In our second look at the 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards nominations, we are focusing on a category that many are considering at the moment to be the most controversial perhaps of the entire field — Outstanding Comedy Series. “Modern Family” has dominated this award as of late, and you could argue this year that its two biggest contenders to defeat it — NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” and “Community” — were both surprisingly snubbed in favor of some polarizing HBO fare.
So does any show really have a chance of taking this “Family” down? As we’re going to do with all the categories this year, let’s try to figure this out using the age-old technique of ranking the least likely winners from the choices that are pretty close to a sure thing.
6. “Veep” (HBO) – This Vice-President should really just be happy to be at the party. “Veep” had an uneven first season outside of Julia Louis-Dreyfus in many ways, only finding its stride in its final four episodes, which were to its credit absolutely hilarious. However, the one serious problem with this show is there is not a single person who you really want to root for. At least with every other show on this list you can say that, and having someone to invest in is essential to the success of a good comedy.
5. “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO) – Take away “Palestinian Chicken” and the episode featuring Michael J. Fox, and this season of Larry David’s show really was not that special. It’s also a little old in the tooth at this point for Emmy voters to seriously recognize it as a contender.
4. “30 Rock” (NBC) – Creatively, having a shorter season actually served “30 Rock” well. From the second live episode to Liz actually finding love, the sixth season of the show — at least outside of a creepy storyline involving Jack Donaghy falling for his mother-in-law — was one of its best. This, unlike “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” will be an unfortunate case of the Emmys not granting a show a serious shot thanks to it not being perceived as “hip” anymore.
3. “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS) – Emmy voters are sometimes hard to predict, but we have a feeling that this show could actually have an outside chance of pulling this off. It’s the only traditional sitcom present here, and is status as a ratings monster — in addition to a year-long storyline about Howard’s wedding boosting some critical buzz — could prove to be a massive help. Its only drawback? The Emmys have not been too kind to Chuck Lorre shows in this category.
2. “Girls” (HBO) – We’ve admitted personally to not buying into “Girls” so much as a series, but it’s hard to deny its cultural appeal or its ability to capture the spirit of the times for many young women in New York. Lena Dunham has done a masterful job creating a show that creates personal connections with its viewers, and this in itself makes it a serious darkhorse candidate to upset “Modern Family” if voters want to play their “we’re hipper than you” card. Hollywood loves this show, and Hollywood is voting.
1. “Modern Family” (ABC) – Had “Parks and Recreation” been nominated, it would have been our #1 here based on the critical buzz for the past year — but without it, we’re left with the ol’ standby. It would be easy to hate on “Modern Family” as the Goliath, or the show that takes away nods from “Community” and other deserving shows in the supporting fields. However, it’s unfair in a way since this is a very funny show with a strong cast.
However, we ask you this — if the lawsuit filed by the cast against studio 20th Century Fox TV goes on for a while, couldn’t this leave a bad taste in voters’ mouths? It’s not so much a feel-good story to have people fighting for money, and we’re leaving the door open to “Girls” and “The Big Bang Theory” more because of it.
What is your pick for Outstanding Comedy Series? We want to hear from you below! If you want to check out some more of our Emmy prediction pieces, be sure to either click this link or the image to the right of this article.