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The CatDoggys (Part 1)

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The CatDoggys (Part 1)

Posted September 15th, 2011 at 1:11 PM by Mr Cat Dog

I was always going to do a blog post about the Emmys. Always, always, always. Award shows are, for some reason or another, one of the few things I'm unreservedly interested in. Most of my bookmarks are to Oscar-season websites and Emmy prediction stuff and even ones dedicated to the Grammys and Tonys (to get the full EGOT, so to speak). But, after Shining Raichu came to me for the idea of a C&M "Guess the Emmy results" game, I thought why not do one better? Why not give out my own awards? I have pretty good taste in TV, if I do say so myself, and I haven't done a proper blog post in a long time. Let's do it!

Of course, this was about a month ago, and I told myself I was going to watch most of the stuff nominated (as well as what many people called 'quality' television) before the official ceremony on Sunday. Cut to the present, where I've JUST finished watching the last show on my list (Game of Thrones), and I'm officially ready to give out the CatDoggy Awards to their very deserving recipients.

As well as this, I'm going to use this opportunity to showcase my predictions in the aforementioned Emmy guessing game, so yay to that. Turns out I can't figure out how to do two columns. Sucks to be me.

Part 1 of this is going to be for the main Comedy Awards (apart from Guest Acting, as I wasn't going through that barrage of hundreds of pages of nominated entries). For each list, I've done what an Emmy voter would do and sift through the longlist of all submissions in each category. Unlike other award shows like the Oscars or the Tonys, each actor (or production company in the case of the Best ___ Series Awards) submits themselves in the category that they think best represents them. For example, the cast of Modern Family all submit themselves in the Supporting Acting categories in an apparent act of solidarity. While I disagree with a number of placings in this regard (Ed O'Neill is easily the leading actor of the aforementioned show, yet is nominated for a supporting performance... whatevs), I've kept people in their respective categories for the most part.

I've typed waaaaaaaay too much, so let's get on with this, shall we?

The 1st Annual CatDoggy Awards: Comedy

Outstanding Leading Actor
  • Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock
  • Louis C.K. – Louie
  • Steve Carrell – The Office
  • Johnny Galecki – The Big Bang Theory
  • Joel McHale – Community
  • Jim Parsons – The Big Bang Theory
When the Emmy nominations were announced, a lot of vitriol was spouted upon this category, mainly for the inclusion of Johnny Galecki and Matt LeBlanc. However, while I understand the vitriol for LeBlanc - Episodes was a terrible show - Galecki's abuse confuses me. He's definitely not the best actor in the show, but he's a perfectly amiable presence and has, if anything, been under-praised for his work as the straight man to the often - especially in this season - manic exploits of Parsons' character of Sheldon Cooper. Incumbent Emmy winner Parsons nearly didn't get put on this shortlist for his downright daffy performance at times. Indeed, if I didn't have to fill this out with six names, I'd only really have put Baldwin, C.K. and McHale on. Carrell will win the Emmy as a lifetime achievement award, but his work in this season's Office was even more manic than usual. Baldwin is 30 Rock's steady presence: the anchor to the craziness inherent in that show. C.K. is the dark horse to watch out for at this year's Emmys, and his deft minimalist acting - and it's definitely acting, not just him playing himself - is in perfect union with the show that he acts in, writes, directs and edits. But Joel McHale was always going to win the CatDoggy. He fronts the funniest show on television with such impeccable comic timing, an earthy presence and real gravity.

Outstanding Lead Actress
  • Courteney Cox – Cougar Town
  • Kaley Cuoco – The Big Bang Theory
  • Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie
  • Tina Fey – 30 Rock
  • Laura Linney – The Big C
  • Amy Poehler – Parks and Recreation
Like their male counterparts, about half of this shortlist don't really deserve to be on here. That there are fewer leading parts in a comedy series is a given - the most entertaining parts are the supporting ones, the ones with the crazy antics and wacky shenanigans and such. Cox is the weakest element of Cougar Town (well, her and Brian Van Holt) but because she's competent at comedy, she beats out most of the other leading ladies to earn a spot here. Edie Falco and Laura Linney give very good performances, but they're not in comedies. It's not even the case with a show like Louie, which is often very dramatic, but a comedy at heart. Nurse Jackie and The Big C just aren't funny. They are dramas with elements of humour thrown in because that's what the Showtime network demands of the shows it commissions. Linney's going to win the Emmy because it's the newest one and she's a movie star and voters can't say no to movie stars (just watch on Sunday when Kate Winslet walks away with the E in her eventual EGOT). Tina Fey is an inspiration to me, and still very funny, but the clear front-runners are Poehler and Cuoco. Poehler is the funniest woman on this list by a country mile. She has transformed Leslie Knope from a Michael Scott-knock-off to a wonderful character in her own right: an insanely positive bureaucrat who just can't help doing her best, even if it pisses off lots of people around her. But, to me, Cuoco edges her in that she has a MUCH harder job in playing Penny. Penny's pretty much the audience surrogate in BBT and a fine line needs to be drawn between mockery of the nerds and ignorance of Penny. In the first few seasons, Cuoco's performance was kinda sneery and she wasn't a warm presence. Now, she's the heart of the show. I'd watch a spin-off of her at the Cheesecake Factory. She exhibits such warmth and humanity, and is reeeally funny to boot. Very deserving of a CatDoggy, as the Emmys are probably never going to nominate her.

