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