The Golden Globes: Best Actress - Musical or Comedy
It's a shame that the Golden Globes ceremony was cancelled in a year when so many talented comedic actresses received nominations. For the first time since 2004, the category of Best Actress in a Television Musical or Comedy includes none of the Desperate Housewives cast. The housewives have dominated the category over the past few years, and their absence has made room for some fresh faces in 2008.
I couldn't be happier that this category looks more competitive than ever. The fact that I had so much trouble predicting a winner is a very good sign. I'm also pleased that each nominee represents a different style of comedy--and there's not a cranky suburban wife or over-the-top diva to be found. The five characters that these ladies play are likeable, genuine, and hilarious.
Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?
Christina Applegate has the advantage of playing two characters in one with the role of Samantha Newly. In flashbacks, she gets to play Bad/pre-accident Sam, a vicious woman who cheats on her boyfriend. The other aspect of the character, Good/present-day Sam, is slowly recovering from amnesia and realizing that she might not want to get back to her old self. This is Applegate's second nomination in this category (her first was for the sitcom Jesse), so obviously the HFPA likes her. The combination of her fantastic comedic timing and the show's popularity could make her a winner.
America Ferrera, Ugly Betty
Ferrera won the Golden Globe last year, and was on an awards show roll in 2007. You could argue that every streak has to end, but Ugly Betty's sophomore season has been consistently top-notch. The actress left behind the wide-eyed innocence of Season One's Betty Suarez without losing any of the character's heart and sweetness. Plus, anyone who can steal scenes from Vanessa Williams (as the fabulously evil Wilhelmina Slater) deserves serious praise. If she can hold off the newcomers, America Ferrera could keep the title of Funniest Woman on TV.
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
It's hard to believe that Tina Fey wasn't even nominated for this award last year. Fey is absolutely charming as hard-working everywoman Liz Lemon. There's no denying that Alec Baldwin gets some of the funniest lines on the show, but Fey holds her own in every scene. She has great chemistry with all of her co-stars, and her wit and sarcasm are second to none. Here's hoping that the HFPA's love for all things Donaghy doesn't make them overlook ol' Liz Lemon.
Anna Friel, Pushing Daisies
Anna Friel is definitely the underdog in this category. The nature of her character could put her at a disadvantage against the other nominees. Pushing Daisies is a difficult show to label--not quite comedy, not quite drama--because it exists in its own amazing world. I agree that Friel deserves recognition for her work as Charlotte "Chuck" Charles, but she isn't a typical comedic lead. She is, however, extremely adorable and engaging (particularly in her scenes with co-star Lee Pace). Friel is also a significant part of what make the Daisies universe work. Could she pull an upset?
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds
Parker won the award in 2006 and is still going strong as pot dealer Nancy Botwin. This season of Weeds brought us a more frazzled Nancy Botwin, and Mary-Louise Parker brilliantly depicted her character's breakdown without hamming it up. The actress has one of the most expressive faces on television, making me wonder why so many leading ladies go the Botox route. More than any of the other nominees, Parker is willing to take risks with her character. The woman is game for anything, from doing a brick dance on a pool table to riding a Segway. Perhaps she'll steal the award back from America Ferrera!
Erin's pick: Tina Fey (but it was a difficult choice)
|Christina Applegate||52 (13.5%)|
|America Ferrera||53 (13.8%)|
|Tina Fey||193 (50.3%)|
|Anna Friel||30 (7.8%)|
|Mary-Louise Parker||56 (14.6%)|