My Continued Joyous Reactions To The 2023 Critics Choice TV Nominations, Part 2
Best Comedy Series
In retrospect it might have been better for me to lead with the comedies when it came to the Critics Choice, not merely because I am far more satisfied with the nominees in almost every category, but because in their nominations they are not only superior to the Emmys but also in some ways better than the HCA. The latter is by far a higher bar to cross, but when I relate the nominees I think some people might very well understand why I think this.
BEST COMEDY SERIES
First off, let’s recognize what the Critics Choice got right that the HCA didn’t. They nominated Reservation Dogs for Best Comedy. Indeed, the series is one of the most nominated shows of the group with four. They also did not nominate Ted Lasso for Best Comedy, something the HCA went into some excess for by comparison.
The four series that all three groups are in allegiance on are among the best of the past year: Abbott Elementary, Barry, The Bear and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, though in the case of The Bear the TCA is recognizing its second season. There is also love for eternal favorite (pun not intended) for What We Do In The Shadows and new series Poker Face and Shrinking, both of which more than deserve to be here. Only Murders in the Building is the most notable absence but it wasn’t entirely ignored. This is a very good group.
BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Jeremy Allan White and Bill Hader I think we can all agree gave among the best performances of the year. (I expect both men to win in the HCA.) Jason Sudeikis isn’t here but D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai is for Reservation Dogs. No argument. Steve Martin gets his fair share from the TCA. Kayvan Novak has been a favorite from the Critics Choice in the past.
I might question the decision to put Drew Tarver for The Other Two over Martin Short or Jason Segel, but that show is the definition of a critics favorite. No real problem.
BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Reason number two the Critics Choice has the advantage over the HCA. They are the only major group to nominate Bridget Everett for her dazzling work in Somebody Somewhere. I can always hope that she pulls out an upset, but it’s a tough field.
I doubt anyone would question the validity of four of the five nominees in this group. Certainly not Rachel Brosnahan, Natasha Lyonne, Quinta Brunson and making her debut in the lead category Ayo Edebiri from The Bear. I am beyond thrilled that Devery Jacobs was nominated for Reservation Dogs. This is not only the most diverse group of nominees among the comedies but features some of the best performances all year. It’s going to be hard to pick a winner.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Reason number three the Critics’ Choice has it over the HCA this year: the saw the wisdom in nominating Harrison Ford for his incredible work in Shrinking. He is not only the sentimental favorite but by a considerable margin the best candidate in a very strong field.
Henry Winkler, who has won in this category twice before for his incredible work in Barry, is back for the final season. Ebon Moss-Bachrach, who is revelation is back to. James Marsden more than earned his shot for his work in Jury Duty. Harvey Guillen deserves to be here for What We Do In The Shadows.
If I have a nit to pick, it is the presence of Phil Dunster. Even people who did not like the final season of Ted Lasso admit his work as Jamie was remarkable in this season. I’m just disappointed that he’s here and Tyler James Williams or Chris Perfetti aren’t here for Abbott Elementary.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
I take it back: this category is more diverse than the Best Actress in a comedy series as well as having some brilliant performers. Sheryl Lee Ralph and Janelle James are back in the hunt for their work in Abbott Elementary. The wondrous Paulina Alexis is also in the hunt for her work in Reservation Dogs. Alex Borstein returns for the final season of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and given how many people loved her work in the third season of Only Murders in the Building, should we be shocked to see Meryl Streep in the category? I imagine poor Jessica Williams might look at this category and wonder what she’s doing here; I assure you Jessica, you more than deserve to be here and you kind of deserve to win. Best of all, no one from Ted Lasso to muddy up the waters.
All in all, this entire grouping represents everything the Critics Choice awards do well. I have almost no complaints at all.
Tomorrow I will wrap things of with my notes on the nominees in Best Limited Series and TV Movie, which if anything have a great mix of both this year and the next as well as missing some gems that every other awards show seemed to drop the ball on.