Does Comedy Lead Actress Belong to the Newcomers?

The Golden Globe Awards will be held this Sunday, and there are some perplexing nominees this year. The ADTV gang discussed the strange selections in a recent podcast, but one of the actresses mentioned was not a surprise to me: Rachel Bloom in The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. While the musical comedy isn’t as popular as, say, Orange is the New Black or as overly advertised like Scream Queens, Bloom has one thing going for her: she’s the lead in a new comedy. I’ve always thought that charming newcomers fared very well with the Hollywood Foreign Press, and some go as far as snatching a trophy on the big night. Is Bloom the one to bet on for Lead Actress in a Musical or Comedy Series? Are ingenues the safest bet in the category?

Looking back to 1998, we can see that winners have won in this category for the first or second season. Calista Flockhart won for the first season of Ally McBeal, and the following year Jenna Elfman took it home for the second season of Dharma & Greg. Sarah Jessica Parker dominated Lead Actress for three consecutive years (from 2000-2002), and she picked up her fourth Globe in 2004 for her iconic role as Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City.

Here’s a list of winners in this category since 2000:

2000-2002: Sarah Jessica Parker, Sex and the City; first win was for the second season, and she became a phenomenon in this category. They clearly love Carrie Bradshaw.

2003: Jennifer Aniston, Friends; the only relatively new nominee this year was Bonnie Hunt for Life with Bonnie. Every other nominee had been nominated before.

2004: Parker again, the phenomenon continues.

2005: Teri Hatcher, Desperate Housewivesdebut season.

2006: Mary-Louise Parker, Weedsdebut season; the rest of the category was filled with Desperate Housewives actresses in their second season.

2007: America Ferrera, Ugly Bettydebut season.

2008: Tina Fey, 30 Rock – second season. Both Christina Applegate and Anna Friel were nominated in this category for the freshman seasons of their shows.

2009: Tina Fey, 30 Rock – third season. Debra Messing is nominated for The Starter Wife.

2010: Toni Collette, United States of Taradebut season.

2011: Laura Linney, The Big Cdebut season.

2012: Laura Dern, Enlighteneddebut season.

2013: Lena Dunham, Girlsdebut season.

2014: Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation – Poehler had been nominated for 3 consecutive years, so this win was a big moment for fans considering she barely won anything for playing Leslie Knope.

2015: Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgindebut season.

Of the five women nominated this year, only Julia Louis-Dreyfus is nominated for a series also nominated for Television Series – Musical or Comedy. She has never won for her role of Selina Meyer, so I don’t think she’s in real contention. Gina Rodriguez could very easily repeat, but I feel like the buzz on Jane the Virgin has died down considerably. That brings it down to 3 other women:

Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Jamie Lee Curtis, Scream Queens
Lily Tomlin, Grace & Frankie

Even though Curtis is the best thing in Queens, she should be in the Supporting category. It would be great to see her take the podium as a small comeback, but that show is so godawful I wouldn’t really enjoy the win. Tomlin is nominated for Grandma as well, and Grace & Frankie is beloved by audiences. An acceptance speech from her would be great to see on Sunday night.

Golden Globes Comedy Actress

My money is still on Rachel Bloom. Of the five nominees, she’s the epitome of an ingénue in this category. The HFPA clearly likes to award fresh faces, and she has one thing going for her that no one else has: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is an actual musical. While the show itself is not nominated in the Series category (which is really surprising), they do have a soft spot for a little song and dance. FOX’s Glee took Best Series – Musical or Comedy in both 2009 and 2010. Ex-Girlfriend currently holds a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, while both Queens and Frankie are both considered rotten. Bloom has been singled out for her exuberance and her willingness to play a character that not very many people would want to tackle.

The HFPA is one of the only voting bodies that pays attention to The CW (formally The WB), and they’ve nominated actresses that didn’t get anywhere near the Emmy conversation (see Alicia Silverstone for Miss Match, Bette Midler for Bette, Heather Locklear for Spin City). Ex-Girlfriend might be too weird and strange for more “prestigious” awards, but Bloom’s Rebecca Bunch is one of the most committed (and probably should be committed) characters on television. Just because some people raise their eyebrows at her behavior doesn’t mean she’s not worthy of an award.

Statistically, Bloom should stand a real chance of winning. In true Hollywood tradition, she should take it because she’s the newest of the bunch and her series is one of the most original this season. Will Bloom prevail at the Golden Globes? If the HFPA rejects her, just don’t be surprised that she follows them back to Hollywood. I’m totally in her corner.

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