GOLDEN GIRLS – PART II

*** EXCITING NEWS COMING UP FROM LADY PARTS. LOOK OUT FOR AN ANNOUNCEMENT ON NEW YEAR’S DAY***

Last week we discussed the Golden Globes’ drama categories and the all-in-one supporting actress category. This week, let’s look at the other two major categories: comedy/musical and miniseries/TV movie.

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These two fields show most obviously how tricky categorizing television has become. Never mind that Netflix and Amazon have been competing in these television categories even though they are not, technically, television. Is “Orange is the New Black” really a comedy? Is “American Horror Story” a miniseries all the way into its fourth season?

I’ll admit, I am not a big comedy viewer. It’s not because I don’t like comedy, but because as they say, “dying is easy; making a good scripted comedy show that doesn’t stoop to poop and fart jokes is hard.” Truly smart and original comedies like “Modern Family” are a rarity on television (which is why, even though it’s in its sixth season, “Family” should have still been nominated, both for best series and for best supporting actors).

Nevertheless, in the Best Series, Comedy or Musical, the nominees are: “Girls,” “Jane the Virgin,” “Orange is the New Black,” Silicon Valley,” and “Transparent.”

My prediction and choice: Even though I could easily give “Orange” the award that it was not nominated for last year, timing is everything, as we know, and this year is the year of “Transparent.” This is one of the best and most original shows we’ve seen in a long time. Its tenderness and insight into the human condition, combined with the appeal of the family bonds we all yearn for (no matter how messy that family is) is just irresistible.

I do not watch any of the other three shows, but for good reasons. “Silicon Valley” needs to take some massive dosages of estrogen supplements to treat its severe female deficiency before I even bother to check it out. “Girls,” albeit a show about, well, girls, depicts the lives of four of the least relatable female characters on television. And I tried watching “Jane the Virgin” but turned off the TV set halfway into the “previously on…” catch up. I used to love telenovelas, but I just couldn’t get into this offbeat parody.

But no matter who wins, one thing about this category seems certain: Girls rule comedy!

Four out of the five nominees are female-driven shows. “Girls,” “Orange” and “Transparent” are ensemble shows, with practically all-women casts, and “Jane the Virgin” is a female-centric show. All four of these shows were created and are run by women. “Silicon Valley” is the single testosterone-packed show, both in front of and behind the camera, but it appears to be the least likely winner.

When we get to the Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical Series, the choice isn’t as simple. The nominees are: Lena Dunham (“Girls”), Edie Falco (“Nurse Jackie”), Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”), and Taylor Schilling (“Orange is the New Black”).

My prediction: This category is not easy to predict. It could go to Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who is one of the best female comedians we have. If we go with the complete wild card, which the Globes sometimes likes to pull, then it could be Gina Rodriguez. Or maybe the Hollywood Foreign Press will decide to give the award to Lena Dunham, who is retiring from acting on the show. It’s a real toss up. If I had to bet, I would say Taylor Schilling has the best chance because she would now be winning for two seasons, since she didn’t win last year.

My choice: Both Edie Falco and Julia Louis-Dreyfus haven’t won for their current shows yet. Both shows are excellent, and both actresses are superb. I would be happy if either of them finally took the award for all those years of outstanding work, doing comedy, drama, satire and social criticism on two very good shows.

But I would have really liked to see Lisa Kudrow and “The Comeback” in these two categories. I would have still liked “Transparent” to win, but “The Comeback” could have easily replaced one of the other nominees; and Lisa Kudrow could have won the best actress category easily. Not only is she the brains behind the show, not only has she staged one of the best comebacks on television, but also, her Valerie Cherish is one of the most nuanced and intelligent characters in comedy. Kudrow manages to be heartbreaking, cringe-worthy and hilarious at the same time, and that is a difficult combination to pull off!

Moving on to the Best Miniseries/TV Movie category, we are in for some hard choices. The nominees are: “Fargo,” “The Missing,” “True Detective,” “The Normal Heart,” and “Olive Kitteridge.”

