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Reaction Shots: Seeing Red After the Golden Globes

Another year, another awards show snafu.

It's getting hard to keep track of the slights, overthrows, and sure things that have become sure fire also-rans. But one thing is for sure with this year's Golden Globes, while white may have been the color du jour for many of the ladies' attire, plenty were seeing red.

The Golden Globes has always been a rare beast. Handed out to the US entertainment community by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, it's one of the few televised awards shows that's table, rather than theatre, seating, enabling stars the chance to stay in one's cups publicly, and combines film along with television awards in one single ceremony, allowing members of those rarefied worlds the opportunity to mingle and coalesce over a catered meal.

It also manages at times to get it so right (Helen Mirren for The Queen) and so wrong (no Steve Carell or The Office), sometimes at the very same moment. While I thought that the TV nominations managed to capture a certain slice of the zeitgeist this year, I can't say I was altogether pleased (that's an understatement) with the way that last night turned out.

So just who walked home with the statuettes last night? Let's take a look.

Series, Drama: Grey's Anatomy

Seriously? Grey's Anatomy won? I know the series has its ardent fans, but I'm simply blown away by the fact that the soapy medical drama picked up the award over fellow nominees Lost, 24, Big Love, and Heroes. (Who has two thumbs and doesn't watch Grey's? This guy.) I thought for sure that either Lost or 24 would walk away the victor, but given the (unjustified, to me anyway) backlash against Lost, I thought it would be more likely Jack Bauer and CTU skipping up to the podium to claim the prize. I'm just really speechless, especially coming off what many believed to be 24's finest year yet.

Actress, Drama: Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

I figured that Sedgwick would walk away wedded with a statuette this year. (She, along with Jennifer Garner, Salma Hayek, fellow nominee Ellen Pompeo, and Kate Winslet were all stunning in sleek white gowns.) While I was thrilled to see Evie Lilly get a nomination, I knew that the Hollywood Foreign Press would sooner volunteer for Dharma experiment duty than give a Lostie a major acting prize.

Actor, Drama: Hugh Laurie, House

Another overturn here for many who figured that 24's Kiefer Sutherland was a virtual lock for the prize. While I adore Hugh Laurie (any fan of House should watch Laurie in Jeeves & Wooster just to see the sheer mind-boggling scope of his range), I figured that this would be the year for the dashing CTU operative Jack Bauer.

Series, Musical or Comedy: Ugly Betty

Here's where I get really, really, really irate. I love Ugly Betty. I really do. It's a fun, silly, surreal trip of a television series that's part melodramatic camp, part Devil Wears Prada, and part tour of a particularly posh nuthouse. But to award it the top comedy prize over The Office? Sheer madness. To me, Ugly Betty is a soap first and a comedy second, while The Office is coming off of the critical and ratings success of its superlative second year. It is a comedy that rivals no others on television today and this category in particular stirred up some righteous indignation within me.

Not since Desperate Housewives' appearance in the comedy category has something made me so angry, not because the show that won was a bad show (because it's not at all) but because a 1-hour series shouldn't be competing with half-hours. Period.

I was worried that Ugly Betty, with its franchise series on the air in nearly every territory in the free world, would win out over The Office. This is, after all, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. But I hoped that logic rather than familiarity would win out in the end. The Office is a brilliant, sometimes cringe-inducing half-hour of comedic gold, brought to life by its talented cast and crew and should have walked away with the statuette last night. There I've said it. I'm angry and I'm not going to take it anymore. Give me liberty or give me death. But don't say that The Office isn't the most deserving comedy on TV.

Actress, Musical or Comedy: America Ferrera, Ugly Betty

Again, color me shocked and surprised. While I love Ferrera's turn as Ugly's sartorially-challenged Betty Suarez, I am blown away by the fact that they selected her above Marcia Cross, Felicity Huffman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Mary-Louise Parker (especially since her Betty is the LEAST funny thing about the series). I was really rooting for Louis-Dreyfus, whose turn as Christine Campbell harkens back to Mary Tyler Moore and erases that dreaded Seinfeld curse. Plus, Old Christine could use some mainstream cred. Still, I'd rather Ferrera walk away with the honor than one of the Housewives. (Shudder.)

Actor, Musical or Comedy: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

I really want to cry. I really do. Alec Baldwin is one of the reasons I can't get 30 Rock off of my mind grapes (his Jack Donaghy is uproariously stony faced and deadpan), but his performance could be viewed as entirely one-note compared with that of Steve Carell. Where's the love for The Office? If the series couldn't walk away with the top comedy award, I was at least hoping that Carell would get the go-ahead from the HFPA. Can anyone think of a more vibrant, challenging comedic character than Michael Scott?

