In the days leading up to the 2019 Emmy Awards, we're pitting the 26 shows with the most nominations against each other to determine Primetimer readers' favorite Emmy-nominated series of the year. Full details in our kick-off post.
And so we have arrived at the FINALS! As we noted in the semifinals, our Final Four were all Outstanding Comedy Series nominees, owing to (a) 2019 being a phenomenal year for good, creative, highly inventive and also hilarious comedy, and (b) the 2019 Emmys doing an uncommonly excellent job of nominating the right shows at the right time. And after the tightly-contested semifinal matchups, two accomplished and popular comedies remain. Which will stand tall?
(Seed number appears before show title)
Network: Amazon Prime
Nominations: 11, including Outstanding Comedy Series
Let’s raise a Marks & Spencer’s pre-mixed gin and tonic can to Phoebe Waller-Bridge for the triumphant second season of Fleabag, which somehow managed to be perfect from start to finish. After dominating at the TCA Awards last month, can Phoebe Waller-Bridge replicate that success at the Emmys? In the acting categories, she is joined by recent Oscar-winner Olivia Colman (who is looking to add to her EGOT tally), scene-stealer Sian Clifford as Fleabag's sister, as well as Fiona Shaw and Kristin Scott Thomas in the guest category. The (Hot) Priest (Andrew Scott) told us this love would pass; I’m not sure he is right. -- Emma Fraser
The Good Place
Nominations: 5, including Outstanding Comedy Series
After three seasons of lovable characters, ethical philosophy, bonkers comedy, and wild twists of plot, NBC's fervently beloved comed series got its first Emmy nod for Best Comedy. Having just aired its most ambitious season, the show presents a double-edged sword for Emmy voters: its spotlight episodes are knockouts, but you'll need a whole lot of context to jump right in.
The Matchup: To get to the finals, Fleabag outmaneuvered the physical specimens of American Ninja Warrior in round 1, made Top Chef pack its knives and go in round 2, and avoided the pointy end of Sharp Objects as it cruised past the quarterfinals. In yesterday's semifinal, the dry Brits took out the upset-minded Canadians of Schitt's Creek. Meanwhile, The Good Place had to fight uphill throughout, scoring a round 1 upset of Ozark and then avoiding the fallout in besting Chernobyl in round 2. The quarterfinals saw a tough matchup with Veep, and in a battle of high-concept afterlives in the semifinals, they defeated Russian Doll. It's been a tough road getting here, but it's hard to deny that we ended up with the right two shows. Even if they don't get anointed by the Emmys this weekend, Fleabag and The Good Place represent the apex of smart, engaging TV comedy that have — obviously — attained fervently loyal fan bases. Only one can win, so get out there and vote your fave!
Vote now for who should WIN IT ALL:
It's the finals of the Primetimer Ultimate Emmys Bracket— Primetimer (@primetimercom) September 20, 2019
'Fleabag' vs. 'The Good Place'
Joe Reid is the Managing Editor at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, The Herald Sun, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.