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Why 'Parks and Rec,' 'Community,' and 'Justified' can hope for an Emmy nod: Thank the TCA Awards!

Earlier this week, nominations for the 27th annual Television Critics Association Awards were announced. With Emmy nomination ballots not due until June 24 (nominations are announced July 14), we got to wondering what the critics’ picks could tell us about the Academy’s. After comparing the last 10 years’ worth of nominations, here are four predictions:

• When a primetime comedy makes it into the TCA’s all-encompassing Program of the Year category — which has only happened four times between 2001 and 2010 — it always earns an Emmy nomination. That means Parks and Recreation — the sole comedy in TCA’s 2011 Program of the Year category — should earn its first Emmy nod for Outstanding Comedy Series.  READ FULL STORY

Abed from 'Community' makes Emmy prediction for comedy race. Is he on mark?

I’d go on record saying that Abed is, in fact, the smartest member of the Greendale study group. (Sorry, Annie!) But even I was really surprised how much sense Abed made when he made his prediction that The Big C will walk away with the award for Outstanding Comedy, after narrowing it down to the aforementioned show, Parks and Recreation (which he says, “a magazine” called the “smartest comedy on TV”),  Modern Family, The Office, 30 Rock, and the Big Bang Theory.

“We’ll give it to The Big C this year, because we know it’s their only chance to get it. By next year, Laura Linney’s character will either have died, or the ‘Fonz’ of her diagnosis will have ‘grown the beard’ of remission,” he wrote. (Yes, Abed, not Danny Pudi, penned this exposé for Variety. How method.) Abed comes to this conclusion after introducing us to his ABBA theory, which I’ll let you read about there. (But it’s called the “ABBA theory.” Need you know anything more to declare it instantly valid?)

READ FULL STORY

Lizzy Caplan, Alison Brie, and Martin Starr to appear in 'Save the Date.' No need for reminders, we're already there!

Could wedding comedies, once and for all, be making a turnaround? For so long it felt like for every delightful  Muriel’s Wedding or Four Weddings and a Funeral, a Bride Wars, 27 Dresses or The Wedding Date would fall and make us dread anything nuptial-related at the movies.

Now thanks to Bridesmaids, the tables have turned. Its title alone could have scared off many (too generic sounding, men won’t see it), but the fact that it was a great movie — not just a great wedding movie — turned it into a word-of-mouth hit.

So when Gilbert Films confirmed to EW that Lizzy Caplan (pictured) and Alison Brie (Community) would be starring together for an indie called Save the Date about two sisters with conflicting views on marriage, the fear of another generic wedding rom-com barely registered. Plus, you simply cannot go wrong with the combination of Brie (who has knocked it out of the park on the small screen in Community and Mad Men, but arguably had the best death/line/part in Scream 4) and Caplan (we still quote her Mean Girls character Janis Ian on a daily basis.) READ FULL STORY

TV Season Finale Awards: The winners are announced!

The results of our 2nd annual fan-voted TV Season Finale Awards are in! Check out the winners gallery here for the Top 5 finishers in each of our 20 categories. A total of 718,838 votes were cast. SPOILER: Parks and Recreation‘s Li’l Sebastian was named fifth best death.  READ FULL STORY

How did Ken Jeong do as host of the Billboard Music Awards?

Community‘s Ken Jeong — or as most probably know him, “that Asian man from the Hangover movies” — hosted the Billboard Music Awards last night, and, admittedly, I wasn’t sure what to expect from him. The characters he’s most notable for follow the same blueprint: clinically insane with a side of funny. But I wasn’t sure if his normal shtick would be enough to carry an award show. In fact, I’m still not sure it was.

I liked that they acknowledged the odd choice of host in the first minutes of the show (and three cheers for Jeong, who tinkled those ivories to Coldplay’s “Clocks” with major skill!). I also think that on a host-scale of James Franco to Neil Patrick Harris, he ranked somewhere in the “acceptable” range, especially when he reverted to the slightly gross humor we all love. (See the 3:06 mark on the video below.)

