I don’t know what quality about the Hollywood Foreign Press makes them so wacky in so many well-documented ways, yet also allows them to consistently reward otherwise-overlooked or out there television. They love My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. They love Jane The Virgin. They loved The Affair before anyone else was watching. I seem to remember them loving Ugly Betty. Need I go on?
Maybe, especially in the Comedy or Musical categories, they see themselves as outsiders and so feel well-reflected in these shows? Look at the nominees for Best Actress in a Comedy – Pamela Adlon, Issa Rae, Frankie Shaw, Alison Brie, and Rachel Brosnahan who won for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, about a woman in the 50s who embarks on a standup comedy career.
None of those actresses are on shows any of your non-pop-culture-vulture friends have even heard of! Even for non-network shows, they are pretty deep cuts. But not only does the Golden Globes notice them… they get it right.
It’s impossible to talk about Rachel Brosnahan who plays The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - or Midge, when she’s at home - without talking about the show itself. Even though she’s not a newcomer as many who have won the award have been, it’s the first time she’s been a headliner like this – something that had to happen for the show to work. Brosnahan was on House of Cards for some time and had worked a bit, but this show needed a breakout star to go with its fictional breakout star, and it worked.
Such is the genius of Amy Sherman-Palladino.
The woman who strode up onstage in a wacky hat and what can only be described as a ‘Tiffany’ –as in the pop singer – party dress is the woman who created Gilmore Girls and Mrs. Maisel, and she knows what you think of the shows she writes that you haven’t seen. She likes that you formed an opinion about her as soon as you saw her. She likes writing about slightly prickly forces of nature, and her lead characters are those too – Mrs. Maisel becomes Mrs. Maisel one night when she lets her true self out of the bag after a little too much wine. She doesn’t evolve into herself, nor is she an onion with layers to unwrap, she bursts onscreen like a fully-formed revelation of a complicated woman.
If I were reading this and hadn’t seen the show, and if I were looking at ASP (in what is, if you go by a Google Image search, basically her everyday wear) I’d be worried that Midge was a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. That this was a story about winsome-ing your way through the world of comedy. But so far it’s just satisfying and adult and, like everything we seem to watch these days, uncomfortably close to home even when it’s not supposed to be.
Watch a show about a woman who’s constantly underestimated created by a woman who’s constantly underestimated, and then tell me if it doesn’t resonate with everything we’ve been talking about all night, and all year, and, as Oprah reminded us, all our lives.