he second annual list of Critics' Choice Television Awards nominations were announced Tuesday, with the most nods going to NBC's quirky cult comedy, Community — a result the clearly distinguishes the CCA awards from the Emmys and Golden Globes. (Over its three-year run, Community has received just one nod from the two more prestigious awards organizations.) Following closely behind Community's six CCA nods are Mad Men and Parks and Recreation with five each, while Emmy-ignored shows like Happy Endings, Shameless, Sons of Anarchy, and Southland also made strong showings. The Emmy Awards have been criticized for rubber-stamping the same stale nominees each year, while many find the Globes fatally starstruck. Should fans take the CCAs, voted on by a panel of TV reviewers, more seriously than the Emmys?
Yes. The CCAs got it right: The upstart Critics' Choice Awards "are already proving to be a balm for fans of amazing cult hits usually underloved by more mainstream awards shows," says Rebecca Martin at Wetpaint. It's about time Community got its due, while "we were also overjoyed" that Parks and Recreation and Happy Endings were acknowledged. In the drama categories, the CCA nods admittedly mirror the typical Emmy and Golden Globe nominees — Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones — but each of those series deserves recognition.
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But the Critics' Choice Awards are still marginal: The CCA nominations exist in "a strange, alternate universe where the preferences of professional reviewers actually matter," says Sean O'Neal at The A.V. Club. These "delightfully topsy-turvy" nominations recognize those egregiously unsung shows that are nowhere near the Emmys' radar. But unfortunately, you will only ever read the phrase "Community is the most-nominated show of the year" in connection to this admirable little awards show — which will never have the clout of the Emmys.
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But maybe Emmy will follow CCA's lead: Community is a "cult gem" comparable to Arrested Development — except that Arrested Development was showered with Emmy love, says Aly Semigran at Hollywood. But awareness of Community is the highest it's ever been, after its controversial midseason hiatus and showrunner Dan Harmon's headline-making ouster. And now that the comedy scored so many CCA nods, the Emmys may finally take notice — just as they did with low-rated fan favorite Friday Night Lights.
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