Is it just me or did the Golden Globes feel like a little bit of an afterthought this year?
Coming so quickly after the holidays, as most of America is still spending its evenings waddling around the living room, trying to work up the will to finally take down the wilting Christmas decorations, and combined with the various horrific things that seem to be happening around the world (observe the “Je suis Charlie” button affixed last night to the white satin clutch of the terrifyingly gorgeous Amal Clooney), an event which normally is a highlight of the pop cultural year (Tina and Amy! Drunk celebrities! The first red carpet of the season!) seemed to slip just under our collective radar. I normally watch these things with the kind of attention one might reserve for, say, one’s own trial for first-degree murder, but even I nodded off somewhere around the point where Kevin Spacey was inexplicably name-dropping Stanley Kramer for the eleventh time, waking up just in time to see my DVR cut off as soon as Meryl Streep was announced to present the award for Best Drama.
And you know what? It was a real shame. Because this Golden Globes may ultimately go down as one of the most artist-friendly in history, where basically everyone that won genuinely deserved it. Julianne Moore and Amy Adams! Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel! I’m not a huge fan of The Affair, mostly for reasons that have to do with my own stubborn refusal to accept that anyone who owns beachfront property in Montauk (even inherited beachfront property in Montauk) could really have been too poor to attend medical school, but I can appreciate the writing and acting, and the fact that it’s at least an unusual choice to win “Best TV Drama.” (We can talk about fellow winner Ruth Wilson’s American accent later.)
But the biggest surprise of the night (for me, at least) was one that was richly and undoubtedly deserved: Amazon’s Transparent won for Best TV Comedy. A witty, touching, deeply moving show about a very Jewish Los Angeles family coming to terms with their transgender parent’s transition, the win can be properly seen as a victory for new media, for non-traditional families, for those who don’t conform to the mainstream gender binary, for ethnicity. And series creator Jill Soloway, accepting the award in a funky patterned pantsuit and crepe-soled Teddy Boy creepers (i.e. the kind of thing Lena Dunham would wear, if I was her stylist) was the freshest, most original, and most gracious winner of the night (her tribute to her own “moppa,” the transgender parent who is the inspiration for Jeffrey Tambor’s character, was the only moment of the night that made me tear up). Here’s to gutsy auteurs like Soloway, and here’s to awards shows that do the unthinkable—actually make you want to watch the things that are winning the awards.
Previous: ‘Transparent’ is the Most Jewish TV Show in a While—and it’s Great
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Rachel Shukert is the author of the memoirs Have You No Shame? and Everything Is Going To Be Great,and the novel Starstruck. She is the creator of the Netflix show The Baby-Sitters Club, and a writer on such series as GLOW and Supergirl. Her Twitter feed is @rachelshukert.