Fri. Sep 18th, 2020
Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Borstein and Zachary Levi hope the television academy Votes for Maisel, Votes for Maisel

Will The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel go back to back in Best Comedy Writing? 

Last year Amy Sherman-Palladino won both Best Comedy Writing and Directing for the pilot episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, a feat NO other writer/director had ever accomplished. Now Mrs. Maisel will try to hold onto its crown.

Last year, Mrs. Maisel bested two episodes from Atlanta (“Alligator Man” and “Barbershop”) and Barry (“Chapter One: Make Your Mark” and “Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast and Keep Going”) and rounding out the category was Silicon Valley (“Fifty-One Percent”). Luckily, for Maisel, Atlanta which has taken up two spots at both the 2017 and 2018 Emmys will sit this Emmy cycle out. Silicon Valley which has received at least one nomination for each of its five seasons is sitting this Emmy cycle out as it did not air new episodes. 

Getting a writing nomination in the golden era of television isn’t an easy feat—submit too many episodes and you can find yourself on the outside looking in. But, awards fans can always count on the writing branch to surprise us giving a show that may usually be overlooked its due. Remember in 2012 they nominated Community (“Remedial Chaos Theory”).

Let’s take a look at the top contenders, the shows that could surprise us, and those who might have made a mistake.

HBO’s in it to win it… one series or another!

  • Barry, “ronny/lily” (Alec Berg and Bill Hader)
  • Veep, “Veep” (David Mandel)

It’s astonishing that both of HBO’s premier comedies decided to go for a more strategic approach to their submissions i.e. only submitting one episode. This all but assures that each of these series will not only reap a nomination but be in the best position to win.

When you’re the defending champ– double your submissions?

  • “Midnight at the Concord” (Amy Sherman-Palladino)
  • “Vote for Kennedy, Vote for Kennedy” (Daniel Palladino)

Daniel Palladino definitely won Most Chivalrous Man in Hollywood last year (not that it was a very competitive race) when he stepped aside and allowed his wife and the show’s creator to be the sole submission for Mrs. Maisel in both Best Writing and Directing. But like many series (even Veep) after their first series win they want more. This year both of the Palladino’s look to grab a nomination.

Why didn’t they submit the pilot?

The Kominsky Method, “Chapter 2: An Agent Grieves” (Chuck Lorre)

The Netflix laugher did not reap a nomination at the Writers Guild Awards earlier in the year. But, the series is expected to be a major player at the Emmys–if this is true then look for it to contend in Best Comedy Writing. However, its odd that they went with the second episode when the pilot is more a traditional choice for a new show. Not helping things out is Chuck Lorre has NEVER received a Best Comedy Writing nomination.

The Good Place is not an Empty Void

  • “Janet(s)” (Josh Siegal and Dylan Morgan)
  • “Pandemonium” (Megan Amram and Jen Statsky)

If The Good Place is on the brink of a big breakthrough at the Emmys a Best Comedy Writing nomination is not out of the question. Its best chance is for the high concept episode “Janet(s)” which has D’Arcy Carden playing each of her co-star’s characters. This is the type of episode the writing branch loves to single out for its creativity.

Can GLOW wrestle their way in?

  • “Nothing Shattered” (Liz Flahive, Carly Mensch and Sascha Rothchild)
  • “Perverts Are People, Too” (Rachel Shukert)

GLOW, did not have the Emmys they expected to last year and one place they’re looking to make up some ground is in Best Comedy Writing. But, with two submissions they could possibly cancel themselves out.

Russian Doll of Submissions

  • “Ariadne” (Natasha Lyonne)
  • “Nothing In This World Is Easy” (Leslye Headland)
  • “A Warm Body” (Allison Silverman)

We’ll find out soon if three submissions is too many for this freshman series. Being high concept could work in their favor when it comes to the writing branch. But, if they’re snubbed they may regret submitting three without the title “Pilot” or the mention of pilot in the synopsis.

Looking to Sneak off with a Nomination

  • American Vandal, “The Dump” (Kevin McManus and Matthew McManus)
  • The Big Bang Theory, “The Stockholm Syndrome” (The writers of The Big Bang Theory)
  • Catastrophe, “Episode Six” (Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan)
  • Fleabag, “Episode One” (Phoebe Waller-Bridge)

Catastrophe, scored a surprise nomination back in 2016, for the pilot—now they’re hoping that the series finale will nab them a goodbye nomination. While unlikely, American Vandal, already scored a Best Limited Series/TV Movie nomination for its previous season—so it at least at one point had the attention of the writing branch of the television academy. The Big Bang Theory, has never received a writing nomination. But its emotional series finale could be just the ticket to getting a goodbye nomination for the 13 writers of The Big Bang Theory. And then there’s the one to look out for Fleabag and its writer/creator Waller-Bridge who scored a surprise nomination for Best Drama Writing last year (Killing Eve). With Fleabag, coming to an end and Waller-Bridge’s stock on the rise this could be the place for the series to score a nomination. 

What were they thinking?!?!

There’s two ways to screw up your submissions in the writing categories; submit the wrong episode or submit too many.

Those who’ve submitted too many:

  • Bob’s Burgers—11 episodes
  • The Kids Are Alright—13 episodes
  • Murphy Brown—8 episodes

As a general rule it’s NOT a good idea to submit more episodes than there are available spots and there’s only six! 

Honorable Mention:

  • Camping—5 episodes
  • Shameless—5 submissions
  • SMILF—5 submissions
  • Younger—5 submissions

It’s also not a good idea to submit one less than there are nominees.

Why did you submit that episode!?!?

  • Forever, “Andre and Sarah” (Colleen McGuinness and Alan Yang)
  • Schitt’s Creek, “The Hike” (Dan Levy)

Forever, scored a WGA nomination earlier in the year but for the episode “Another Place” so it doesn’t really make sense why they submitted “Andre and Sarah”? Schitt’s Creek has unexpected momentum after receiving two TCA nominations. Dan Levy will contend in a multitude of categories but his best chance should have been writing. “The Hike” is a great episode that devoted fans adore—but for a voter checking the show out for the first time they might not get the same enjoyment. A better submission would’ve been “Merry Christmas, Johnny Rose” a bottle episode that would’ve been easier for the novice watcher.

My Preliminary Predictions:

  • Barry, “ronny/lily” (Alec Berg and Bill Hader)
  • Fleabag, “Episode One” (Phoebe Waller-Bridge)
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, “Midnight at the Concord” (Amy Sherman-Palladino)
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, “Vote for Kennedy, Vote for Kennedy” (Daniel Palladino)
  • Russian Doll, “Nothing In This World Is Easy” (Leslye Headland)
    Veep, “Veep” (David Mandel)
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