Friday, September 16, 2016

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Comedy Series

As I’ve done the past few years, I’m excited to present a detailed look at the Emmy race in each category with a spotlight on every sample episode submitted for consideration to voters. Click on episode titles to read reviews and offer your thoughts in the comments!

Black-ish (The Word, Rock, Paper, Scissors Gun, Keeping Up with the Johnsons, Hope, Any Given Saturday, Daddy Dre-Care)
Master of None (Parents, Indians on TV, The Other Man, Ladies and Gentlemen,Old People, Mornings)
Modern Family (Phil’s Sexy, Sexy House, The Party, Spread Your Wings, White Christmas, Double Click, Crazy Train)
Silicon Valley (Founder Friendly, Meinertzhagen’s Haversack, Bachmanity Insanity, Bachman’s Earning’s Over-Ride, Daily Active Users, The Uptick)
Transparent (Kina Hora, Cherry Blossoms, The Book of Life, Oscillate, Man on the Land, Grey Green Brown and Copper)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Kimmy Goes on a Playdate!, Kimmy Gives Up!, Kimmy Walks Into a Bar!, Kimmy Meets a Drunk Lady!, Kimmy Sees a Sunset!, Kimmy Finds Her Mom!)
Veep (Morning After, Mother, Thanksgiving, Congressional Ball, Kissing Your Sister, Inauguration)

There are two new additions to this category, one in its second season and the other in its first. One show is a five-time champ that was dethroned for the first time last year by a wildly popular show that is the most nominated comedy this year. As a whole, I enjoyed “Black-ish” a lot more than I expected to, with most of the episodes proving pretty funny. I can’t imagine it has the momentum it would need to win, but I do think that it’s clearly a crowdpleaser and also the only broadcast network show besides “Modern Family,” which in this case also translates to good clean fun rather than R-rated cable fare. I’m not a fan of “Parents,” but otherwise I’m all for the other five installments submitted by freshman Netflix series “Master of None,” even if one of my favorite episodes, “Nashville,” wasn’t submitted. I do love “Mornings” and “The Other Man,” though, so it’s great that they’re here. It would be fun if it won but I’m not sure it should. I gave three of the “Modern Family” episodes a C grade, and the only one that’s actually close to good was “Crazy Train.” This show is well past its prime, and its measly four-nomination haul demonstrates that. Don’t expect a comeback. “Silicon Valley” is always consistent and chose great episodes, and if it can ever get out of the shadow of “Veep” it might well win this thing. “Transparent” didn’t win last year for a buzzier first season, and its selection of decent episodes doesn’t paint the full picture of all that it is that could have really swayed voters (though I’m not convinced this season would have). All but the first of the “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” submissions are fantastic submissions, and that show is just too far-out to win but easily could if voters remember how much they like Tina Fey and how much they loved “30 Rock.” But then there’s the show to beat, last year’s winner: “Veep.” I wasn’t so thrilled with two of the buzzier episodes – “Kissing Your Sister” and “Mother” – but I think that I’m one of the few who felt that this season was weaker than years past. This show is at the height of its popularity and shows no signs of stopping, with no other show ready to topple it.

What should win (based on entire season): “Silicon Valley”
What should win (based on individual episodes): “Silicon Valley” or “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
What will win: It’s pretty certain to be Veep.

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