Comedy has become one of the Emmys most eclectic categories.
There is so many types of comedies out there now it seems crazy that we define them all under one category. It is the most diverse genre out there at the moment. Back in 2000 the Emmys comedy category consisted of four sitcoms which has laugh tracks and the odd one out – Sex and the City which ended up losing to Will & Grace. Since then a lot has changed. Multi-camera sitcoms filmed in front of an audience are a thing of the past now. Apart from the classics like The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother. In its place has come a huge variation of shows which all fit under the one category.
In recent years TV comedy has become so diverse. On our screens there is the contemporary comedies such as Black-ish and Modern Family and shows that look like they are for kids but really aren’t like Bojack Horseman or Veep. We have the dramedies like Jane the Virgin or even horrors come under the comedy bracket like Santa Clarita Diet. Then there is the deeper character study types such as Donald Glover’s Atlanta.
Ally McBeal broke the comedy barrier down in 1998. After this there was a ton of single-camera shows including Arrested Development that were getting nominated for Emmys. After this even hourlongs like Desparate Housewives were being included amongst shows likes HBO’s Girls.
The thing all of these have in common is that they are a half hour long.
Any hourlongs can attempt a switch but the majority of the time this is unsuccessful. In the case of Orange Is the New Black it was moved to the drama category after the first season. One show that has successfully made it into the comedy category is Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
“We had to write a letter to be put in the comedy category,” says Aline Brosh McKenna, co-creator and showrunner of the musical Ex-Girlfriend. “I remember getting really giggly while we were putting it together …. On what planet is a show with a song called ‘Heavy Boobs’ not a comedy?”
The question is should comedy be kept as such a broad category or should it be broken up?