Now that we’ve had a few days to mull over the list of 2014 Golden Globe nominees, we need to have a little talk with the Hollywood Foreign Press.
See, when we look back at some of the best performances of the year, especially on the small screen, we realize that the best acting we saw came from ensemble casts. From the incredible and diverse group of women on Orange Is the New Black to the gigantic, continent-spanning cast of HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones, it’s more clear than ever that awards ceremonies like the Golden Globes are long overdue for a Best Ensemble Cast category.
As amazing as nom-earner Taylor Schilling is on Orange Is the New Black, her success in that role could not have been recognized without supporting performances by the likes of Laura Prepon, Natasha Lyonne, Kate Mulgrew, and Uzo Aduba. GoT’s Peter Dinklage certainly earned his past awards for his role as Tyrion Lannister, but this past season of Game of Thrones was a total team effort. It stings to see no one get recognition for their performances this year.
The same can be said for some of TV’s best comedies. Amy Poehler and Julia Louis-Dreyfus are both incredible as the leads on their ensemble comedies, but can anyone imagine Parks and Recreation without Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) and April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza)? Or Veep without Gary (Tony Hale) and Amy (Anna Chlumsky)? Heck, Julia’s acceptance was one of the most talked about parts of the Emmys, pulled off only because of the impeccable comedic timing of co-stars Anna and Tony.
If the Golden Globes added an ensemble category, they would be in good company. The Screen Actor’s Guild has recognized ensemble casts for comedy and drama series since the first ceremony in 1994. Several more, smaller awarding bodies give kudos to films and television shows whose wholes are much greater than the sum of their parts. But so far, the big ones in the industry — namely the Golden Globes and the Oscars — only honor individual performances.
And it’s a shame. Though there are of course standouts among these group performances, certain tricky dynamics play into an ensemble and deserve praise when they're exceptional, like chemistry and timing and not overshadowing your fellow actors while still turning in an unforgettable performance.
So, wake up, Hollywood. It’s time to start recognizing strength in numbers with a Best Ensemble Cast category. We already have several nominees for your consideration.