Golden Globes Preview: Best Actress, Actor Comedy/Musical Series

Jan 10, 2005  •  Post A Comment

By Alan Carter

Special to TelevisionWeek

It’s said that only two things in life are certain: death and taxes. They should have added Sarah Jessica Parker getting a Golden Globe nomination.

The “Sex and the City” star has racked up seven nominations as actress in a musical or comedy and has won four out of the past five years. She would seem to be a lock to walk up to the podium in her Manolo Blahniks again, this being the show’s final year of eligibility, since sentimentality often overtakes voters.

Ms. Parker has lost only twice-to Jenna Elfman (“Dharma & Greg”) in 1999 and to Jennifer Aniston (“Friends”) in 2003. It is unlikely that voters, who clearly appreciate her, wouldn’t honor her again in a sendoff to the work they enjoyed so much.

And in her last season, Ms. Parker and her alter ego Carrie Bradshaw did not disappoint. After watching the character work through her usual romantic entanglements and missteps, “Sex and the City” viewers were left on an emotional high when Carrie found love, finally, with Mr. Big. The critically acclaimed and highly rated series finale won’t hurt her prospects, nor will her first outstanding lead actress Emmy win last September.

But this year Ms. Parker faces one big, daunting obstacle if she expects to take home a fifth actress prize. Make that three daunting obstacles: the actresses from “Desperate Housewives.”

Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher and Felicity Huffman are riding a wave of buzz not seen for a prime-time soap since somebody shot J.R.

The category’s fifth and final nominee, Debra Messing of “Will & Grace,” is another Golden Globe voter favorite. She has been nominated five times without a win to show for it. This past season Grace’s role was lessened to accommodate Ms. Messing’s real-life pregnancy, and conventional wisdom would suggest that Ms. Messing was missing too frequently to be a factor this time around.

The money is on this being a four-woman race.

Ms. Parker beat Ms. Huffman in 2000 when the latter starred on ABC’s acclaimed “Sports Night.” Ms. Huffman’s real-life husband, William H. Macy, is also nominated this year (for actor in a miniseries/ movie), but no one knows how much that might help either spouse in their respective races.

Ms. Hatcher, surprisingly, was never nominated for her solid work on “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” nor was Ms. Cross nominated for playing %FC;ber-psycho Kimberly on “Melrose Place.” First-time nominees historically tend to do very well with Globes voters. That is, if they aren’t up against perennial winners like Sarah Jessica Parker.

All of the housewives, to be sure, had their share of memorable moments. Will voters be able to single one out?

Ms. Cross’ Bree had a crumbling, loveless marriage, a philandering husband (whom she embarrassed at a dinner party by telling her friends he cries after he reaches orgasm) and a character constantly bound by the constraints of her own Martha Stewart-like perfection.

Ms. Hatcher as Susan had romantic missteps combined with pratfalls, not to mention incidents where she got locked outside naked and accidentally burned down a neighbor’s house.

Ms. Huffman’s Lynette, meanwhile, had a near suicidal breakdown after her misbehaving brood of young kids caused her to become a walking bundle of nerves and a pill-stealing addict.

If voters have trouble deciding which of the housewives made them laugh the most, the door would be left open for another win for Ms. Parker or a Ms. Messing surprise.

We’ll find out Jan. 16.