The Emmy season is in full swing. The nominations aren't announced until July 14th, and the ceremony isn't until late September, but the internet is already a buzz with nomination predictions, nomination dreams, and possible winners. And while I didn't let myself invest in the Oscars this year, I am totally buying into the 2011 Emmys. I've been reading every article, and I'm counting down days until the nominations are announced.
Now, before anyone poisoned my mind with nomination chances or anything, I thought I'd write up a little bit about who I think should win in each category, however unrealistic that idea may be. Since I don't really watch any worthy dramas (read: the only drama I watch is Gossip Girl, which is not deserving of any awards, ever), I am only considering the major comedy categories. So, without further ado, here are my favourite comedic actors and tv shows of the 2011 season.
Over the last year, I've fallen out of love with the Big Bang Theory. Part of it is the simple fact that I had too many other shows to follow--Parks and Rec, Gossip Girl, Greek, etc--and I got distracted. Part of it is that I watched too much, too fast--Sheldon can get annoying fast. But the biggest thing is that this season wasn't very good. I thought Amy Farrah Fowler would be a fun character, for a few episodes. Oh, look, we get to see Sheldon date! But instead she turned into a regular character that I hated. She's the female Sheldon--only less funny. And the addition of Amy as well as increased screen time for Bernadette meant that Penny was squeezed out. Which really annoyed me. After Sheldon, Penny has always been my favourite character. I miss her! I want her back!
But no matter how much the show annoyed me or how little I watched by the end of the season (I don't remember if I made it through the entire finale episode), I always loved Jim Parsons. For a while here, this became the Jim Parsons Blog, where I'd do a post of him every other day. Nowadays, I'm not quite as obsessive, but I still think he is giving a great performance week in and week out. Sheldon Cooper is not someone most people would want to be friends with, and yet all the fans love him. Part of that can be credited to the writers, but I think a larger part can be credited to Jim Parsons himself. He takes a mean, egotistical, selfish guy, and he manages to make him loveable. Most of all, he makes him hilarious. Sheldon's character did not have his best season this past year, but he was still better than any other actor on tv, in my opinion. And so, I pick Jim Parsons as my Best Actor in a Comedy.
I don't watch The Office. I didn't really like Baby Mama. I've never taken to SNL. So there was nothing that suggested that I would like Parks and Recreation. But I did. By the end of the season I came to love it, in fact, and I think a large part of that is due to Amy Poehler herself.
She brings such life to her performance. So much energy. Like Sheldon, Leslie is a character that has the potential to be annoying. But in Poehler's hands, she's so much more than that. She's annoying, but she's also endearing. She's loveable. She's hilarious. I enjoy Leslie when she's paired with any character on the show--be it Ben in Road Trip, April in Fancy Party, Tom in the online dating episode, or Ron in the birthday episode. Again, give credit to the writers, but also give credit to this amazing actress, who works so hard and deserves to be rewarded for it.
Best Supporting Actor
For this one, I have a near tie. One actor is absolutely hilarious, and wins hands down in the number of actual laughs he produces per episode. The other is an amazing dramatic actor who makes me love him even when I hate what the show makes him do. I'm going to give a shout out to both, since I think they both deserve the praise.
The first is Nick Offerman, aka Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation. That man is absolutely hilarious. Many of the lines he's given wouldn't be funny if they were written on the page. But the way he delivers them, they're absolutely freaking hilarious. He adds so much to the character, and his character adds so much to the show. There are so many classic scenes--Ron's pyramid of greatness, Ron's speech at the art gallery, Ron's cooking competition with Chris, etc, etc. That's because Nick Offerman is a genius. The funniest actor on tv right now.
My other contender is Chris Colfer. Now, I hated Glee this season. It was awful. Preachy. Cliched. Inconsistent. Boring. Irritating. A truly terrible piece of television. But for me, the one bright spot was Chris Colfer's character Kurt Hummel. Kurt had many great moments, but his stand out episode was clearly the prom, where he got to fun and funny and also heart breaking, all within forty minutes. He made me feel for Kurt. He made me love Kurt. And, of course, he made me love Kurt and Blaine. They are such a cute couple! I loved their first kiss, their I love you's, pretty much every moment they were together this season. Credit to Darren Criss, credit to Ryan Murphy and gang, but biggest credit to Chris Colfer, who managed to stand out amongst all the slush.
Best Supporting Actress
I almost didn't include this category. No one immediately came to mind, and I thought it would be a waste to pick a sub par actor to this list. Then I remembered Christa Miller, the brilliant Ellie from Cougar Town.
In the Emmy discussions, Busy Phillips usually gets thrown in. And, don't get me wrong, I love me some Busy Phillips. Hello, she's Audrey from Dawson's Creek. Plus she's funny and sweet and she has such a great relationship with Travis/Dan Byrd. But to me, she is second banana to the incomparable Christa Miller.
I love Ellie. She is absolutely hilarious. Again, here's a character who is constantly mean, and easily dislikable. Yet, Christa Miller makes her great. She makes her hilarious. Ellie scenes are always my favourite on Cougar Town. I love Ellie and Andy, and Ellie and Laurie, and even Ellie and Jules. I love her always. She refreshingly mean, and always hilarious. Christa Miller deserves more love for making this character someone you love to hate so much.
Glee was terrible. How I Met Your Mother was boring. Big Bang was weak. 30 Rock was fine, just above average. Cougar Town was pretty good, but not great.
Parks and Recreation was amazing.
It's a great ensemble show, without one week link in the cast. I've already singled out Leslie and Ron, but I could easily considered most of the other characters, be it Tom (Aziz Ansari) or April (Aubrey Plaza) or Ann (Rashida Jones) or Ben (Adam Scott) or Chris (Rob Lowe) or even, heck, Jerry (Jim O'Heir). I loved them all, and I loved this season of the show.
The first I'd like to spotlight is romance, because, well, I'm totally obsessed with romance (Hi, my name is Katherine, it's nice to meet you). I so admired how the show handled both romances this season. April and Andy's courtship was adorable, but also realistic. I find Andy to be a trying character, but when he's with April, I love him. They are so sweet. I loved when they got together, and I loved when they got married. They are so low drama, yet still so awesome. That's really an achievement.
The other romance that I loved was Ben and Leslie. It was developed so well. It felt like these characters would actually be together. They were well developed as individuals, and they actually seemed like genuine friends. That's such a great foundation. From there, I loved how Ben got jealous and vulnerable about Leslie. I loved how they got together. I can't wait for the next season, where they'll finally figure out their future. They are a great couple, and I really hope they stay together.
So the romance was great. And I think it goes without saying that the comedy was amazing. I mean, this is the best comedy category. This show made me laugh more than any other on tv right now. The entire Harvest Festival, L'il Sebastian, the flu episode, the online dating episode, pretty much everything. There wasn't a bad episode in the bunch. That's amazing.
As of this moment, I love everything about this show. I love that they were able to integrate two new characters--Ben and Chris--so well. I love Ron effin' Swason. I love how everything is always blamed on Jerry. I love Donna's confidence. I love Chris's enthusiasm. I even love the freaking theme song. It's just so happy and upbeat. As is everything in this show. It's a great half hour of television, the best comedy on tv right now.