My prediction: Ugh, this is where I ask, why did I get myself into the business of prophesying? “True Detective” has been in the forefront to win the entire year, but then, some stiff competition arose just in the nick of time to be nominated and better remembered. “The Missing” is a nail-biting, heart-crushing show that is absolutely worthy of the award. “The Normal Heart” is an outstanding achievement, worthy of the twenty years it’s taken to put Larry Kramer’s very important and powerful play on film. “Olive Kitteridge” is an exceptional depiction of the oft-mishandled subject matter of living with mental illness and it features some of the best acting on television this year (and is actually a true miniseries, limited to one season). And “Fargo,” though I personally have not watched it, is touted as an excellent show.

My bet will have to be on “Olive Kitteridge,” for no other reason than a hunch, since truly it could be any of these nominees.

My choice: Again, this is almost an impossible choice. But as much as I loved “Olive Kitteridge” and “The Normal Heart” and would be thrilled to see them win, I would have to choose “The Missing.” Even though I think the show is a little too long, the only reason I feel that way is because I watch it in unbearable agony. The fact that the show is so charged with anxiety and so forceful in its quiet desperation, yet isn’t antagonizing in its agonizing, is a masterful achievement. And despite reviews dissing the “loss of a child” subject matter as an easy emotional manipulator, this show is not just about the kidnapping. It is about corruption and relationships and the human psyche and how it bends and twists to avoid breaking altogether. Simply sublime.

Finally, we’ve arrived at one of the most competitive categories this year: Best actress in a miniseries/TV movie. The nominees are: Maggie Gyllenhaal (“The Honourable Woman”), Jessica Lange (“American Horror Story: Freak Show”), Frances McDormand (“Olive Kitteridge”), Frances O’Connor (“The Missing”), and Allison Tolman (“Fargo”).

My prediction: I feel strongly that Frances McDormand will win. Her performance as the depressed but fascinating Olive was spectacular, and a win for her would go great with a win for the series.

My choice: I would love to give a four-way tie to Gyllenhaal, Lange, McDormand and O’Connor (since I don’t watch “Fargo,” I am not familiar with Tolman’s performance). O’Connor is heartbreaking in “The Missing,” and, even though I haven’t watched “Freak Show,” Jessica Lange has been mind-blowingly good on all the previous seasons, so why should anything be different now?

But my number one this year has to be Maggie Gyllenhaal. I never even particularly liked her and had considered her a light-weight actress until I saw her in “The Honourable Woman.” In this superlative show, she is completely transformed into the sophisticated, layered, intriguing Nessa Stein. It is a crime is that the show was not nominated for best miniseries. Not only should it have been nominated, it should have won.

So now, all that is left is to wait for January 11th, when I personally will be glued to the screen for one of my favorite nights of the year. And you will be sure to hear from me after!

LADY TIDBITS:

BRAVO OF THE WEEK:

Bravo to “Bravo” on a great first foray into the land of originally scripted shows. “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce” is a fun, spunky, well-written show with a strong friendship between three women at its core and, most importantly, Lisa Edelstein as its lead actress.

The show offers a new look at relationships, marriage and divorce, daring to look at things that television more often prefers to steer clear of. The women struggle with the postmodern trap of striving to proudly be an empowered and independent woman and look for a truly equal partnership while performing as mothers and businesswomen, and being constantly judged for the way they juggle all these roles. To top it off, the show is a champion for equality, featuring a gay male marriage storyline that is getting equal treatment with the rest of the struggling marriages on the show.

We have only seen four episodes so far, but I can already determine that the show is headed in directions that I like. Two thumbs up!

BE RIGHT BACK:

“Lady Parts” is going on a short hiatus and will return mid-January in a new format. Make sure to check out the special announcement on NEW YEAR’S DAY to find out what’s in store for 2015!

“LADY PARTS” WISHES YOU A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY SEASON AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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