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The Golden Globes Disservice to TV’s Best Supporting Actor/Actress Categories

carrie-coon-the-leftovers

The Golden Globe nomination were announced today and as one of my favorite award shows, I was anticipating the announcements. The Golden Globes are great because instead of filling the ranks with the same talented actors from a specific group of television shows, this awards show leaves room for new talent. Last year, Andy Samberg won for the freshman comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine with talented actresses Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) and Taylor Schilling (Orange Is the New Black) also receiving nominations. This year, history was made when Gina Rodriguez and Jane The Virgin propelled The CW into the Golden Globe game. Freshmen series Transparent, Silicon Valley and The Affair were also recognized. The only major flaw is the Best Supporting Actor/Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie category.

Grouping the categories together make very little sense. I would maybe understand a division between series and miniseries/TV movie, or a divide of programs using drama and comedy, although neither would be the best outcome. The Golden Globes should have specific categories for drama series, comedy series and then TV Movie/miniseries.

The startling increase in television programs over the last couple years makes this issue even more prevalent. Networks are jumping into the scripted television game more than ever before. For example, Bravo just started airing its first drama Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce. In recent years, adding programs  from Netflix and Amazon has made the competition even more stiff, especially with the emergence of critically acclaimed programs such as House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black and this year’s addition to Amazon’s line up, Transparent. It is great that viewers have more choices and great stories are being told on television, but other things need to change accordingly. has become popular but many viewers keep watching for Falahee’s Connor Walsh; a man with quick comebacks and willing to do anything to get the job done. His crazed flash forwards and sassy scenes in the present were very fun to watch as a viewer. The best thing about Connor is his fierce individuality. He wants to do what he wants and won’t stand for being second in class. Falahee has a certain energy as an actor that always draws the attention to him, which is quite the accomplishment given the show’s extremely talented cast. Connor also has great banter which I’m a sucker for.

The resurgence of the miniseries and limited series makes changing this category a no brainer. Growing up I used to live for the miniseries on broadcast television, but those days have been gone for some time. Premium and cable networks have kept TV movies alive and recently we have seen many miniseries airing on television. FX has American Horror Story and HBO just came into awards season riding the popularity of True Detective. NBC had Rosemary’s Baby and CBS has the upcoming The Dovekeepers. Miniseries are back, which means that more people are being thrown into the ring. Lead actors and actresses have categories of their own, but television trends are diminishing the chances of those in supporting roles.

Considering various mediums means you have to think about the differences between television series and mini or limited series. In a shorter program, such as a TV Movie or a miniseries, the stories are self-contained and do not have the extra requirement of sustaining the story over multiple seasons. The same goes for anthology series such as the aforementioned American Horror Story and True Detective. Sustaining a storyline over numerous seasons also allows for different supporting characters to get their chance to shine.

The extra work it takes for a supporting character to break through is the biggest reason to change the category. As much as series rely on the supporting cast, they are built around the leads. This makes it harder for those in supporting roles to make the splash they need for awards season. Seinfeld had George (Jason Alexander), The Sopranos had Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli), The Wire had Omar (Michael K. Williams) and Buffy The Vampire Slayer had Xander (Nicholas Brendon). Now we have characters like Kalinda Sharma (Archie Panjabi), Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus). The sheer amount of talented actors alone should be enough to get this ridiculous category grouping changed.

What This Year Should Look Like Using the Announced Nominees

Supporting Actress

Drama: Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey) and Four Open Spots

Comedy: Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black), Allison Janney (Mom) and Three Open Spots

TV-Movie or Miniseries: Kathy Bates (American Horror Story: Freak Show), Michelle Monaghan (True Detective) and Three Open Spots

Supporting Actor

Drama: Alan Cumming (The Good Wife), Jon Voight (Ray Donovan) and Three Open Spots

Comedy: Open Category!

TV-Movie or Miniseries: Bill Murray (Olive Kitteridge), Colin Hanks (Fargo), Matt Bomer (The Normal Heart) and Two Open Spots

The Four Biggest Supporting Actor/Actress Snubs

Jack Falahee, How to Get Away with Murder

jack-falahee-how-to-get-away-with-murder

How to Get Away with Murder has become popular but many viewers keep watching for Falahee’s Connor Walsh; a man with quick comebacks and willing to do anything to get the job done. His crazed flash forwards and sassy scenes in the present were very fun to watch as a viewer. The best thing about Connor is his fierce individuality. He wants to do what he wants and won’t stand for being second in class. Falahee has a certain energy as an actor that always draws the attention to him, which is quite the accomplishment given the show’s extremely talented cast. Connor also has great banter which I’m a sucker for.

Mandy Patinkin, Homeland

mandy-patinkin-homeland

The Showtime drama went through a bit of a reboot and Saul benefited from the changes in a major way. Instead of doing everything to support Carrie, whether that meant helping or hurting, he got a storyline of his own. While Saul went through quite the ordeal, Patinkin got do more in a couple of episodes this season than during the past three season combined; a grown man was broken because his life’s work could be ruined and he couldn’t do anything about it. Patinkin portrayed the pain, rage and a myriad of other emotions in an incredible fashion.

Matt Czuchry, The Good Wife

matt-czuchry-the-good-wife

After five seasons, Czuchry’s Cary Agos has a story line of his own. Yes, there was his time in the State’s Attorney’s office, but that had more to do with Alicia and Peter than anything else. The season began with the State’s Attorney coming after Cary to get to drug kingpin Lemond Bishop. The first half of this season shows Cary fighting for his innocence and taking everything being thrown at him — all in the name of a corrupt man who is pursing a criminal. Czuchry earned a spotlight he never had before and it’s great to finally see him get his shot.

Carrie Coon, The Leftovers

carrie-coon-the-leftovers

On a show with a huge scope and very strange characters, Coon’s Nora was the best part. The Leftovers centers on those left behind after a Rapture-like event took a percentage of the population. Nora is a woman who lost her entire family during the event, leaving her alone. She works as a person who verifies lost family members in order for the remaining family to get benefits. Her journey passed through essentially every character on the show unlike any other cast member. Nora’s arc ends in a heartbreaking scene and her overall performance merited a potential Golden Globe win, let alone a nomination.

Others: Melissa McBride (The Walking Dead), Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Bellamy Young (Scandal), Amy Landecker (Transparent), Walton Goggins (Justified), Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones), Timothy Simons (Veep), Christine Baranski (The Good Wife)

In the end, this category harms television because actors and actresses are not getting praised for their incredible work. The Golden Globes is a place where new talent may get the recognition they need and that sentiment should extend to the supporting actor and actress categories. Grouping them up together does not allow for great performances to be highlighted, which is becoming a bigger problem with the increase of television networks having scripted programming and the resurgence of miniseries/ limited series being made by networks. Get with the program, Golden Globes. It’s the only thing you’re doing wrong.

Alamin Yohannes is on Twitter

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