Parks and Rec

2014 Emmy Preview: Outstanding Lead Actress Comedy

Over the weekend we discussed the rapid decline of the Lead Actor in a Comedy series category, which has led to an era of dominance by Jim Parsons. This category is on the verge of having an actress win it three years in a row. However, unlike her male counterpart it is not from a dearth of competition, but rather sheer brilliance. The only question to ask in this category is can anyone stop Julia Louis-Dreyfus?

Nominees

When you come at the Queen, you best not miss.

When you come at the Queen, you best not miss.

 

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” (1/4) – Emmy royalty, she has won four awards and received 15 nominations, eight for lead and seven for supporting actress in a comedy series. All signs point to her taking home a fifth golden statute tomorrow night. Veep is the best comedy on television and Dreyfus is the main reason why. The way she rips through the profanity laced Iannucci dialogue or plays Selina Meyer’s determination to matter in Washington is pure gold. Right now she is playing in a higher league than the rest of her competition.

Taylor Schilling, “Orange is the New Black” (9/2) – Fan opinion is split on Piper Chapman as a character. Count me amongst the fans, as a suburban boy she reminds me of home. But even the haters must admit that Schilling’s performance is impressive and worthy of a nomination. It is hard to match Jenji Kohan’s last leading lady, Mary Louise Parker from Weeds, but Schilling seems to have a great grasp of Kohan’s wry sense of humor and brings it out in her performance.

Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation” (7/1) – This was Poehler’s worst season on the show, which is still better than 99% of the female leads in comedies. Another black mark on the Emmy’s record. It astonishes me that Poehler has never one for playing Leslie Knope a character that against all odds has become more iconic than Michael Scott from The Office. Over the past six seasons no one has been better at making an audience run the gambit of emotions than Poehler as Knope. She makes us laugh, cry, get angry, laugh even harder, feel embarrassed, and then laugh harder than we thought possible. Sadly it appears,  just like Carrell, Poehler will never take home the gold.

Lena Dunahm, “Girls” (30/1) – I hate Dunham with a fiery passion, but that she brings such passion out of me may speak to the level of talent she has. I’m just not sure if my hatred is jealousy or because she actually sucks. It is a complicated matter and I need to explore my feelings on it further before I decide if she is worthy of this nomination.tumblr_mp5tiekfvN1r0dgn4o1_500

Melissa McCarthy, “Mike and Molly” (30/1) – Everyone loves Melissa McCarthy. Except for Jenny McCarthy, but that is a complicated story. She is a bona fide movie star that seems to crap out hundreds of millions in box office. But that does not mean she is delivering an Emmy worthy performance on TV. First off, the material she is given is not nearly up to the caliber she deserves. This shouldn’t count against her, but it only allows her to glide by on tired gags. Emmy voters quickly realized that Jason Segal’s movie success did not translate to a stellar performance on How I Met Your Mother and must do the same with McCarthy. This will be the last year she gets nominated.

Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie” (30/1) – Falco sneaks in to the field because she has won this award playing this character before and she is a phenomenal actress. However, Nurse Jackie is suffering creative fatigue and Falco has been forced to cycle through the same character beats as earlier in its run. Again, this is not her fault, but it also lessens the appeal of the role.

Snubs

Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, “Broad City” – An Emmy first is needed, nominate a pair of actress for one spot. Broad City is the best new comedy of the year and also the comedy that made me laugh the hardest. The credit all goes to Glazer and Jacobson who not only serve as the show’s stars, but its creators as well. The majority of scenes in the show feature just the two of them improving off one another. Their chemistry is unmatched on TV today and it is impossible to separate them.

Rossum has grown to outshine the immensely talented William H Macy on Shameless.

Rossum has grown to outshine the immensely talented William H Macy on Shameless.

