Emmys 2019: Shameless, The Good Place, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Last Man Standing among Comedy Series picks
Welcome to CarterMatt’s 2019 Emmy Preview series! This is an annual tradition that we’ve done on the site since 2013, which revolves around us highlighting some of the best from the TV world. These choices were voted on by our staff, and they represent what the ideal Emmy nominations would be for each category. To go along with that, we then ask you which one of our choices you most want to see recognized with a nomination. It’s strictly for fun, but it’s one of our favorite polls to run and it’s a great way to get the word out there about shows and performers during this key campaign window.
Today, we are spotlight one of the most competitive fields out there at the moment in Outstanding Comedy Series. We do think that the Emmys have a great history of recognizing super-funny shows in this field, but there is also somewhat of a repetition problem here — a lot of times, voters nominate similar shows year after year. We get it to a certain extent, given that great comedies often stay great and their audience doesn’t wane … but we want to see some variety in the nominees this time around. Hopefully, our poll leads to some voters thinking a little differently.
Below, you can see our choices for this category — following the description of our “nominees,” you can find the poll to vote for your favorite. (We’re also including some other popular contenders within that poll to widen the field.)
Voting Rules – Voting will remain open until Monday, July 15 at 1:00 p.m. Pacific time, which is the day before the official nominations are announced. The length of the poll coincides with both Emmy campaigns and lead-up to the official nominations being announced. You can vote however often you’d like; for more technical information if you’re having issues, check out the bottom of this article.
After Life (Netflix) – A wonderfully-written, deeply moving story about trying to move forward, the grieving process, and precisely what “feeling better” really means. This is the comedy category, so don’t forget that there is still an element of humor here. Ricky Gervais delivers one of the finest performances of his career, and this may actually be his best overall creative work — when you look at his entire resume, that is really saying something.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC) – After being revived following many years at Fox, the writers and cast clearly took this as a challenge to make the series even better and stronger than ever before. Suffice it to say, mission accomplished. Season 6 managed to build on the already-brilliant season 5 by finding new venues for humor, taking on topical subjects, and really just take advantage of the strengths of Andy Samberg and the remainder of the cast.
The Good Place (NBC) – Following the conclusion of season 1, it could’ve been really easy to wonder just how this show would continue to exist. There are high-concept comedies, and then there’s this one, with its concept somewhere up within the stratosphere. Yet, it’s always funny, always innovative, and this season in particular, it managed to weave together different dimensions and iterations of characters in a way where it almost felt easy. Also, it’s really forking great at making its familiar faces evolve.
Last Man Standing (Fox) – Like with Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the producers of Last Man Standing found themselves on a new network. Here, they also had some other challenges — take, for example, new cast members and only have Eve on a rotating basis. While there was humor in every season 7 episode, we’d say that the show’s greatest strength remains deep within its core — its characters. Even when they disagree, they’re always there for each other. It’s a strong, classic sitcom in a world where such a thing feels rare.
One Day a Time (Netflix) – Here is, meanwhile, a show that should have received a similar sort of classic-sitcom audience. One Day at a Time was brilliantly-funny, well-acted, and looked at the highs and lows of a family forced to deal with all sorts of struggles. It managed to focus on issues rarely discussed on television and even when it got serious, it never turned overly depressing or dark. Its cancellation serves as another reminder that Netflix still needs to figure out its model for shows beyond the first few seasons.
Santa Clarita Diet (Netflix) – One of the most infuriating cancellations of the past couple of years, mostly because Netflix had real gold on their hands with this oddball family cannibalism comedy … which may be words that we never imagined together in the same sentence. Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant’s commitment to their characters was always outstanding, as you always wanted to believe in Joel and Sheila Hammond even if the world around them was absolutely insane.
Shameless (Showtime) – Season 9 was one of the trickier ones for the producers to figure out. Look at it this way — the writers had to (temporarily) remove Ian from the equation, write out Fiona in the finale, and deliver along the way ridiculous Gallagher antics that show at least (some) evolution. These people are growing up — though ironically, Lip and Carl are growing up so much faster than Frank. This remains one of television’s weirdest and most wonderful shows.
Veep (HBO) – The final season was a reminder that absolute power can corrupt absolutely … but Selina Meyer was also probably corrupt even before she had power. The show’s surprisingly dark, but somehow, it’s able to mask much of it with rampant cynicism and absurdity. Probably the most absurd thing about it, though, is how much of the political comedy stems from a place of relative truth. The show closed out its run remaining incredibly funny, while also holding a gigantic mirror up to today’s political system.