by Jennna Mullins and Tierney Bricker | Fri., Sep. 13, 2013 2:37 PM
By now you must have read our picks for must-watch Emmy episodes in the drama category (if you haven't, why do you hate us so much?). So let's visit the other end of the spectrum and talk about the comedy nominees that will vie for a statue come Emmy Sunday.
From Amy Poehler being perfect to a show that was ridiculously snubbed out of every category, here our five comedy episodes you have to watch before TV's big night:
1. Parks and Recreation, "Leslie and Ben": Sometimes the best comedic episodes are the ones that have more heartwarming, tear-jerking moments than laugh-out-loud ones. And while the wedding episode for Ben (Adam Scott) and Leslie (Amy Poehler) has its fair share of Parks and Rec humor, it's the quiet moments that make it truly memorable. For example, Leslie's speech to Ron (Nick Offerman) about why he has to be in her wedding will forever be the benchmark for how a television series should work in a touching scene that isn't out of character for the show and stays true to the characters.
2. Girls, "Cocaine Blues": While the HBO hit's second season was a bit all over the place for us, there's nothing we would change about this episode, which featured Hannah (Lena Dunham) doing coke for the first time for her art's sake. Truths were revealed, friendships were changed, nipples were exposed in unflattering tops and one of TV's best music moments (Hannah and Elijah dancing to Icona Pop's "Love It") all made this Girls' strongest episode to-date. We don't care, we love it!
3. Nurse Jackie, "Teachable Moments": There is a reason Edie Falco is an Emmy darling, and if you need proof, look no further than this season-five episode. Finally sober and in a healthy relationship with the adorable Frank (Adam Ferrara), a New York police officer, Jackie is smiling more and well on her way to getting her life back on track. But then the hospital brings in a new patient: a cop who was shot while patrolling the boardwalk, the same place Frank told Jackie he was just an hour ago. The moment when Jackie strains to look at the face of who is being brought in on a stretcher is maybe 15 seconds long, but Falco's desperate facial expressions and the thought of our anti-hero losing someone actually good for her makes the scene drag on for what seems like hours. But in a good way. Not in a "standing in line at the DMV" kind of way. And when Jackie finally reunites with Frank (he's OK!) we see a whole new side of Jackie that we never thought existed. Trust us, Falco slays this episode.
5. The Office, "Finale": "I can't believe you came." "That's what she said." Filled with heart, humor and surprises, the final episode of The Office was the best goodbye Dunder Mifflinites could ask for. We'd go into more detail, but we'll just starting tearing up again.
5. New Girl, "Cooler": Yes, that's right, even though the Fox hit sitcom was woefully snubbed by the Emmys, we're still including this gem of an episode as a must-watch before the big night. Why, you ask? Because it completely threw the guidebook for how shows should handle "will they or won't they" couples out the window and had roomies Nick (Jake Johnson) and Jess (Zooey Deschanel) kiss for the first time. And we were left even more breathless and stunned that Jess after the kiss and the 21 minutes of tense build-up that preceded it. It was the moment that transitioned New Girl from a good sitcom to one of TV's best comedies.
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