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Mike White of 'Enlightened'
Mike White, "Enlightened"
Nomination Status: A lock if Emmy voters watch "Enlightened," ergo... no chance at all.
In His Favor: Mike White makes my Top 6 shortlist in this category without hesitation. Leaving aside any credit you want to give him for writing the entire excellent second (and final) "Enlightened" season, White also gave himself a marvelous Emmy episode in "The Ghost Is Seen," which is one of my favorite half-hour episodes of the past year. Paired with Molly Shannon, White delivered an episode that's all heart-rending emotional moments and awkward near-comedy, one of the most achingly true romances you'll ever see depicted. It's really pretty beautiful stuff.
Working Against Him: In the first "Enlightened" season, White gave Diane Ladd one of the great Emmy showcase episodes of the past five or 10 years and she was ignored, just as Emmy voters completely ignored the show in its first season. Sadly, this'll just be one of those shows that Emmy voters didn't "get," not that I can quibble with any uncertainty about nominating White in a "comedy" category for a show this difficult to pigeon-hole.