 

Emmy Rossum, “Shameless” – This is a tough year for Shameless to submit in the comedy category. It spent the previous three seasons in drama, while being a twisted dark comedy about a family surviving on Chicago’s South Side. Then switched to comedy and delivered its most dramatic season yet as the weight that the Gallaghers have been holding up all came crashing down on top of them. The focal point of this crash was Rossum’s Fiona whom nearly killed her toddler brother by leaving cocaine out on the table, then proceeded to have a prison arc of her own, but without all the humor that Schilling got to play with on Orange is the New Black. Never the less, comedic or not, Rossum deserves more recognition for her work on the underrated Shameless.

Best Bet

There is a great case to be made for a Schilling win. Orange is the New Black is a trendy new show that has a groundswell of support and might have a huge night, racking up award after award. Schilling could very well be a beneficiary of that support and topple Queen Dreyfus. But in reality talking up anyone else in this category is like betting on Floyd Mayweather’s next opponent. Yeah, it sounds fun and tempting to correctly pick the man that takes him down, but in the end Money Mayweather is going to win by decision. Bet big on Dreyfus.

Should Win 

Dreyfus is the Queen, but Veep has a tremendous supporting cast, while Glazer and Jacobson carry the show on their own. Yes, it is cheating to pick a pair over one person, but it takes something special like this to topple a legend. And while Veep is a better overall show, no one made me laugh harder than Jacobson and Glazer on Broad City.

Will Win 

This is the biggest lock of the night. Dreyfus makes it a three peat. You’re welcome Pat Riley. She is just too good and Emmy voters love her too much for anyone to beat her.

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2014 Emmy Preview: Supporting Actors Comedy

Television’s biggest award show is rapidly approaching, it airs next Monday August 25th on NBC. In anticipation of what is sure to be an entertaining show with Seth Meyers hosting let’s do a full breakdown of the categories including the betting odds, snubs, rightful winner, and predicted winner. First up, supporting actors in a comedy series.

Supporting Actor Comedy Series

Armisen is one of this year's many surprise noms.

Armisen is one of this year’s many surprise noms.

 

Nominees:

Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn 99” – (2/3)

Tony Hale, “Veep” – (13/5)

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family” – (11/2)

Fred Armisen, “Portlandia” – (10/1)

Ty Burrell, “Modern Family” – (15/1)

Adam Driver, “Girls” – (50/1)

Snubs: 

Snubs can only occur if there are undeserving nominees in the category and deserving ones to replace them. In this category there are two undeserving nominees and two worthy candidates to replace them. Armisen submitting as a supporting actor is questionable, but the whole Emmy process is too messed up to fix, so since he is worthy of a nomination. I fully admit that my bias against “Modern Family” plays in to my displeasure with Ferguson and Burrell still getting nominated in this category. The two men I’d replace them with are:

Nick Offerman, “Parks and Recreation” – The fact that Ron “fucking” Swanson has never won this award is a black mark on the Emmys’ legitimacy, topped only by nominating “The Wire” one time. Offerman deserves a lifetime achievement award for this iconic role. Despite not being the best season creatively for “Parks and Rec” and as a result the best season of work for Offerman that by no means makes it right to not nominate the man. A true embarrassment for American Pop Culture.

Jeremy Allen White, “Shameless” – Just like Fred Armisen’s nominations, the only question here is placement of category. Since he both took on a more leading role and “Shameless” has been consider as a Drama for its first three seasons, while making the switch to Comedy in what turned out to be by far its darkest and most dramatic season to date. But again, this section is not about how to fix the Emmys, but rather whom should be nominated and Jeremy Allen White is far more deserving than the “Modern Family” duo. He is a star in the making and brings so much depth to his South Side delinquent character that he has stolen the show from his more accomplished co-stars, William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum.

Best Bet:

Defending winner Tony Hale at (13/5). Emmy voters love attrition or maybe they are just lazy, but either way it leaves Hale with a good chance of taking home the trophy again. Veep has 9 nominations including best comedy series, which indicates it’s a big hit with voters. Hale did not have as much to do this season as he did last year, but he has some great moments including his best from his submission episode when he and Julia Louis Dreyfuss react to the news that she is now President of the United States.

