory”. They’ve also gotten nominations for both the major Critics awards (mentioned above). This show is a huge critics favorite. And the small fanbase is passionate and aggressive over their love (even if that means bashing other people who don’t care for the show cough cough). The show received a lot of buzz and exposure after NBC left the show off the schedule in January. It might be hard for Emmy voters to ignore this show. Cons: The show has been overwhelmingly snubbed for the last two years. It’s not like this show just became funny. It’s always been funny…yet the voters still snub the show. Even some fans have said that this season hasn’t been as consistent as the past seasons. The show also hasn’t been nominated for Golden Globes, or any other Guild Awards. And the show’s ratings have been especially low this season, save for two comparatively strong weeks in the middle of their season. I put this show as a top contender…but it’ll honestly be a pretty big surprise if it breaks through.
3. CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM - Pros: The oldest of all the contenders on this list, the show has been nominated every they’ve been eligible since season season 2. The is still popular among fans and still creates buzzed about comedy moments. I haven’t watched this season, but apparently there’s an episode called “Palestine Chicken” that’s very popular and even won a Director’s Guild Award this season. It’s a testament that no matter how new shows premiere, or crowded a certain year is, the voters are still able to find room for this show. And there’s no reason why they shouldn’t this year. Cons: In terms of Emmys, despite all their nominees, they’ve only won one Emmy for Direction in 2003. With all those snubs, it might be easy for voters to drop the show completely after 10 years in favor of newer shows. That contradicts what I just wrote earlier but…I’m sticking to it!
4. GIRLS - Pros: Although the show just finished its first season, it has received some of most laudatory reviews of the season. The show offers a somewhat raw, yet humorous look into the lives of four young, college educated women in New York City. And the show has just been nominated for the 2 separate Critics Awards which is very good buzz for the Emmys. Cons: Yeah, the show has some pretty big cons. One, the show’s gotten widespread criticism for many things including lack of diversity, unlikable leading characters, and the fact that some of the actresses have famous parents (nepotism?) Also, while most critics love this show, a lot of “regular people” do not. Some people in the industry may feel venom for Dunham because she’s accomplished so much at such a young age, and some people may feel she hasn’t paid enough dues yet and that she’s more lucky than talented. And, last, this is a new show…so only time will tell whether the voters will embrace the show as much as critics. Let’s not forget: Friday Night Lights got amazing reviews during it’s first season, but didn’t walk away with the nomination. Girls, despite it being a comedy, could suffer that same fate.
5. GLEE - Pros: The show has been nominated the last two years. Actually, it’s gotten a lot of nominations for the last two years. Although it hasn’t won for Best Comedy Series, it has gotten some key wins for Jane Lynch, the direction, and the guest performances. The show has been a pretty heavy Awards favorite for these three seasons, getting nominations/wins for the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards. And if the voters have kids who are Gleeks, then they’ll probably vote for this show just to make their kids happy. Cons: Save for a few episodes, this season has largely been criticized by professional reviewers and fans alike. It joins the ranks of High School Musical, with people hating it and loving it at the same time (but most hating it). This is a very divisive show. And the fact that the show didn’t receive any Directing or Writing nominations last year after winning the Directing category the year before shows that the show’s Emmy stock could gradually be getting lower and lower until it’s out completely. This could be the year that happens.
6. LOUIE - Pros: The show received some surprising nominations last year, including for writing and its lead actor, Louie. Those nominations were definitely deserved. They would also be deserving of those nominations for this season, which featured some stand out episodes including “Joan” and “Duckling”. The show is also a near lock for lead actor and writing, a series nod wouldn’t be too off. Oh! And the show has gotten very positive reviews and has already received other award nominations for their second season. Cons: Outside the stand up scenes, this show can be very dramatic. There are probably some voters who prefer a more traditional comedy, as opposed to this new-agey dramedy that most shows nowadays have inherited from Ally McBeal. (Think when Melissa McCarthy beat front runner Laura Linney last year). Also, the Emmys have never been too kind to cable comedies…esp. basic cable comedies. Louie may not be able to break that tradition.
