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October 8, 2015

The Golden Globes: Best Television Series - Musical Or Comedy

by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 10th 2008 3:00PM

Pushing DaisiesThe media can spin the death of the sitcom all they want. I'll even give them that the traditional multi-camera format that Lucy and Desi founded does seem to be dying a slow death, but comedy itself is alive and well on television. Ever since Ally McBeal stretched the definition of television comedy by daring to be nominated in comedic categories despite being an hour long "drama" (don't you know that dramas are one hour and comedies 30 minutes; it's the only way to tell the difference), the "sitcom" has morphed into the "comedy."

Almost gone is that multi-camera stage set and the live/canned studio audience. Instead we have shows that are filmed just like their dramatic counterparts that happen to be funny. And all of this year's Globe nominees for best musical or comedy TV series fit into this category (sorry According to Jim, maybe next year). Check 'em out after the jump, along with our picks for who should win!

On a different note, when was the last time there was a "Musical" television series? Okay, I'll give you Viva Laughlin and Cop Rock. But when was the last time there was a good "Musical" television series. Is that even possible? Grease: The Series. You'd have to write a lot of songs to fill up a weekly series. Too bad Scrubs wasn't nominated this year for "My Musical." It'd have to be a shoe-in to win because it fits both sides of the category.

And now ... the nominees for "Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy" are:

30 Rock (NBC)
This series has really come into its own during this strike-shortened second season. The cast is meshing and the characters are really settling into their personalities; even Jane Krakowski has found her place. Rock is one of the craziest shows on television and Alec Baldwin continues to turn in some of the most brilliant comedic acting on television week after week. I still hold his GE commercial bit and the multi-character rant he did during Tracy Jordan's therapy session as series highlights. And, this show made me like Tracy Morgan. His one-trick pony schtick wore very thin for me on SNL, but he owns the Tracy Jordan character and has built a comedically wonderful tandem with the obsessed naif character Kenneth the page.

Californication (SHOWTIME)
David Duchovny is back, but this ain't no Agent Mulder. Showtime continues to blaze bold new scripted territory with Californication. Duchovny does a very good job of playing Hank Moody, a man struggling to re-find himself in love and life. The show plays fast and loose with the sex (hey, it's Showtime baby!), and it's more humorous than laugh-out loud funny, but it's very well done. This is one of those shows that is stretching the definition of a comedy for me as it has more "drama" than a typical comedy does but is still better than a lot of what's out there.

Entourage (HBO)
I have to admit, this nomination reeks to me of a token gesture. It's just one of those shows that's gotten nominated before so hell, just nominate it again. Don't get me wrong, Entourage is still a decent enough show, but it hasn't held up to its own high standards and I think it really slipped this past year. This is one of those awards show traits that bugs me, the tendency to stick to the tired old nominees rather than reach into something new. Jeremy Piven remains brilliant though, and Drama is always fun to watch so I guess it could be worse. They could have nominated Two and a Half Men.

Extras (HBO)
I think I liked Extras better than I liked Gervais and Merchant's The Office. That's not a knock on The Office at all, but rather a statement about the brilliance of this short-lived show. Andy Millman is a brilliant character, and the growth and progression of his ambitions from a nameless extra to a soulless star are nothing short of extraordinary. Gervais is astounding in this role and both of his co-stars equally hilarious in their equally dim-witted roles. Add to this the fact that the overall story progresses, things change and the show knows when to call it quits and you have near television perfection.

Pushing Daisies (ABC)
This is another one of those shows that I wouldn't have called a comedy (we have it listed under Drama here at TV Squad), though I'm not sure what I would call it. It's certainly not "laugh out loud" but more wry and dry. It is, however, very cleverly written, creatively produced, masterfully acted and tons of fun to watch. Everything from the sweetly tragic love between Ned and Chuck to Olive's unrequited crush to Emerson's cold disinterest to the fun narration and flashback sequences come together like the ingredients of a pie (see what I did there?). The amazing thing is that it is essentially a murder mystery procedural, which I generally hate, but the colorful Tim Burton Big Fish storybook feel and the characters themselves have me loving it despite myself.

So who should win? I think it's a tough race, honestly. And while Pushing Daisies is really well done, 30 Rock is by far the funnier show. It is a comedy category, after all. 30 Rock is also really well done, but so completely different from all the other nominees. It's surreal absurdity reminds me more of Airplane or The Naked Gun at times than anything close to the world you and I live in. I think it deserves praise and recognition, but maybe it can wait. I think Entourage is past its prime, and Californication hasn't yet found its peak. Pushing Daisies needs perhaps a little more direction, but it's just getting started and hopefully has several more seasons in it as well.

If we were to just go on what we saw in the last year, I'd say the final season of Extras deserves the award. And not because it was the final season so let's give it a token, but because it managed to be hilariously funny and still make a very valid and real point as well about the entertainment industry and celebrity. Somehow the balance between humor and poignancy was very satisfying. And the bonus big name guest stars every week were awesomely handled, unlike some shows can manage (*cough* Will & Grace *cough*).

So who do you think should take home the prize? If I'm right, you all can buy me a drink. And if you're right ... I'll buy my own drink! Deal?

Who should win the Golden Globe for Best Series - Musical or Comedy
30 Rock164 (46.5%)
Californication29 (8.2%)
Entourage25 (7.1%)
Extras46 (13.0%)
Pushing Daisies89 (25.2%)

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At least a category was chosen for Pushing Daisies unlike the People's Choice Awards where it was up for comedy and drama!

January 10 2008 at 4:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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