Comedy Series Emmy showdown: ‘Black-ish’ or ‘Atlanta’ could keep ‘Veep’ from winning again
Two-time reigning Best Comedy Series champ “Veep” looked nearly unstoppable at last year’s Emmy Awards as it focused on a Presidential election right as the real world was doing the same. This year, however, as Gold Derby editors Rob Licuria, Marcus James Dixon, Amanda Spears and myself debate in an Emmy video slugfest (watch above), the HBO laugher could be in some trouble thanks to FX hit “Atlanta” entering the picture and ABC’s “Black-ish” on the rise.
While we all know a Golden Globe victor does not always equate to Emmy love (just ask “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” or “Mozart in the Jungle”), “Atlanta” looks poised to not just break through, but challenge “Veep” for the top prize. As Amanda points out, “I think what it has going for it is it’s done well at the guilds.” We all agree that “Black-ish” is poised to breakout and take the top prize, however it’ll need some below-the-line nominations to show full support from all Emmy branches. “Veep” seems to be wearing with us, as Marcus notes, “There’s nothing at stake anymore. I’m not sure why we’re following these characters. It’s almost like a spinoff of ‘Veep’.” And what about five-time Comedy Series champ “Modern Family”? As I point out, its Emmy FYC event has been the most attended at the TV academy so far “and while I do think that will not equate to a win, I think it’s still popular enough with the TV academy to get in.”
For Best Comedy Actress, Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”) is looking to set an Emmy record for most consecutive Comedy Actress wins, gunning for her sixth victory for playing former VP and President Selina Meyer. This year, another Emmy darling is making the switch up to lead Comedy Actress race after two Comedy Supporting Actress victories: Allison Janney (“Mom”). Rob doesn’t see her as a threat, however, saying, “I don’t see it. I think that’s just a Gold Derby thing.” Amanda has Drew Barrymore in the mix for her turn as a flesh eating almost-zombie in the Netflix dark comedy “Santa Clarita Diet,” saying she is “crazy funny” and admits she may predict her to win if she is nominated. While we all agree Barrymore is great, I’m hoping — aside from Golden Globe champ Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”) getting a much deserved victory here — that Pop’s “Schitt’s Creek” star Catherine O’Hara gets recognized, declaring, “People know Catherine O’Hara, they respect her, and if she gets in she will win.”
On the Comedy Supporting Actor side Marcus is championing last year’s victor once again: Louie Anderson for FX’s “Baskets.” He says, “Louie is so much better in Season 2 than he is in Season 1. You want to hug him in every single scene,” and that’s important seeing as the recipe for an Emmy victory consists of impact, range and what we like to call “hugability.” Is that enough to stop Alec Baldwin though for his viral turn as Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live”? Rob doesn’t think so because, “Who has been more in the zeitgeist than Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump? He will win this in a heartbeat.”