Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Emmy Predictions 2020 - Who Will and Should Win for Directing in a Comedy Series?

The nominations have been announced for The 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. So now, it's time to speculate on who will and should win in each major category. Next up for analysis is Directing for a Comedy Series.

The Nominees Ranked By Which Should Win:
  1. Amy Sherman-Palladino for Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - "It's Comedy or Cabbage"
  2. Andrew Cividino & Dan Levy for Pop's Schitt's Creek - "Happy Ending"
  3. Daniel Palladino for Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - "Marvelous Radio"
  4. Matt Shakman for Hulu's The Great - "Pilot"
  5. Ramy Youssef for Hulu's Ramy - "Miakhalifa.mov"
  6. James Burrows for NBC's Will & Grace - "We Love Lucy"
  7. Gail Mancuso for ABC's Modern Family - "Finale, Part 2"

The vibrancy of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel comes from the expansive direction. The dialogue is incredibly fast-paced. That brisk plotting may mean that several details are missed. However, the direction ensures that the audience gets to experience and take in every vivid period detail that the creative team has brought together to tell this story. It can be bouncy and playful. It can also be incredibly intimate revealing the nuances of comedy while never losing sight of the humanity at the heart of the story. The third season may have broadened out a little bit. However, the direction remained exciting and exuberant as it continued to present a whimsical and silly world. Schitt's Creek featured fantastic direction as well. That may have gotten lost because of the writing, costuming and acting. But the ease with which the creative team shot the moving sequences of the core family facing a future both in and out of the central town was key to selling the emotion of the piece. That subtle touch was necessary while also being extraordinary. Sometimes the big and bold visions are those worth recognizing and rewarding. But it's also key to see the brilliance that consumes comedy in its many forms. It's one of the most fluid genres throughout television with people being able to find and enliven comedy in any situation.

The Nominees Ranked by Which Will Win:
  1. Amy Sherman-Palladino for Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - "It's Comedy or Cabbage"
  2. Matt Shakman for Hulu's The Great - "Pilot"
  3. Andrew Cividino & Dan Levy for Pop's Schitt's Creek - "Happy Ending"
  4. Ramy Youssef for Hulu's Ramy - "Miakhalifa.mov"
  5. Daniel Palladino for Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - "Marvelous Radio"
  6. James Burrows for NBC's Will & Grace - "We Love Lucy"
  7. Gail Mancuso for ABC's Modern Family - "Finale, Part 2"

Modern Family was once a dominating force in this category. It won four years in a row, with Gail Mancuso winning in 2013 and 2014. Similarly, no director has been nominated more than James Burrow. No director has won more than him either - prevailing for Taxi, Cheers and Frasier. As such, their nominations should be seen as more than the voters recognizing some of the big shows coming to a close this year. Both Modern Family and Will & Grace are past favorites. They can't be written off as non-factors in this race. They may not be the big and splashy nominees. However, they are still contenders. That may not amount to wins for either of them. But it's also history that needs to be acknowledged. However, the majority of the comedy races will be a competition between The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Schitt's Creek. Those appear to be the surging candidates capable of pulling off victories in numerous categories. In looking at recent history though, a program with multiple nominees hasn't prevailed in this field since 2012. Mrs. Maisel similarly earned two directing nods a year ago. It lost to Fleabag, which swept across the board during the main ceremony. Mrs. Maisel could absolutely regain some of the momentum that was present from the voters in its first season. But this could also be the category where the voters recognize something new. The Great and Ramy are both reasonable options in that regard.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my predictions? Let me know in the comments below!