We are one month away from Andy Samberg stepping on the stage at The Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles to host the 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards. With voting now officially open as of August 17, I am here to give you some insight into what may happen come the biggest night in television on September 20.
Now, I currently watch 70 shows, plus or minus 2. By currently I mean the shows are still in the process of making new episodes and I have seen every episode of these shows to date. Yes, 70. That is not a typo.
I will specify which shows I do not watch as I take you through each of the “major” categories and what I think is going to happen.
Now without further adieu, let’s start with what makes us laugh – The Comedy categories.
*- denotes shows of which I did not watch this season
Comedy Series (one of the few rule changes for this year is nominees for “series” were expanded from six to seven, and comedy nominees are an average of 60 minutes per episode unless petitioned otherwise)
Modern Family (ABC)
Parks and Recreation (NBC)
Silicon Valley (HBO)
Transparent (Amazon Prime)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
To me this is easily one of the toughest categories. While an easy pick (and one I would hate to admit) is Modern Family will make history and win for the sixth time in a row. However, I feel this is the best year for one of the other shows to take over. Mod Fam did not receive any nomination in Directing or Writing for the first time in the shows history. It was only nominated for two actors, compared to three last year, five in 2013, and six in 2011 and 2012. Maybe the Emmy voters have grown tired of the ABC hit and will change their vote to something more deserving.
I think the best chances to beat Mod Fam are either Veep, fresh off its stellar fourth season or new critically acclaimed transgender show, Transparent. Transparent previously won Golden Globes for Comedy Series and Lead Actor back in January, and it’s definitely possible both may happen again.
I am going to go with Veep because it’s been the most deserving show since its debut, it has consistently had three acting nominations (three wins in a row for Julia Louis-Dreyfus) plus has the best directed comedy episode (Testimony) and the best written (Election Night) nominated as well.
Dark Horse: Parks and Recreation’s final season. First nomination since 2011 and second series nomination overall in seven years.
Female Lead Actor in a Comedy
Edie Falco- Nurse Jackie (Showtime)*
Lisa Kudrow– The Comeback (HBO)*
Julia Louis-Dreyfus- Veep (HBO)
Amy Poehler– Parks and Recreation (NBC)
Amy Schumer- Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central)
Lily Tomlin- Grace and Frankie (Netflix)
This is a three-person race. The favorite: JLD coming off three straight wins for her portrayal as Selina Meyer vs. Amy squared (Poehler and Schumer, respectively).
JLD is the Meryl Streep of the Emmys, plain and simple. 16 total acting nominations with five wins. Emmys clearly love her. But will they love her enough to have her beat Amy Poehler yet again in her final season playing Leslie Knope? Or more than Amy Schumer who blew up this year getting every person on Earth to fall in love with her honest feminist comedy? Schumer should have been nominated for this solely based on her hilarious portrayal of herself in her sketch comedy series, but she helped herself out with stand-up and pretty much becoming an overnight sensation. Trainwreck also helped out here and to me this seems pretty comparable to Melissa McCarthy a few years ago winning this category for Mike and Molly running on her huge success from Bridesmaids. I feel enough people have fallen hard for Schumer this year and it should give her the edge to take down
Dark Horse: Lisa Kudrow. She was previously nominated for this performance during its first season back in 2005, and then the show was cancelled. It made its “comeback” this year and we all know how much members of TV love her from her time on the small NBC comedy called Friends.
