2014 Emmy Winner Predictions: The Comedies

Emmy Comedy 14

I already did the Dramas, now here’s my predictions for who will Emmys this coming Monday in the Comedy categories…

Best Comedy Series

Nominees: The Big Bang Theory, Louie, Modern Family, Orange is the New Black, Silicon Valley, Veep
Listen, this is starting to get ridiculous. This has to be the year that Modern Family finally loses this award. It’s won four times in a row! That’s as many times as Cheers for christ’s sake! So, Orange is the New Black has the critical support, and everybody is talking about it. Not to mention that it just released its hugely popular second season a couple months ago. It’s in the zeitgeist, and it is the most likely show to end Modern Family‘s end of terror. The only thing that worries me is that it all seems too good to be true. Could the most deserving show in the category actually win? If not Orange, then I guess the second most likely winner would be Veep, which has a lot of nominations across the board. The fact that its most recent season was also its best certainly helps. It’s a hilarious show, so I’d be ok with it winning. The same goes for Louie or Silicon Valley. Just no more Modern Family, please.
Will Win: Orange is the New Black
Should Win: Orange is the New Black
Update: There was a time called 2009, in which we were concerned about the future of a new comedy pilot, that seemed like it was going to be the next big masterpiece of television comedy. Five years later, Modern Family is the Fidel Castro of the Emmy Awards, an old and tired dictator that just refuses to let go.

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Nominees: Don Cheadle (House of Lies), Louis C.K. (Louie), Ricky Gervais (Derek), Matt LeBlanc (Episodes), William H. Macy (Shameless), Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
This category is kind of a wasteland isn’t it? Don Cheadle, Matt LeBlanc, Ricky Gervais… Woof, those are three very rough nominations right there. I’m assuming this will go to Jim Parsons by default, even though he has already won three times for his work on The Big Bang Theory, and three wins is usually where the Emmys draw the line. If someone is going to upset, it might be William H. Macy, if only because he’s somewhat of an Emmy favorite (he’s won two out of eight nominations). I’m just hoping this might be Louis C.K.’s year, even if his relatively low-key performance is not the kind of thing that appeals to Emmy voters. The Emmys also don’t like when comedians play versions of themselves on television (Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, for example, have never won despite all the Emmy love their shows received).
Will Win: Jim Parsons
Should Win: Louis C.K.
Update: Jim Parsons won in an unsurprising and boring night of awards, where all of the winners had already won Emmys before.

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Nominees: Lena Dunham (Girls), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black)
After two wins in a row, and a season that both the best and most buzzed about her show has done so far, I’d be shocked if this award doesn’t go to Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Will Win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Should Win: Amy Poehler has never won an Emmy, and that is just wrong. I would love for her to get a career win (Parks and Rec isn’t the show it used to be), but if I’m talking about who did the best acting job in this particular season, I would have to go with Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Update: Yup, this went to Julia Louis-Dreyfus. She’s got five Emmys now, but dammit if she doesn’t deserve them.

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Nominees: Fred Armisen (Portlandia), Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Ty Burrell (Modern Family), Adam Driver (Girls), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), Tony Hale (Veep)
This one’s a three-way race between Andre Braugher, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and last year’s winner Tony Hale. Hale submitted the season finale, in which he has a memorable scene that ends with him and Julia Louis-Dreyfus laughing hysterically on the bathroom floor. Ferguson also has a pretty good submission (revolving around his father being uncomfortable with his upcoming wedding), and he is one of the Modern Family actors that hasn’t won an Emmy before. At the end of the day, I think I’ll go with Andre Braugher. Even though Brooklyn Nine-Nine didn’t do as well in the nominations as I was expected (especially after its two surprise Golden Globe wins), Braugher has a pretty cool tape, and he is without a doubt one of the Emmys’s favorite actors.
Will Win: Andre Braugher
Should Win: Andre Braugher
Update: This went to Ty Burrell because the Emmys still love Modern Family. 

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Nominees: Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory), Julie Bowen (Modern Family), Anna Chlumsky (Veep), Allison Janney (Mom), Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live), Kate Mulgrew (Orange is the New Black)
The question here is which tv veteran will walk out with the Emmy. On one corner, we have perennial Emmy favorite Allison Janney, who had won four of her six nominations before this weekend, when she won a fifth time (very deservedly) for her Guest appearance in Masters of Sex. So, yeah, the Emmys love Janney, but Mom isn’t exactly the most buzzed-about or well-respected show out there (then again, Melissa McCarthy won for Mike & Molly a couple years ago, so who knows what will happen). On the other corner, is Kate Mulgrew, more famous for her role as Captain of Stark Trek: Voyager. She is the kind of respected veteran that the Emmys might like to reward now that they have the opportunity to do so for a show that is not science fiction. Mulgrew is fantastic on Orange is the New Black, but hers is not really a comedic performance. I’m edging towards Mulgrew based on a career recognition, and Orange buzz, but again, the Emmys do love Allison Janney.
Will Win: Kate Mulgrew
Should Win: Kate Mulgrew
Update: The winner was Allison Janney, and I should have known! I knew I had made the wrong call the minute I posted my prediction.

Directing for a Comedy Series

Nominees: Episodes (“Episode Nine”), Glee (“100”), Louie (“Elevator, Part 6”), Modern Family (“Las Vegas”), Orange is the New Black (“Lesbian Request Denied”), Silicon Valley (“Minimum Viable Product”)
This is another category that, like Comedy Series, has been dominated by Modern Family lately. The show has won three times in a row, including last year for Gail Mancuso, who is nominated again this year. It would be dumb to bet against Modern Family in this category, but I feel like Orange is the New Black‘s “Lesbian Request Denied” ticks all the boxes of what Emmy voters like to reward in this category. For starters, it is the most cinematic of the nominated episodes, and one hour “dramedies” tend to win in this category (Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty, Pushing Daisies, and Glee have all won in the recent past). Second, the episode is directed by none other than Jodie Foster, someone voters might be interested in giving an Emmy. Third, the episode centers on Sophia (Laverne Cox) and Crazy Eyes (“Uzo Aduba”), both of which are the breakthrough characters of season one. The Emmys can be so boring in their choices that Modern Family might as well win, but I don’t see how they don’t reward Orange in this category.
Will Win: Orange is the New Black
Should Win: Orange is the New Black
Update: *sigh* the winner was Modern Family…

Writing for a Comedy Series

Nominees: Episodes (“Episode Five”), Louie (“So Did the Fat Lady”), Orange is the New Black (“I Wasn’t Ready”), Silicon Valley (“Optimal Tip to Tip Efficiency”), Veep (“Special Relationship”)
Save for the fact that the Emmy voters keep inexplicably nominating Episodes for writing awards, this is a very respectable list of nominees. Pilot episodes do relatively well in this category, but “I Wasn’t Ready” is by far the weakest episode of Orange is the New Black‘s first season. It is also not as comedic as the other nominees, and the Emmys tend to go for the big laughs in this category. That’s why I’ve landed on Louie as the winner. The show doesn’t have as much buzz as it did when it won this category in 2012, but “So Did the Fat Lady” is a pretty awesome piece of writing, and a very well chosen submission on Louis C.K.’s part.
Will Win: Louie
Should Win: Silicon Valley’s episode features some of the most hilarious moments of this tv season, but my overall favorite is Louie‘s “So Did the Fat Lady”. A very touching and thoughtful piece of television.
Update: Louis C.K. won! Yay!

The Emmys air Monday August 25th on NBC. 

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