The Bear ate this awards season.
At the 75th Primetime Emmys, the FX-produced Hulu series grabbed gold a total of 10 times — the most of any program — including wins for Best Comedy, lead comedy actor Jeremy Allen White, and supporting players Ayo Edebiri and Ebon Moss-Bachrach.
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Similarly at this month’s Golden Globes, The Bear was named Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy and picked up a trio of comedy acting awards (among other honors). And at the Jan. 14 Critics Choice Awards, it won for Best Comedy and claimed a pair of acting trophies.
Some, though, are quite seriously asking: Should The Bear be competing as a comedy?
Is it a comedy?
Most of The Bear‘s Season 2 episodes ran anywhere from 29 to 40 minutes, though the guest-star studded (and intense) “Fishes” blew past the one hour mark. But it’s that leaner episode length, coupled with the seriocomic banter between restauranteur Carmy and his colleagues, that have delicately supported the “comedy” classification.
“I think the show is true to life, and sometimes it’s funny and sometimes it’s real,” The Bear executive producer Josh Senior told the press after the series won Best Comedy at Monday night’s Emmys. “The show is roughly a half-hour long and that fits in the box of a comedy, but we what we want to do is tell the truth and make people feel things. And if they’re laughing or crying … we can’t control what happens after that. We can just do the best job and tell the best story.”
Ebon Moss-Bachrach — who as “Cousin” Richie won for supporting actor in a comedy at both the Emmys and the Critics Choice Awards (and was also nominated at the Globes) — in turn opined that award show categorizations may need revisiting, given the success enjoyed by downright dramedies such as The Bear.
“Between, like, Succession and BEEF and our show, I feel like these ideas about comedy and drama are a little bit outdated,” Moss-Bachrach said in the Emmys press room.
“We got bunched in, we got into comedy because we’re half-hour,” he continued. But, “We’re all just trying to sort of reflect the mess of being human, which is deeply hilarious and and we’re all suffering.” (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)
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