Emmys 2022: Can ‘Ted Lasso’ repeat its comedy series win?

As you look at the deep, select list of this year’s Emmy nominees for comedy series, you might wish the television academy could break the category up into subsections — the best comedy you see with fingers spread, occasionally without going through it once an episode to laugh (“Barry”), best comedy in which someone gets killed but remains an absolute pleasure to watch (“Only Murders in the Building”), best workplace comedy about how we let our teachers and their students down (“Abbott Elementary”), Best Comedy on Female Friendship and the Dangers of Violating a Nondisclosure Agreement (“Hacks”), and Best Comedy on Failure, Accountability, and Compassion (“Ted Lasso”).

They are all gems. But only one can win when the Emmys are presented on September 12th. (The categories below are ordered by preference.)

COMEDY SERIES

“bary”
“Only Murders in the Building”
“hacks”
“Abbott Elementary School”
“Ted Lasso”
“Catch Your Enthusiasm”
“What We Do in the Shadows”
“The Wonderful Mrs. Maisel”

Probable winner: Not long ago, voters had that category on autopilot, rewarding “30 Rock” for three consecutive years, followed by the five-year run of “Modern Family” and then “Veep” for the final three seasons. Since then, we’ve seen four different shows win – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Fleabag, Schitt’s Creek, and last year, Ted Lasso. Given the strength of the competition and the mild backlash surrounding season two, there’s plenty of reason to bet against “Ted Lasso”… except that it was also the most-nominated comedy, with 20 nominations, including seven for its cast. So let’s not think about it.

Deserved alternative: OK… allow me to think about it. Yes, “Ted Lasso” topped all of the nominees, but “Only Murders in the Building” received more directing nominations, and “Barry” and “What We Do in the Shadows” received more writing nominations. “Hacks” won Emmys for both writing and directing last year, and with a solid 17 nominations, it could easily jump to series victory. Abbott Elementary revitalized the network’s comedy with its sharp, funny look at a group of passionate teachers struggling to do the right thing for their students. And “Barry” was darker — and occasionally funnier — than ever, taking and connecting with just about any big swing it took. If “Barry”, “Hacks”, “Abbott Elementary” or “Only Murders” won, who could complain?

A woman holds a champagne flute while looking in a mirror.

Jean Smart appears to be on her way to an Emmy-winning comedy actress.

(Jake Giles Netter/HBO)

COMEDY ACTRESS
Jean Smart, “Hacks”
Quinta Brunson, “Abbott Elementary School”
Issa Rae, “Insecure”
Elle Fanning, “The Big One”
Rachel Brosnahan, “The Wonderful Mrs. Maisel”
Kaley Cuoco, “The Flight Attendant”

Probable winner: The writing team on Hacks leaned even further into Smart’s range for the show’s second season, giving her big, bravura moments (the lesbian sing-along cruise!) and scenes where she explores her character’s fears and vulnerabilities to a greater extent could explore. A repeat win is pretty much guaranteed.

Deserved alternative: Brunson was the first black woman to receive three Emmy nominations for comedy and recognition as a producer, actress and writer. The writing nod — to the show’s excellent, table-setting pilot — is probably her best shot at a trophy. But she was also delightful as the show’s rowdy schoolteacher.

Bill Hader as Barry the Killer.

It’s hard to imagine Bill Hader not winning over the comedy actor after the grueling emotional journey he took as Barry this season.

(Merrick Morton / HBO)

COMEDY ACTOR
Bill Hader, “Barry”
Steve Martin, “Only Murders in the Building”
Martin Short, “Only Murders in the House”
Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso”
Nicholas Hoult, “The Great”
Donald Glover, “Atlanta”

Probable winner: Hader won that Emmy for the first two seasons of “Barry,” and even with last year’s winner, Sudeikis, on the ballot, it’s hard to imagine he wouldn’t win it again, for the grueling emotional journey , which Barry undertook during the show’s third season.

Deserved alternative: Wouldn’t it be something if there could be a tie if Martin and Short took the stage together and commanded the Emmys for a few minutes? They are both essential to the success of Only Murders in the Building, absolutely perfect in their comic relationship and touching in the undertones of sadness they bring to this wonderful series.

A woman makes announcements over a school public address system

Can Janelle James Unload Hannah Waddingham For Her Work As The Outrageous, Opportunistic Principal On Abbott Elementary?

(Scott Everett White/ABC)

COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Janelle James, “Abbott Elementary School”
Hannah Einbinder, “Hacks”
Sheryl Lee Ralph, “Abbott Elementary School”
Hannah Waddingham, “Ted Lasso”
Juno Temple, “Ted Lasso”
Alex Borstein, “The Wonderful Mrs. Maisel”
Sarah Niles, “Ted Lasso”
Kate McKinnonSaturday Night Live

Probable winner: Waddingham won last year to critical acclaim, and even when Rebecca turned full-on softie in season 2, she still had plenty of standout moments, including a story about her father’s death and a sweet, stressful romance with soccer player Sam. All of these “Ted Lasso” acting nominations should produce at least one winner. (Probably two.)

Deserved alternative: Abbott Elementary offers a difficult choice between James, who plays the school’s outrageous, opportunistic principal, and the divine Ralph, the tough and understanding veteran teacher helping her younger colleagues deal with the frustrations of working in an underfunded school . Then there’s Einbinder, which is worthy of a thousand reasons, but most importantly the scene where Ava is forced to read out loud the brutal email she wrote about Deborah.

A white-haired man leans back from a chair in one scene "barry"

Henry Winkler has delved deep into the anger of his “Barry” character this season. It might not have been funny, but it was powerful.

(Merrick Morton/HBO)

COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTOR
Heinrich Winkler, “Barry”
Brett Goldstein, “Ted Lasso”
Toheeb Jimoh, “Ted Lasso”
Anthony Carrigan, “Barry”
Nick Mohammed, “Ted Lasso”
Tony Shalhoub, “The Wonderful Mrs. Maisel”
Tyler James Williams, “Abbott Elementary School”
Bowen Yang, “Saturday Night Live”

Probable winner: Like Waddingham, Goldstein won last year. And like Waddingham, he’ll likely be asked to give another speech. As the chant goes: “He’s here! He’s there! He’s everywhere! Roy Kent!”

Deserved alternative: Winkler chose this category for the inaugural season of “Barry,” and people couldn’t have been happier to finally see him win an Emmy after such a long, celebrated career. But it wasn’t a sentimental honor. Winkler was brilliant as Gene, the narcissistic acting coach who considered Patrick Swayze a true friend — until he had it written in his will that he was barred from the funeral. Winkler was (mostly) the comic relief. But in season three, he dug deep into the character’s understandable anger. Gene had changed – and become a better actor. The con he pulled off Barry in the finale was a masterclass in deception.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/awards/story/2022-08-16/emmys-2022-predictions-comedy-series-actor-actress Emmys 2022: Can ‘Ted Lasso’ repeat its comedy series win?

Sarah Ridley

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