Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The best comedy series on television???

Last Sunday night provided an embarrassment of riches for television watchers. Or at least more than the usual interesting choices for watchers. You had "Downton Abbey," the new HBO show "True Detective," the premiere of the new season of the old HBO show "Girls," and the evening-long Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosted "Golden Globe Awards Show." So, what to watch?

We solved the conundrum at our house by watching HBO and recording "Downton Abbey" and the awards show.

"True Detective" looks interesting and promising. "Girls" was not nearly as irritating as it sometimes is.

We saved "Downton" and watched it yesterday, but we watched the Golden Globes, or at least most of it, Sunday night. Recording awards shows so that you can zip through the commercials and the boring or embarrassing speeches is about the only way I can tolerate watching them. It was fairly entertaining, watched in that way.

I admit that I had not seen many of the movies and TV shows that were up for awards, so, obviously, I can't necessarily judge whether most of the winners were deserving. I had seen "American Hustle" just recently and thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams were both very good in it so I was glad to see that they won in their respective categories and that the movie itself won the best comedy, musical, etc. award.

There were several other awards for shows and actors - at least among those that I had seen - that I thought were well-deserved, but there were a couple that completely flummoxed me and they were for the same show. I'm talking about "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and its star Andy Samberg.

When that show started last fall, I watched the premiere and I thought it had promise. I watched a couple more after that and got more and more annoyed with the show's silliness and with Andy Samberg's character's personality. After that, I knew this show was not for me.

Then, it and its star are nominated for Golden Globe awards!

And they win!

I don't remember who all of Samberg's competition was, but I do remember Jim Parsons of "The Big Bang Theory." Now, Parsons' mantle is already overflowing with awards for his acting in that show, but there is a reason for that. He's brilliant in it. Samberg is not worthy to polish his trophies.

As for the show itself, it was up against "The Big Bang Theory" and "Parks and Recreation," two shows that are well-written, well-acted, and that actually seem to have an idea of what they are doing. It was also up against "Girls," which, yes, can drive me crazy at times, but it, too, is well-written, well-acted, and has an idea. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine's" only idea seems to be to cram as many lame and manic jokes as possible into a half hour time slot. It's really a mystery to me why it won.

The New York Times put forth an interesting theory on that.  Their story on the upset win said that many of the voters apparently voted for the show and the star because they think that it is going to be the next big thing in television and they wanted to get ahead of the curve and be considered prescient. They compared it to "The Office," a quirky show which took a while to find its audience and then went on to greater acclaim and glory.

It could happen, I suppose. But, the best comedy series on television? The best actor in a comedy series on television? No, I don't see it.

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