My (Mostly) Positive Reactions To This Year’s Emmy Nominations

Part 2: The Comedies

The Hope Didn’t Kill Them theringer.com

Comedy was more of a mixed bag than dramas, but that’s usually the case with me. I’ve actually been catching up on quite a few of them and I’m impressed by more than I thought I was. Here are my reactions

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES

I wanted The Flight Attendant, The Kominsky Method, black-ish and Ted Lasso to be here and they are. Having gotten through more than half a season of Hacks, I’m improved my opinion of it and it more than deserves the fifteen nominations it ended up getting. I’ll be reviewing Pen15 later on; given its track record with other critics groups, I’m okay with it being here. And I understand the love that there is for Cobra Kai, though I would much rather have seen Breeders.

It’s the presence of Emily in Paris that galls me the most. At best a pedestrian Netflix series, it is lacking in comparison to so many of the Netflix shows in this category. I can not for the life of me understand why Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist was, for all intents and purposes, shutout of the major nominations. Hell, Mom or Shameless would’ve been better choices.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

I don’t know if anything can stop Jason Sudeikis from triumphing. Anthony Anderson and Michael Douglas deserve to be here, and I predicted William H. Macy and Keenan Thompson would be. Maybe I’m disappointed that they could only find room for five nominees in this category. Couldn’t they have found room for Martin Freeman?

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

No problem with Kaley Cuoco or Jean Smart. Glad to see Allison Janney and Tracee Ellis Ross back in the ranks.

Aidy Bryant for Shrill really seems out of left field. I have nothing against Bryant or her series — it’s been quietly well reviewed for awhile. Mainly I’m just truly appalled that Jane Levy got utterly skunked it what may be her only chance. Hell, I’d rather have seen Daisy Haggard or Lena Waithe. (Sigh)

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY

You could only find five nominees for the leads, but you found eight and seven respectively for Supporting? I know the pickings are slim, but still…

I suppose I should complain here about the utter domination of this category by Ted Lasso the same way The Handmaid’s Tale did in this categories equivalent for drama. Here’s the thing: having seen Season 1 and marveled in the greatness of all of the performances, I really can’t. I wanted Brett Goldstein and Brendan Hunt to be nominated; they were great. But Jeremy Swift’s performance as Higgins was a joy to behold as was Nick Mohammed’s work as the shy assistant who becomes the mastermind of the team. I never want to be greedy when it comes to flooding a category, even when it is with a series I love. My failure to list them doesn’t mean I’m any less glad to see them here.

I was glad to see Paul Reiser chosen for The Kominsky Method (thrilled actually) and I’m fine with Keenan Thompson and Bowen Yang’s nods for SNL. I don’t think I’ve given him enough credit for his work over the last couple of years. And after watching the last couple of episodes of Hacks I’m actually more than good with Carl Clemons-Hopkins nod. I’m just a little disappointed that for all the good choices here, they just couldn’t find room for Alex Newell or indeed anybody connected with Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. Was it binary issues or the fact that series was cancelled? I just don’t know.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

Again absolutely no problem with Hannah Waddingham or Juno Temple for their superlative work on Ted Lasso. Grateful to see Rosie Perez here for The Flight Attendant. And after watching a little more of Hacks I’m actually coming to admire Hannah Einbinder’s work as Ana. And I don’t have a problem with Kate McKinnon getting nominated.

It’s the other two actresses from SNL I have problems with. I have no difficulties with Cecily Strong or Aidy Bryant as performers on the series, but it still seems kind of arbitrary at this point. Bryant in particular seems to be getting too much love from the Academy this year. Or maybe I’m just peeved that Zosia Mamet and Kathleen Turner weren’t nominated.

I’m a little less perturbed with the nominations than I would have been a week ago (I’ll give my exact reason in the final column) but I am really getting irked by the fact that SNL basically seems to control the Guest Actor and Actress in a Comedy category. Do I have a problem with Dan Levy, Maya Rudolph and Kristin Wiig? But I think Dave Chapelle is pushing it a bit, and I think even Alec Baldwin’s tired of being nominated for playing Trump. (And for the record, you nominated every male who hosted SNL this year; you couldn’t have nominated Keegan Michael Key or John Mulaney?) That being said, I’m glad to see Issa Rae and Yvette Nicole Brown for A Black Lady Sketch Show, Morgan Freeman as himself in The Kominsky Method and Bernadette Peters. At least somebody got nominated for Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.

I’ll be back tomorrow to deal with Limited Series, or perhaps I should add Movie or Variety Special to the category. The voters this year certainly did, and I’m really not happy about it.

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David B Morris

After years of laboring for love in my blog on TV, I have decided to expand my horizons by blogging about my great love to a new and hopefully wider field.