Sunday, September 16, 2018

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Comedy Series


Nominees are listed in alphabetical order. Submitted episode titles are in parentheses. Beware of major spoilers for listed episodes.

ATLANTA
Alligator Man,” “Sportin’ Waves,” “Money Bag Shawty,” “Barbershop,” “Teddy Perkins,” “North of the Border

This is the second consecutive nomination for FX’s dark comedy, which grew its nominations count exponentially from six to sixteen this year. This list interestingly doesn’t include “FUBU,” which star Donald Glover is nominated for directing. I only really liked two of these episodes – “Money Bag Shawty” and “North of the Border” – but I recognize that I’m in the minority with this show, which most people seem to love. It’s a peculiar but apparently effective list, and doubting the nominations leader is never a smart move. This show is definitely poised for a win; we’ll just have to see if either of the two new hot shows can eclipse it.

BARRY
Chapter One: Make Your Mark,” “Chapter Four: Commit… To YOU,” “Chapter Five: Do Your Job,” “Chapter Six: Listen with Your Ears, React with Your Face,” “Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast and Keep Going,” “Chapter Eight: Know Your Truth

I couldn’t be happier that this terrific new HBO comedy series made the cut in this category, picking up a very impressive thirteen overall bids. With just eight episodes in its run, this show didn’t have to lead many out, opting to dismiss its second and third installments. They’re all great half-hours, and I don’t think that too much context is needed to understand why this show has such an effective tone. I’m not sure it has a universal enough appeal to win, but it would be cool and I think people would be excited.

BLACK-ISH
Juneteenth,” “Mother Nature,” “First and Last,” “Advance to Go (Collect $200),” “R-E-S-P-E-C-T,” “Blue Valentine

For the first time ever, there’s just one broadcast network series represented in this entire lineup – and it’s this one. On its third consecutive bid in this category, this show is up to its highest haul ever, with five total nominations. In a crowded field, I feel like this one has absolutely no buzz. I’m never particularly impressed by the slate of sample episodes submitted by this show, but this year’s felt especially underwhelming, with the final, entirely serious episode proving least satisfying. I guess it has a better shot than a few other nominees without any heat right now, but not by much.

CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM
Foisted!,” “A Disturbance in the Kitchen,” “Running with the Bulls,” “Never Wait for Seconds!,” “The Shucker,” “Fatwa!”

This show is back with its first nomination since it last aired in 2012. It’s the eighth time it has contended in this category, missing out only for its debut season. Its nomination total of four is pretty standard, and it definitely entertained people. Most of these episodes are good, though I didn’t love the last two Hamilton-themed installments. This show does deserve credit for being this year’s only show returning from a long absence to crack this category, but I don’t see that being nearly enough to defeat seven other series.


GLOW
Pilot,” “Debbie Does Something,” “This is One of Those Moments,” “Live Studio Audience,” “Maybe It’s All the Disco,” “Money’s in the Chase

Netflix’s comedy about the making of a female wrestling series landed ten nominations but missed out on key bids for stars Alison Brie and Marc Maron, indicating that it’s not as beloved as the other two nominated freshman series in this category. It’s rare that I sample Emmy episodes of a show I don’t watch and end up loving them, but that’s what happened with this one, which only improved after the pilot, the weakest of an otherwise fantastic slate. I don’t think this series performed well enough to beat the other shows nominated in this category, but I’d honestly be perfectly happy to see that happen.

THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL
Pilot,” “Ya Shivu v Bolshom Dome Na Kholme,” “Because You Left,” “The Disappointment of the Dionne Quintuplets,” “Put That on Your Plate,” “Thank You and Good Night

This freshman Amazon comedy was a smash success when it debuted, earning a two-season commitment and taking home the Golden Globe, BFCA, and PGA Awards for Best Comedy Series. Its fourteen-nomination total is the second-highest in this category, and it’s likely to a win a few of those awards. Only the second episode was somewhat weak, and interestingly one of its actors’ submitted episodes, “Doink,” isn’t on this list. I think this is a superb showcase representing a creative and enjoyable program, and it’s just a question of if it can beat FX’s returning series.

SILICON VALLEY
Chief Operating Officer,” “Tech Evangelist,” “Facial Recognition,” “Artificial Emotional Intelligence,” “Initial Coin Offering,” “Fifty-One Percent

This show is on its fifth consecutive nomination, dropping down to seven nominations after higher totals the past two years. Once again, it’s the only nominee in this category without any cast members nominated, and it’s down to just one directing bid and one writing bid after multiple mentions each of the last few years. The six episodes, of eight total, that it submitted are fine, though I didn’t love “Facial Recognition.” This season felt like the weakest the show has produced yet, and if it hasn’t won up until now, I don’t see any chance that it would this year either.

UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
Kimmy Is… Little Girl, Big City,” “Kimmy Has a Weekend,” “Party Monster: Scratching the Surface,” “Kimmy Disrupts the Paradigm,” “Kimmy and the Beest,” “Kimmy Meets an Old Friend

For what’s technically the first half of this show’s fourth and final season, this series received just one other bid, for supporting actor Tituss Burgess. Though other shows have pulled off the feat of earning just one nomination, in the top category, this series joins a few others as the shortest season to be cited, submitting all six of its aired episodes. I only really cared for “Kimmy Disrupts the Paradigm,” and I feel like this show, the eighth alphabetical nominee, was just tacked on to the list here. Even with a vote-split possible, this show seems very unlikely to win at this point.

What should win (based on entire season):The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” or “Barry
What should win (based on individual episodes):Barry
What will win: While “Barry” has a shot, this category is really a battle between the returning show with the most nominations, “Atlanta,” and the freshman revelation, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which I think is going to succesfully win voters over in this and other categories.

Next up: That’s a wrap! Don't miss the show tomorrow night!