Look, I used to love Modern Family. Even thought it wasn’t as smart as shows like 30 Rock and Arrested Development, it still made me laugh every single week. Until it didn’t. I don’t mean that to sound dramatic. I just mean that I think the schtick got old and predictable. Phil tries too hard to do something, Cam gets offended by something Mitch says, Gloria pronounces something wrong, yuk, yuk, yuk, yuk. Sure I still watch it when I have time, but it’s no longer must-see TV for me. I think that most Modern Family fans would agree with me.
However the Emmy voters are still stuck on this show. Not only does it continue to get an absurd amount of nominations every single year (eight this year), but it continues to win! Last night it beat out The Big Bang Theory, Girls, Louie, 30 Rock and Veep for the Best Comedy Series Emmy. While I have absolutely no love for Big Bang and Girls, I do have lots of love for 30 Rock, Louie and Veep. Sure 30 Rock peaked a few seasons ago, but its final season still kicked ass and was funnier than almost any other show on TV. If nothing else. this show deserved the award as a thank you to Tina Fey (and her lesser-known sidekick Robert Carlock) for creating the show. Veep, HBO’s red-headed step-child, is amazingly funny and smart and definitely deserved the award for making an incredibly unsympathetic lead character watchable. If Julia Louis-Dreyfus‘ acceptance speech with Tony Hale didn’t convince you to start watching the show last night, then I don’t know how else to convince you. And Louie, well Louie deserves recognition for being different than any other comedy on air right now. Even though I have yet to start really watching this show, everything I’ve ever seen from it is hilarious and sharp and true. Despite being constantly lauded for being a comedic genius, Louis C.K went home empty-handed last night (give or take the award that Melissa Leo got for being a guest star on his show).
Modern Family is a comedy stand-by and it will certainly have its place in TV history, but giving it the Emmy for best comedy series again is the safe choice — and not at all the right choice. For a night that seemed full of weird choices (including, but not limited to the opening number), this one just felt like the cherry on top of the meh sundae. Especially considering that the people watching the Emmys, the people invested in committing three hours of their night to the Emmys aren’t the kind of people who make safe TV choices. They’re the kind of people who obsess over TV and spend hours analyzing TV and care so much about TV that they watch award shows for fun. So it makes little sense that the producers decide not to give them something fun to watch in return. It’s not fun to watch the same shows win every single year and it’s not fun to watch the safe shows win every year. In the same way that it’s not fun to see three out of the five people nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series come from the same show. Once again, looking at you Modern Family.
I don’t want to sound like an overtired child being sent to bed, but it’s not fair. It’s not fair to me because I spend a large portion of my free time watching TV and more importantly it’s not fair to the shows who are making good TV. Sorry Modern Family, but it’s time your Emmy reign comes to an end. You now have FOUR Emmys for Best Comedy Series. It’s time to go home.