This year EW is here to help with our first-ever For Your Consideration issue. We have curated the bajillion shows and performances (give or take a million) eligible for Emmy nominations to help voters select their top picks. Consider this a sneak peek into the nomination process and an early guide to the awards, which air Sept. 18 on ABC.
Call it a structural experiment or simply the story it was always meant to tell, but Amazon’s transgender dramedy took a big, bold leap in its second year: Season- long flashbacks illustrated the harrowing exodus of Maura’s mother (Emily Robinson) and trans uncle (Hari Nef) from 1930s Berlin. “To be able to draw these tenuous but subtle lines between what it was like for someone like Hari Nef in those days and the current politics of bathroom access today, it all just felt so magical,” says creator Jill Soloway. “Once Transparent existed, it drew a new line that said, ‘We can be funny, we can have a sense of humor about ourselves and about being trans, and nobody’s getting their feelings hurt.’ That to me is a huge shift.”
After a lauded first season, Kenya Barris’ family sitcom cemented its excellence this year as it regularly tackled — and, yes, made jokes about — the kinds of knotty issues that keep America up at night. See: the emotionally raw season 2 police brutality episode.
Broad City (Comedy Central)
The third season of Comedy Central’s debaucherous buddy sitcom unleashed new roars from creator - stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. It also unleashed new guest stars, like Whoopi Goldberg and Hillary Clinton, who added some old-school class to this sharp take on modern millennialdom.
They curse, they fight, they laugh, they screw, they vomit — and now they have kids. Equal parts filthy and touching (much like a real relationship), season 2 of Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan’s unlikely romantic sitcom ventured into parenthood and only got better at finding love and honesty (and jokes! So many jokes!) in hopeless places.
Silicon Valley (HBO)
Mike Judge’s savage send-up of the tech world is drilling down on the hypocrisy and absurdity of cutting-edge culture in season 3 by having Pied Piper’s founder, Richard (Thomas Middleditch), return to the company from which he was fired, only to throw shiny new obstacles (not to mention a little horse intercourse) at him.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
If you think Kimmy Schmidt is simple, think again. In its second season, the Tina Fey and Robert Carlock-produced cult comedy exposed new layers of its insta-classic characters, from Titus (Titus Burgess) embracing an unlikely romance to Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) taking a job as an Uber driver—all while not dropping a pop culture beat (Robert Durst?!).
Venom, it turns out, ages likes wine—at least in the case of Veep, HBO’s blade-sharp political satire, which has gotten better with every season. Throwing President Meyer (that still sounds weird) into a recount for the Oval Office was almost as hilariously bizarre as 2016’s real-life election cycle.