What did you think PopWatchers? Vote below. READ FULL STORY

'Community' finale: Was that Laurie and Travis from 'Cougar Town'?

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Image Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

What's the only thing better than
Community meets Sergio Leone meets Star Wars? An awesomely unnecessary and unexplained cameo by Laurie (Busy Philipps) and Travis (Dan Byrd) from Cougar Town. They appear for less than a second after [SPOILER ALERT]

READ FULL STORY

'30 Rock' and 'Community' both take walks down memory lane: Who did it better?

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30 Rock celebrated 100 episodes with gas-induced hallucinations, flashbacks, and bouts of nostalgia last night. Considering there are five seasons of material to take from and millions upon millions of quoteables, I loved hearing the classic Donaghy logic (“It’s after six. What are we, farmers?”), revisiting vintage Crazy Tracy (“I am a Jedi!”), and even got excited at the sight of dumb Dennis Duffy. But its earlier Thursday night sibling may have delivered a smarter approach to the hackneyed TV trope.

Community defied convention yet again, by creating a clip show out of entirely new scenes posed as memories each character had from earlier episodes this season. READ FULL STORY

'Community' goes 'Pulp Fiction': Check out the big brain on Jeff!

It makes total sense that Abed is a fan of Quentin Tarantino. Both have minds that are essentially Raiders of the Lost Ark warehouses filled with pop culture ephemera, both make references within references within references, and both can be extremely awkward when faced with the prospect of a normal, straightforward conversation. All of which is why dedicating an entire episode of Community to just making Pulp Fiction jokes would make complete sense and would probably be totally fantastic. But the writers on Community are too clever for that, and as the show progressed, the bespoke suits and gunplay of Pulp Fiction somehow morphed into the beige jackets and wordplay of My Dinner With Andre, combining one of the coolest movies of all time what is likely one of the least cool. (With the exception, of course, of the My Dinner With Andre action figures.) READ FULL STORY

Will 'The Simpsons' still be funny when no one gets the references?

simpsons-shinningImage Credit: FoxWe live in an era of hyper-referential humor. Shows as diverse as Glee, Community, and South Park all regularly feature “theme” episodes that riff on pop culture iconography — look at Glee‘s Christmas episode (in which Sue Sylvester re-enacted How the Grinch Stole Christmas), or Community‘s upcoming Pulp Fiction episode, or the episode of South Park that riffed on TRON (before TRON was briefly cool and then lame again). You can thank The Simpsons for all the nonstop pop culture references — Matt Groening’s iconic animated series turned hyper-referentiality into an art form, regularly packing in throwaway references to high and low culture right from the start.

Even after a decade of diminishing returns, the show’s place in the TV pantheon is secure… or is it? Salon‘s Matt Zoller Seitz has written an intriguing argument that shows built on pop culture nods — what he calls “footnote shows” — simply don’t age well. (He singles out an extended Hollywood Squares joke in an early-’90s Simpsons episode.) Considering how much of TV humor is now constructed on a foundation of referentiality, it’s definitely worth considering: Will we still consider “footnote shows” funny decades from now? READ FULL STORY

TV's Most Dateable Characters: Choose your 'one' from readers' top picks (Poll!)

Dateable-charactersImage Credit: Greg Gayne/NBC; Justin Lubin/NBC; Brian Bowen Smith/Fox; Mitchell Haaseth/NBC; Bob D'Amico/ABC (2)Last week, PopWatch asked readers to name the TV character they’d date in real life. After tallying more than 2,000 nominations (yes, we read them all), we’re ready to take it to a vote. We’ve put your top picks — 25 men, and 29 women (there was a tie for that last spot) — in two polls below. Vote now through Tuesday at midnight ET. Come back Friday when we’ll reveal the results. Remember: You can’t change anything about the character you’re picking, other than that he or she will no longer have feelings for his or her show love interest. (Second rule: Do not feel guilty.) Note: The order the characters are listed in the polls below is how they ranked during the first round, when you could be indecisive. What will happen when you can only pick one?  READ FULL STORY

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