Why Amy Poehler's 'Parks and Recreation' Emmy Nomination is Hers for the Taking
Every year, like clockwork, we let out a melancholy huff when the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series is announced during the Emmys and Amy Poehler is not the name called. Edie Falco, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Melissa McCarthy are all amazingly talented, deserving women, yes, and we do not begrudge them their statuettes. But Amy Poehler's Leslie Knope's been iconic for years now, and it stings a little more every time an awards show fails to recognize that. It's an honor just to be nominated, sure, we get that — but someone please give Amy Poehler a damn Emmy!
As is the case with Jon Hamm, this will be Poehler's penultimate Emmys season for her most widely beloved role. Unlike Hamm and his Don Draper, though — who will likely go head-to-head with Bryan Cranston's performance in the finale season of Breaking Bad and both Matthew McConaghey and Woody Harrelson in the first season of True Detective — Poehler might actually stand a chance at winning this time around. In fact, it's possible her chances have never been better. Here are the two major reasons why it might finally be Poehler's year, and not just theset up to another (delightful!) Emmys night show of sisterly solidarity:
She had a great year as Leslie Knope
This wasn't Parks and Rec's best season or its worst season, but Poehler's performance in the role of Leslie Knope remained practically as flawless as its ever been. She was booted out of her dream job only to be offered an even bigger and better one. She met Michelle Obama. She said goodbye to her best friend. She fillibustered on roller skates, she sang Grease karaoke as Danny Zuko, she tried to let go of some of her control freak tendencies and move genuinely forward in her life. She (spoiler alert?) had triplets! It was a big year for Leslie Knope, and Poehler kept her just as whip-smart, zany, and full of love as always.
She has never been more famous or more beloved
The past few years of Amy Poehler's life have guaranteed her as the recipient of countless lifetime achievement awards. Poehler's been gently embraced by the public since her Saturday Night Live days, but she's reached a fever-pitch of late, helped along by her gig hosting the Golden Globes (twice!) with fellow Beloved Lady (and multiple Emmy winner) Tina Fey. You know you've ascended to a new level of fame when there are countless listicles touting your wisest quotes and you aren't even dead yet.
These are things that help a lot in an awards campaign. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is practically guaranteed an Emmy nom (and often an Emmy win) for every comedy show she ever stars in, because she's Julia Lous-Dreyfus. I have absolutely no doubt that Neil Patrick Harris and Bryan Cranston both gave Tony-worthy performances this year, but their legendary TV roles didn't hurt their chances of winning. I love Melissa McCarthy like whoa, but Mike & Molly is not what won Melissa McCarthy her Emmy in 2011; Bridesmaids is what won Melissa McCarthy her Emmy in 2011. Emmy voters love to honor breakout performances, even when that breakout was broader than the specific role they're being honored for.
If there's a Beyonce of the comedy world right now it might just be the combined force of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and it's probably a sway that helped land Poehler her Golden Globe for Parks and Rec last year. Maybe it can land her an Emmy, too. Leslie Knope has certainly earned one, and so has Amy Poehler.
Plus her speech is guaranteed to be amazing.