Who Should Win: 

The easy answer is Nick Offerman since he has never won the damn thing, but simply judging this year alone it has to be the immaculate Andre Braugher. Known for his dramatic chops on shows such as “Homicide” and “Men of a Certain Age” Braugher is a revelation as the deadpan Captain Ray Holt. Consistently getting the biggest laughs of the week despite having to share the stage with goofier, more comedic actors like Andy Samberg and Joe Lo Truglio.

Who Will Win: 

Andre Braugher. Emmy voters may love attrition, but they also love Braugher as his six previous nominations from five different shows indicates. Plus how could anyone watch this scene and not want to give the man another Emmy.

 

Supporting Actress Comedy Series

Nominees: 

"My Girl" is all grown up and has a filthy mouth on her.

“My Girl” is all grown up and has a filthy mouth on her.

 

Allison Janey, “Mom” – (1/2)

Kate Mulgrew, “Orange is the New Black” – (2/1)

Julie Bowen, “Modern Family” – (15/1)

Katie McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live” – (20/1)

Mayim Bialik, “Big Bang Theory” – (20/1)

Ann Chulmsky, “Veep” – (20/1)

Snubs: 

I will give Emmy voters some props for nominating a lot of new faces in this category and having only one “Modern Family” actress. It seems weird to kick out the betting favorite and it is not that Janey is completely undeserving of the nomination as she does typically great work, but just not good enough to deserve being in this category. The same goes for fellow Chuck Lorre star Mayim Bialik whom is my favorite part of a show that I work very hard to avoid watching and obviously my feelings for Happy Gilmore’s girlfriend are the same as her “Modern Family” male supporting actors.

Amy Schumer, “Inside Amy Schumer” – Despite it making zero sense for an actress from a sketch show with her name on it and that appears in every single second of the show placing herself in the supporting category, I still must obey the messed up rules of Emmy and say she absolutely deserves to be nominated. Schumer is not just a fantastic comic, she is a highly talented actress. Playing an array of characters the show and it would be great to see this clip shown when they announce the nominees.

 

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Danielle Brooks, “Orange Is The New Black” – This category will be extremely difficult next year when Season 2 is eligible for nomination and a lot more actresses from this show will be up for consideration for this award instead of Guest Actress, Comedy. Brooks’s Taystee definitely deserves to represent this show along with co-star Katie Mulgrew. Taystee became a fan favorite despite limited screen time and that is because Brooks shined in every single second she was given especially towards the end of the season during the parole hearing arc.

Marcia Gay Harden, “Trophy Wife” – Much like Supporting Actor favorite Andre Braugher, Gay Harden showed off surprising comedic chops last season on this warm, funny, and entertaining show that deserved so much more fan support then it got. It would be nice to see the Emmys honor this “gone too soon” sitcom with at least one nomination and this was the most likely candidate.

Best Bet: 

Emmy voters do love Allison Janey, donning her with four wins in her career, so it would seem to hard to bet against her. However, since Emmy voters are made up of Entertainment Industry Insiders and “Orange Is the New Black” create quite the buzz in Hollywood, it would be smart to bet big on it across the board in this case Katie Mulgrew. Especially true at 2/1, when compared to Janey’s 1/2 odds.

Who Should Win: 

In this crazy, messed up nomination process the deserving winner is absolutely Amy Schumer. Yes, she has a distinct advantage since she is the sole star of the show. And yes, it is a sketch show, but still no one is more entertaining, funnier, or more skilled than Schumer in this category.

Who Will Win: 

It just seems like this year’s Emmys is set up to be a big night for “Orange Is the New Black” and Mulgrew is going to reap the benefits with a big win for her portrayal of Prison Chef/Contraband Importer “Red.” Take Mulgrew at 2/1, parlay it with the show in the Outstanding Comedy Series category at 2/1, and take those winnings to the bank.