Recently, I sat down with the guys at Nowhere Plans to talk about the Emmy nominations, and our thoughts and predictions on the major categories.This article was originally published and is reprinted with permission by Nowhere Plans.
by Jon Dimedio (@jonnyd_)
Randy Dankievitch (@ProcessedMedia)
Mike Wilson (@MWilson10)
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory)
Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
Don Cheadle (House of Lies)
Louis C.K. (Louie)
Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
My Pick: Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation)
My Prediction: Alec Baldwin
This will probably go to Alec Baldwin (although they may hold it until 30 Rock’s last season), or maybe the dark horse of Louie C.K. -who can’t really be called a great actor. He is a great mind, comedian, director, and creator, but his acting range is somewhat limited, and he allows most of his guest stars carry the heavy acting load. His show should be nominated in a million categories, but C.K.’s awkwardness isn’t good enough to garner a nomination here.
In other words, this category is a bit on the empty side. Don Cheadle’s comedic talents are somewhat limited, and not enough people watch the highly uneven House of Lies. Cryer and Parsons are empty nominations for terrible performances for highly over-rated shows, and I would’ve much rather seen Rob Lowe and Adam Scott take the spot for their work on Parks and Recreation.
Oddly, they were in this category, while Offerman was in the Supporting Actor category. Neither of them really blew me away, but seeing Scott be so endearing and uncomfortable in his role as both unemployed boyfriend and uptight campaign manager was another reminder of how wide-ranging Adam’s talents are. He won’t be recognized, but he’s deserving of the award.
My Pick: Larry David
My Prediction: Jim Parsons
Honestly, I have no idea who will win this. I think it’ll probably be Parsons again for the three-peat. I think Sheldon is becoming a bit of a caricature at this point, but after seeing Parsons give acceptance speeches and interviews, his acting chops are pretty formidable.
There are so many deserving guys who aren’t nominated here, but of those listed my two favorites, Louis C.K. and Larry David, are both comedians-turned-actors who are by no means novices but aren’t exactly widely regarded for their acting. I actually think Larry David has improved so much as an actor since the early days of Curb, that I’ll give him the distinction of being my pick.
My Pick: Louis C.K. The funniest man in comedy is also the funniest man on television. Louis writes, directs, produces and is the main character in Louie and this absolute control lets Louis put out a show that is exactly what he wants it to be. It also makes it one of the funniest shows on television.
My Prediction: Jim Parsons. He is the defending winner and somehow people haven’t gotten sick of Sheldon Cooper. While I am not a fan of The Big Bang Theory, it is one of the most watched shows on television which makes it hard to ignore.
Adam Scott and Elijah Wood both had cases for being nominated here. While Scott is another case of Parks and Recreation not getting the love it deserves, Wilfred is probably just too weird for Emmy voters. Larry David had one of his best seasons on Curb and Don Cheadle was good on House of Lies even though the show had some major problems and he is a big star which helps with voters as well.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Lena Dunham (Girls)
Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly)
Zooey Deschanel (New Girl)
Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation)
Tina Fey (30 Rock)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)
My Pick: Amy Poehler
My Prediction: Lena Dunham
If someone new breaks in, it will be Lena Dunham in this category, which – like the dramatic nominees – are a bit weaker than normally. Zooey Deschanel is hardly blowing anyone away with her pixieness on the enjoyable New Girl, and why anyone from Mike & Molly is nominated for anything related to being funny and/or acting well is beyond me. Edie Falco has a lifetime pass for nominations, and should, thanks to her roles on The Sopranos and Nurse Jackie (which almost feels constructed to be her personal Emmy machine).
That being said, I would go with Amy Poehler, whose season on Parks and Rec was a victory lap of her showing going from nearly canceled to a beloved little comedy while she ran for Pawnee City Council. She’s kept Leslie Knope from ever becoming too cartoonish to be believed or loved, and its her wacky but relatable character is just a joy to see on TV every week.
But I do think Lena Dunham has a chance to pull out an upset here. Girls is part of the HBO hype machine, and while Girls is an imperfect work, there’s no denying the talents of Dunham behind and in front of the camera. Shit, they might just give it to her because she did a bunch of nude scenes… that’s one of the prerequisites for the Outstanding Actress Oscar, right?
My Pick: Amy Poehler
My Prediction: THIS IS SO HARD BUT FINE, Lena Dunham.
It’s weird, I love me some Zozo, but New Girl actually became a better show when it stopped being The Zooey Deschanel Show and started giving its other characters some real storylines. New Girl was a pleasant surprise last year, as I knew I’d have to watch it (my wife loves Zooey) but I didn’t know I’d enjoy it as much as I would. It’s great to see Julia Louis-Dreyfus back on television, not that I watched her non-Seinfeld show, but she is always so funny. Lena Dunham gets a lot of shit from critics, but she won’t from me. I actually think that at this point she’s kind of underrated as an actress. I thought she had a lot of endearing moments and even a few that surprised me of her skill as an actress (not to mention that I didn’t realize she was playing the lead in her show until after I watched the pilot and looked it up).
God, could they get this right and give it to Amy Poehler? Part of me doubts it, but she really stepped it up this year, especially with her victory speech at the end of the season. I’m pretty sure I teared up a bit. I feel like I’m way too biased here to pick objectively. I honestly think she has a chance this year. It’s either her or Lena. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Julia wins it, though. Hm.
My Pick: Amy Poehler. She has been fantastic on Parks and Rec for the past 3 seasons and this season was no different. She also had more opportunities for her to show her range with all of the situations that arose with the election so I really hope that this is her year.
