Life in the Slow Lane

July 20, 2009

‘Family Guy’ Emmy nod is one small step for cartoons

Filed under: Entertainment,Television — pauljlane @ 3:55 pm

I was delighted to see that “Family Guy” was nominated last week for the best comedy Emmy."The Family Guy"

While it’s great seeing the snobby Hollywood elite nominate a cartoon, I think they got the wrong one.

Fox’s “Family Guy” – which was once canceled due to poor ratings – is the first cartoon to be nominated in this category since “The Flintstones” in 1961. While one could argue that “The Simpsons” deserved such an honor during its heydey in the 1990s, the fact is that “South Park” is much more deserving of the honor in the 21st century.

“Family Guy” has maintained a high level of quality, but “South Park” has continually managed to surpass itself season after season. it probably will never receive a major nomination since it’s poked fun at pretty much everyone in Hollywood, but “South Park” might just be the best show on television right now. Period.

That being said, “Family Guy” stands a decent shot this year when looking at the competition. “The Office” is among TV’s most overrated comedies (which isn’t to say that it’s just bad, but it’s not nearly as good as its followers make it out to be), and “How I Met Your Mother” feels like every cookie-cutter sitcom that’s rolled out since 1960 (although that may be what stoic voters go for). “Entourage” is past its prime, and I’ve never seen “Weeds” or “Flight of the Conchords” so it wouldn’t be fair for me to comment, but they seem like niche cable programs at best.

Too bad Peter Griffin could not have made this historic step a few years ago. Homer Simpson, Hank Hill and Jay Sherman deserved the same accolade, but the voters wouldn’t “stoop” to nominating a cartoon in decades past; “The Critic” and “King of the Hill” may not compare to “Cheers” or “Seinfeld,” but they could compete with most other, non-epic sitcoms of decades gone by.

So in that regard (and only in that regard, because I generally don’t care about awards shows), I’ll root for “Family Guy.” Maybe if it wins, then animators will finally get their due.



  1. Paul,

    Emmy nominations can only come in categories the producer of the show submits them for. The Simpsons has never submitted for best comedy, always choosing to submit for animated show (Where it has a MUCH better chance of winning – it its hey-day it would have gone against Frasier, Murphy Brown and Seinfeld, some Emmy favorites). It is a gamble, but 10 time emmy winner (regardless of category) has a ring to it. Family Guy’s nomination is a bit of a sham because so few animated series submit for best comedy series. South Park tried once or twice and failed, but then again the Emmys have never allowed so many nominations for series. The funny thing is, Family Guy probably wouldnt have won Best Animated Series if it had submitted for that, anyway. Weird how rules affect these things more than anything.

    Comment by Bill — July 25, 2009 @ 3:28 am | Reply

  2. Side note. It has no chance of winning. 30 Rock has it in the bag.

    And if you ever bad mouth The Office again (the best comedy on TV) – there will be a price to pay. Also, Weeds is a dynamite show, Mary Louise Parker is amazing in it and it has great writing.

    Comment by Bill — July 25, 2009 @ 3:31 am | Reply

  3. I think that Bill is quite a firecracker. I’ve seen the work he does. He’s good. Very good.

    Comment by Nicole — July 25, 2009 @ 8:57 pm | Reply

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