In its bid to keep itself 'fresh' the Golden Globes has overlooked a number of excellent shows in favor of newer ones that don't deserve nominations.
Last Thursday, the candidates for the 69th Golden Globes Awards were announced, with no small amount of controversy. The ceremony will be televised on January 15 (on Yes ).
One notable absence is Louis C.K. and his brilliant show "Louie" (which has also been ignored by the broadcasting organizations in Israel ). The second season of "Louie" on FX this year was even better than the first; amidst the tremendous and blunt humor there are clear-eyed looks at modern life that are sometimes truly heartbreaking. Louis C.K. stands apart not only because of his fine show, which in fact does not conform to any current genre because it isn't exactly a comedy and it is not exactly a dramedy revolving around a standup comedian (like "Curb Your Enthusiasm" ), but rather really is a program about nothing and everything. Nor is it only because he flew out to appear before American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, a generous act by someone who does not believe in war but rather supports the people who risk their lives. Last month, though, he truly became a trailblazer by circumventing normal distribution channels to get a comedy special to the masses. The comedian managed to do this by offering a tape of his three-hour routine at the Beacon Theater in New York for download for $5, vanquishing Internet pirates and media carpetbaggers with one fell swoop. In doing so he set in motion a process that could change the face of television.
The drama and comedy categories this year are full of nominations for new series, even though the fall season has not seen an abundance of good dramas. In recent years the Golden Globes Awards have enjoyed crowning new series and thereby shaking off their outdated image and their tendency to select "Frasier" time after time (though this year they have the opportunity to give the prize to Kelsey Grammer for his roll in "Boss" ).
Doing this, though, exacts a price. Thus it happens that a fine series like "Breaking Bad" is not among the nominees (though its lead actor Bryan Cranston is up for the prize for best actor in a drama ), while "American Horror Story," which is less outstanding, is in the running. Similarly, the always excellent "30 Rock" is never nominated (though Tina Fey is a candidate for the award for best actress in a comedy ), but the annoying "New Girl" is very much present.
"Homeland", inspired by the Israeli show "Hatufim," could benefit from the nomination of "American Horror Story." But it is up against three other relatively new series in the Best TV Drama category, two of them from HBO, "Boardwalk Empire" about the Prohibition era in Atlantic City and "Game of Thrones," a historical fantasy full of surprises, with a loyal army of obsessed fans. Rounding out the category is "Boss."
The big losers at the Golden Globes this year are already the major American broadcast networks, which are hardly represented at all in the nominations, not even for "The Good Wife" (though that wife, Julianna Margulies is on the list for best actress ).
As the list of dramas shows, the cable channels have raked in the nominations for most of the important prizes. It is not surprising that the nominators have ignored "Treme," David Simon's beautiful, musically rich series about New Orleans, the same fate that befell "The Wire." (Although this year Dominic West who played Jimmy McNulty in "The Wire" has been nominated for his role in the wonderful British drama "The Hour." )
It would have been preferable to have seen "Treme" on the list of nominees for best drama rather than "Boardwalk Empire," which would have sufficed with nominations for its actors.
Even if "American Horror Story" made it onto the list as a nod to something new, "Glee," the high school musical series by the same writer, should have been removed from the list of comedies. Instead, that slot that should have gone to "Louie" or the excellent "Community."
Nor are the other nominees sufficiently exciting: "New Girl" with Zooey Deschanel, who has also been nominated, is a series in which she and her blue eyes misbehave with too much effort. "Enlightened," an HBO series starring Laura Dern, with few viewers and little buzz, is fortunately a nominee for both best comedy and best actress.
In many cases the actor and actress nominations make up for the lackluster selection of shows (though it is a pity Steve Carell has not been nominated as the departing boss of "The Office" ), but nevertheless the question must be asked - who is Callie Thorne and what is her role on the series "Necessary Roughness" doing in this category?