Somewhere, Jake Peralta is thankful he wore a tie.
On Sunday night, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” shocked many awards pundits by winning two Golden Globes — Best TV Comedy Series and Best TV Comedy Actor for Andy Samberg — giving it a bigger career haul than the likes of “Modern Family” (1 Globe), “The Office” (1), “The Big Bang Theory” (1), “Parks and Recreation” (1), “Veep” (0) and “Will & Grace” (0).
How did Fox’s freshman laffer pull off these double jaw-droppers?
The answer is surprisingly simple. Put a shiny new toy in front of the faces of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. voters, and they just can’t help but play with it. This year’s comedy line-up was full of older shows, some well past their prime, making “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” the only fresh choice in the mix.
Its series competitors were seven-year-old “The Big Bang Theory,” six-year-old “Parks and Recreation,” five-year-old “Modern Family” and two-year-old “Girls.” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” was the youngest of the comedy crop, which just proved too irresistible for Globes voters. (Last year’s winner “Girls” was also a freshman show when it prevailed for the top prize.)
Samberg’s fellow acting nominees all fell into a similar trap. They were old news! There’s four-time winner Michael J. Fox (“Family Ties,” “Spin City”) and three other guys who’d already won Globes for their shows: Don Cheadle (“House of Lies“), Jason Bateman (“Arrested Development“) and Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”).
As Gold Derby Editor Matt Noble pointed out two weeks ago, “In the last 12 years, [Best TV Comedy Actor] has gone to a first-time nominee 10 times, including the last three in a row.” Now with Samberg’s success, that number jumps to 11 freshmen winners over 13 years in this category.
Critically speaking, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” received generally favorable reviews for the first half of its season, but it’s far from the second coming as it only has a Metacritic score of 70.
And then there are the ratings. With just under four million viewers, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is among the lowest-rated shows on television. In fact, ratings are so dismal that Fox hasn’t even announced a second season of the show yet… though we’re assuming that announcement just got a whole lot easier for Fox execs.
Critics and ratings aside, the show’s hip, youthful energy was enough to sway Globes voters over to its side. It was the hottest show in its category, just like the winner of Best TV Drama Series “Breaking Bad.” Even though “Breaking Bad” is an elderly show by HFPA standards, its media impact was bigger than ever and made a win feel justified.
The HFPA has a rich history of being the first outlet to recognize new stars and shows and put them on the awards map (i.e. “Homeland“), so “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and Andy Samberg will now surely receive Emmy nominations later this year. Don’t count out co-star Andre Braugher either, who will likely enter the Comedy Supporting Actor race so as not to spoil Samberg’s chances.
The only lagging question is whether or not the Globes themselves will still enjoy the show next year, or whether they’ll move on to whatever happens to be the next shiny new show of the moment.
Below, watch a video from the Golden Globes press room where the “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” producers discuss a possible Season Two pick-up from Fox President Kevin Reilly and joke, “It would be a pretty ballin’ move if he would cancel us tonight.”