For the past five years the TV comedy categories at the Golden Globes have been awarded in pairs. Shows like Atlanta, Mozart in the Jungle, Transparent, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Girls have all recently won the top award while their stars simultaneously won in their respected categories. Because of this there are three new comedies that have the possibility of having big nights in the comedy races: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, SMILF, and the re-vamp of Will & Grace.
Amazon’s brand new comedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is the quintessential Golden Globes contender. The comedy is a period piece, airs on a streaming platform that has a strong recent history in this category, and is probably the most popular new show in the past couple months. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a comedy, but it has a light hearted feel to the show that gives off the impression of a musical. The HFPA is notorious for their love of musicals. Plus, everyone from fans to critics can’t stop obsessing over Rachel Brosnahan’s star-making performance, and the Hollywood Foreign Press is notorious for awarding the ingenue in the category.
The big surprise in this year’s comedy categories was the inclusion of Showtime’s new show SMILF and its star Frankie Shaw. On top of starring in the show, Shaw also works as the creator, writer, and director which might make her standout to a group of voters. Stars with a hands-on approach throughout the entire process of their shows have done well in the past with both Donald Glover and Lena Dunham taking home the top awards.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and SMILF are the brand new comedies with the most attention, but there is a chance that voters will instead choose to celebrate the return of an old favorite, Will & Grace. The iconic comedy has now been nominated for 29 Golden Globes without a single win and voters are definitely aware of that. There’s a chance that the HFPA might finally reward the show especially since it airs on their host network NBC and since the cast has worked so closely with the Hollywood Foreign Press even hosting their anniversary special last month.
First season shows tend to command the attention of HFPA voters but there is no denying the fact that fans of Master of None are in love with the second season. THE excitement over the second season feels very personal and that unique connection might be enough to win over a winning number of voters. On top of that the beginning of the season takes place across the luscious landscapes of Italy which might appeal to a group of European voters. Still, the second season premiered all the way back in May and with so many more recent comedies to choose from it risks being forgotten.
Anthony Anderson and Black-ish are also nominated but after voters left out last year’s winner Tracee Ellis Ross the excitement around the family sitcom might not be as strong as it has been in previous years. As much as it pains me to say it the fourth season hasn’t been as strong as the show has been in previous seasons and in all likelihood it probably doesn’t have the momentum for an upset at the Golden Globes.
Every once in a while the HFPA will celebrate a comedic performance that isn’t tied to a top series nominee. Rachel Bloom won for the first season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend because she perfectly encapsulates their love for musicals and ingenues. Last year Billy Bob Thornton won for Goliath a show barely anyone had heard of simply because of his celebrity status.
This year Kevin Bacon has the opportunity to fill that head-scratching win spot the Golden Globes are always known for. I Love Dick may have failed to resonate with wider audiences and critics but Kevin Bacon is a movie star, a previous Golden Globe Winner, and his daughter Sosie was even Miss Golden Globe a couple of years ago. His status within the industry and connection to the Hollywood Foreign Press might be enough to push him to a win in a relatively weak lineup.
After a two year break voters surprisingly brought back William H. Macy for his SAG winning performance in Shameless. Making comeback in an eighth season is proof of the strength of Shameless but it’s hard to imagine that a show near the end of its run without a corresponding series nomination will stand out to voters (even if they have a suspiciously favorable love for Showtime).
Issa Rae, Pamela Adlon, and Allison Brie are all lead actress nominees without a corresponding series nomination but it’s hard to imagine any of them are able to stand out against Brosnahan or Shaw. GLOW may be popular amongst industry voters but a wrestling comedy might not be appealing to Golden Globes voters. Shows similar to Better Things like Louie have never done well with voters here so Pamela Adlon might have a difficult time exciting voters. Issa Rae is one of the most buzzed about actors/writers in Hollywood right now and just announced a slew of new projects so it’s only a matter of time until she wins her first major award. She would probably have a stronger chance at a win here if Insecure was nominated for best comedy but an upset isn’t outside the realm of possibility.