Comedy is what gets us through the day and on to tomorrow. Without comedy, we'd all be paying attention to life and, well, no one wants to do that. We all have our own unique problems and today's crop o' comedy wants to address that while also providing a good chuckle.
This year's contenders for Outstanding Comedy Series at the 70th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards represent how diverse the idea of comedy has gotten in this era. There's a comedy about innocence in a corrupt world when a sheltered woman emerges from a bomb shelter to take on life with a positive attitude. And then there's a show about a guy who literally kills people for a living, soiling everything that is good in the world. There are multiple shows about what it's like to be black in today's America, and a few about what it's like to be a woman in yesterday's America. There's even a show about what it's like to be a tech bro in America, and what it's like to be Larry David in America.
Drama used to cover all these kinds of topics, but comedy has adapted to become at least equal to dramas in its message, and its accessibility has made it the fastest evolving genre in all of television. Comedy rules right now. Here are the nominees for Outstanding Comedy Series, and who we think will win.
OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
Who Will Win: Atlanta
There are really only two contenders in this category, so let's talk about why the others won't win. Barry is the dark horse in the category, but its excess of violence will likely push some voters away (for this season at least). black-ish is great but has had better and more important seasons, so it doesn't make sense for it to win now. Curb is here by familiarity only, and Silicon Valley's best days are definitely behind it. It's nice to see Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt here, but it's not on the level of the other contenders, and GLOW improved a lot in its second season, but not only is that not the season up for contention, it is still a year away from serious consideration despite a few standout arcs and episodes.
Who Should Win: Atlanta
I'd argue that Atlanta should have won last year in its first season, and Season 2 was even better and more inventive as it became about so much more than just a rapper trying to manage his cousin. Each episode was like a mystery bag, taking us places we didn't think the show could go — Teddy Perkins! — yet every episode was threaded together to bring us into this world. This is Atlanta's time.
Watch Out For: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
The polar opposite of Atlanta is Amazon's comedy, which has already found gold at the Globes. Members of its stupendous cast will definitely walk to the podium come Emmys night, further bolstering its chances to pull off what would be a medium upset of Atlanta. But in all likelihood this will sit in second place because Atlanta is so far ahead of everything else.
The 70th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards air Monday, Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on NBC.