And the Winner Is…
Assessing The TV Winners From The Awards Season
For those of you who have been regular followers of my blog, you will know that I am a rabid fan of award shows. Why then, after going through so much buildup over the last month, did I not have any reaction at all to the Golden Globes or the Critics Choice awards?
There are a lot of small answers that have to do with personal issues, but what it essentially comes down to this that for the Golden Globes — and to a lesser extent, the Broadcast Critics — I was not that impressed with how they gave their awards.. Usually, both the Hollywood Foreign Press and The Broadcast Critics both have had a certain amount of variety when it comes to who wins the awards mainly in relation to the Emmys. But in regard to the majority of the awards for both organizations, they didn’t really make much in deviation from last years awards. Sterling Brown took the prize for Best Actor from both organizations. Elisabeth Moss and The Handmaid’s Tale triumphed at both. Big Little Lies took the Best Limited Series prize from both, and Nicole Kidman, Alexander Skarsgard, and Laura Dern triplicated their triumphs at the Emmys. And Ann Dowd prevailed at the Broadcast Critics for Supporting Actress
Now, let’s be clear. All of these actors deserved to win. I have no real problem with them repeating. But over the past few years, the Globes and the Broadcast Critics have shown more variety in their giving of awards. And I have come to rely on them on giving more diversity when it comes to rewarding shows that otherwise would get lost in the shuffle. It would’ve been nice for Tatiana Maslany or The Good Fight to win some awards. They still might.
More to the point, I think that both award shows disappointed me as entertainment. The Golden Globes had some nice moments, and Seth Meyers did a far better job hosting than Jimmy Fallon did, but it didn’t sing the same way it usually did. And the Broadcast Critics made the mistake of going from A&E to the CW, which would have been reasonable had they not for some inexplicable reason cut the air time to two hours instead of the usual three. For those who have watched the show, a lot of awards get cut out just in the three hour run tie — it was like watching the fifteen-minute version of Hamlet. Even this wouldn’t have been bad had they gotten a decent host, but Olivia Munn who is usually hysterically funny, seemed more intent on wearing her activist hat then her comic one, which really dragged things down.
There were some intriguing awards which I was grateful for. I was glad that both the Globes and the Critics Choice selected Ewan McGregor for his superb dual performance in Fargo, which he definitely got shortchanged for by the Emmys. I was immensely happy to see Rachel Brosnahan and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel emerge triumphant in the Best Actress and Best Comedy category for both award shows, and I really, really hope that the Emmys will have to consider it a serious contender, particularly with it looking more and more likely that Veep will not be eligible this year. As for the Critics Choice, I was ecstatic that Ted Danson triumphed as Best Actor in a Comedy for his superb performance in The Good Place, and hope this serves as a bellwether, and I really hope that David Harbour’s triumph in Best Supporting Actor for his superb performance on Stranger Things leads to an Emmy, even though it’s a long way to September. I was also glad to see Walon Goggins and Mayim Bialik win Best Supporting Actor and Actress in a Comedy, and hope that they can find some Emmy love this year. Both have been criminally underserved by the Academy.
It is perhaps shocking that the most enjoyable awards show this year was the SAG awards. For the last decade, they have been stuck in the same repetitious pattern the Emmys were in, giving Alec Baldwin, six consecutive prizes, Mad Men, three in a row, and Orange is the New Black, best Comedy Series the last three years, even though the Emmy don’t consider it a comedy any more. There was a certain amount of repetition this year as well — William H. Macy and Julia-Louis Dreyfus each took their second consecutive prize for Best Actor and Best Actor in a Comedy. But Veep’s victory served as the first sign of growth for awhile — even though it was not a great series last season, and even though the SAGs are reaching backward nominating revivals of Curb your Enthusiasm and Will & Grace, this is the first sign of forward momentum the SAGs have had in this category, in nearly a decade.
There were even more encouraging signs in the Drama category. Sterling Brown’s win was a nice surprise, but This is Us’ triumph bordered on historic. Not only was it a more than worthy winner, it was the first broadcast drama to triumph at the SAGs since Lost. I really hope the Emmy judges keep this in mind, and it looks like they’re headed in the right direction. As for Claire Foy, I’ll give her that one. This was her last year in The Crown.
The awards show itself was rather fun. For the first time in its history, it had a host, and Kirsten Bell was by far the most entertaining emcee so far this year. She was witty and charming, and the rest of the presenters were equally skilled. Its telling that Olivia Munn and Niecy Nash were far funnier doing a bit on the SAgs than they were here. If she can do it again, next year, I’d be more than willing to watch. Just try to give the acting prizes in a limited series to someone other than Nicole Kidman.