Golden Globes TV Preview: Comedy Series a Serious Game

Looking at last year’s Golden Globe nominations for Musical or Comedy series, you can see immediately that there is at least one vacant slot for repeat nominations. HBO’s Girls was a bit of a surprise nominee last year given how quickly it faded from popular culture – even though its third season was completely deserving of the nomination. This year, Girls isn’t getting back in for its decent fourth season. There’s literally no arguing about that one. So, what else is repeating?

Here are last year’s nominees:

  • Girls
  • Jane the Virgin
  • Orange is the New Black
  • Silicon Valley
  • Transparent

Assuming the second season of Amazon’s Transparent is eligible this year (the official drop date is December 11 – one day after the Globe nominations), then it is the mostsilicon-sand-hill likely to repeat. Early word on the season is that it retains all of the charms and brilliance of its freshman season. Next up is HBO’s buzzy comedy Silicon Valley which made a splash at this year’s Emmy Awards in terms of nominations. Season two is arguably funnier than season one, so it’s likely to repeat here as well.

The two wild cards for repeat nominations are the CW’s Jane the Virgin and Netflix’s Orange is the New BlackBlack is more likely to show up again as the Globes have been big supporters of the dramedy even nominating Taylor Schilling in the Musical or Comedy Actress category last year. Jane the Virgin feels very on the bubble right now as its buzz was bigger last year. It’s not that the series has seen a particular decline in quality from season to season, but it’s perhaps not as sexy of a show this year after last year’s coronation of lead Gina Rodriguez.

So, whatever the open slots, what is lining up for replacement contention?

HBO’s Veep seems the most likely candidate. Even though it surprisingly has never been nominated for the Musical or Comedy award, the recent Emmy winner for Outstanding Comedy seems challenging for even the Hollywood Foreign Press to miss out nominating this year. Series creator Armando Iannucci’s final season as show runner perhaps make the fourth season a stronger candidate. Still, even the great Julia Louis-Dreyfus hasn’t won a Globe for her performance as Selina Meyer. Perhaps this is truly a series that simply doesn’t translate to a foreign awards body.

Kimmy SchmidtUnbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is the hot newcomer from Netflix, and it doesn’t hurt to have come from the producing/writing talents of Golden Globe favorite Tina Fey. The Globes showered affection on her 30 Rock, but my advice would be to not translate that immediately into similar affections for Schmidt. The Globes have long loved inside Hollywood comedy, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is more of an absurdist comedy that could be deemed silly by the HFPA. I could see Ellie Kemper or Tituss Burgess getting in before the series itself. Still, the Hollywood Foreign Press does love some Tina Fey… We’ll see how deeply that love goes on Thursday.

masterAziz Ansari’s Master of None is contention, but it remains to be seen how the series will be taken by awards voting bodies. Ansari is a likely Actor nominee, but that nomination could be the sole recognition for the series itself. It all depends on how much campaigning Netflix has done with the HFPA to get its new series seen and taken seriously (as a comedy). Go with Ansari with the series becoming a longer shot.

The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is the longest of shots as well, but you can’t completely rule it out. It is, after all, a musical. The Hollywood Foreign Press has been known to nominate worst things because they specifically fit that description, although that really is mostly in the film categories (ahem, Annie). Still, there really aren’t a lot of musical series on television, so who knows if they’ll go for it or not.

Farther down the list are such titles as The Last Man on EarthCasualThe GrinderThe Big Bang TheoryModern FamilyScream QueensBrooklyn Nine-NineCatastropheBallers, or Grace & Frankie. None of those feel likely to fit in due to either waning quality (Last Man on EarthModern Family) or simply aren’t big enough to merit the nomination (Brooklyn Nine-Nine or The Grinder). Catastrophe might be one to look outScreamQueens for, though, given that it originally aired in the U.K. and has already had a second season in the can. Plus, it’s just really funny and charming, and sometimes the HFPA actually get it right and pick winners.

If they nominate Scream Queens for Musical or Comedy Series, then may the full vitriol of the
Internet rain down upon them. They would surely deserve it.

Be sure to check back with us on Thursday when the Hollywood Foreign Press announces their nominations for multiple television and film categories. We’ll also be discussing the nomination’s surprises and disappointments on the following Monday’s Water Cooler Podcast.

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