The big question this year: Will Modern Family be knocked from its five-year throne as Best Comedy Series? The popular and funny ABC show is one award away from becoming the most decorated show of all time (it currently is tied with Frasier with five Emmy wins for Best Comedy Series). What makes this an unpredictable Emmy year in this category falls in that Modern Family didn’t have a particularly bad sixth season, unlike most comedy shows who typically plateau with their laughs around their fourth or fifth season. Modern Family has maintained its strong writing and stellar acting from its cast, which makes it difficult to knock this five-year champion from its throne. The show has battled some tough competition in the past with freshman shows such as the first season of Girls in 2013 and just this past year won against the first season of Orange is the New Black. However, despite a successful half-decade reign in this category and still being a threat to the other nominees, Modern Family seems likely to be pushed aside in favor of another victor this year.
This poses the secondary question in this category: Which show has the ability to beat Modern Family? Pre-Emmy nomination hype was speculating Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was the likely contender, but this seems to have fizzled away with its lack of nominations going into this Emmy season. The biggest hint of Unbreakable’s minimal chance of winning stems from its lead actress, Ellie Kemper’s, Emmy snub. The entirety of Unbreakable rests upon the shoulders of its lead actress and by snubbing Kemper, it seems to indicate Emmy voters are not as impressed with the Netflix show than viewers were. Regarding Silicon Valley and Louie, it is the opposite sentiment with viewers. Both Silicon Valley and Louie cater to specific comedy interest groups and typically don’t capture wider audience appeal, such as Modern Family or even Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt does. It is possible either show has the chance of grabbing wins in other categories, but a Best Comedy Series win for Louie or Silicon Valley would undoubtedly be considered an upset in this category.
This leaves three shows with the capacity to beat Modern Family: Parks and Recreation, Veep, and Transparent. If Parks and Recreation were to pull off a win, it would be entirely due to nostalgia. The show has a popular fan base, a successful final season, and considering this show was the surprise nominee this year in this category (shutting out The Big Bang Theory), it shouldn’t be underestimated. However the more likely of the three to defeat Modern Family is a toss-up between Transparent and Veep. Between the two, it seems Transparent has the better odds of winning. Transparent won the Golden Globe this past January for Comedy Series, which may be an indicator of where voters may be leaning. However, as past Emmy Award ceremonies have indicated before, freshman shows have a difficult time winning the top award in their first season. Girls, Glee, Desperate Housewives, Orange is the New Black, even House of Cards entered the Emmys with the expectation to win with their first season nomination and instead walked away empty handed, and this could easily happen to Transparent as well. This is what puts Veep in a very good position to win since it has proved itself as a series and has matured into one of television’s most brilliant political satires. The fourth season of Veep was comedic brilliance with the show daring to take on a new angle (its lead character now being President) which proved to be very effective. What especially puts Veep in a good position was its willingness to test new methods of narrative storytelling, such as the season’s ninth episode, “Testimony,” which was filmed entirely in the format of Grand Jury testimony and one-on-one depositions. Veep seemingly is in the best position to win this year with a veteran status, numerous nominations, originality, and is a favorite amongst Emmy voters.
Parks and Recreation
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Will win: Veep
Could Win: Transparent
Should Win: Veep or Transparent
Could Upset: Modern Family