Following yesterday's drama category, today I submit to the Emmy voters my longshot picks worthy of consideration in comedy. The Emmys are due to be announced at the end of the week.
As I posted yesterday, I'm not saying the picks below necessarily deserve an Emmy, but they do deserve a nomination. Also, these are picks that are not usually in the mix of names. Thus, I don't need to waste time arguing why Alec Baldwin deserves a nomination for "30 Rock."
SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY: James Van Der Beek, "Don't Trust The B--." TV this season has been blessed with a bevy of actors playing warped versions of themselves -- Larry David, Louis CK, Matt LeBlanc -- and Van Der Beek can hold his own with any of them, given both his mock seriousness and overinflated ego (on the show -- I hope!) "Don't" was one of the most pleasant surprises this season, and Van Der Beek was a key reason why. Honorable Mention: Max Greenfield, "New Girl." Greenfield has been one of TV's breakout stars, so I fully expect he'll get a nomination.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY: Elisha Cuthbert, "Happy Endings." It's hard to single out one member of this balanced cast - -after all, it does have the awesome Casey Wilson -- but Cuthbert has managed to stand out simply because I, like I'm sure many others, didn't realize that Cuthbert has such good comic chops, taking the whole "dumb blond" schtick to a new level. As much as I hated her on "24," I do love her on this show, thanks to her unexpected range. Honorable Mention: Merritt Weaver, "Nurse Jackie."
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LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY: Joel McHale, "Community." This is the longshot of all longshots, but McHale is the straw that stirs the drink on TV's most original comedy. He's got virtually no chance when you factor in David, Louis CK, Jim Parsons, et. al., but it'd be a nice gesture on the Academy's part. Honorable Mention: Adam Scott, "Parks & Recreation." Not a true lead on the show, but one can make an argument that he's the main male character these days because he's dating the lead character.
LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY: Jane Levy, "Suburgatory." This little show is often overlooked given ABC's mammoth Wednesday lineup, but Levy has been a breakout star as the put-upon teen forced to live in the suburbs of hell. Again, given newcomers into the category such as Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("Veep") and Zooey Deschanel ("New Girl,") and returnees like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Levy has virtually no chance, so a nomination for her would be the equivalent of a win. Honorable Mention: Anyone who isn't Lena Dunham from the ridiculously overrated "Girls."
BEST COMEDY: "Community," NBC. As "Fringe" sets the bar for originality and creativity for dramas, so too does "Community" for sitcoms. It's running jokes, characters and weekly plots are so off-the-wall, it's hard to imagine how anyone conceives them, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a better half hour than this season's multi-dimensional pizza delivery -- unless you count "Community's" "Civil War"-style documentary on the war between the pillow fort and blanket fort. But let's be honest, no show is going to knock off "Modern Family" from the the top of the heap. Honorable Mention: "Don't Trust The B--." I'm going with this simply because I think my other choice, "Veep," has a much better shot at a nomination.
What are your longshot comedy choices?
WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: ABC has this weird concept of a show called "Final Witness" at 10 p.m., in which actors act out true-life murder cases from the victim's perspective. Sounds very odd to me. But it's likely more interesting than "So You Think You Can Dance" (Fox, 8 p.m.) or "America's Got Talent" (NBC, 9 p.m.)
On cable, there's a new "Royal Pains" and "Necessary Roughness" from 9-11 p.m. on USA, while TNT counters with "Dallas" at 9 p.m.