Male Lead Actor in a Comedy
Anthony Anderson- Black-ish (NBC)*
Louis C.K.- Louie (FX)
Don Cheadle- House of Lies (Showtime)
Will Forte- The Last Man on Earth (Fox)
Matt LeBlanc- Episodes (Showtime)
William H. Macy- Shameless (Showtime)
Jeffrey Tambor- Transparent (Amazon Prime)
It finally looks like the television academy has grown tired of The Big Bang Theory (CBS). It was not nominated for series for the first time since 2010 and Emmy favorite Jim Parsons was left out after winning this category for the fourth time last year. So without the favorite being nominated who will step up to win? The best bets are frequent Emmy nominee Louis C.K. who is nominated twice this year for acting (Male Guest Actor in a Comedy for hosting SNL). Also has nominations for directing and two for writing. He frequently gets nominated for virtually everything possible, but has never won anything besides writing; this year is his best bet since Parsons isn’t there. However, as much as Louis C.K. is my favorite comedian and probably always will be, I think the best guesses to take this Emmy go to new nominees Forte and Tambor. Each plays a new character on their respective shows. Tambor has the critics vote and is fresh off a Golden Globe victory (statistically doesn’t mean anything, but could sway some votes). Forte’s performance is more of a laugh out loud funny, which we don’t see as much anymore as comedy has become more melodramatic over the years, but typically voters prefer that type of role. Both actors have multiple Emmy nominations without a win. Forte was previously nominated for guest work on 30 Rock and for writing Late Show with David Letterman. Tambor has been nominated seven times for his acting in The Larry Sanders Show and Arrested Development. I am going with Tambor here especially since he plays a transgender woman so that should garner him some extra votes.
Dark Horse: William H. Macy. Since Shameless switched from Drama to Comedy in 2014 he has been nominated twice after not receiving any nominations. He took the Screen Actor’s Guild award this year, I don’t think he stands a chance against the three candidates mentioned above, but anything is possible.
Female Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Mayim Bialik– The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Julie Bowen- Modern Family (ABC)
Anna Chlumsky– Veep (HBO)
Gaby Hoffmann- Transparent (Amazon Prime)
Allison Janney– Mom (Fox)*
Jane Krakowski– Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
Kate McKinnon- Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Niecy Nash- Getting On (HBO)*
Personally I think this category is one of the weakest this year even with EIGHT nominees. I think Hoffmann is good in Transparent, but the nominee from that show should have been Judith Light. Hoffmann may actually be the third best supporting female in that cast. Krakowski is always funny especially when Tina Fey is there to write for her, as is the case again here. Bialik is the only consistently funny character from Big Bang, which is why she is the only big nominee from the show, but it’s between Anna Chlumsky and Allison Janney. I would vote for Chlumsky 10 out of 10 times because her character is one of the best parts about Veep and this season was her best story arc in the show’s four year run, but Janney won this award last year plus a guest acting win for her role in Masters of Sex so I wouldn’t be surprised to see her win twice again this year.
Dark Horse: Kate McKinnon. SNL has definitely lost its funny tone since most of the writers and best cast members left. McKinnon kills in all of her skits and it definitely the funniest person on the sketch show especially with her Justin Bieber Calvin Klein parody.
Male Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Andre Braugher– Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox)
Tituss Burgess- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
Ty Burrell- Modern Family (ABC)
Adam Driver- Girls (HBO)*
Tony Hale- Veep (HBO)
Keegan Michael Key- Key and Peele (Comedy Central)
Seven full seasons of Parks and Rec and nothing for Nick Offerman or Chris Pratt. That is something I will never understand. That and The Wire never being nominated… Anyway back to these nominees. Burrell is always a top contender even if the show lost its quality, he remains the funniest part. I still disagree that he’s supporting, but I digress. This is the best category of the comedies simply because we have two of the most recent winners – Burrell and Hale, we have another overnight sensation in Burgess simply from his “Peeno Noir” music video that blew up online instantly. Then Emmy darling Braugher nominated for the second year in a row and Keegan Michael Key who is finally getting some recognition for one of the funniest shows on TV. (Honestly he more than likely was nominated for his performance as Luther: The Obama Anger Translator during the presidential correspondents dinner, but it’s well deserved regardless). Driver has always been great on Girls, but I stopped watching this season. This one is honestly a toss-up so I will go with what I hope happens- Tituss Burgess.
Dark Horse: Keegan Michael Key. For the reason listed above.
If you have any questions regarding categories not discussed here, please tweet them to me @DillonReedRose.