Tuesday, September 12, 2017

AFT Awards: Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

This is the third category of the 11th Annual AFT Television Awards, my personal choices for the best in television during the 2016-2017 season. Finalists and semi-finalists are included to recognize more of the impressive work done on television today. Nominees are pictured in the order I’ve ranked them.

Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Last year’s nominees: Aziz Ansari, Tommy Dewey, Denis Leary, Rob Lowe, John Stamos

Emmy nominees: Anthony Anderson, Aziz Ansari, Zach Galifianakis, Donald Glover, William H. Macy, Jeffrey Tambor

Semi-finalists: Adam Pally (Making History), Chris Geere (You're the Worst), Denis Leary (Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll), Donald Glover (Atlanta), Greg Poehler (You, Me, Her), Hank Azaria (Brockmire), Jason Jones (The Detour), Joel McHale (The Great Indoors), Peter Krause (The Catch), Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley), Timothy Olyphant (Santa Clarita Diet), Tommy Dewey (Casual), William H. Macy (Shameless), Wyatt Cenac (People of Earth)

Finalists: Ted Danson (The Good Place) was a jovial delight, enjoying his created paradise and scrambling to keep everything from falling apart. Elijah Wood (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency) and Samuel Barnett (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency) were great partners with completely different outlooks on life and a wonderful unlikely friendship. Nick D'Agosto (Trial and Error) was a great fish out of water, the lone stand-in for the audience to react to the utter absurdity of everything around him. Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent) helped Maura find herself more as she dealt with new successes and new setbacks.

The nominees:

John Lithgow (Trial and Error) is getting plenty of praise for another TV role this year, but his portrayal of an accused killer remarkably skilled at saying things to make himself sound guilty was much more memorable. Thomas Haden Church (Divorce) was fantastically bitter and extremely entertaining as quite possibly the grumpiest character on television. Danny McBride (Vice Principals) and Walton Goggins (Vice Principals) were hilarious together as childish administrators more committed to the destruction of their joint rival than their actual jobs.

The winner:

Aziz Ansari (Master of None) charmed his way through Italy and then back in New York, navigating the world of TV fame, great meals, and being unlucky in love.

Next up: Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

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