Best Actress Comedy or Musical Series

Jan 19, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Best comedy or musical performance by an actress is one of the more democratic categories at this year’s Golden Globes, with nominees reflecting the spectrum of cable and broadcast networks as well as show formats and styles.
Bonnie Hunt of ABC’s “Life With Bonnie” and Debra Messing of NBC’s “Will & Grace” represent the traditional broadcast networks, while Reba McEntire’s nomination for “Reba” givesa nod to The WB, a network usually overlooked by the Emmys. Two-time winner and six-time nominee Sarah Jessica Parker is again on the list for “Sex and the City” from pay-cable network HBO.
Competing with these actresses from half-hour shows are Bitty Schram from the USA basic cable network’s “Monk,” and Alicia Silverstone from NBC’s “Miss Match,” both hour-long series that infuse comedy with more dramatic elements.
It is Ms. Hunt’s second consecutive nomination, and for Ms. Messing it is nomination No. 5, but neither actress has won the award. Ms. Silverstone, Ms. McEntire and Ms. Schram are all first-time nominees in the category.
Ms. Schram called herself “a virgin” in awards shows, and Ms. McEntire, despite countless awards for her country music career, also sees herself as a newcomer. “I’ve been a presenter before, but never a nominee,” she said. “This is amazing.”
“Last year’s show was the first time I had ever been to an awards show,” Ms. Hunt said.
“The recognition is wonderful for the show,” she added. “I wish everyone from the show was nominated, because the way I look at this I’m just so lucky to be working, and I’m never in a scene alone.”
Last year’s winner, Jennifer Aniston of “Friends,” is not nominated this year. Neither is Jane Kaczmarek, who has had three consecutive nominations for her work in “Malcolm in the Middle.” Though Ms. Parker has won twice before, her chances may be good to repeat because of the huge industry anticipation for the last eight episodes of her series, currently running on HBO. Ms. Messing won the Emmy in a comparable category last year, and some might think she deserves further recognition for her depiction of Grace Adler.
Overall, the performers play a variety of disparate roles. Sharona, Ms. Schram’s character on “Monk,” is an assistant to a detective who solves murders with her help-or sometimes despite her help. Ms. McEntire is the head of a dysfunctional Texas family.
It is hard to detect a common thread among these nominees’ roles, other than strength of character. In the case of Ms. Schram, she holds her own against her obsessive-compulsive and demanding boss. Ms. Parker’s character, Carrie Bradshaw on “Sex and the City,” is strong and feminine, not strong but feminine, as similar characters might have been portrayed some years ago.
“I don’t know if there is anything that makes our characters alike,” Ms. Hunt said. “In my case, I think there’s a female character at the top of her intelligence, with a sense of humor. It’s three-dimensional. If anything, maybe that dimension in all the characters is what makes the Globe voters take notice.”