The directors in comedy are going above and beyond to create atmospheres, performances, and moments that last in our minds long after their episode has ended. Comedy has become a battleground in this respect, with directors giving some of their best work in this genre. Working on these episodes with care, crafting and collaborating to adjoin a story with its highest potential. With so many series on the air currently, it’s difficult to narrow down 146 submissions into six slots, but someone has to do it (see also: the Television Academy).
There are six slots, but one of them must be representative of the multi-camera series on the air right now. It’s an interesting rule that brings a slight diversity to the group of nominees and perhaps attention to a series that isn’t as widely known as the rest, last year being The Ms. Pat Show with an episode directed by Mary Lou Belli. Belli could likely grab another nomination this year, as BET+ has submitted another episode of the series for consideration that she directed. But what will the other five be?
Barry ended its run with a series finale that will surely be discussed for years to come. An entire season helmed by creator and star Bill Hader proved to be an incredible season of television, so it’s likely the Emmy winner will find himself amongst the nominees this year. Ted Lasso has submitted five episodes for consideration for the third season (up one from last year) and the only certainty in this decision is that last year’s winner, MJ Delaney, is up for consideration again and will likely be nominated again. Only Murders in the Building grabbed two nominations last year and came back to a smitten audience with season two, which makes the next logical step another high-five in the form of a nomination from the TV Academy. Amy Sherman-Palladino won the Emmy in this category for her direction of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s pilot episode and will now compete for her direction of the series finale. She will likely be nominated, with Daniel Palladino right behind her in likelihood of another nomination. Hiro Murai is in the same boat for his direction of Atlanta’s series finale.
The Bear breaks into the race with an episode submitted, “Review,” that’s twenty minutes in length with an 18-minute single take that’s sure to grab the attention of voters as it did fervent audiences last summer. Series creator Christopher Storer helmed the episode and it would be surprising if it didn’t end up with a nomination. Another freshman series vying for attention is Poker Face, which has two episodes for consideration, one from Rian Johnson and another from Natasha Lyonne. Both solid choices, but it wouldn’t be too surprising if the TV Academy decided to go with Johnson in this case. Previous winner Steve Levitan also shouldn’t be completely counted out for his work on Hulu’s Reboot, though the show’s cancellation significantly dampen its chances of winning.
Here are my predictions for Directing for a Comedy Series:
- Barry (HBO) – “Wow”
- The Bear (FX) – “Review”
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video) – “Four Minutes”
- The Ms. Pat Show (BET+) – “Don’t Touch My Hair”
- Only Murders in the Building (Hulu) – “I Know Who Did It”
- Ted Lasso (AppleTV+) – “(I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea”
Other contenders: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, “The Testi-Rostial” (Prime Video); Poker Face, “Escape From Shit Mountain” (Peacock); Poker Face, “The Orpheus Syndrome” (Peacock); Shrinking, “Boop” (AppleTV+); Ted Lasso, “So Long, Farewell” (AppleTV+)