“Ted Lasso” is the frontrunner to win the Golden Globe Award for Best TV Comedy/Musical Actor with Jason Sudeikis‘s leading performance, but do not underestimate the show in the Best Comedy/Musical Series race, where it sits in second place. The new sitcom from Apple TV+ retroactively was the most critically acclaimed comedy of 2020. Production delays on awards stalwarts like “Atlanta,” “Barry” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” give it a clear path to Emmy glory, and the Globes now have the chance to give “Ted Lasso” its first televised trophy.
“Schitt’s Creek” is understandably the frontrunner as its five nominations make it the most nominated comedy since “Glee” a decade ago. It’s is also coming off of the biggest Emmy sweep by a comedy in history, but that hurts its chances as much as it helps the show. As the Globes had never even nominated “Schitt’s Creek” before last week, they would be doubling down on admitting that the Emmys had beaten them to the punch in proclaiming this as one of television’s greats.
The Globes do not like to play catchup. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association would rather anoint the next big thing than admit that it had made an oversight. Only twice in the last decade have the Globes rubber-stamped the Emmy winner for Best Comedy Series (“Fleabag” last year and “Modern Family” nine years ago); the same is true for Best Drama Series (“The Handmaid’s Tale” three years ago and “Breaking Bad” seven years ago).
“Game of Thrones” won Best Drama Series a record-tying four times at the Emmys, but the Globes never gave it their top award. “Veep” won the Emmy for Best Comedy Series three times and its star Julia Louis-Dreyfus won Best Comedy Actress a record six consecutive years, but the Globes never awarded “Veep” in any category. After “Game of Thrones” won the Emmy for its final season, the Globes had one last chance to pay their respects, but they anointed “Succession” in Best Drama Series and Best Drama Actor instead; it went on to win those Emmys months later. The last year that “Veep” won, the Globes had the same opportunity. They passed it over to anoint “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” in Best Comedy/Musical Series and Best TV Comedy/Musical Actress, also months before it won those same Emmys.
The Globes could award “Schitt’s Creek,” but what statement would they be making? In terms of content and tone, “Schitt’s Creek” and “Ted Lasso” tread similar ground as ensemble pieces about choosing kindness in contemporary international settings. The difference is that one is on its way out the door and the other is making its entrance.
When the Globes go back to award something that they had overlooked, the competition allows it. They awarded “Fleabag” last year over “The Kominsky Method” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” two shows that they had already awarded. The other nominees were “Barry” (ineligible at the next Emmys) and “The Politician” (snubbed at the next Emmys in all major categories). They awarded “Modern Family” over an entire lineup that would be snubbed in the Best Comedy Series category at the following Emmys.
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The Globes awarded “The Handmaid’s Tale” over “The Crown” (awarded the previous year), “Game of Thrones” (already a two-time Emmy winner for Best Drama Series) and two shows that would fail to win a major Emmy at the next ceremony: “Stranger Things” and “This is Us.” With “Breaking Bad,” the Globes were both behind and ahead of the curve. The show was coming off of an Emmy series win when it won at the Golden Globes, but for its previous season. The Globes actually kicked off the victory tour for its final episodes, as they competed at the Globes before the Emmys. The Globes awarded those final episodes of “Breaking Bad” over a lineup that it would also trounce at the Emmys.
With hindsight for the above four cases, the Globes actually minimized their embarrassment by rubber-stamping the Emmy winner. They did not have an alternative like “Ted Lasso” that is assumed to be bound for Emmy domination. (“Ted Lasso” is the only new comedy in contention for this year’s Emmys that is nominated in the main comedy categories at both the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Writers Guild Awards, both of which share voters with the Emmys, unlike the Globes.)
An easy knock against the Globe chances of “Ted Lasso” is the snub of supporting actress Hannah Waddingham, who is nominated at the Critics Choice Awards. A Globe nomination admittedly would have helped the show’s case, but her snub does not hurt it. The Globes anointed “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” three years ago, “Atlanta” four years ago, “Mozart in the Jungle” five years ago, “Transparent” six years ago, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” seven years ago and “Girls” eight years the same way. Each won Best Comedy Series and the single lead category in which it was nominated; none of these had supporting performances nominated, so “Ted Lasso” is right on track.
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