2012 Emmy preview: ‘Community,’ ‘New Girl’ among deserving Comedy Series

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Today, we look at Outstanding Comedy Series.

Now that we are getting into the time of year when Emmy voters start taking a look at their ballots, we’re going to do the same as a part of a new daily feature.

Check back every day for a look not just at who will likely be nominated for the big awards show airing this fall, but also who should win based on our own recommendations. Our focus Sunday? It’s all about Outstanding Comedy Series.

Most deserving nominees

“Modern Family” (ABC) – Yes, it’s a boring choice — and while season 3 was not as stellar as the two before it, Steve Levitan’s show was still head and shoulders above most other network fare.

“Parks and Recreation” (NBC) – Thanks in part to Leslie’s election, “Parks” had a banner year — and maybe its best yet. For the first time, we see this show as a genuine contender to take the top prize in this category rather than just someone who is lucky to be at the party.

“Community” (NBC) – Unfortunately, we think that Emmy voters are going to be distracted by all of the Dan Harmon drama (plus the in-jokes) and ignore yet again one of the most brilliant comedies to air in the past decade. After a season 3 containing everything from multiple timelines to an entire episode themed around a video game, this is who we would hand the award to in a heartbeat — unfortunately, it’s probably still a long-shot to even be recognized.

“New Girl” (Fox) – It’s more than just a showcase for Zooey Deschanel’s talents, despite what so many of the commercials may claim. While Jess is fun and is bringing a new sort of dimension to the female geek on TV, Max Greenfield and Jake Johnson really bring this show over the top thanks to how they manifest their inner crazy on the small screen.

“Veep” (HBO) – When you look at premium cable shows, there are a few worthy nominees — but “Veep” single-handedly won us over with their episode themed all around Selina Meyer’s pregnancy supposedly leaking to the press — when really it was just all a big miscommunication. We went into this thinking that it would be all about Julia Louis-Dreyfus, but never have been so happy to be so wrong. It’s a sharp, smart political satire buoyed by characters you love to loathe.

“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (FX) – Consistently, “Sunny” is the most ignored comedy series on television for no reason whatsoever. Is it too crude? Maybe, but it takes a lot of creative energy to be this crude for this long without getting any love for it in the process. It may not always be classy, but it is always funny.

Honorable mentions: “Happy Endings” (ABC), “Eastbound & Down” (HBO), “Louie” (FX), “30 Rock” (NBC), “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23″ (ABC), “Enlightened” (HBO)

The likely nominees

“Modern Family” – Like we said, it’s pretty much a shoo-in to get a nod … and it may still win if Emmy voters are too lazy to actually sit down and watch all of the shows. This is not meant as a slam on “Modern Family,” but more so on the preconceived notion that it is the best comedy on TV, when there are really a few other strong candidates.

“Parks and Recreation” – Like with “Modern Family,” pencil this one in as a deserving lock.

“New Girl” – The Emmys always love to have a new network show in the mix, and “New Girl” is in many ways the perfect addition — it has a big-name lead actress, produces some genuine laughs, and it also skews young and should get the show some nice demo numbers.

“Glee” (Fox) – See above about the demo numbers. The second season of “Glee” got an Emmy nod here despite being the worst season on record, so it only makes sense that the voters would tap into their love of musicals again. Is it the right choice? If we were juding it on the first half of season 3 only, then sure. Otherwise, we pass.

“The Big Bang  Theory” (CBS) – Really, we see there as a race for two spots with “Glee,” “Big Bang,” and “30 Rock” the likely nominees. The reason we are giving “Big Bang” the edge here is that voters may have been creeped out by Jack falling for Avery’s mother — mostly because we were. However, watching a season that was too much about Howard Wolowitz is not much better, even if the Emmys love to award shows with huge ratings in the comedy category. (Remember all the Emmy love for “Two and a Half Men” over the years?)

“Girls” (HBO) – The Emmys love to have some sort of hipster show in their category (even if it didn’t happen last year), and “Girls” fits the mold for them perfectly. It’s young, controversial, and it would cement Lena Dunham as a major force to be reckoned with. Is it worthy? Not really — as quirky and indie as it may be, “Girls” often alternates from being unfunny to really just being uncomfortable — and Dunham’s portrayal of diversity in New York City makes “Sex and the City” appear realistic by comparison.

Likely to receive some votes: “Community,” “30 Rock,” “Nurse Jackie” (Showtime), “Louie,” “Enlightened,” “Veep.”

Be sure to share some of your picks both in the poll and the comment box below!

Photo: Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

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