Rather than save all that disappointment up for after the nominations, however, we thought it’d be nice to get some of it out of the way beforehand. So following are my picks for the six best comedies that aren’t likely to hear their names called for outstanding comedy series Thursday morning.
I’m not saying that all of these shows are more deserving than likely nominees like “30 Rock,” “The Office” or “Entourage” — well, maybe “Entourage.” I do think they’re all deserving of recognition, but the realist part of me knows that some of them — because they had limited runs, low ratings or aired on an out-of-the-way channel — just aren’t likely to get it.
Here’s my list, in order of least likely nominee to most likely:
“Party Down”: It’s a show that’s at least tangentially about show business, so it has that going for it. But it’s also about the soul-crushing, desperate side of the biz, which probably conjures up unpleasant memories for a lot of voters. But the Starz show, co-created by Rob Thomas, his “Veronica Mars” cohorts John Enbom and Dan Etheridge and Paul Rudd, got funnier and funnier as the season went on.
“Better Off Ted”: It was probably on for too short a time in the spring to really catch on (modest ratings won’t help either). But “Ted” was the rare example of a comedy that was sure of itself almost from the very start. If the show itself doesn’t get a nomination, it would be especially gratifying to see Portia de Rossi nominated for best supporting actress.
“Pushing Daisies”: The show picked up a raft of Emmy nominations (and three wins) last year, but its lame-duck status this year makes such a haul a lot less likely. It’s a shame, too, because the show was just as whimsically beautiful and bitingly funny this season.
“Chuck”: The show really found its stride at the end of its first season and continued on a roll for virtually the entire season. No other show blends comedy, action and genuine emotion as well as “Chuck” does.
“Scrubs”: Granted, the eighth — and what was presumed but turned out not to be — final season of the show was a little uneven and saddled by time and budget constraints that sidelined regulars periodically. But at its best, as with the finale and “My Last Words” with Glynn Turman and the “Steak Night” song, it’s still as good as any comedy on TV.
“How I Met Your Mother”: I actually think “HIMYM” has a fair chance of joining the best-comedy field this year, even if the show wasn’t as consistently awesome as in past seasons. (Although I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s not nominated either.) It’s still inventive, clever and damn funny, though, and one of these years Emmy voters should recognize that. Right?
Coming Wednesday: Unlikely dramas.
What other comedies would you like to see nominated, even if you don’t think they will be?
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