I've slept on this issue for a week now and it's still bothering me: "Parks & Recreation" not earning an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Comedy is atrocious. Yep, I'm throwing around strong words.
As somebody who watches a ton of TV, usually at least one or two episodes of every new scripted series on the major and cable networks, I've seen a lot of crap. But I've also seen a lot of great performances and TV shows as a whole. When "Parks & Recreation" first came on the scene, I would've thrown it in the crap category. Then something wonderful happened -- the show found its voice.
If you're reading this blog, you probably read a lot of other TV pieces so I don't really need to get into the whole "How 'Parks & Rec' Found Its Groove" type of discussion. Long story short, it did. The writing gelled, Amy Poehler inserted so much heart into Leslie Knope and Ron Effing Swanson came into his own. Yadda, yadda, yadda, "Parks & Rec" is one of the best comedies -- if not the best -- on TV. So, why wasn't it nominated for an Emmy?
Week after week over this past season, I was consistently moved by "Parks & Rec," both comically and emotionally. The show moved me to tears from laughter when Leslie and her crack campaign team had to strut onto the ice rink to Gloria Estefan's "Get On Your Feet." I became so invested in Leslie and Ben (Adam Scott) -- it was like a soap opera, but with great acting. I cheered when they got back together, got misty when he quit his job for her and ended up rooting for this TV couple harder than I have any other. Yes, "Parks & Rec" consistently moved me more than any other show -- including my favorite dramas -- on TV this year. It was leaps ahead of "30 Rock," which I think, along with "Modern Family," just gets nominated by default. Those shows were not at their strongest this year. There were breakout episodes here and there, but when compared to "Parks & Rec," "30 Rock" and Modern Family" pale in comparison.
Is the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences even watching "Parks" or are they voting based on buzz? I'm seriously wondering that. "Girls"? Lots of buzz. "Veep"? Not as much buzz, but still a decent amount, plus you put Julia Louis-Dreyfus in it and it'll get attention. "Curb Your Enthusiasm"? Always funny, I can't fault them there. "The Big Bang Theory"? Don't get me started.
I'm happy Amy Poehler picked up a nomination for Leslie Knope, but the fact the show itself didn't get one is boggling my mind. Ron Swanson, played expertly by Nick Offerman, has become a TV icon after just four seasons, yet the Academy hasn't given him his due. I applaud Max Greenfield's nomination for this role on "New Girl," it's really deserved. But the four adult males from "Modern Family"? Again, default.
There's nothing we can do about it now, besides write ranty blog posts, but hopefully this will get somebody *cough* Academy voters *cough* to take a look at the show again, remember it for next year or at least honor Amy Poehler with her award.