Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Poll Results - Who SHOULD Win The Outstanding Actor In A Comedy Emmy?

I'm back with the results of the poll on who should win the "Outstanding Actor in a Comedy" Emmy, and I have to say that I'm impressed on a number of levels. After the anaemic turn-out in the first poll, I wasn't expecting many votes, but the response to this poll totally exceeded even my most optimistic expectations. On another note, the voting patterns, which I have also been tracking seem to reinforce the results of the first poll as to when people vote in these things. Of course more data is required to come up with a definitive answer, but what I'm getting so far is probably going to have an effect on how I do poll in the future.

Now to the results of the voting. There were 22 votes cast – four times as many as in the first poll for reasons I don't fully understand...yet. In sixth place, with no votes is Charlie Sheen from Two And A Half Men. In fifth place, with one vote (4.55%) was Jemaine Clement from Flight Of The Conchords. In fourth place with three votes (13.64%) was last year's winner in this category – both in this poll and at the awards – Alec Baldwin from 30 Rock. In third place, with four votes (18.18%) is another previous winner in this category, Steve Carell from The Office. In what for me was a surprising second place was yet another multiple winner in this category, Tony Shaloub from Monk. But the winner with eight votes (36.36%) was Jim Parsons from The Big Bang Theory.

As usual, Charlie Sheen gets no love from people voting in this category on this blog. And as usual I will make the comment that he's probably crying all the way to the bank. His father has enough Emmys for the whole family anyway. The poor turnout for Flight Of The Conchords star Jemaine Clement probably has a dual cause; his show is on HBO and the focus of this blog tends to be on broadcast TV. Clement, and the show, was the subject of the only comment that I received for this poll (and just as a reminder, I do welcome, and even beg for, comments on why you voted the way you did – I'm even willing to make them anonymous on the blog) even though part of it was a sales pitch for some merchandise: "Their music rocks and i love their show. Who knew kiwis were so funny! I especially love there (sic) First season of songs." Since I can't afford HBO Canada, I can't possibly comment intelligently. The only New Zealander that most of us get exposed to is Phil Keoghan, who I find to be somewhat funny.

Moving on, we have Alec Baldwin and Steve Carell. Although Carell received one more vote than Baldwin, I'm lumping them together here because it is my expectation that either Baldwin or Carell is the likely winner in this category (although they aren't who I want to win) and if I had to choose between the two I'd say that it would be Baldwin who will win. I believe that the Academy voters like what they perceive to be "intelligent" and "sophisticated" comedy. What will probably give Baldwin an edge in the voting is that 30 Rock is a show about television and very specifically about NBC. I'm willing to bet that people in the industry will see people that they know reflected in the show.

I want to spend a minute on Tony Shaloub who is doing his last season of Monk right now. Shaloub regularly gets more votes in this poll than I usually expect him to – he finished second to Alec Baldwin last year and in third place in 2007 – for a show that, if others better qualified to comment than I (who again doesn't have access to the most recent episodes of this show) are to be believed is becoming less sharp as the years have passed. I'm not saying that Shaloub doesn't deserve the nomination, I am however questioning whether he deserves eight votes in this poll.

Or winner however is Jim Parsons, and I think that the acclaim here is well deserved (I should mention however that this is the only one of the nominated comedies that I watch on a regular basis). While The Big Bang Theory is at its heart a fairly routine comedy about a group of friends with a "fish out of water" aspect in the form of Kelly Cuoco's character Penny, and a hint of unrequited love thrown into the mix, Parsons as Sheldon is an absolute stand-out. As the obnoxious roommate/best friend from Hell he's hilarious. He nails the behaviour of this uber-geek so well that there have been several things written trying to diagnose Leonard's behaviour – they tend to come down on the side of Leonard suffering from Asperger's Syndrome, a view that Parson himself agrees with, saying that Sheldon "couldn't display more traits" of AS." His lack of a sense of humour, his total failure to understand irony and his obsessive compulsive adherence to routines ("You're sitting in my spot.") are the principal sources of comedy in this show. What makes Parsons worthy of this award – and why I personally think that he should win it – is that in the wrong hands this role could be obnoxious and a caricature, one of the most disliked characters on TV. The obvious comparison is with Jaleel White's Urkel character on Family Matters; Urkel took over the leading part in the series, but can anyone really say that they liked Urkel as a person? Sheldon could have been the "next Urkel" but instead Parsons has given him enough endearing qualities that for all of his obnoxious character quirks we, as the audience, like him and his friends on the show don't want to throw him under a bus...too often.

New poll up in a few minutes.

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