My Prediction: Lena Dunham. Melissa McCarthy is the defending champion but I think some of that might have been due to Bridesmaids as well. Julia Louis-Dreyfus could also get the nod here. She was great on Veep and she’s a past winner. Despite all of that, I think Girls is just getting too much love for this not to be Dunham. This show was all her and she did a lot of really great work even if I’m not as big of a fan of the show as some other people.
Before the nominations came out I thought Zooey would have a real chance here but with New Girl not getting an Outstanding Comedy nomination it seems like Emmy voters are not as high on the show as they may have been. This is a really even category, although McCarthy or Falco winning would be disappointing, any of the other nominees are deserving of the award.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Ed O’Neill (Modern Family)
Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family)
Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family)
Max Greenfield (New Girl)
Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live)
My Pick: Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation)
My Prediction: someone from Modern Family
Seriously, does anyone else have a chance? More than half the nominations went to one show, leaving out a number of worthy nominees – most notably the male lead from Parks & Recreation, who found his submission lumped in with the Modern Family starring foursome, whose domination of the category leaves him without a nomination. Seriously: how Nick Offerman doesn’t even garner a nomination for the submissive, but masculine Ron Swanson is a fucking travesty – it’s one of the five best comedic performances on television right now, male or female, network or cable.
I’ll give the nominee list a little bit of credit: it does include the season’s biggest surprise, New Girl‘s Max Greenfield. In the early days of the show when it wasn’t clear if it was going to suck badly or turn into a massive hit, Schmidt’s douchy, materialistic character was totally undermined by Greenfield bringing some gentler tones to pair with his annoying style, OCD nature, and penchant for physical bits. I nearly gave him the award on his pronunciation of words like ‘chutney’ and ‘croissant’, but Ron taking on the women in his life in ‘Ron and Tammys’ was the highlight of the year for me.
One other big omission: Adam Driver on Girls. His portrayal of Adam on Girls was just as hipster as Schmidt (playing almost like East and West Coast versions of each other), but possessed even more humanized qualities than his network counterpart, whose character is left a little too broad at times (to make for better comedy, a perfectly reasonable construction, considering the different tones and networks of the two shows). Adam is a very layered character, and Driver digs right into it, and eats up every scene he’s in as we see his transformation in the protagonists eyes through the season. The last three episodes alone should’ve earned him a nomination.
My Pick: Ty Burrell
My Prediction: Ty Burrell
The deck is stacked for Modern Family, again. Whose turn is it this year? If I had to pick, it’d be Ty Burrell, last year’s winner, with Eric Stonestreet as a close second. I actually think Max Greenfield has a bit of a shot to win here, though I don’t know any voters, his performance on New Girl elevated the neurotic (read: douchebag) Schmidt as one of the more memorable characters on television.
There are so many snubs in this category, though. As Mike and Randy have pointed out.
My Pick: Max Greenfield. Schmidt was better than any of the men on Modern Family which had its weakest season to date.
My Prediction: Ty Burrell. I’m staying with the guy they picked last year.
It’s time for some of these Modern Family actors to step up and submit as lead. This category always turns out to be one of the worst since Emmy voters love Modern Family and will nominate everyone they can from this show. It would annoy me less if some of the younger actors on the show were receiving this recognition, especially Nolan Gould, who, as Luke Dunphy, is consistently the funniest part of the show. But since they will continue to submit as supporting actors it means the nominations ignore so many actors who are deserving of a nomination: Charlie Day, Danny DeVito, Adam Driver, Donald Glover, Tony Hale, Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney, Nick Offerman, Danny Pudi, Jim Rash, and Damon Wayans Jr.
Although I’m not surprised that all of the Community, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Happy Endings actors were ignored, Adam Driver and Nick Offerman are surprising snubs to me. Nick Offerman was asked to unveil the nominations for the Emmys and then was not nominated which seems like a big slap in the face to him. Ron Swanson is also one of the best characters on television and ignoring him again is a shame. Adam Driver’s character was the best part of Girls so I’m surprised that its best comedy nomination didn’t translate into a nomination for him here.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik (Big Bang Theory)
Kathryn Joosten (Desperate Housewives)
Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
Sofia Vergara (Modern Family)
Merritt Wever (Nurse Jackie)
Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live)
My Pick: Gillian Jacobs (Community)
My Prediction: Sofia Vergara
This is a category filled with runners-up, and/or actresses undeserving of their critical acclaim. With every episode, Sofia’s character on Modern Family descends into racist portrayals of ‘fiery Latinos’, and in reality, her character is nothing more than annoying chatterbox with an accent. People seem to find her hilarious, so she wins awards and gets movie roles for it. Without Gillian Jacobs, Allison Brie, or Aubrey Plaza, this is another category I can’t take seriously, and so I picked the worst of the bunch to be the winner. Kathryn Joosten could pull a posthumous upset, but did anyone even watch the last season of Desperative Housewives? I won’t lie: I didn’t even know it was a comedy.
My Pick: Kristen Wiig
My Prediction: Sofia Vergara
Wiig is the funniest of the nominees, and one of the funniest women in show business. I really hope that she wins, seeing as she just finished her final season on SNL, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the Modern Family girls took home the crown.
Lots of snubs in this category as well. I should add that I was kind of happy to see Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler) get a nomination, not that I think she will or should win.
My Pick: Sofia Vergara
My Prediction: Sofia Vergara. With Kristen Wiig’s retirement from Saturday Night Live taking place this season it is possible that she could garner more votes than usual as a bit of career recognition. Julie Bowen won last year so I guess it’s the other Modern Family actress’ turn.
Once again all of the characters from the good comedies are ignored. Allison Brie and Gillian Jacobs from Community, Aubrey Plaza and Rashida Jones from Parks and Recreation and Kaitlin Olson from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia are all worthy of nominations here.