May 28, 2011 at 9:25 pm #221374
Over the past few years, last year and this year especially, we have seen an overwhelming number of dramatic performers moving into the comedy categories (mainly Lead Comedy Actress) and taking away nominations from the rightfully deserving funny shows on television. This has caused a major stir.
This trend, I believe, started with Ally McBeal and Calista Flockhart submitting in Comedy Lead Actress. It spread to Showtime, who liked the idea and tried it with U.S. of Tara, succeeding. Then they tried it with Jackie, succeeding again. People are even starting to call Comedy Lead Actress: “the Showtime award.”
Now this trend has moved to Fox, who insists on putting Glee in comedy. It’s only a matter of time before it spreads to more networks. Because of this, I propose this idea:
Should the Emmy’s create a panel that screens shows to make sure they are submitted in the proper genres?
What do you think? Share your thoughts.May 29, 2011 at 12:39 am #221376
I think even with that panel, shows like Glee and Nurse Jackie would still be in the comedy categories. I think it’s not so much a matter of a show being funny or not (I laugh a lot at dramas like Mad Men and Breaking Bad), it’s more a matter of the tone of the show.
So I think the panel would still put Jackie and Glee in Comedy, maybe something darker like Tara (especially in season 3) would be put in Drama.May 29, 2011 at 5:44 am #221377
This sounds like a good idea in theory. It’s just a matter of how to implement it. I know the Golden Globes have to approve a category placement (lead vs. supporting) before a performer is allowed to submit there. (This year, I believe Hailee Steinfeld was rightly forced to compete as a lead actress.)
Goodness knows there are enough abuses at the Emmys. Comedy vs. drama doesn’t bother me that much. “Nurse Jackie,” “United States of Tara,” and “The Big C” certainly have comic and dramatic elements. I don’t actually mind them competing as comedies. I think it fit for “Ally McBeal” as well. And “Glee” is most certainly a comedy. Being a comedy doesn’t mean you’re never allowed to be serious. It’s very subjective.
I think we probably have stricter comedy/drama standards for TV than for film. Consider films like the Coen brothers’ “Fargo” and “A Serious Man” — no one complained about those films, black comedies, competed as comedies at the Golden Globes, and both of those are probably as dramatic as the Showtime series’. Consider how serious “The Kids Are All Right” got. Other classified comedies that were at least partly dramatic: “Happy-Go-Lucky,” “The Squid and the Whale,” “Sideways.”
Because of how laugh-out-loud obvious most TV sitcoms are in their objective to be funny (not a criticism), we TV viewers seem to approach comedy with a sense that if it doesn’t look or sound like “I Love Lucy” it’s probably a drama.
I’m much more bothered by the problem of lead actors submitting in the supporting categories. I wish there were approval panels at the Emmys that decided whether or not to accept a supporting placement or force an actor to compete in the lead race. I’m looking at you, Rose Byrne!June 12, 2011 at 9:23 pm #221378June 12, 2011 at 10:04 pm #221379
I like the idea, but I think Daniel makes a lot of good points. I feel like people don’t complain so much about movies in the wrong categories because it’s not like a movie comes back the following year to compete, so the damage is already done, and because while this may happen at the Globes, it’s a non-issue at the Oscars. (I remember seeing nominations in the comedy categories at the Globes for “Love and Other Drugs” and thinking, “Oh, is that why I cried through the last half hour of it?”)
Ally McBeal made sense as a comedy nominee, as does Glee. Desperate Housewives I feel has really been taking advantage with their placement there, but they’ve been a non-issue mostly for seasons now. I’ve never seen USofT or The Big C, but Nurse Jackie, while I’d call it a drama, does work in the funny in their supporting storylines.June 13, 2011 at 12:39 am #221380
Good idea in theory but probably, the genres where the contenders are now will likely be the same results if they had a panel.June 13, 2011 at 6:59 pm #221381
I’m sorry, but I am tired of people whining about the comedy categories at the Emmys. People need to understand that it’s a new era. There’s more than one type of comedy. In the ’90s, shows like “Ally McBeal,” a dramedy, came to prominence. And now those type of dramadies are becoming more and more popular. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more and more dramedies compete in the comedy categories.
And no worries…lots of purely comedic performances are still being honored by Emmy voters. Parsons, Fey, Stonestreet, Baldwin, Cryer, Piven, etc…all recent Emmy winners. It’d be a different story if voters were only honoring dramadies with awards, but that’s not the case at all.June 14, 2011 at 8:06 am #221382
No, I think it would cause more harm than good.
And as much as I’m super annoyed at the sub-par dramedies getting attention (I’m looking at you ShowTime) and squelching the hopes and dreams of the true comedies, I don’t think that’s a solution.
I’m just gonna keep my fingers crossed that the Emmy voters will realize that the dramedies were kinda shitty this past season and realize the true comedies were great.
When it comes to tv and movies, it’s always more difficult to make someone laugh than it is to make them cry. Especially TV. And especially within 30 minutes. If the Emmy’s wanna reward something stupid, then fair enough, but I have great taste and a great sense of humor. Some silly award show won’t convince me otherwise. I watch a lot of tv and love a lot of tv…I know what’s good. It’s nice when it matches up, but it’s not necessary…
On that note, I think there are going to be a couple of suprising (lack of) nominations this year.June 15, 2011 at 2:27 am #221383
I don’t know what the deal is because if you look at the current winners in the comedy categories for the last five years, there is a rare occurrence of dramedic performance.
2010: Modern Family, Parsons, Falco, Stonestreet, Lynch, Harris, White – 1/7
2009: 30 Rock, Baldwin, Collette, Cryer, Chenoweth, Timberlake, Fey – 1/7
2008: 30 Rock, Baldwin, Fey, Piven, Smart, Conway, Joosten[/i] – 1/7
2007: 30 Rock, Gervais, Ferrera, Piven, Pressly, Tucci, Stritch – 0/7
2006: The Office, Shalhoub, Louis Dreyfus, Piven, Mullally, Jordan, Leachman – 0/7
So I don’t get the fuzz.
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