Emmys Failure Analysis: Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Snub: Nick Offerman, Parks and Recreation

Outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series. In a cast of characters who can be over the top in their portrayals, Offerman delivers a very measured and skillful performance as Ron Swanson. He’s sort of the “Amy Poehler opposite” and should have been recognized for that.



Chris Colfer as Kurt Hummel, Glee
Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell Pritchett, Modern Family
Ed O'Neill as Jay Pritchett, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker, Modern Family
Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy, Modern Family
Jon Cryer as Alan Harper, Two and a Half Men

Most Obvious Problem: Nick Offerman is not on this list. Nick Offerman needs to be on this list. Him not being on this list means you don't own a television, Emmy voters. 

Remaining Problems: For starters, there's a show over at FX you've been ignoring -- well, technically there's a lot of shows over there you've snubbed -- called It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Been on for a while, actually. You should watch it some time. Anyway, you could have stuck any one of these people on your list: Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, Danny DeVito. Even just one of them would have been both nice and long overdue. Proving you can snub network comedies as well as cable comedies, you don't have anyone from Community here either. Like Joel McHale, Dandy Pudi, Donald Glover. Ring a bell? Yeah, well, it's a clever series. And funny. If you're into rewarding that sort of thing. If you screwed over Offerman, there was probably no chance that you fell in love with Aziz Ansari's work on Parks and Recreation, either. Shame, that.

Just to be different, here's a thought: Raising Hope was the funniest freshman sitcom this year (and Emmy voters honored the very deserving Martha Plimpton. Co-star Garret Dillahunt, however,  may have delivered the most under-appreciated characterization in ages. He's sneaky great in this. Layers of dumb, in a good (and funny) way. And Lucas Neff should get some credit for grounding this series with his calm realism while also nailing every one of his jokes.

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All of that is something to think about for next year, because you really dug a hole for yourself this year. 

Other Issues: Well, an argument can be made that if you're going to give a lead actor nomination to Matt LeBlanc -- which I fully support -- for is self-effacing work in Showtime's Episodes, you must have witnessed the work of Stephen Mangan. He deserves a spot in the line-up, too. But really the issue that needs to be addressed here is your over-exuberant love for Modern Family. I love Modern Family. It's one of the few series that can make me laugh consistently throughout the episode, start to finish. Season 2 maybe tried a little too hard to make certain jokes work, but it was still a top tier comedy. But four nominations? That's about as close to stalking as you can get. I'm not sure your instincts were off base at all -- all four of those actors are super talented and funny. Together they are a real force. But with these nods what you've done a disservice to a lot of people, including the four nominees. No doubt they will vote-split and the award could go to your two other less-deserving nominees. More on that in just a moment. But first - four nominations? Really. It's that kind of greedy love, I'm afraid, that will have people thinking that maybe you don't watch a lot of other comedies. Like, say, comedies on cable. All six series nominations went to the broadcast networks. That's fine. But maybe a little branching out next time. You could find out there are plenty of talented funny people to choose from.

Now, about Chris Colfer from Glee. He's not really one of them. Kid has some pipes, though, right? And he's also quick with the cutting remark, which can be funny. But he's not really a funny person, and Glee is not really a funny show, save for the Sue Sylvester character. And Jon Cryer? Even he probably thinks you're throwing him a bone for enduring all of that Charlie Sheen acting out stuff. Cryer's funny. Two and A Half Men not so much. 

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The Fix: Drop Colfer and Cryer. That opens up two slots, which you fill immediately with Offerman and either  McElhenney or Day. Cut two of the four Modern Family nominees -- a very tough call, to be sure. I'd do it one of two ways -- keep Burrell and O'Neill, or keep Ferguson and Stonestreet, who play off each other so effortlessly on the series. But that gives you two slots, which you could populate with one or two of the Community actors. But you could also split the final two by giving one to Community (in that case you'd go with McHale) and the other one to either Dillahunt or Mangan.

You just had to spread the love around. Remember this next time you fall for a funny ensemble cast.

Email: Tim.Goodman@THR.com

Twitter: @BastardMachine