Sunday, August 22, 2010
Poll Results - What Show SHOULD win the Emmy as Outstanding Comedy Series?
Back to a Sunday poll result thanks to the inevitable circumstances beyond my control (I had to spend Saturday afternoon mowing my brother's lawn – he and my sister-in-law and my nephew are on holiday). Beyond that, because this particular poll didn't exactly set the world on fire in terms of votes cast – and with six votes cast we were down from last year's count in this category when we had seven – I had a sneaking hope that maybe we might get a couple of more votes here, but I guess not.
So as I've said, we had eight votes cast. In a tie for third with no votes we have HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm, FOX's Glee, Showtime's Nurse Jackie and NBC's 30 Rock. In second place, with two votes (33%) we have The Office from NBC. But the winner for this category with four votes (67%) is Modern Family.
I think this is probably an accurate assessment, although if I were to look into the minds of the Emmy voters (a scary prospect to be sure) I'd be guessing that they'll stick with their "insider" mentality and vote for 30 Rock. Skipping over 30 Rock which others have assured me has slipped in the past season, the other shows which got no votes are a mixed bag. For example I am not convinced that Nurse Jackie is actually a comedy, and I'm fairly convinced that Glee is in this category because the Academy can't believe that a show with music can fit into the Drama category. Actually I think that it is as much Comedy as it is Drama, and that generally gets a show slotted into the Comedy category so maybe that's not such an inaccurate choice. Curb Your Enthusiasm has a strike against it for being a cable show – the Emmys tend not to reward comedies from cable networks and for the most part cable networks don't do comedy well.
Turning to the two shows that received votes, The Office is the old established veteran, a show with proven pedigree and an excellent choice. Except that it has been stated that this hasn't been the best season for The Office, just as it hasn't been the best season for 30 Rock. Admittedly a bad season for either The Office or 30 Rock would be considered an excellent season for lesser series. On the other hand the other show that was nominated – Modern Family has had an excellent season, something that was proven by the nominations for five of the six adult actors on the show. Modern Family takes a fairly pedestrian and well worn premise – the family comedy – and expands it by expanding the definition of family. Instead of the husband wife and kids, with the requisite funny neighbours/in-laws, Modern Family has three different perspectives on families; the gay couple with an adopted child, the older man with a younger woman and her child from a previous relationship, and the "conventional" husband wife and two kids family. It works.
We had two comments on this category (which means that 1/3 of the people who voted also commented; if the voter turnout were higher this ratio would be exciting). First up we have this comment from Toby in support of Modern Family: "I've gone with 'Modern Family'. The mockumentary premise sometimes gets violated, but it's all in service to the humor. And so many great characters, especially Cameron and Phil and young Manny...." The characters are one of the big points of this show. As I've said the strength of this cast is shown by the nominations for every adult actor on the show except Ed O'Neill, which is regarded as one of the great oversights of this Emmy season. Casting is important, but giving actors the material to work with is what sets the top shows apart.
The other comment is from Ben who commented on an earlier poll: "First off, I thank you for quoting me a few posts back." No problem. When I get comments for polls – at least ones that don't redirect to Taiwanese porn sites or other spam, which seems to be a growing problem – I like to run them. I like to see the reasons why people vote the way they do. "I'm voting for The Office. The show may be having growing pains, but it's fundamentally one of the strongest shows on TV. Given the chance I'd have voted for Parks and Recreation, but that's another story." I'm not sure that you can say that a show that is in its sixth season can be described as having "growing pains" but I can see that the show, like any show, can have an off season in spite of having the same writers and the same cast. And yes the show is fundamentally strong. The question for me is whether it should win this time with a show like Modern Family or even the incumbent 30 Rock. As far as Parks and Recreation, I'm going to again hide behind my general antipathy towards comedy as a reason for not watching the show. I have had good reports about the series after what some regarded as a rocky start. Think it is probably more worthy of a spot on the ballot than Nurse Jackie but then that's my own personal prejudice rearing its head.
New poll, the last in the current Emmy Polls, will be up in a few minutes.