What makes a great Comedy Series? It’s often more than just the ability to make people laugh; it’s also finding ways to be innovative, to make viewers care about your characters, and bringing something memorable to the table. It’s one thing to watch a disposable half-hour of entertainment, but it’s another thing altogether to have people discusses it and re-watching episodes after the fact.
The shows that we’ve chosen here as our Comedy Series Emmy picks all exemplify some of the best the genre has to offer from the past year, and they are pretty representative of all forms of comedy that are out there. You’ve got premium cable included, but the same goes for network TV. We hope you enjoy the list below, and are interested in voting for your favorite in the attached poll!
How do you vote? It’s easy. Just pick your favorite of the nominees at the bottom of the article, and you can do so however many times you like — you may need to clear the cache first. (Note that if you are visiting on mobile and do not see the poll, you may need to click to view the non-AMP version of the page.) If your favorite is not on our list, be sure to leave us a comment in the box below with your choice. We still want to hear from you!
The 2017 Emmy nominations will be formally announced on July 13. The results of all of our CarterMatt Emmy polls will be formally revealed on July 12 at 9:00 a.m. Pacific. They will officially close in the minutes leading up to that time.
CarterMatt Picks – Comedy Series
Atlanta (FX) – Naming your show after a city is ambitious, but somehow, Donald Glover delivered on a show that was about people, but also about a lifestyle and what it means to be a part of it. The entire cast delivered in their roles, but when Glover was on the screen the show came even more alive. This was the series and the voice comedy’s been waiting to have for some time.
Insecure (HBO) – Issa Rae is a revelation. That’s the first thing that needs to be said about this outstanding show. Her story here is one of struggle, but also one of pushing through and dealing with the problems in her life. The comedy in this show comes from the honesty of life, and some of the ridiculous people and events that comprise it. Few shows feel this organic, and almost effortless in their approach. (The fact that so much effort went into it make it all the more impressive.)
Jane the Virgin (CW) – You have to give The CW a ton of credit for being so willing to be so daring with this series. It has a great deal of heart, but beyond that, you’ve also got great performances from Gina Rodriguez and Jaime Camil. While this was a show that did venture into dark territory at times during season 3, it found a way to find laughs even in the midst of some of the pain that Jane was going through.
Santa Clarita Diet (Netflix) – It was an absurd concept when we first heard about it, but also downright hilarious. Seeing Drew Barrymore go to great lengths to murder people for their flesh was one of the most bizarre, engrossing experiences of the past year. Also, can we say that this was one of the best performances from Timothy Olyphant in his entire career? Who knew that he was so incredibly funny after seeing him on Justified?
Speechless (ABC) – An incredibly funny family comedy that proves that not every show within the genre has to be the same. It brought such humor and relatability to families with special needs; the JJ character was able to be the person telling the jokes at times, and the writers consistently delivered on finding unique ways to explore the lives of the DiMeo family that were both original, and yet still familiar enough that fans of family comedies could find personal touchstones.
Vice Principals (HBO) – We’ll be the first to admit that not every idea thrown at the wall in this series worked; yet, upon reflection there are few shows out there as willing to throw some of those ideas out there in the first place. It was crazy, but also the best kind of crazy and when things were going this show was hilarious in a way few others were. Also, Danny McBride’s acting in this show managed to somehow make a fairly unlikable character in Neal Gamby into someone whose story was worth following.