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Main| TIFF Midnight Madness: "The Vigil","Saint Maud",and "The Vast of Night"»
Saturday
Sep 14 2019

What will win Outstanding Comedy Series at the Emmys?

by Abe Fried-Tanzer

There are many factors that go into the way Emmy voters choose the winner of their top awards.Since we already covered drama,today we're taking a look today at where the Best Comedy Series contenders stand from a statistical and recent history perspective.

Barry(Season 2 – 17 nominations)
HBO's black comedy about a hitman who becomes an actor saw its nomination total increase by four from last year.Bill Hader and Henry Winkler both won last year,and now they're joined by three other cast members.The show earned the requisite directing and writing bids,only one of two shows in this race to do so,and it's evidently beloved by many.Some might not love the violence and dark nature of its story,but even if this isn't the frontrunner,it has a good shot at being the potential spoiler in a competitive category...

Fleabag(Season 2 – 11 nominations)
When its first season was released on Amazon in 2016,this show got zero nominations.Now,it made a huge splash,earning a whopping five acting accolades as well as citations for directing and writing.There are two examples in recent history of shows that were able to win on their first try for second seasons: Will & Grace in 2000 and The Office in 2006.This show certainly isn't a typical sitcom like those,but creator-star Phoebe Waller-Bridge is immensely popular,also contending for producing drama nominee Killing Eve.This show has some real fans and could be the winning choice in the event of a vote-split.

The Good Place(Season 3 – 5 nominations)
The lone representative of broadcast network television finally secured a spot in this category for its third season after missing out previously despite critical praise and audience enthusiasm.While it did manage a writing nomination forthe very clever "Janet(s)"installment,only star Ted Danson is nominated,suggesting that this show hasn't sufficiently clicked with Emmy voters.It's very different from the rest of the list,but,like creator Michael Schur's previous seriesParks & Recreation,its nomination should sadly be considered its victory.

The Marvelous Mrs.Maisel(Season 2 – 20 nominations)
Last year's winner is back with six additional nominations this time,and boasting eight wins last year.Its overall haul is just two short of the record set by30 Rockin 2009.Between 2007 and 2017,only three shows have won this award,which means that voters don't quickly tire of their favorites.The only troubling factor is the lack of a writing nomination after this show won that category last year.It's also going up against a three-time winner that wasn't in the running last year.Still,based on its overall presence and the fact that it's still hot,this show remains out front in the competition.

Russian Doll(Season 1 – 13 nominations)
This sardonic Netflix comedy about a woman reliving her death on the day of her thirtieth birthday managed a very respectable showing when nominations were announced.It scored in a number of technical categories and even managed to earn two writing bids along with a nomination for star Natasha Lyonne.While it's creative and very watchable,it certainly won't be everyone's cup of tea.Voters sampling submission episodes will also hit a snag here.Any single episode doesn't do a great job of conveying the purpose of the show as a whole.Russian Doll has a devout fanbase,but likely not one strong enough to propel it to a win.

Schitt's Creek(Season 5 – 4 nominations)
Here for the first time ever after appearing on many people's wish lists over the years.Five seasons in,it scored its first-ever Emmy nominations in any race,including bids for stars Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara.Devotees of the show are celebrating its inclusion after being ignored for so long,but the likelihood that this show can manage to win over enough voters when it has the fewest nominations is not good.It's also very late in the show's run for it to show up for the first time – comparable latecomers likeEverybody Loves RaymondandParks and Recreationmanaged to break into the race in their third seasons.

Veep(Season 7 – 9 nominations)
This show claimed this award three years in a row before taking the 2017-2018 season off due to star Julia Louis-Dreyfus' cancer treatment.Now,it's back for its final season…with half the nominations it had last time.For its past two eligible seasons,it managed three directing bids per year,but this time,it got just one writing mention,for its series finale.Three consecutive victories shouldn't be counted out,but this show isn't here in the same way it used to be.Louis-Dreyfus and even Tony Hale might hear their names called again,but a fourth Best Comedy Series trophy?

Where does this leave us?

WhileGold Derby consensussays this is a three-way race,defending championThe Marvelous Mrs.Maiselfeels primed to keep returning winnerVeepfrom repeating for its swan song.That's not what happened whenGame of Thronescame back from a year off to defeatThe Handmaid's Tale,but in this case,it's likelier that another show likeFleabagorBarrycould swoop in to benefit from too many great options.

Which of these shows do you thinkshouldwin?

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Reader Comments (1)

Russian Doll is probably the most affecting show I watched over the last year.It's brilliant and I love it - but as you say,its format and its tone is not at all friendly to it winning this.If I was going for the most purely and constantly funny show,I'd go with the final season of Veep.

September 14,2019 | Unregistered CommenterScottC

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