Mr. Robot fans were deservedly celebrating on Sunday night, as the USA hacker drama won the 2016 Golden Globe Award for ‘Best Television Series – Drama’, and star Christian Slater earned the Globe for ‘Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for Television’. There’s no doubt they deserved them (and you could argue that Rami Malek should have earned the ‘Best Performance by an Actor’ award as well).
Yet USA fans will know that the 2016 Golden Globes were the first major awards won by any of the network’s series since Monk won the last of its eight Emmys (among other trophies) in 2010.
That was the same year Sharon Gless was nominated for an Emmy for her work as Madeline Westen on Burn Notice, but she didn’t win. Patrick J. Adams earned a Screen Actors Guild nomination for the first season of Suits in 2012, but he didn’t win either.
The only major award handed to USA in the last five years has been Ellen Burstyn’s 2013 Emmy victory for Political Animals, which wasn’t a regular series but a miniseries.
Baffling, isn’t it?
Since Monk‘s premiere in 2003, USA has been one of the most consistent networks in turning out quality original series: Psych, Burn Notice, White Collar, Royal Pains, Fairly Legal, Graceland, Suits, Complications and now Mr. Robot. Every one of those shows has had solid writing and at least one great acting performance, usually more than one.
Most of them have had strong fan followings, getting nominated for People’s Choice Awards and winning two (one for Psych in 2014 and one for Matt Bomer of White Collar last year). Most of them have gone on for several seasons, and even the ones that haven’t have been memorable for their short period on the air.
USA shows always seem to get good reviews, and they’ve picked up plenty of smaller awards and nominations over the last 13 years. One example of many is Matt Nix winning a 2008 Edgar Allen Poe Award for the pilot episode of Burn Notice.
But it’s taken until now and Mr. Robot for the big names to truly sit up and take notice.
Seemingly everyone on the planet was raving about Mr. Robot this past year, and it deserved every word of acclaim that it received. It was not only a quality show but one that hit at the exact right time to connect with what was really happening in our world, so no wonder it became one of the buzziest shows of 2015. The Golden Globe wins are just cementing its mega-hit status.
Hopefully, they’ll also make the entertainment community look at USA’s original series a little more seriously when it comes to major awards recognition. It doesn’t make any sense that so many actors and writers have done great work on these shows that people are watching, and yet in most cases can’t even get a nomination.
There are shows where there’s not a weak link in the ensemble (Psych, Burn Notice, White Collar, Suits). Other shows where actors have given breakout performances that have launched their careers (Matt Bomer in White Collar and Patrick J. Adams in Suits). There are shows where veteran actors have taken things to another level (Timothy Omundson in Psych, Jeffrey Donovan in Burn Notice, Tim DeKay in White Collar, half the cast of Suits).
And the writers behind these programs have been so sharp as well, whether it was Nix’s unique voice in Michael Westen’s Burn Notice narrations and the hilarious captions he threw in, Jeff Eastin going from light drama on White Collar to the grittier world of Graceland, or Aaron Korsh tearing down and rebuilding Suits every season.
Not every show has been a success, but there’s a consistency here that most networks don’t possess. USA may not have the high profile of an FX, HBO, or Showtime, but it’s a network that has been home to a lot of fantastic storytelling for awhile now, and deserves to get its due.
It’s too late for most of the above shows, but hopefully this won’t be the last time Mr. Robot picks up a trophy. And from there, maybe we can finally recognize the remarkable writing and acting going on in Suits. The Globes are a start — perhaps now people will realize that USA’s original series can hold their own with anything else on television today.