Miniseries or movie: Elizabeth I

For me, I was hoping it would come down to Elizabeth I or Bleak House, but I would have given the edge to Bleak House, a labyrinthine adaptation of a serpentine novel of illness, deceit, and corruption in 19th century England presented here as a half-hour serial of such brilliance, depth, and beauty that it overwhelms your senses completely. It's the trippiest story of coincidences and chance encounters that rivals even Lost for its interconnectedness and one that's impossible to get out of your head.

Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Helen Mirren, Elizabeth I

I was rooting for Mirren for her turn as another monarch in The Queen, I had hoped that Gillian Anderson would be singled out here for her dynamic turn as the icy Lady Dedlock in Bleak House. Still, if you're going to lose, it doesn't hurt to lose out to Helen Mirren, nominated against herself in this category for two very different, though equally stunning, roles in Elizabeth I and Prime Suspect.

And there you have it. Wrapping up the awards: Bill Nighy won Best Actor, Miniseries or Movie for Gideon's Daughter; Emily Blunt for Supporting Actress for Gideon's Daughter; and Jeremy Irons brought home the statuette for his role in Elizabeth I.

All in all, I had hoped for more from this year's Golden Globes. While I can't really fault the HFPA for handing out awards to newcomers and underdogs (remember: Ugly Betty was originally destined for the trash heap of Friday nights before it caught on), I'm terribly, terribly saddened by its oversight regarding The Office.

Still, there's always the hope of a repeat win at this year's Emmys this fall, right?

What's On Tonight

8 pm: NCIS (CBS); Dateline (NBC); Gilmore Girls (CW); America's Funniest Home Videos (ABC; 8-10 pm); American Idol (FOX; 8-10 pm); Wicked Wicked Games (MyNet)

9 pm: The Unit (CBS); Law & Order: Criminal Intent (NBC); Veronica Mars (CW); Watch Over Me (MyNet)

10 pm: 48 Hours Mystery (CBS); Law & Order: SVU (NBC); Boston Legal (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: American Idol.

Simon, Randy, and Crazy--I mean, Paula Abdul--begin their search for the next great American Idol, but first the show's producers want them to sit through some truly ear-splinteringly bad auditions, starting tonight. Tune in for the music, stay for the humiliation.

9 pm: Veronica Mars.

On tonight's repeat episode of Veronica Mars ("Spit & Eggs"): Mac finally returns from what must have been the most grueling school "project" of all time, Veronica runs really fast to some cool music, Parker screams rape, and the rapist is finally unmasked... but not before one character goes to the college campus in the sky. Only one week to go (finally) until new episodes!


Jon88 said…
I generally root for whichever nominee will give the most entertaining acceptance speech. Hugh Laurie vs. Kiefer Sutherland? No contest.

So Mirren wins one award for playing Elizabeth I and another for playing Elizabeth II. Is there an Elizabeth Taylor biopic in the works?
Jennifer said…
After years of taking award shows way too seriously I've come to terms with the fact that "deserving" doesn't always have a lot to do with who wins. And with the Golden Globes, in the TV categories anyway, they've always been good about recognizing freshmen series and new faces. I'm a huge huge fan of the Office and wouldn't have complained one bit had it won, but I have to say that I was really happy to see Ugly Betty win. Also I don't agree with your statement that it's a soap first and a comedy second. The soapy elements ARE what's funny. Ugly Betty consistently makes me laugh out loud every week and if that doesn't qualify it as a comedy, then I don't know what would.
If only they had a dramedy category. Then perhaps shows like "Gilmore Girls," "Veronica Mars," "Ugly Betty," etc. would get the credit they deserve without taking the glory from great comedies like "The Office."

Also, I adore Helen Mirren but no love for "Bleak House?" It was definitely one of the best things on television this year.
Anonymous said…
No win for the Office? I'm glad I didn't tune in, then.

Ugly Betty does not deserve to an award over Steve Carell and the gang at the Office. Sorry but it's true.

Hollywood Foreign Press has no idea what it is doing.
Stealth said…
When they completely ignore The Wire, Battlestar Galactica and Veronica Mars, why really care about them?
Anonymous said…
Someday, we'll get together and I will tell you why Grey's is a lot more than just a soapy medical drama. I have strong feelings about it, and I will explain to you why it's not just fluff, and why it's just as deserving as the other shows.

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