Sunday, August 19, 2007

Poll Results – Outstanding Actress In A Comedy

One of the interesting things to watch in Poker is the betting patterns. Who bets what and when provides a player or an observer with information on what the bettor has, or at least what he wants us to think that he has. I'm not entirely sure what voting patterns in web polls like this one tell us But I suspect that there's a story there too. In this poll there was an actual voting pattern. Suffice it to say that this was a close race until a surge of late voting provided us with our winner.

There were eighteen votes cast. In a three way tie for third place are Felicity Huffman of Desperate Housewives, America Ferrera from Ugly Betty, and Mary-Louise Parker from Weeds, each with two votes (11%). In second place with four votes is Julia Louis-Dreyfus of The New Adventures of Old Christine with four votes (22%). But the winner with eight votes (44%) is Tina Fey from 30 Rock.

I think that this is very likely the way the voting will go down at the actual Emmys. I'm pretty sure that Weeds is suffering from the common bias in my polls against cable shows, but not having seen many episodes of the show, my impression is that it is a dark comedy and I'm not sure that the Television Academy really likes those. As for Felicity Huffman, I don't necessarily find her to be particularly funny on the show. I don't enjoy her as much as I enjoy Terri Hatcher for example. I might have expected a better performance in the poll from America Ferrera who has the title role on Ugly Betty even though I' m watching Survivor instead. The show was after all one of the more successful new shows of the past season. If there's an actress who could break out from this third place pack it is her.

The two actress who are in the lead in this poll are in shows which adhere to the standard sitcom format – a half-hour, work or home based series – but they are different from the run of the mill sitcom. "Old Christine" is based on a divorced single mother in her late 30s or early 40s trying to reconstruct her life. I've never seen the show of course (Monday nights and a sitcom) but these sorts of roles are rare in a sitcom landscape filled with shows like 'Til Death and According To Jim. As for Tina Fey, she's obviously learned the importance of being a straight woman in a situation comedy. She is the central figure on the show. Everyone plays off of her – Alec Baldwin as Jack, Jane Krakowski as Jenna, and Tracy Morgan as Tracy – so that things happen to her, and it is frequently the case that laughter comes from things that happen to people rather than from people doing or saying funny things. Buster Keaton understood that, as did Jack Benny. It doesn't hurt for consideration at the Emmys that 30 Rock is a critical darling (even if its ratings are undeservedly low) or that Fey created the show and is one of the chief writers and therefore shapes her own character's desitiny.

New poll up shortly.

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