Let’s give credit where credit is due.
Candice Bergen will certainly thank one person above all others if she wins the Golden Globe next month for Best Actress in a TV comedy.
She’s started the process already.
Bergen, 72, name-checked a certain commander in chief after earning a nomination Thursday for her rebooted CBS sitcom “Murphy Brown.”
“….it would not have been possible without the help of the President, who not only gave us the impetus for this reboot but provided us with fresh fields to plow daily that [series creator] Diane English and our superb writing staff have cultivated fearlessly and with unique wit,” Bergen said. “He is, truly, the gift that keeps on giving.”
She’s right on more levels than she’d care to admit, though.
Yes, the show came back mainly because CBS figured it could be weaponized against the current commander in chief. Right from the opening promo video, CBS made it crystal clear the show would attack President Trump.
Only most viewers didn’t realize to what extent the show would do so. We’ve seen Trump supporters slammed as vicious souls who savagely beat Frank Fontana (Joe Regalbuto) in a recent episode. Other installments attacked former Trump advisor Steve Bannon and White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Stephen Colbert shows more restraint in his presidential attacks.
What Bergen won’t admit, of course, is the role politics played in her nomination. Bergen is a fine comic actress, a talent displayed during her signature show’s original run and in movies like “Starting Over.”
Now? Critics slammed the reboot in no uncertain terms. Creaky. Musty. Unfunny. And, of course, hopelessly partisan.
Given the wealth of fine comic talent on the small screen, how did Bergen make the cut? It’s all about Trump hatred. Again.
Modern awards shows have never been more political. Now, the winners speak to the product’s progressive appeal as much as the talent on display. That surely helped Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman,” a solid but unspectacular drama that saves its fierce Trump attack for the film’s final moments.
It may also explain why Adam McKay’s “Vice,” which by all press accounts savages Republican figures like former Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush, earned the most Golden Globe nominations, flying past other celebrated films like ”Roma” and “The Favourite.”
It’s not even a secret. Oscar gurus spent the last few weeks worrying how much “Green Book” star Viggo Mortensen’s use of the “n-word” (he said it in full) could derail his Oscar hopes. Did it matter that Mortensen is a reliably progressive fellow with zero evidence of racism in his long career? Or that he used the word in the context of how racism was purely evil during the 1960s?
His superlative performance may not be enough now since his politically incorrect verbiage hit the news cycle.
That’s where today’s awards shows stand. And it’s why Bergen has a fighting chance to win a Golden Globe on Jan. 6, 2019, no matter how few viewers are actually watching her rebooted show.