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Are Emmy voters not paying attention to Comedy Series?

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  • Morgan Henard
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    May 27th, 2011
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    #262430

    Are Emmy voters not paying attention to
    Comedies?

    Awards aren’t everything. We know this. Citizen
    Kane
    did not win Best Picture at the Oscars. Madonna has never won Album of
    the Year at the Grammys. And many great drama series at the Emmys have been
    overlooked for both nominations – Battlestar
    Galactica
    , The Wire – and wins – Breaking Bad (pending), Friday Night Lights, Six Feet Under, and The X-Files.

    Within the past decade, I think it’s fair to say the Emmys have really taken
    notice of the drama series on the air. While coming to the realization that
    cable is “where it’s at,” they’ve also given accolades in nominations – Kathy
    Bates for Harry’s Law; Simon Baker
    for The Mentalist – and wins –
    Julianna Margulies for The Good Wife;
    Sally Field for Brothers & Sisters,
    James Spader and William Shatner for Boston
    Legal
    – for network dramas that were deserving.

    Even when a series seems doomed to forever be off of Emmys radar, they take
    notice (i.e. Friday Night Lights),
    although, as always, there’s going to be the occasional drama that is
    completely brilliant yet Emmy just doesn’t notice (Shameless, Sons of Anarchy,
    Southland
    ).

    But what is going on in the Comedy categories?

    When looking back at the 2011-2012 Emmy eligibility season, based on the Emmy
    wins, I would expect to think season three of Modern Family was best of the best, given its major wins. Clearly,
    it was not.

    In my personal opinion – and most critics and pundits – I would say the best of
    the best comedies were (in alphabetical order): Community, Cougar Town, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Girls, Happy Endings,
    Louie, New Girl, Parks and Recreation,
    Raising Hope,
    and Veep.

    Now, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Girls, and Veep were all nominated for Comedy Series. Kudos to the Academy on
    that accomplishment. But, something just feels off.

    Parks and Recreation had a stellar
    season four, received two Writing nominations plus a third consecutive Lead
    Actress nomination, yet is left off of Directing and Series? Not to mention
    Nick Offerman in Supporting or Adam Scott in the completely dull Lead Actor in
    a Comedy.

    Veep has one of the most brilliant
    debut seasons of any series ever yet manages to get in Series but not Writing
    or Directing? I’m thrilled Julia Louis-Dreyfus won, but did she win because of
    who she is and her history with the Academy or because they really thought she
    was the best? Hell, with the way the nominations were going it seemed Lena
    Dunham was pegged to win something.

    Happy Endings and Raising Hope are two of the best
    comedies on the air with superb acting and smart witty dialogue keeping them
    fresh week-after-week-after-week. Martha Plimpton was left off the nomination
    list this year after being incredibly snubbed last year (I guess seeing her win
    Guest Drama Actress for The Good Wife
    was a nice consolation prize, even though that should have happened two seasons
    earlier, especially since the best guest dramatic actress of the season, Carrie
    Preston, was also on The Good Wife
    and couldn’t even get the nom). Yet I don’t see these two falling on Emmy’s radar
    soon.

    Louie had a nice showing and maybe
    could have done better with smarter submissions. But not nominated in Series?
    Makes no sense.

    After this year, now more than ever, Curb
    Your Enthusiasm
    is forever deemed always-the-bridesmaid-never-the-bride.

    New Girl has a chance to grow. Its
    top two MVPs – Zooey Deschanel and Max Greenfield – managed to get noms, plus
    Direction of the pilot, so that was nice. I could see it garnering more in the
    future, hopefully Series.

    And then there’s Community. It’s hard
    to root against Jon Cryer winning when he was win a category (this time the
    right category) containing no Joel McHale and a huge batch of weak submissions.
    After all the accolades, after all the press (even if it was slightly
    negative), even after the groundbreaking episode “Remedial Chaos Theory,” how
    could this get snubbed in Series, Lead Actor and Directing? It makes absolutely
    no sense.

    Now I enjoy Modern Family but it
    definitely was a bit more stale in season three than the first two. They turned
    Mitchell into a baby-fied cartoon (poor Jesse Tyler Ferguson failing to get
    Emmy number 1 while Stonestreet gets Emmy number 2) while they completely
    wasted Ed O’Neill and Sofia Vergara.

