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First, a rant: This year’s Golden Globe nominations for television were a disaster. No offense to anyone nominated, but the amount of outstanding achievements overlooked this year go far beyond what the industry politely likes to call “snubs.” I May Destroy You, easily the best thing on TV in all of 2020, got zero nominations, and yet Ratched got three? GTFO. No Insecure but Emily in Paris got two nods? Sacré bleu. (Even writers on Emily agree this is a travesty.) True, it was a weird year for entertainment, but did the Hollywood Foreign Press Association just not make the jump from HBO Go to HBO Max or something? Come on.
That said, if there was one title listed amongst the Golden Globe nominees that came as a welcome surprise, it was this: The Mandalorian is up for best drama series. Yes, drama. All that soup-sipping Baby Yoda did in Season 1 got noticed, y’all. Not for nothing, the show does deserve the attention, and considering there’s no Golden Globe for Best Sci-Fi Series or Best Action Series, giving Mando a big confetti day for all the drama he brought to 2020 seems about right. If no statues will go to brilliant genre-defyers like Michaela Coel, the least the HFPA could do is move the needle by recognizing sci-fi. (Also, before you yell at me on Twitter: Yes, I know I May Destroy You is a limited series, so it wouldn’t be in the same category as The Mandalorian. But this is about the principle of the thing.) It won’t make it right, but at least it won’t make it worse.
And now is as good a time as any. Most of the major awards—the Globes, the Oscars, the Emmys—have been slow to celebrate genre television. Like, remarkably slow. Did you know that for all of the various Star Trek series, the franchise has only won Emmys for technical achievements? It’s true. Globes? Forget about it. (I am Patrick Stewart’s acting career and I demand that I be witnessed!) Same goes for the Star Wars franchise and Oscars. Which is to say, a show like The Mandalorian getting a nomination in a major TV category is huge. With so many good contenders missing from the field, The Mandalorian becomes a strong candidate to root for, one neck and neck with Lovecraft Country, which is nominated in the same category.
Look, I know that the trophy is probably going to go to The Crown. Or Ozark. If it goes to Ratched, I’ll eat this website (and be happy for Sarah Paulson, who did her damnedest). And either of those shows would be fine. Whatever. Awards often miss the mark. But you know what? The Mandalorian did something special. It took territory so well-worn it’s practically transparent and found a fun Western-style drama in it. And it gave us a little green dude so GIF-able the internet called him its own. None of these things really speak to the show’s quality, or whether it was the best thing on TV last year, but it’s clear HFPA didn’t give that much consideration, either. Might as well give Mando a trophy—it might change some minds about what heroes can do.
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