If there’s one obvious takeaway from Thursday morning’s Golden Globe nomination announcements, it’s that the Internet has taken over the comedy realm and is now dominating it.
It wasn’t that long ago that we were ruminating over the possibility of tech companies one day ruling the Emmys. We may still be a few years away before that comes to pass, but the Hollywood Foreign Press, with its reputation for quirky and often unexpected choices, seems to have embraced streaming comedy as The Next Big Thing.
Streaming shows made up the majority of shows nominated for best television comedy series, with “Orange is the New Black” (Netflix), “Silicon Valley” (HBO), “Transparent” (Amazon), “Veep” (HBO), “Casual” (Hulu) and “Mozart in the Jungle” (Amazon) all receiving nominations in the category. (Amazon owner Jeff Bezos is also the owner of The Washington Post.)
Naturally, one might think, this would lead to streaming shows dominating the comedy actor and actress categories, too, no?
But there, the results were a little more mixed. See:
Best actor in a TV series, comedy
Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent” (Amazon)
Aziz Ansari, “Master of None” (Netflix)
Rob Lowe, “The Grinder” (Fox)
Will Forte, “Last Man on Earth” (Fox)
Patrick Stewart, “Blunt Talk” (Starz)
Gael García Bernal, “Mozart in the Jungle” (Amazon)
Best actress in a TV series, comedy
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” (HBO)
Gina Rodriguez, “Jane the Virgin” (CW)
Lily Tomlin, “Grace & Frankie” (Netflix)
Jamie Lee Curtis, “Scream Queens” (Fox)
Rachel Bloom, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (CW)
So what does that tell us? The comedies that do really well are benefiting largely from the sum of their parts — certainly this is the case with “Orange is the New Black,” where’s it’s really difficult to identify a single weak spot in the cast. The same goes for the terrific ensemble of “Silicon Valley.” “Transparent,” on the other hand, has really soared thanks to a sensitive and riveting portrayal of Maura Pfefferman from Jeffrey Tambor.
And, because there really is just too much television to keep up with everything without creating a person-sized crater in your couch, it seems we’ve all got some homework, namely catching up on “Casual” and “Mozart in the Jungle.”
This year in atypical Hollywood Foreign Press choices: Rachel Bloom, Patrick Stewart and Lily Tomlin. It’s not that their shows were languishing in obscurity, but sometimes it’s unexpected to see work such as “Blunt Talk” and “Grace and Frankie” break through when they weren’t exactly dominating social-media conversations. It’s worth wondering if Starz in particular will benefit from a higher profile thanks to a new deal that makes it available through Amazon Prime streaming, not just cable subscriptions. Last year, Gina Rodriguez was the breakthrough CW star with a nomination. This year, it’s Bloom, star and co-creator of what has to be the most unexpected show on television right now.
Also worth mentioning: “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” which was one of the streaming comedies that received quite a bit of Emmy nomination love earlier this year, was shut out. Perhaps a bit of a surprise: While Aziz Ansari received an individual nomination for “Master of None,” widely regarded among critics as one of the best shows of the year, the series was shut out of the overall comedy category.