Outstanding Supporting Actor
  • Chris Colfer – Glee
  • Donald Glover – Community
  • Nolan Gould – Modern Family
  • Ed O’Neill – Modern Family
  • Chris Pratt – Parks and Recreation
  • Danny Pudi – Community
Honourable mentions (in descending order): Nick Offerman – Parks and Recreation | Danny DeVito – It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia | Josh Hopkins – Cougar Town | Mike O’Malley – Glee

I've written way too much already, but this was the hardest category to whittle down. I can't believe I haven't nominated Ron F'ing Swanson, but this is such a competitive field. Glee has fallen apart this year, and Kurt's moralizing played a big part of that, but Colfer's performance, if anything, improved substantially over the second season. I think he's going to win the Emmy, as well. That Modern Family's Luke is not an Emmy nominee is a travesty. He's easily the funniest cast member and he's only 11. MADNESS! Ed O'Neill, while clearly the leading man, has the best underplaying deadpan delivery I've seen on TV all year. Chris Pratt has the warmth of a teddy bear and the comedic chops of... something very funny. As Nick Offerman gets more of the attention for Parks and Rec, it's hard to see the work that Pratt does. If this award were for individual episode contribution, Danny Pudi would win in a heartbeat for the "Critical Film Studies" episode of Community. Watch it if you haven't already, it's amazing. However, the most consistently funny, well-acted character on TV is Troy Barnes, also from Community. Every time Glover cries in pain, I cry with laughter. He can make the oldest joke in the book sound fresh and new. I honestly don't understand why he's not a movie star right now... in 10 years time, maybe. For now, he'll have to settle for a CatDoggy.

Outstanding Supporting Actress
  • Kaitlin Olson – It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  • Busy Phillips – Cougar Town
  • Aubrey Plaza – Parks and Recreation
  • Melissa Rauch – The Big Bang Theory
  • Naya Rivera – Glee
  • Sofia Vergara – Modern Family

Honourable mentions (in descending order): Heather Morris – Glee | Mayim Bialik – The Big Bang Theory | Ellie Kemper – The Office | Christa Miller – Cougar Town | Merritt Weaver – Nurse Jackie

Like Ron F'ing Swanson, it kills me not to have Brittany S. Pierce on this shortlist. And while the supporting men was the hardest category to whittle down, these ladies provide the largest quotient of quality in any category (comedy or drama). Olson is the unsung hero of Sunny: her ability to not only keep up but surpass the creators in levels of depravity is a marvel. Plus, she does a kickass ostrich impression. Phillips and Plaza have equally hard jobs in polar opposites (relentless optimism and pessimism, respectively), but they manage to make their characters feel real when they could easily feel like caricatures. Rauch is BBT's secret weapon, and the only actor who manages to transcend the often clunky style of comedy that seems to be its bread-and-butter. She has her own rhythms that gel and clash with the rest of the cast in such a funny way. And Vergara... well, part of the reason she's here is because of her accent and rack, but it takes a really good actress to make a real character out of an accent and rack. Rivera wins this because she's the heart and soul of the part of Glee that I still like - the one that's fading slowly, slowly away. She can make you laugh and cry, often in the same scene.

Outstanding Series
  • 30 Rock
  • Community
  • Cougar Town
  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  • Louie
  • Parks and Recreation
I'm probably nearing the word-limit for blogs, so I'll keep this short. All of the nominated shows are really good in their own different ways, but none come close to the experimentation, the looseness, the vitality, the transcendence and, yes, the pop-culture references of the best show (not just comedy) currently on television. If you haven't watched Community, please go out and watch it somehow. You really won't regret it.


Tomorrow, I'll do drama (and hopefully type less... this took a LOT longer than I thought)!
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