There’s a very good chance Veep will end up making it three years in a row. And there might be an argument for it, had this not been the weakest season I have seen yet. The disappearance of the original showrunner probably was the biggest cause for its lack of appeal this season.
There are many good candidates in this category. I personally would push for black-ish, which remains one of the funniest and most relevant series on the air. But for some reason, it just can’t seem to crack the book. So I’ll go with the next best thing.
Atlanta was one of the most original series on television in all of last year. More shocking and stark than several of the dramas nominated, it also had one of the most brilliant satirical tones of any series. (My personal favorite involved a black affairs talk show complete with original but all-too passable commercials.) Add the fact that it took the Golden Globe and a Peabody, the fact that its lead is more than due, and that FX — or any basic cable network, for that matter — has yet prevailed in this category — and I think it has more than a chance of winning.
Should Win: black-ish
Will Win: Atlanta.
BEST ACTOR, COMEDY
This is an even tougher category to fathom. Jeffrey Tambor probably could take his third Emmy in a row for some of the more daring moments in all of Transparent, but the fact that the series didn’t take a Best Comedy nod, may show the time is over. William H. Macy has a lot of popularity, and won the SAG award this year, but I don’t think Shameless has enough momentum to triumph here.
Aziz Ansari had some great moments in Master of None, and probably should be rewarded. But really, I think it’s going to go Donald Glover for his incredible work as Earn on Atlanta. He’s already taken a Globe, a Critic’s Choice, and given how much the Emmys loves hyphenates, I’d say his chances of taking at least one trophy this year is good.
Should Win/Will Win: Glover.
BEST ACTRESS, COMEDY
I’ll be honest, I’m getting really tired of Julia Louis-Dreyfus taking the Emmy every year. I know she’s a comic force, but its getting repetitive to the point of dullness. Add to this, the fact that her character was just so horrendous to watch all season that I just can’t see her prevailing.
Besides, given the level of talent in this category, couldn’t we please give it to someone who hasn’t had a chance? My personal preference would be Tracee Ellis Ross, whose work in black-ish has always been nothing short of wonderful. As the more ‘rational’ member of the Johnson family, she nevertheless deals with some of the more hysterical moments, as well the most powerful (how can anyone look at the season 3 finale and not think she deserves an Emmy?) She’s already won a Golden Globe. What more does it take to convince the Emmy voters?
In all honesty, I’d also be fine if either of the superb comic leads of Grace & Frankie could take a trophy as well, particularly Tomlin, who is more than due one. But really, can we just agree? Selina’s won enough.
Should Win: Ross.
Will Win: Tomlin (but probably Louis-Dreyfus.)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY
This is where things start to get a little slippery. There is some good talent in this category, and I wouldn’t even object that much if Louie Anderson managed to repeat for his superb turn on the criminally undervalued Baskets. But it seems far more likely that it will go to Alec Baldwin for his work on Saturday Night Live. Which is to say his impression of Donald Trump.
Now, regardless of your politics, let’s look at this from a truly mathematical point of view. Baldwin is not a cast member of SNL. Granted, he appeared on practically every episode this season, and was very funny. That said, by the standards of the Emmys, Baldwin should be competing in the Best Guest Actor category. I’ve raged against SNL having performers in this category before, and will again, but this is a stretch of the rules by even the elastic standards of the category.
I really hope the judges make some changes to the rules, because we really are stretching the term. And it took away some very good nominees.
Should win: Tony Hale
Will Win: Baldwin.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY
Exhibit B. Now I’ll admit SNL had a banner year this season, but it didn’t deserve three nominees in this category. I’m still not sure who Vanessa Bayer plays on that series. And it kept Jane Krakowski and Mayim Bialik from getting deserved nominations.
Personally, I’d like to see Kathryn Hahn prevail for incredible work as the rabbi Raquel, whose patience with the Pfeffermans finally collapses spectacularly this season. She’s had the most growth of any of the characters on this show, and considering her long history as an actress (hell, for this service), she deserves a win. But my guess is, the Emmys will go back to repeat mode and give the trophy to Kate McKinnon for SNL. I’m not complaining that much — she is a regular, and her work is superb. But really, we’ve got to work this out guys.
Should Win: Hahn.
Will Win: McKinnon.