    The 2011-2012 Emmy season was full of great comedy and Modern Family’s third season does not belong in the top tier. I
    would group it with The Big Bang Theory
    and 30 Rock followed by
    the-Carrell’less-Office and the
    revamped-yet-still-sucky-Two-and-a-Half-Men.

    I have not even mentioned all of the dramedies – Enlightened, The Big C, Weeds – because that opens up an entire
    new can of worms.

    My reason for posting this is…How can an Academy be so well-versed on the drama
    side of things yet completely oblivious on the Comedy side of things? Has this
    been mentioned amongst voters? Whereas SAG voters are completely oblivious to
    anything television-related, I feel the same of Emmy voters when it comes to
    Comedy Series, and what I don’t understand is why. Some of the best of the best
    of the best aren’t even being considered while others are being rubber-stamped,
    or in terms of undeserving nominations {Bill Hader? Kristin Wiig?} and wins {Modern Family, Cryer, Stonestreet,
    Bowen}, while the best of the best {Raising
    Hope
    , McHale, Plimpton, Offerman, Krakowski} can’t even land the
    nomination.

    We are in the golden age of dramatic television and the Academy is aware of
    that. Now why can’t they grasp that on the Comedy side?

    What’s going on? Or is it all just coincidental?

    Reply
    Icky
    Participant
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    Jun 28th, 2012
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    #262432

    None of my six favorite comedies of the season were nominated (Louie, Community, Cougar Town, Raising Hope, Happy Endings, Parks and Recreation).

    Part of the reason is, whether voters are conscious of it or not, they’re trying to balance out all that cable love shown on the drama side with nominating highly watched broadcast sitcoms. Most of the best comedies on TV are low rated broadcast shows. So they lack to snob/cool appeal of the HBO comedies, but they’re not well watched enough to fit into the academy’s populist push.

    ReplyCopy URL
    Anonymous
    Joined:
    Jan 1st, 1970
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    #262433

    Let’s compare with TCA awards: Modern Family yes, Big Bang Theory yes, Louie/Community/Parks all got into Writing at least. If we compare with Metacritic critics’ T10 lists, the only show that’s “better” than any of the above is Enlightened, but that show’s highly divisive and neither awards bodies nor audiences really paid any attention to it.

    Louie would’ve been the first basic cable show ever to get into the category, so maybe they’re waiting…for next year maybe?

    “Balance out all that cable love shown on the drama
    side with nominating highly watched broadcast sitcoms.” – Half of the series noms were low-rated HBO comedies, then there was a low-rated NBC comedy. That only leaves 2 highly watched sitcoms, which critics seem to agree deserved noms. So I am not seeing your point.

    ReplyCopy URL
    iskolar
    Participant
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    #262434

    I don’t know why Modern Family always get the blame for this.

    “Parks and Recreation had a stellar
    season four, received two Writing nominations plus a third consecutive Lead
    Actress nomination, yet is left off of Directing and Series? Not to mention
    Nick Offerman in Supporting or Adam Scott in the completely dull Lead Actor in
    a Comedy.”

    Modern Family received two Directing noms plus a third consecutive nom for five of the members of the cast.

    The way I see it, when Modern Family receives accolades, it is lazy rewarding, but if it’s anything but Modern Family, it’s genius and deserving. It has even came to a point when it’s as if Modern Family belongs to the likes of Two and a Half Men and Mike and Molly. Clearly, there’s something in the show that voters like that makes them keep on voting for it over and over again.

    “When looking back at the 2011-2012 Emmy eligibility season, based on the Emmy
    wins, I would expect to think season three of Modern Family was best of the best, given its major wins. Clearly,
    it was not.

    One can say it clearly is not, but there’s a lot of factors on its side why it won. I mean if we have to nitpick about Modern Family (which I agree had its weakest season to date), then we have to nitpick about the rest of the nominees as well. Curb Your Enthusiasm’s humor is very hit or miss, Veep has a welcome nod but it look that it hasn’t reached its highest level of grateness yet, BBT also had an uneven season, Girls is also a hit or miss, and 30 Rock ahs already won three and might seem “old news” to voters already.

