Monday, July 09, 2012
The mainstream group would select THE BIG BANG THEORY, 30 ROCK, PARKS & RECREATION, (I’d say TWO AND A HALF MEN but no one’s going to vote for that), THE OFFICE, MODERN FAMILY, and new challengers like THE MIDDLE, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, RAISING HOPE, HOT IN CLEVELAND, and NEW GIRL. (Sorry 2 BROKE GIRLS, WHITNEY, ARE YOU THERE, CHELSEA? If any "trash talking girl" new show sneaks in it will be THE B... IN APT 23)
Then there are the fans of the more adventurous sitcoms. LOUIE., GIRLS, WILFRED, VEEP, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, NURSE JACKIE, IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA, and MAGIC CITY (that’s not a comedy? Really? Have you seen it?).
The problem with these shows is that you have people who passionately love them, others who actively hate them, and a large majority of voters who have never seen them. Remember, many older Academy members may not be employable but they’re not dead.
On the other hand, there are a lot of younger Academy members. Might they just tip the scale? Very possible. But my question is this: If you’re voting for COMMUNITY are you doing that because you think it’s the best comedy or because you want to make a statement? You want to stick it to NBC for firing Harmon? You want to prove that just the sheer muscle of an internet campaign can influence and maybe decide an Emmy?
Emmy wins have been used to save shows. ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT had a longer life because it won the Best Comedy Emmy. At one time an Emmy win would translate into higher ratings. That was certainly the case with CHEERS. But not with ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT. The people who didn’t respond to ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT could not be swayed by a gold statuette. So even if COMMUNITY should win, would that result in a big uptick in its numbers? I’m guessing not. I believe the Academy was somewhat embarrassed that ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT’S win had so little impact and they wouldn’t relish that scenario happening again. Would that influence voters? Would some think “why waste a vote on this?”
For the most part, members voting for shows like LOUIE and GIRLS are doing it to make a statement. Comedy doesn’t have to be familiar. It can be daring and take new forms. And that’s great. But I don’t see experimental sitcoms as a “cause.” To me the Emmys are not an occasion to storm the palace gates.
My only yardstick is what sitcoms were the FUNNIEST? At least to me. I voted for shows that make me laugh – regardless of network or coolness factor. Who did I vote for? I’ll let you know when the nominations came out just how in or out of sync I was with the Academy.
But however it shakes down, at least there’s some real suspense this year.
(Okay: Hint. I didn’t vote for WHITNEY or ROB!)
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM