The 2021 Primetime Emmy Awards will air this Sunday, Sept. 19, and it’s widely thought that the popular sports comedy series Ted Lasso will dominate the competition. It wouldn’t be the first time one comedy series sweeps multiple categories. Last year CBC Television’s Schitt’s Creek did just that. This year, it’s assumed that Ted Lasso will follow suit. The series is considered a shoo-in for the Outstanding Comedy Series award, but Pen15 could prove a surprising contender.

‘Ted Lasso’ is comfort viewing at its finest

Ted Lasso was first released to Apple + TV in Aug. 2020. Amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the feel-good comedy could not have come at a better time. Jason Sudeikis stars as Ted Lasso, a former American football coach from Kansas City who is chosen to coach a struggling soccer team in the Premier League called AFC Richmond.

Ted knows nothing about soccer and only gets the job because Rebecca Welton hopes that Ted will run the team’s reputation into the ground. Rebecca does this to get revenge on her cheating ex, who loved AFC Richmond. However, the team and the media slowly warm up to Ted’s folksy charm. He is not the failure that Rebecca thinks he will be. Ted is also privately coping with the end of his own marriage in the first season.

‘Pen15’ had an excellent second season

Don’t count out Pen15 to win the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy just yet. Creators Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, two women in their thirties, play 7th-grade girls surprisingly well in Pen15. The show aims to give an accurate depiction of middle school life in the early 2000s through their characters (also named Maya and Anna). Fans agree that the series achieves this with its hilarious and sometimes hard-to-watch cringe comedy.

Pen15 Season 2 aired in 2020. While season 1 was full of hilariously relatable moments for anyone who has gone through adolescents, Vulture points out that season 2 goes deeper. It further explores the more painful aspects of growing up. Anna deals with her parent’s divorce, and Maya misses her dad, who is often away. The girls experience the intense pain of being left out or made fun of at a young age. Pen15‘s outstanding second season could give the series a leg up against Ted Lasso.

Could ‘Pen15’ beat out ‘Ted Lasso’ for the Emmy Award?

Despite Pen15‘s incredible second season, Ted Lasso is ultimately favored to win the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series. As Rolling Stone points out, “Like Schitt’s Creek a year ago, it’s hard to imagine the feel-good Ted losing any category for which it has one or more nominations this year.”

Still, the Emmys have had some genuinely shocking upsets before. In 2004 Arrested Development‘s debut season unexpectedly beat out big established comedy shows including Everybody Loves Raymond, Will & Grace, Sex and the City, and Curb Your Enthusiasm, Rolling Stone reports. Pen15 is an excellent show with a completely original concept and a brilliant second season. Who’s to say a surprising upset can’t happen again?

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