Emmy ballots were released last week. Nominations won’t be announced until July 16. Until then, we all get to talk about the TV shows we’d like to see nominated, whether they actually have a shot or not. Here are my Emmy picks for outstanding comedy series, which was a very strong category this year.
What should win
Parks and Recreation
It’s hard to do a great, satisfying final season. Parks and Recreation made some bold choices with their time jump that led to a delightfully quirky semi-sci-fi setting. The season was full of satisfying pay offs and was a rare instance where characters getting exactly what they wanted actually worked and felt deserved. Most of all, this has been such a strong series for so long, it’s earned acknowledgment now.
What else should be nominated
This show has been such a surprisingly well-oiled machine since its premiere. Everything has just worked with relatively few speed bumps along the way. This season gave us an incredibly well-written will-they-won’t-they between Jake and Amy. Ray Holt continued to be one of the best characters on TV. The whole ensemble just works, every character and relationship is such a joy to watch.
In its second season, Silicon Valley had some of the most intense, suspenseful plotting I’ve ever seen in a sitcom. The signature plot twists and incredible episode endings were great, but the show also offers some of the best character-based humor and character development around. Richard Hendriks grew and complicated and at times devolved in wonderful ways, while every single person in the supporting cast grew by leaps and bounds after the already strong first season.
Exactly how each season of Community ranks in comparison to each other is an intense question and a discussion for another time, but let’s just say that this year was the most I’ve enjoyed Community in a while. What stood about season 6 was its earnestness. As Abed says in his wonderful monologue in the finale, TV doesn’t work if it’s punishing or congratulating itself for existing. This season the show seemed much less concerned with its own hype and much more concerned with portraying this group of friends in a way that felt true and that felt fun to watch. It made a few great course correcting choices, like portraying both Britta and Craig in much more respectful ways than previous seasons, and it gave us that finale.
Ten years after its first season, The Comeback gave us a second season. This one was more tense than the first, a rare sitcom where each week I was eager to know what would happen next. Valerie Cherish continued to shine and the focus on her always present friend Mickey Deane worked very well. The focus on her relationship with Pauly G also turned out to be a great decision.
This show executes its tone perfectly, walking a line between satire and genuine soap opera better than any attempt I’ve seen previously, including Desperate Housewives. Carmen Luna is one of the funniest characters on TV right now. The relationship between Adrian and Evelyn Powell is a unique, fascinatingly written and an endless source of humor. This show makes the blending of sincere character development, soap opera/telenovela tropes and humor look effortless.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
This new show immediately had a unique voice and strong characters that felt refreshing. Its joke density and the amount of types of humor it combines are extremely impressive. Right out of the gate, it became one of the strongest comedies on TV.