2014 Emmy Wish List: Why These Comedy Underdogs Need to Be Nominated
2014 Emmy Wish List: Why These Comedy Underdogs Need to Be Nominated
Jennifer Lind-Westbrook
Jennifer Lind-Westbrook
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
The number of really funny comedies out there are far outnumbered by other genres, and the face of comedic television as a whole, is changing. After all, who would consider the chronicles of day-to-day life in a woman's prison hilarious? And while Julia Louis-Dreyfus has proven to be a comedic savant over the course of three separate series, there are some other gems out there that deserve accolades as well.

The 2014 Emmy nominations will be announced Friday July 10. Here are my picks for the Emmy underdogs of comedy. Fingers crossed each one snags a nomination.

Updated: 2014 Emmy Nominations: 'Breaking Bad,' 'Thrones,' 'OITNB' Top Shows>>>

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Mindy Kaling, The Mindy Project 

Mindy Kaling.jpg
It's hard to imagine going anywhere but down after being part of the stellar ensemble cast of The Office as well as one of the Emmy-winning show's writers. But, Mindy Kaling has managed to shed the remnants of the hapless Kelly Kapoor and create an intelligent female character with a perpetually complicated love life, Dr. Mindy Lahiri. Kaling's quick wit makes us nostalgic for the days of Lorelei Gilmore. Kaling portrays Lahiri as a woman who, despite recognizing her own flaws, defends her choices regarding everything from wardrobe to eating habits unapologetically. A sugar coated version of Carrie Bradshaw, she dates more cartoonish versions of the usual stereotypes. And while often underestimated, she always comes through in the clutch. Sure, Lena Dunham may be the voice of her generation, but Kaling is the voice of women everywhere.    

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Adam Scott, Parks and Recreation 

Adam Scott.jpgLike his role as failed actor turned cater waiter Henry Pollard on Party Down, Scott again plays the straight man as Ben Wyatt in Parks and Recreation. As Leslie Knope's soulmate, Scott has to balance achieving his co-star Amy Poehler's level of enthusiasm and passion but with keeping her grounded. Wyatt's intelligent, and for lack of a better word, somewhat nerdy. Unlike The Big Bang Theory characters, his love of all things geek chic doesn't define him. It helps his often dry joke deliveries from pigeonholing him as a perpetual smartass. This would put Scott at odds with Aubrey Plaza (April Ludgate) and make him a poor match for Knope. With such a strong female lead, it would be easy for Scott to come across as emasculated, but thanks to the show's writers and the actors themselves, Leslie Knope isn't brash and bossy, subjugating Wyatt into the type of henpecked partner we've seen in primetime series over and over again. 

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Allison Williams, Girls

Allison Williams.pngAllison Williams walks a fine line when it comes her her character Marnie. Judgmental, brutally honest and dismissive, Marnie's often frosty demeanor can make her unlikable. The realization that most of her behavior is posturing to cover up for her insecurities and failings enables viewers to find something salvageable to root for when it comes to the head-turning, haughty brunette. Williams is more apt to make you groan and wince as opposed to laugh out loud but, like the show itself, the humor in Williams' performance is the absurdity of the journey of "finding oneself."

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Nick Offerman, Parks and Recreation

Nick Offerman.jpgNot everyone could make a character that could be summed up as the quintessential ugly American so likable. Deriving humor from Ron Swanson, a meat eating, scotch drinking, stoic libertarian is no easy task. Offerman's best moments are when he becomes his panty dropping, sax playing alter ego Duke Silver, or when he conveys that no person is completely defined by labels slapped on them by society. Surrounded by eccentric, vocal personalities, Offerman is able to convey his disdain for the foibles of man with just a look. He's also able to make viewers' hearts melt sitting in Scotland, overlooking the sea and reading poetry. A true Renaissance man indeed.

Outstanding Comedy Series: The Mindy Project

The Mindy Project.jpgWhile The Mindy Project may not be as cerebral as Veep or as dark as Orange is the New Black, it is a pop-culture junkie's wet dream. Kaling's title character's life is as fluffy as a giant marshmallow. Any conflicts that arise are humorous in nature and easily remedied. Kaling's labor of love is the mental equivalent of a pint of Ben & Jerry's which is high praise. There's value in entertainment that doesn't require viewers to ponder philosophical questions. Twenty two minutes of TV that it is free of pretension or self-importance harkens back to the days of I Love Lucy. The addition of Adam Pally has strengthened the ensemble and it's nice to see a Happy Endings alum. Ed Weeks is underutilized as are other members of the supporting cast, but the show come a long way in two seasons and should continue find its voice and work out the few remaining kinks.  

2014 Emmy Wish List: Why These Drama Underdogs Need to Be Nominated>>> 

What do you think? What comedy and which actors should get a 2014 Emmy nomination? 

Check back Friday July 10 for the complete list of 2014 Emmy nominations. 

(Images courtesy of NBC and FOX)