Saturday, September 21, 2019

Emmy Episode Analysis: Best Comedy Series

This year, I’m splitting my top two category predictions into two posts each. I went through the statistics and chances for each show for The Film Experience, and in this post, I’ll be looking at the submitted episodes for each show, with titles are in parentheses. Beware of major spoilers for listed episodes.

The Show Must Go On, Probably,” “What?!,” “ronny/lily,” “The Truth Has a Ring to It,” “The Audition,” “berkman block

For its second season and second consecutive bid, this show selected six of its eight episodes. There’s only one that I really didn’t like, and that one - “ronny/lily” – scored bids for directing and writing, so obviously I’m in the minority. Omitting the second and third installments, which feature more exposition, isn’t a problem, and while this show may still be too violent for voters, this showcase offers a fairly accessible and formidable summary of what the show has to offer.

Episode 2.1,” “Episode 2.2,” “Episode 2.3,” “Episode 2.4,” “Episode 2.5,” “Episode 2.6

This is the only show in this category that aired just six episodes, for its second season, and therefore has them all included as submissions. I loved every bit of this season, as I think most did, and there’s a certain style to the way each episode is introduced that should invite first-time viewers into its weird world. The season premiere and finale are particularly strong, but each episode is immensely watchable, and the only issue will be if any viewers unfamiliar with this brilliant show are turned off by its decidedly odd nature.

Everything is Bonzer: Part 1,” “Everything is Bonzer: Part 2,” “Jeremy Bearimy,” “Don’t Let the Good Life Pass You By,” “Janet(s),” “Pandemonium

This show is here for the first time for its third season, selecting six of its thirteen episodes. Among them are its two-part premiere and its finale, both of which serve as strong reboots to the show’s existing narrative and may be good access points for new viewers. Both “Jeremy Bearimy” and “Janet(s)” are fun, creative episodes, while “Don’t Let the Good Life Pass You By,” while a great installment, might be more attuned to knowledgeable fans. These episodes are all great, and a shocking victory for them is unfortunately way too far outside the realm of possibility.

Simone,” “We’re Going to the Catskills,” “Midnight at the Concord,” “Let’s Face the Music and Dance,” “Vote for Kennedy, Vote for Kennedy,” “All Alone

The defending champion in this category submitted six of its ten second season episodes, including its standout premiere and finale. Its fourth and fifth episodes are wonderfully Catskills-centric, a high point of the arc featured this season, and the sixth was all about the fallout in a great way. The penultimate episode comes closest to the pilot in terms of its presentation of its title protagonist’s comedy material. It’s hard to beat these episodes, since they’re all so immersive and committed in their portrayal of the time and characters. This show has a great case to win again.

Nothing in this World is Easy,” “The Great Escape,” “A Warm Body,” “Alan’s Routine,” “The Way Out,” “Ariadne

This freshman Netflix dramedy submitted six of its eight episodes, starting with the pilot that first finds its protagonist dying over and over again on her thirtieth birthday. The next three episodes are involving in showing how she begins to deal with this new, constantly restarting reality, and then the seventh and eighth installments fast-forward to a more problematic time as events converge and inevitabilities threaten to set in. It’s a decent way to get into this show and its unique energy, but there’s something that feels much more fleeting about these episodes than lasting. I don’t think it will be able to garner enough votes to propel it anywhere close to a win.

The Crowening,” “Love Letters,” “Rock On!,” “Meet the Parents,” “The Hike,” “Cabaret

This is the first time that this fifth-season comedy has been nominated, submitted six of its fourteen episodes. This was my first time encountering the show, which is accessible enough even if some of the background information isn’t there. The first two episodes of the season were decent enough, as was the penultimate installment that featured some major developments, but I wasn’t as taken with the sixth and eleventh, along with the finale, which was a bit overstuffed. This show’s inclusion in the race is its victory – it would be truly appalling if this show somehow managed a win here.

Iowa,” “Pledge,” “South Carolina,” “Super Tuesday,” “Oslo,” “Veep

The seventh final season of this show, which won this award three years in a row before missing the eligibility window last season, had seven episodes, meaning that all but its second installment are here. The best among them are “South Carolina” and the series finale, while the others juggle staying relevant in today’s absurd political world with decidedly outlandish parodies of current events. These episodes aren’t as strong as the last set which won this award, though they’re better than season five’s list. These episodes are obviously indicative of what this show is like, so if voters are on board with that, these episodes should do just fine.

What should win (based on entire season):Fleabag,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “The Good Place,” or “Barry
What should win (based on individual episodes):Fleabag,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” or “The Good Place
What will win: Check out my next post with statistical data and my rundown of each show’s overall chances!

Next up: That’s a wrap!

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