The category of Outstanding Comedy Series is no laughing matter at this year's Emmy Awards. The contenders are "The Big Bang Theory," "Girls," "Louie," "Modern Family", "30 Rock," and "Veep," representing network television and premium cable, departing favorites and new surprises. Which show will take home Emmy gold?
Veep is a funny show, starring former "Seinfeld" comedienne Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, but many voters may not have bothered to tune in to the HBO comedy. "Girls" was less comedy than drama this season, as episodes centered around Lena Dunham's character's obsessive compulsive disorder, and the sad edge to the humor may have turned off some voters. "Modern Family," while also reliably funny, doesn't have the same buzz it used to find among fans and critics. Therefore, it seems like the contest will really come down to a decision between "The Big Bang Theory," "30 Rock," and "Louie."
The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
This year, "The Big Bang Theory" put its true super-couple, Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah-Fowler, front and center, and the decision paid off in nominations for actors Jim Parsons and Mayim Bialik as well as for the show itself. After years of the saga of Leonard and Penny, it was a fun change to see Sheldon and Amy have some tender and hysterical moments, such as their romantic favors board game, to take their relationship to the next level. If voters rebel against the edgier cable shows "Louie" and "Veep," this may be the year for "The Big Bang Theory" to carry the night.
30 Rock (NBC)
Tina Fey has a lot of fans in the television industry from her many years performing and writing for "Saturday Night Live." This was "30 Rock's" final season, and voters may want to reward her for her hard work. After all, reigning in Alec Baldwin and Tracy Morgan for all those years deserves some kind of prize, right? Actually, Baldwin's recent Twitter antics might be one count against the show, as voters may not want to honor him indirectly. Still, Fey's popularity cannot be underestimated, and it would be a great sendoff for the popular series.
Voters like to reward the unusual on occasion, and Louis CK's FX series has a strong fan following. This is the oddball show's first nomination in the main category, after several nominations for star Louis CK and one win for the writing team. While "Modern Family's" buzz may be fading, "Louie's" popularity is on a strong upswing. Critics love this show, which has already been picked up for a fourth season, and it may finally be finding an audience. It is not your typical sitcom, consisting more of loosely tied together scenes than of linear stories, but if the voters want to reward themselves for having edgier taste, it may take home the big prize.
While any of the nominees would be a fine choice for the comedy of the year, the honor may well go to "The Big Bang Theory," for steadily improving over the course of its run.
Keely Herrick is a freelance writer. Her work can be found on Examiner.com. "
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