“The Bear” is a comedy “White Lotus”, isn’t it? PGA Awards Stir up the Emmy chaos

At the PGA Awards, Christopher Storer’s Hulu comedy and Mike White’s HBO drama helped solidify category nominations for the 2023 Emmy race.

February mayhem is a feeling that’s usually dominated by unforgiving weather, Valentine’s Day jitters, and the typically intense Oscar circuit. But this winter’s awards show has proven critical for some TV shows as it aims to cement its chosen genre’s standing amid controversy over it. really belongs to. Surprise, surprise: Saturday night’s PGA Awards made a big impact as ‘The Bear’ and ‘The White Lotus’ took key wins in the comedy and drama categories.

Yes, “The Bear” is a comedy series — at least that’s how it was labeled during the winter awards cycle, and it’s going to be that way at the 2023 Emmys this summer. The DGA Awards, Critics Choice, Writers’ Guild and more have all honored Christopher Storer’s half-hour original series in comedy categories, and the cast will compete for two SAG Awards Sunday night with the likes of “Abbott Elementary,” “Barry.” ”, “Hacks” and “Only Murders in the Building” – the same series he faced at the PGA Awards.

As award experts know, the success of one guild does not guarantee the success of another. The PGA Awards usually reward runaway success stories, and ‘The Bear’ was a real hit out of the blue. Producers Josh Senior and Tyson Bidner (who were on hand to take the honors) helped turn a show about a Chicago kitchen crew into a frenetic, addictive, genre-bending blast. The FX production has found an audience on Hulu, and with Season 2 expected this summer, there’s no reason to believe the momentum will falter.

But is this a comedy series? That question comes up again every year as boundary-pushing TV shows are forced into one of the three boxes for awards reasons, but “The Bear” may have to deal with it more than most. While the blacker-than-black comedy of “Barry” might seem doable when compared to the heart-pounding pressure of making the best beef in Chicago, Storer’s series has to contend with the joyous climax of “Ted Lasso” and the extreme silliness of “What.” We Do in the Shadows” comes the Emmy vote. (Not to mention “Abbott Elementary” and “Only Murders.”) With so many shows competing that are actually built around laughs, does “The Bear” stick out like a sore thumb or rise above the pack?

There will be similar questions surrounding “The White Lotus” — which won the PGA Award for Drama Series on Saturday night — but they’re unlikely to get in the way of Mike White’s beloved streak. For those who need a reminder: “The White Lotus” competed as a limited series in its first season and did quite well. SAG, PGA, DGA and WGA nominations built on an Emmy run that ended with 10 gold statues. By all accounts, the show’s future was set — but then Jennifer Coolidge returned for Season 2, making her ineligible for an Emmy in the Limited Series categories. (Anthology series accepted, but once voters saw Season 2, they realized Coolidge’s role was prominent enough to create an “ongoing storyline” and were pushed to either comedy or drama.)

So, how did the switch affect Season 2? In short: no. Season 2 of “The White Lotus” won PGA and DGA awards after only being nominated for Season 1, and may even take home SAG and WGA trophies. Voters don’t seem to care where he’s running; they love the show and will support it no matter what label it is. A bit confusing is that some organizations consider it a comedy. The DGA Awards nominated it as a comedy series for both seasons, while the Guild of Music Supervisors and the British Film Editors both nominated the first season in the comedy category.

HBO has already confirmed the series it will run as a drama at the Emmys — where the network is looking to pick up three key nominations for best drama series in “The White Lotus,” “Succession” and “House of the Dragon” — and once again, voters seem open to either direction . black comedy/satirical drama wants to lean. (Also, given their shared “eat the rich” theme, biting wit and HBO’s persuasive campaigns, having “The White Lotus” compete for “succession” could win over any suspicious voters.)

Dramatic “The White Lotus” swept the PGA Limited Series for “The Dropout,” sure to make for a great night at Hulu HQ. We’ll see if the critically acclaimed miniseries Elizabeth Holmes succeeds on Sunday night, when Amanda Seyfried looks to add a SAG Award to her mantle (in addition to her Emmy).

Elsewhere, “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” won a very messy made-for-TV race that included similarly strong entries in “Fire Island” and “Prey” but also nominated that other movie “Pinocchio” — on Disney+ one, not Guillermo del Toro (who had a good night). “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy” won in the non-fiction category ahead of “60 Minutes,” ESPN’s “30 for 30,” “George Carlin’s American Dream” and Amy Poehler’s documentary “Lucy and Desi.” “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls” topped the Game/Competition race, and “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” keeps winning wherever it goes.

We still have nearly four months to find out what this all means for the Emmys, but guild wins are industry wins. They indicate that at least one professional group stands behind these shows and accepts them for what they are. For “The Bear” and “The White Lotus,” victory is a big step toward widespread acceptance—turning chaos into congruence, congruence into conquest.

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