    But thing is, that’s part of the whole award giving process. I think that was already emphasized in the second sentence of the initial post.

    ReplyCopy URL
    Morgan Henard
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    #262435

    The way I see it, when Modern Family receives accolades, it is lazy rewarding, but if it’s anything but Modern Family, it’s genius and deserving. It has even came to a point when it’s as if Modern Family belongs to the likes of Two and a Half Men and Mike and Molly. Clearly, there’s something in the show that voters like that makes them keep on voting for it over and over again.

    Well, it sort of is lazy rewarding. In a season full of great comedy series, why reward a series so heavily that even you just claimed “had its weakest season to date.” And the wins themselves weren’t even the deserving ones: Stonestreet was the most annoying part of season three while the episode that won for Directing was not only the weakest of the Directing nominees but one of the weaker episodes of the series. I’ll stand by Julie Bowen winning her second, considering Vergara was wasted and Jane Krakowski was wasted.

    I’m not giving Modern Family flack. Hell, I still hope O’Neill, JTF, and Vergara can jump in there and eventually win. But this was such a strong year for comedies. Even in its eighth season, Curb Your Enthusiasm didn’t feel watered down (can’t say the same for 30 Rock or most especially, The Office. Don’t even get my started on Two and a Half Men). 

    Like I mentioned earlier: Community, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Girls, Happy Endings, LouieNew Girl, Parks and RecreationRaising Hope, Veep. All of these would have made worthier more deserving wins and had better seasons than season three of Modern Family. Yet some – Community, Happy Endings, Raising Hope – aren’t even on Emmy’s radar while the rest are barely there. 

    There just seems to be some complacency when it comes to nominating comedies, yet I don’t think anyone would begrudge those nominating the dramas. I hope the heighetened excellence of nominating dramas continues but I’ll be looking for them to do just the same on the comedy side.

    And don’t even get me started on the complete clusterf* that is the TV-Movie/Miniseries categories and combining them. Oh, Emmys…Please don’t start falling apart… 

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    probablyROB
    Participant
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    #262436

    @iskolar – the problem isn’t really rewarding Modern Family I don’t think but ignoring all of the shows that are better than more than half of the nominees.  While Parks and Rec has a disappointing season, it still deserved a nomination more than any other show.  Throw in Community, Louie, and Happy Endings and I might actually start taking the category seriously.  As of right now, the winners don’t seem lazy but the nominations do.

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    Maxwell Grey
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    #262437

    I believe “Curb Your Enthusiasm” has never won because its a type of comedy that not everybody enjoys. I bet some voters love it, the other half probably despises it. I personally can’t get through an episode. Simply, I don’t think it’s funny at all. Probably the same with Louie.

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    outsider
    Member
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    #262438

    I understand that people here aren’t major fans of “Modern Family” and “The Big Bang Theory”, but it’s not that obvious that they are unworthy and shouldn’t be getting nominations for Comedy Series. You don’t like them, so that means Emmy voters aren’t paying attention?

    “Modern Family” won the Golden Globe, SAG award for ensemble, WGA award, PGA award and was nominated for the TCA and Critics Choice award.

    “The Big Bang Theory” was nominated for the TCA award, the Critics Choice award, the PGA award and the SAG award for ensemble.

    They definitely deserved their nominations over “New Girl”. “Raising Hope” and “Happy Endings” can be very hit or miss and for all the vocal love “Girls” and “Louie” receive, there are people that absolutely hate them.

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    Teproc
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    #262439

    I think it’s more of a predictability thing. Imagine this fairly plausible scenario at last week’s Emmys :
    – Girls wins Comedy Series 
    – Louis C.K. wins Lead Actor
    – JLD/Poehler wins Lead Actress
    – Random MF guy wins Supporting Actor
    – Bowen wins Supporting Actress
    – Community wins Writing
    – Curb wins Directing

    People wouldn’t be so worried about the comedy side of things, and bear in mind that all of these were very real possibilities. Well, the Girls win was pretty unlikely, but the rest seems reasonable. Now, people would still be pissed off at the ridiculous number of nominations in the supporting categories, but the other surprises would make that kinda ok.

    It’s all about perception and predictability. For example, Modern Family would’ve been on my ballot for Comedy Series (in sixth place), but I’m annoyed by it winning. Homeland would only have been fourth on my ballot, which is not that much better, yet I’m happy about the win, just because its new. 

