Awards aren’t everything. But they’re something. The Golden Globes are always the wild card of award shows. They’re a drunken mess of celebrity self-affirmation, and the winners are generally unpredictable. For example, Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series- Comedy has been all over the place. The last six winners were Tracee Ellis Ross, Rachel Bloom, Gina Rodriguez, Amy Poehler, Lena Dunham and Laura Dern. Meanwhile over at the Emmys for the same award, the last six winners have been … all Julia Louis Dreyfus.
It’s frustrating to see the same shows and people get nominated over and over again (cough Modern Family) because of name recognition. I’m glad the Golden Globes is open to fresh faces and new talent. But even they don’t always get it right. Here are some underappreciated performances from 2017.
Best Supporting Actress
Rosie O’Donnell, SMILF
Rosie O’Donnell is quietly devastating as Tutu on SMILF. Tutu suffers from manic depression, and as Bridge’s mother, is supportive and distant in equal measures. Rosie’s performance feels so natural it’s not surprising that it was overlooked by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association(HFPA) even though Frankie Show and the show were recognized.
Honorable mentions- Yvonne Orji straight killing it as Molly on Insecure; Donna Lynne Champlin as Paula, continues to be a source of delight on Crazy Ex- Girlfriend; Kether Donohue makes me laugh out loud on You’re the Worst; Kerry Bishe shone in season four of Halt & Catch Fire.
Best Supporting Actor
John Rothman, One Mississippi
While Deon Cole’s Charlie on Black-ish continues to be one of the best characters on television, John Rothman delivers an excellent performance as Bill, Tig’s stepfather, on One Mississippi. Bill is described in the pilot as “somewhere between room temperature and sleet” but Rothman brings a warmth to the character that makes you connect to him and understand why Tig tolerates his extremely type-A behavior.
Honorable Mentions: Andre Braugher’s Captain Holt is a revelation on Brooklyn 99; Desmin Borges’s Edgar makes you uncomfortable, feel maternal, and irritated in equal measure on You’re the Worst; Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s Titus Burgess is of course, a force of nature unto himself; Noah Emmerich has been putting in the work every season of The Americans.
Best Actress, Comedy
Kristen Bell, The Good Place
This continues to be the most competitive category in any television award show. I have no qualms with the current slate of Golden Globe nominees but would have probably replaced Alison Brie with Kristen Bell for her impeccable work as Eleanor on The Good Place. Anyone less charming than Bell would have made Eleanor a monster but Bell is a delight to watch weekly.
Honorable Mentions: Sharon Hogan is a joy to watch on Catastrophe; Constance Wu is fabulous and criminally underappreciated in Fresh Off the Boat.
Best Actor Comedy
Randall Park, Fresh off the Boat
I’m shocked perennial favorite Ted Danson didn’t get a nomination for his wonderful work as the demon Michael on The Good Place. But easily the most overlooked performance from the past few years has been Randall Park playing Louis Huang on Fresh off the Boat. Park could easily play Louis as an exasperated husband and father, but instead he infuses the role with a zany weird energy that perfectly complements Constance Wu’s Jessica.
Honorable Mentions: Brandon Michael Hall was the best part of the recently cancelled show The Mayor; Will Arnett is doing some fine voice acting on Bojack Horseman.
As it turns out I didn’t watch almost any drama last year (I wonder why). Everyone should watch Halt and Catch Fire and The Americans. Give Matthew Rhys & Keri Russell their awards already.
Even though I know the nominees are not truly reflective of the great work being done on television right now and even though I’m worried about how host Seth Meyers and presenters will address the sexual harassment allegations and the aftermath #MeToo movement, I still enjoy the pageantry of the evening. So, I’ll be tuning in tonight and will enjoy both my outrage and joy in equal measure. I hope you will too.