WHO WINS?

Glenn Whipp has an idea.

Los Angeles Times - - THE ENVELOPE -

When Emmy vot­ers find some­thing they like, they’re apt to re­turn to the well again and again un­til (fi­nally!) a new se­ries or per­for­mance is so good that it jolts them out of their lethargy. This year, FX’s “At­lanta” should pro­vide that thun­der­bolt.

The Emmy com­edy cat­e­gories sport a num­ber of streaks. “Veep” has won se­ries hon­ors two years run­ning. Prior to that, “Mod­ern Fam­ily” had a five-year reign. Jef­frey Tam­bor has won back-to-back hon­ors for his beau­ti­ful lead turn on “Trans­par­ent.” Ju­lia Louis-Drey­fus has taken the lead ac­tress Emmy for all five of “Veep’s” bril­liant, barbed sea­sons.

And here’s the thing: “Veep” hasn’t lost a step in its cur­rent run of episodes. If any­one was wor­ried how the show would do af­ter Selina’s exit from the White House, those con­cerns have been put to rest in a sea­son that (so far, at least) has more than main­tained the show’s sig­na­ture cyn­i­cal, ir­rev­er­ent ex­cel­lence. As for “Trans­par­ent,” its third sea­son con­tained many as­tound­ingly good mo­ments from Tam­bor and, es­pe­cially, costar Judith Light. So bravo one and all. But “At­lanta” should still sweep this year’s Em­mys. Don­ald Glover’s se­ries took the ob­ser­va­tional, au­teur-driven com­edy that FX has nur­tured in such shows as “Louie,” “Bas­kets” and “Bet­ter Things” and suc­ceeded, by all ac­counts, in ful­fill­ing Glover’s stated claim — to “show peo­ple what it feels like to be black.” “At­lanta’s” 10 episodes shift be­tween se­ri­ous­ness and slap­stick, ex­am­in­ing is­sues like iden­tity and ap­pro­pri­a­tion with an im­me­di­acy and in­tel­li­gence that made it un­like any­thing else on tele­vi­sion. And its lead quar­tet of ac­tors — Glover, Zazie Beetz, Lakeith Stan­field, Brian Tyree Henry — might be the best group work­ing in TV today.

What other pro­grams and per­for­mances might break through this year? Here’s a look at how the Emmy nom­i­na­tions could shake out in the com­edy cat­e­gories.

Don­ald Glover’s com­edy se­ries is un­like any­thing else on tele­vi­sion.

year will prob­a­bly re­turn, with “At­lanta” push­ing out ei­ther “Mod­ern Fam­ily’s” eighth sea­son (all good things must come to an end) or “Kimmy Sch­midt.” In a per­fect world, both would make room for any one of the se­ries listed among the prime con­tenders, in­clud­ing “Girls,” which of­fered some very funny episodes in its last sea­son, even if it didn’t quite stick the land­ing in its fi­nale. The prob­lem for most of these con­tenders is one of view­er­ship. Do enough vot­ers know them to push them across the fin­ish line? Fin­gers crossed.

Guy D’Alema FX

DON­ALD GLOVER’S se­ries, “At­lanta,” shifts be­tween se­ri­ous­ness and slap­stick with a lead quar­tet of ac­tors who may be the best group work­ing in TV today.

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