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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Um, WTF?

So last week, after being pretty proud of the piece I wrote in response to the Golden Globes about comedy awards, I submitted it to The Hairpin. Unlike Jezebel in its heydey (pre-2010), I don't like or read everything that's on the site, but a fair amount of it is pretty great and funny (especially The League Of Ordinary Ladies), and I think my voice could fit in well. Now, I didn't receive any sort of personalized response from them (just a boilerplate "we'll read your stuff and get back to you") and, while it would have been nice to at least hear SOMETHING, I wasn't really expecting for them to publish it because as a writer, you should never, ever expect that. Then last night, as I was catching up on my Hairpin reading, I saw this (posted on the 17th by Jane Marie):

Some people are mad at you because you're not really a comedic actress or something, and okay. But on to the real issue: YOU ARE THE BEST ON ENLIGHTENED and now it is official and not just a rule in my house. Amy, the character you play, is a living nightmare. I said it! Like, you really just want to duct tape her all up. Don't you leave that chair, Amy. And shut up! Don't say what you are about to... I KICK AT MY TELEVISION AND LOOSE A SQUEAL OF RAGE. For a mundane but infuriating example: don't tell your mom all about how you went over to your druggie ex-husband's house in the middle of the night and then get MAD at her, like literally throw a witchy tantrum because you are being personally violated, when she goes "Why?"
My skin crawls at you, Amy. It feels so good. You win, Laura. Incredible. Everyone go watch the whole thing and then let's all send Mike White care packages to keep him happy while he writes us another season.
And I am instantly frustrated. Because the point of my whole post (that the writer somehow both emphasizes and undermines) is that if Laura Dern is so great (and she is, I'm definitely not disputing that), then she should win a dramatic award for her (very obviously) DRAMATIC acting. Arguing that she should win a comedic award simply because she is good just continues this tradition of disrespecting comedy and misunderstanding female comedians.

Let me be very clear: I really love Enlightened, and I've been a Mike White fan since he was a writer on Dawson's Creek. But it is absolutely not a comedy. If the dramatic awards go to dramas, and the comedic awards go to dramas, where does that leave comedy? I continue to be irritated, and not only because Jane Marie flippantly dismissed the well-supported premise of my entire piece with the argument of "But I like her!". This has got to change somehow, and it's not going to unless enough people make some noise. But The Hairpin's noise is, in this case, just another part of the problem.

Boo, sadface. I will console myself with tonight's episode of Parks & Rec.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I feel like Alcatraz should always be pronounced the way that Gob Bluth pronounces Michael's name when he thinks he's escaping to Portugal down ol' South America way: "Michael!"

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dramedy Awards?

I know, it's been FOREVER. And it's not even that I've been doing anything (though I kind of have), but there just hasn't been too much to write about. And now! There's SO MUCH! So let's get to it.

Reading over the Golden Globe winners from last night, I've finally realized why I get crazy annoyed when actors from drama-driven, possibly-slightly-humorous shows win comedy awards. It's not just that these shows shouldn't be considered "comedies" since their main goal isn't humor - I fully think shows like Nurse Jackie, The Big C, Breaking Bad, and Enlightened should be considered dramas, regardless of their running time. And then, sure, if those actors stand up to the actors in the drama category (and they will, since they are all highly regarded actors and those shows are all great), then give them all of those awards. But to give an award for comedic acting to, say, Laura Dern for her role as Amy Jellicoe in Enlightened where she is many, many things - cruel, crazy, introspective, pained, blithe, and lazy being just a few - but is not and is not meant to be particularly funny...that straight-up devalues the art of comedy.