OPINION: The Golden Globes had too few categories, and it left me disappointed
No, the Golden Globes weren't all bad. Seeing Ke Huy Quan’s speech for winning Best Supporting Actor moved me to tears. Seeing Michelle Yeoh, "Abbott Elementary" - and the many actors in it - win, I was incredibly joyed to see each person walk up to accept their award.
But that doesn’t mean the awards were all good, either.
When I looked at the nominations before the award ceremony, I was met with confusion and one question: Did the voting board watch these movies and shows? Because from what I saw, they didn’t know what the movie “The Menu“ was or how the HBO show “Barry” morphed into more of a drama rather than a comedy.
I first noticed that Ralph Fiennes, who played the head chef in “The Menu,” was nominated for best actor in a musical or comedy and I had to take a minute to wrap my head around that choice.
In no way is "The Menu" a comedy or musical. Sure, it had some funny moments here and there, but it was, without a doubt, a thriller. Not to spoil anything about this fantastic movie, but Ralph Fiennes’ character is nothing but cold and ruthless towards his evening guests. For the entire length of the film, I was on the edge of my seat, left in suspense and wondering what would happen next.
This isn’t meant to be a review for "The Menu" – even if I heavily recommend it. It’s meant to show just how confusing the choices were in categories and nominations.
Another example of these archaic decisions would be the dark-comedy-turned-drama, "Barry." In its first two seasons, this show walked a thin line between its comedic characters and scenarios of a depressed hitman finding joy in the acting scene of Hollywood, and the melancholy, gut-wrenching moments that made it an instant classic. Its next season dropped in 2022 to much praise, even though the show seems to be evolving into a much heavier drama rather than a dark-comedy.
In fact, the first two seasons had more comedy with peppered-in moments of drama. It appears season three and the upcoming season four will mirror the first half of the series, with more drama and peppered-in moments of comedy.
It seems like the board did not take that tone shift into account, as it is still classified as a comedy first-and-foremost. Bill Hader was nominated for best performance in a comedy television show for his turn as the titular character.
To see the latest rendition of “Barry” sit right next to Steve Martin and Martin Short’s characters in “Only Murders in the Building” is off-putting. This and “The Menu” were large elephants in the room.
And, unfortunately, they weren't the only elephants.
Diego Luna’s titular character in “Andor,” the powerful sci-fi drama set in the galaxy of “Star Wars,” was pitted against – and lost to – T.V. giants like Bob Odenkirk's Saul Goodman and Kevin Costner’s John Dutton. I’m not saying that Luna’s acting doesn’t compare to any other nominated actors – far from it – but big names like Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese blame brands such as Marvel and "Star Wars" for disrupting the quality of movies and, in turn, television shows.
It’s a big deal if someone is even nominated for an award if their character or story is attached to a big-name blockbuster brand, as there is an unspoken stigma against this type of media. In fact, Angela Bassett made history by being the first person to ever win a Golden Globe or any major award for a Marvel movie with her performance "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."
To put it in perspective, Marvel started its long-running universe in 2008. Every movie featured critically-acclaimed stars and, since its beginning, has gotten four of its movies into the top 10 highest grossing movies of all time. On Wednesday night, the saga just got its first major award for acting.
There’s an opinion among many fans, including myself, that these blockbuster brands do not merit quality acting or stories due to their culture of churning out content to make profit. That doesn’t mean some of that content shouldn’t be celebrated!
I think that there should be categories for these brands and actors, alongside a few changes to the Golden Globes’ categories, so we don’t get those confusing moments like with “Barry“ and “The Menu.”
It was a shame to see Luna not get any award for his acting because, for “Star Wars” especially, it was a compelling performance.
It’s not just him. The entire show deserves praise for going against the status quo of its brand. It gives fans a story that’s filled with relatable characters and important examples to really show why the galaxy rebelled against the fascist Galactic Empire. These themes and slow-building pieces built a story that was more magical and empowering than anything “Star Wars“ has put out in the past 20 years.
These creative choices deserve to be celebrated so that leaders of these blockbuster brands know that their routine churning of content usually doesn’t produce quality pieces.
I’m so happy to see Bassett win her acting award -- and honoring Chadwick Boseman in her acceptance speech. I hope that the Golden Globes can share these moments with more Marvel and "Star Wars" actors and actresses when it calls for it.