2010 Emmy Award Predictions: Lead Acting in a Comedy Series

Lead Acting in a Comedy Series

August 25th, 2010

There is nothing particularly progressive about the Lead Acting awards on the comedy side: with Modern Family’s cast choosing to submit in supporting across the board, and with Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison both submitting poorly, the big comedy battle of the year really isn’t relevant here, which means that we’re left with less interesting battles.

Or, more accurately, some less heartening battles: the reality is that these awards are unlikely to go to new faces, with previous winners dominating both fields. I’d like to believe that someone like Amy Poehler or Jim Parsons could walk away with these awards, but only the latter really has a chance, and even then something big, boring, and potentially enraging stands in his way.

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

  • Matthew Morrison (Glee)
  • Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
  • Steve Carell (The Office)
  • Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
  • Tony Shalhoub (Monk)
  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)

As much as it pains me, I really think that Tony Shalhoub will win his umpteenth Emmy for his work on Monk – he’s got a meaty two-hour series finale which brings to a close a substantial emotional arc for his character, and more importantly he has a category where no other competitor has a clear edge. I watched that finale, and thought that Shalhoub was as good as he has always been on Monk: the backlash against his recognition in this category had less to do with a poor performance and more to do with other performances being far, far more interesting.

This technically hasn’t changed: Jim Parsons probably deserved to win this award last year, and I’d take Steve Carell, Larry David or Alec Baldwin over Shalhoub any day. The problem, however, is that Parsons’ submission isn’t up to last year’s standards, and The Office had a poor season, and Baldwin’s multiple wins have rendered him nearly as stale as Shalhoub in some ways. David, while strong in a bit season for Curb Your Enthusiasm, isn’t really buzzworthy anymore either, which means that you’re left without a hook for any of the other contenders (especially since Matthew Morrison submitted the episode which features “The Thong Song”). I do think that Parsons’ broad submission could play better with voters than it did with me, but Shalhoub has the best narrative going into the awards, and I very sadly think that he’s in a position where he could take home another award.

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

  • Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
  • Toni Colette (United States of Tara)
  • Tina Fey (30 Rock)
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus (New Adventures…Christine)
  • Lea Michele (Glee)
  • Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation)

As for the Actress side of things, the story is a bit less concerning but certainly not particularly engaging. We’ve known for a long time that this award would come down to Edie Falco, riding her Sopranos pedigree in a strong role on Nurse Jackie, Toni Colette, a winner last year for a showy role on United States of Tara, and Tina Fey, who remains in contention considering the love for 30 Rock within the awards. It’s a race between three strong competitors, but I don’t particularly care about who wins: while I wasn’t a huge fan of Nurse Jackie I can’t deny how strong Falco is in the role, Colette remained a revelation in Tara’s very strong second season, and Fey is just as charming as she was in previous seasons (especially in the promo shoot in her submitted episode). It’s the sort of race that’s just not engaging to me: three great actresses, three strong roles, what’s there to be concerned about?

Of course, if I had a choice, I’d easily pick Amy Poehler over them all, if only to give Parks and Recreation some love, but in the end this one comes down to Falco and Colette. Recent evidence has shown that repeat winners (Baldwin, Cranston) are not uncommon, especially when you have a role like Colette’s which is always quite adaptive, but I think this one goes to Falco because she’s able to submit a pilot. It means that the episode focuses on her character, and I think the introductory element will be enough to differentiate her in the race.

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Predicted Winner: Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)

Biggest Threat: Toni Colette (United States of Tara)

Personal Choice: Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation)

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Predicted Winner: Tony Shahloub (Monk)

Biggest Threat: Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)

Personal Choice: Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)

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3 Comments

Filed under Emmy Awards

3 responses to “2010 Emmy Award Predictions: Lead Acting in a Comedy Series

  1. Pingback: 10 Best Comedy TV Shows Of The 2000s | Jinni Blog

  2. As much as I think you’re right re: both eventual winners, I really hope that voters give in to their base instincts for really broad comedy and vote for Jim Parsons’ horrible, horrible tape. Voting for the wrong tape for the right reasons really could pay off for once! Of course, giving in to their base instincts could lead to another Shalhoub victory… dammit!

  3. Pingback: 2010 Emmy Award Predictions: Outstanding Drama & Comedy Series « Cultural Learnings

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