“Orange is the New Black” was riding high on momentum and a Critics’ Choice win for Best Comedy Series on its way into last year’s Emmys, but remained locked in solitary during the main telecast last August, losing all its top races despite winning Comedy Guest Actress (Uzo Aduba), Comedy Casting, and Comedy Picture Editing at the Creative Arts Awards.
But now it has a chance to break out at this year’s Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards for five big reasons:
1. Popularity rules!
Let’s be perfectly honest here: As much as the Globes want you to think they care about the television side of their awards show, they really just care to award what will bring big stars or a popular cast to the stage. Do you really think “Sex and the City” was the Best Comedy on TV three years in a row? Naa. Do you really believe that “Glee’s” first two seasons were better than “Modern Family‘s” first two? Of course not.
SAG is also a popular vote, hence win streaks for the likes of “Modern Family” (Best TV Comedy Ensemble four years in a row), Alec Baldwin (Best Comedy Actor for “30 Rock” seven years in a row), and Tina Fey (Best Comedy Actress for “30 Rock” four times in six years). It’s a popularity contest, folks! And if you look at the line-up of nominees there can be little argument that “Orange” isn’t at the head of the cool kids’ table.
2. It’s still “hip and fresh”
It’s a bit strange to say, but “Orange” still feels like it premiered only a short while ago. Maybe that’s because the series is heading into its third season this year but has yet to snag a major Comedy Series award, or maybe it’s because a platform like Netflix that gives you instant access to these Litchfield inmates is still an exciting thing to have. Regardless, there’s no potential for fatigue to speak of with Crazy Eyes, Red, Piper, and company, as opposed to frequently honored favorites like “Modern Family,” which makes it all the more appealing to reward.
3. Large Ensemble
Even though it’s just SAG that rewards the ensemble, the Globes like to get in on the big group hug as well. “Glee” won both the Globe (2009, 2010) and SAG Award (2009) with its large ensemble. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” won the Globe last year (2014) and raked in a SAG Ensemble nomination this year. “Orange” fits a similar mold.
4. Historic win
The Emmys had their chance to be first to give a top series prize to an online show, but opted to give “Modern Family” a record-tying fifth Comedy Series victory instead. That leaves the door wide open for the Globes and SAG (one or both) to break new ground and watch as everyone else plays catch-up, and we’ve seen in years past how the Globes love to reward shows with lots of fresh buzz.
5. Uzo Aduba.
What does Emmy-winning Crazy Eyes have to do with a Comedy Series win at the Golden Globes or a Comedy Ensemble win from the Screen Actors Guild you ask? Easy. If we look at the past 21 years for each award – which is as long as the SAG Awards have existed – you’ll notice that no comedy has won the big prize without at least having one cast member nominated in an acting category.
Uzo Aduba and Taylor Schilling were both nominated at the Globes this year, which gives the series a strong chance to claim the top prize, but it’s at SAG where Aduba’s nomination is the most important. That a breakout supporting player could land such a coveted spot in the SAG line-up – where lead and supporting actors compete in one category – will likely make the difference between her cast-mates claiming the Ensemble prize or staying in their seats to watch as the cast of “Modern Family” walk up to accept their fifth in a row.
We’re predicting “Orange is the New Black” to take both the Globe for Comedy Series (2/7 odds) and SAG Award for Comedy Ensemble (2/9 odds). Do you agree? Click here to make your predictions for both the Globes and SAG in our prediction center and then go to our always feisty message boards to let us know why the ladies of Litchfield will or won’t prevail.