    My point is : they aren’t that bad at identifying comedies. Loui/P&R snub in Series aside, they really just ignore Community, which is understandable given how weird it is, and Happy Endings, which can be explained by a weak first season (afaik, since I don’t actually watch the show). Unlike Drama though, the wins are pretty terrible and predictable. But it’s not as bad as it seems.

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    Maxwell Grey
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    #262440

    I understand that people here aren’t major fans of “Modern Family” and “The Big Bang Theory”, but it’s not that obvious that they are unworthy and shouldn’t be getting nominations for Comedy Series. You don’t like them, so that means Emmy voters aren’t paying attention?

    “Modern Family” won the Golden Globe, SAG award for ensemble, WGA award, PGA award and was nominated for the TCA and Critics Choice award.

    “The Big Bang Theory” was nominated for the TCA award, the Critics Choice award, the PGA award and the SAG award for ensemble.

    They definitely deserved their nominations over “New Girl”. “Raising Hope” and “Happy Endings” can be very hit or miss and for all the vocal love “Girls” and “Louie” receive, there are people that absolutely hate them.

    You tell them. 100% agreed.

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    probablyROB
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    #262441

    I understand that people here aren’t major fans of “Modern Family” and “The Big Bang Theory”, but it’s not that obvious that they are unworthy and shouldn’t be getting nominations for Comedy Series. You don’t like them, so that means Emmy voters aren’t paying attention?

    “Modern Family” won the Golden Globe, SAG award for ensemble, WGA award, PGA award and was nominated for the TCA and Critics Choice award.

    “The Big Bang Theory” was nominated for the TCA award, the Critics Choice award, the PGA award and the SAG award for ensemble.

    They definitely deserved their nominations over “New Girl”. “Raising Hope” and “Happy Endings” can be very hit or miss and for all the vocal love “Girls” and “Louie” receive, there are people that absolutely hate them.

    This is a bizarre argument.  Golden Globe and SAG are fairly irrelevant.  And really so are the TCA and Critics Choice awards in terms of Emmys but they are more respectable in my opinion.  The point isn’t that people shouldn’t like BBT or MF but that they appear to be ignoring shows that have now surpassed them in quality and consistency.  But even so you’re not giving reasons why MF should win or even be nominated.  You’re just making excuses for them not nominating other shows.  It is glaring when not one of the best 6 comedies last year wasn’t even nominated.  I just assume you’re not watching Happy Endings or Raising Hope if you are calling them hit or miss.  New Girl is better than TBBT and MF right now.

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    Maxwell Grey
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    #262442

    Comedy is subjective!!! It is not like drama. Saying New Girl is better than MF is ridiculous.

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    Ryan Earle
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    #262443

    I love how everyone on this board is like “Community” is better to big bang theory and modern family. Well, that is YOUR opinion. The members of the Academy have a different opinion. Myself, I find “Community” to be over rated and a complete bore. I think it should have been cancelled after it’s first season, but again that is just MY opinion. 

    I don’t get upset when my favorite shows/performers get snubbed because these awards are not my personal taste, but they are a selection of the members of NATAS’s tastes. I think people need to stop thinking that just because they have a hard on for a show or performer that NATAS is supposed to do the same as well. It doesn’t work like that.  

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    Maxwell Grey
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    #262444

    ^ Im in love with that post. Community is not funny at all, IMO, they only have 1 great episode, which is “CRC”. But that doesn’t make up for the bore that the rest of their other episodes are.

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    James Coughlin
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    #262445

    I love how everyone on this board is like “Community” is better to big bang theory and modern family. Well, that is YOUR opinion. The members of the Academy have a different opinion. Myself, I find “Community” to be over rated and a complete bore. I think it should have been cancelled after it’s first season, but again that is just MY opinion. 

    I don’t get upset when my favorite shows/performers get snubbed because these awards are not my personal taste, but they are a selection of the members of NATAS’s tastes. I think people need to stop thinking that just because they have a hard on for a show or performer that NATAS is supposed to do the same as well. It doesn’t work like that.  

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuOFylcfWuo

    The only morality in a cruel world is chance.

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