7. MODERN FAMILY - Pros: The show has done very well with awards these last two years, winning Golden Globes, SAG Awards and other major/critics awards. The show also won Comedy Series for the last 2 years, ending 30 Rock’s seemingly unstoppable streak during their first year. All 6 of the adult actors were nominated for an Emmy last year, with 5 of them nominated the year before. Three of the actors have won Emmys. They’ve also won for directing and writing. In short…the show is a bonafide favorite in all realms of the industry. And it’s not only expected to get a third nomination…it’s pretty much expected to get a third win. Cons: Nothing, honestly. When a show gets a lot of awards, it begins to get backlash (30 Rock has gone through the same thing since season 2). That’s just petty criticism and it’s not going to affect anything…
8. NEW GIRL - Pros: This has become one of the more successful new comedies of this season, receiving high ratings, a few award nominations, and instant recognition for star Zooey Deschanel, Max Greenfield and the creator Liz Meriwether. And while the reviews in the beginning were promising, yet very shaky, a lot of early dissenters have had a radical change of heart. This is exactly what happened to 30 Rock during their first season. And we all know what happened to that show. So, yes, New Girl could be the next 30 Rock. Cons: One, some people still don’t like Deschanel’s overly quirky/adorkable performance. And she’s the star of the show. If those haters can’t look past her performance then, yeah, they won’t vote for this show. On the contrary, voters who love Deschanel may, again, not be able to look past her, only vote for her, and ignore the show itself completely. Ain’t that the pits!
9. THE OFFICE - Pros: This is another Emmy favorite, having won Comedy Series for their second season, and having been nominated every year since then. The show is still NBC’s highest rated comedy (although that’s not saying much). And the show still recently received a SAG nomination for ensemble showing that other people in the industry still appreciate the performers on the show. Cons: Frankly, ever since Steve Carell left the series, the show has not been the same. The quality has noticeably gone down this season, and everyone from fans to critics have noticed. The bad reviews for this season have been too hard to ignore, and I really believe that the voters won’t “rubber stamp” this one. Early prediction – this is definitely the year The Office drops out.
10. PARKS AND RECREATION - Pros: While The Office is getting worse reviews, Parks has gotten better and better reviews. I have met very few people who dislike this show. It seems to make every person’s top 10 list. In short, it’s a much loved series like Community. Unlike Community, the show has picked up some Emmy nominations, including for its lead Amy Poehler and the show itself last year. It also just received its first nominations from the Producers Guild and Writers Guild, showing that it’s still picking up steam. Even though the show hasn’t done as well with Emmy nominations as some of the other contenders, I believe this is the one show that could actually beat Modern Family. Cons: Again, in its last two years (let’s not count the first season), the show has only picked up four nominations, and no directing or writing nominations. But with some other shows losing stock, Parks should most definitely be fine.
11. 30 ROCK - Pros: Let’s not even bother to list all the Emmys 30 Rock have won. It’s an Emmy powerhouse, having won for Comedy Series for three years, and having been nominated the two years after that. The show has also won a multitude of awards from other organizations. Although nowadays the show is overshadowed by some of the newer shows, it’s still a favorite among critics and viewers. And, in its 6th season, the show is still trying new and exciting things, like live shows and elaborate parodies. Cons: The show hasn’t won an Emmy since its third season despite all the nominations. Although these last two seasons has gotten better reviews than season 4, people still say the show is “showing its age.” And for this season, the show didn’t get nominated for any of the Critics awards. Let’s just say…this show isn’t as strong of a lock as its been in the past…unfortunately.
12. VEEP - Pros: In its 8 episode first season, the show has already gotten great reviews. And with Emmy favorite Julia Louis Dreyfuss starring in the show, voters will definitely take notice and realize how hilarious the show is. If voters love fast, political humor that’s incredibly intelligent but also easy to understand…then this show could be a major surprise come July. Cons: It’s a new show. Who knows?
FYI Other contenders include: Desperate Housewives, Enlightened, Entourage, How I Met Your Mother, Raising Hope, Up All Night
Longshots Worth Mentioning: The Big C, Cougar Town, Hot in Cleveland, House of Lies, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Middle, Nurse Jackie
Shows with no chance that I still really love: 2 Broke Girls, Don’t Trust the B, Family Guy (kill me)
Read the ballots (link posted above) to see who else was submitted. Thanks for reading! Drama Series coming tomorrow. Should be intense.