Who will win vs. who should win an Emmy for comedy: A look at this year’s best comedies before this weekend’s 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

Who will win vs. who should win an Emmy for comedy: A look at this year’s best comedies before this weekend’s 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards

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Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 2:00 pm | Updated: 3:21 pm, Tue Jul 17, 2012.

The 63rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards will be airing on Sept. 18. To prepare for this event, it is time to discuss what will win and what should win in the major comedy categories. Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Nominees: Edie Falco for “Nurse Jackie,” Tina Fey for “30 Rock,” Laura Linney for “The Big C,” Melissa McCarthy for “Mike & Molly,” Martha Plimpton for “Raising Hope,” and Amy Poehler for “Parks and Recreation” Who will win: Linney. It’s almost a surefire bet that Linney will follow in the footsteps of Toni Collette and Falco in the increasing list of Showtime actresses to win this award. The fact that Linney has never lost an Emmy only helps her odds. To me, though, this will be one of the most undeserved wins of the night. Don’t get me wrong; Linney is a wonderful actress who rightfully won her Emmys for “John Adams” and “Fraiser.” But I find her character in “The Big C” to be more annoying than delightfully quirky. What’s more insulting is that the performance isn’t even funny. That’s just a shame given Linney’s great range as a dramatic and comedic performer. I’ve never understand the appeal of this show and never will. My preference: Poehler. When “Parks and Recreation” first premiered, Poehler’s Leslie Knope was quickly branded as a female Michael Scott. But as the episodes went on, Poehler developed her character into a fully realized woman who is both passionate about government and good at her job. Poehler gave her definitive comedic performance in “Flu Season,” in which Leslie refuses to admit she’s sick on the day she is to deliver an important speech. Poehler reaches the same heights of a young Lucile Ball with note-perfect line-readings and great physical comedy. If there’s one surprise win at the Emmys this year, I hope it is Poehler triumphing over Linney. Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Nominees: Alec Baldwin for “30 Rock,” Steve Carell for “The Office,” Louie C.K. for “Louie,” Johnny Galecki for “The Big Bang Theory,” Matt LeBlanc for “Episodes,” and Jim Parsons for “The Big Bang Theory” Who will win: Carell. Carell winning in this category isn’t necessarily a done deal given the stiff competition of returning nominees and newcomers. Emmy voters will likely feel obligated to vote for Carell though, seeing how this is his last opportunity to win an Emmy for playing Michael Scott. My preference: Carrel. Carell is clearly the strongest candidate here and not merely because this was his farewell season. From “Threat Level Midnight” to “Garage Sale,” Carell delivered one great performance after another this year. He ultimately submitted his finest episode, “Goodbye, Michael,” in which he made us laugh, cry, and reminded viewers how much we love Michael when he’s not being an ass. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Nominees: Ty Burrell for “Modern Family,” Chris Colfer for “Glee,” Jon Cryer for “Two and a Half Men,” Jesse Tyler Ferguson for “Modern Family,” Ed O’Neill for “Modern Family,” and Eric Stonestreet for “Modern Family” Who will win: Burrell. This is one of the toughest races to predict this year. First and foremost, Cryer has no business being in this category over Neil Patrick Harris of “How I Met Your Mother” or Nick Offerman of “Parks and Rec.” Colfer has had a great year with his performance on “Glee,” which earned him a worthy Golden Globe award. While Colfer is definitely a contender, the victor in this category will likely be one of the four nominated “Modern Family” stars. Among the four, I think the two standouts are Burrell and O’Neill. This is O’Neill’s first Emmy nomination in the 20-plus years on television. Seeing O’Neill getting up on stage and accepting an Emmy after all this time would certainly be a great moment. But if Emmy voters actually go for the funniest performance in this lineup, it will be Burrell. In his episode, “Good Cop, Bad Dog,” Burrell gets to play against his usual dopy self as he attempts to punish his daughters. In addition to being the funniest performance, it’s also the one that demonstrates the most acting range. My preference: Burrell. For all the reasons I listed above. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominees: Julie Bowen for “Modern Family,” Jane Krakowski for “30 Rock,” Jane Lynch for “Glee,” Sofia Vergara for “Modern Family,” Betty White for “Hot in Cleveland,” and Kristen Wiig for “Saturday Night Live.” Who will win: White. Lynch actually has a good shot at winning again here, seeing how she not only has a great tape submitted for “Glee,” but also shines in Wiig’s episode of “Saturday Night Live.” The fact that Lynch is hosting the Emmys this year might hurt her chances though. Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Alexander both notably lost in years that they hosted. Although there are exceptions, such as David Hype Piece, I have a feeling that the Emmys will hold Lynch’s hosting duties against her. Thus, the award will go to White for no reason other than her veteran actress status. Like Linney, this will be one of the most unworthy wins this year. White essentially plays the same exact character she’s been playing since “The Proposal,” which has grown beyond tired. White can still do diverse comedic work, as shown in her Emmy-winning guest spot on “Saturday Night Live.” But her one-note character on “Hot in Cleveland” demonstrates no growth whatsoever in her acting abilities. In such a terrific year for comedy supporting actresses, White’s spot truly belonged to Allison Brie of “Community” or Heather Morris of “Glee.” The notion that White will probably win this award makes me want to give up on the Emmys altogether. My preference: Krakowski. In terms of tape submissions, Krakowski easily made the best choice with her episode, “Queen of Jordan.” However, I would be voting for Vergara had she submitted either “Manny Get Your Gun” or “Halloween.” Instead, she made a very questionable choice with “Slow Down Your Neighbors” where she does little except ride a bike. Vergara is so good in both episodes that I’m tempted to mark her name down regardless. But since I feel compelled to judge according to episode submissions, my vote’s for Krakowski. Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series Nominees: “How I Met Your Mother” for “Subway Wars,” “Modern Family” for “Halloween,” “Modern Family” for “See You Next Fall,” “Modern Family” for “Slow Down Your Neighbors,” and “30 Rock” for “Live Show.” What will win: “Modern Family” for “Halloween” This whole category is just a colossal mess. “Live Show” was basically a one-joke gimmick and the presence of “Subway Wars” is flat-out baffling. While “Modern Family” is unarguably a well-crafted show, did it really deserve to take up three spots in this category? Since there seems to be so much love for “Modern Family,” I guess I’ll go with “Halloween,” the funniest and most stylized episode in the bunch. My preference: No choice This assortment of directorial outings is so forgettable that I refuse to make a personal selection. There were so many stronger candidates this year, including “Glee” for “The Substitute” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” for “Dee Reynolds: Shaping America’s Youth.” But the show that was inexcusably snubbed was “Community.” No comedy this season was smarter, more ambitious, and better looking than this winner of a show. The fact that the epically hilarious “A Fistfull of Paintballs” is not nominated here just proves that Emmy voters are not doing their job. Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series Nominees: “Episodes” for “Episode Seven,” “Louie” for “Poker/Divorce,” “Modern Family” for “Caught in the Act,” “The Office” for “Goodbye, Michael,” and “30 Rock” for “Reaganing.” What will win: “Modern Family” for “Caught in the Act.” Where the Emmys royally messed up in the comedy directing category this year, they at least managed to recognize some excellent teleplays. “Louie” has a strong chance at upsetting here since Louie C.K. is the flavor of the month. But with so much love backing “Modern Family,” the champion will likely be “Caught in the Act.” This is a commendable episode that hilariously satirizes every kid’s worst nightmare, walking in on his or her parents having…you know… My preference: “The Office” for “Goodbye, Michael.” In addition to providing some of the series’ biggest laughs in recent years, “Goodbye, Michael” was the most touching hour of television this whole season. It’s impossible for any “Office” fan to not get choked up while watching this episode. Greg Daniels script it pitch-perfect, from the opening to the final, dialog-free scene between Michael and Pam. While “The Office” may never be as consistently good as it was five years ago, “Goodbye, Michael” demonstrates the potential the show still has to be superb. Outstanding Comedy Series Nominees: “The Big Bang Theory,” “Glee,” “Modern Family,” “The Office,” “Parks and Recreation,” and “30 Rock.” What will win: “Modern Family.” Any of the six nominated shows could win here and I wouldn’t be flabbergasted. But it’s going to be hard to beat “Modern Family,” which leads the pack with the most nominations this year. The show won this prize last year and the Emmys have the tendency to award the same shows consecutively. In addition, “Modern Family” is the one show in the lineup that’s not only watched by everybody, but is also loved by everybody. Although I love it too, there is one nominated comedy that I love a little more. My preference: “Parks and Recreation.” Apart of me knew that the Emmys would never nominate my choice for the year’s best comedy, “Community.” However, I was overjoyed to see them nominate the second best comedy of year, “Parks and Recreation.” This remotely unknown show had a near-perfect season composed of 16 ingenious episodes. With only three overall nominations, “Parks and Recreation” has little to no chance at beating the Emmy juggernaut that is “Modern Family.” But anybody who watches all the submitted tapes would know that “Parks and Recreation” is the best nominated comedy series of the season. Stay tuned for the Best Drama category predictions. • Nick Spake is a college student at Arizona State University. He has been working as a film critic for five years, reviewing movies on his website, NICKPICKSFLICKS.com. Reach him at nspake@asu.edu.

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