Unraveling the Mystery of The Bear’s Wins at the Emmys 2024
The Bear, the hit FX show about the workings of a Chicago restaurant, made waves at the Emmys 2024 by winning six awards in the comedy categories. However, this raised questions among viewers about whether the show should have been classified as a comedy or a drama. Many argued that the show’s themes of loss, grief, anxiety, identity, and stress made it more of a drama than a comedy.
The Debated Categorization
Viewers, including die-hard Bear fans, took to social media to express their confusion over the show’s categorization. Some argued that The Bear was unjustly rewarded in the comedy categories, as they believed it was primarily a drama with occasional funny moments. Despite the show’s comedic elements in its first season, such as Xanax-spiked kids party and inflatable hot-dog wrestling, the overall tone and themes of the series leaned more towards drama.
Comparisons to Succession
Interestingly, the award-winning drama series Succession had more laugh-out-loud moments than The Bear, leading to comparisons between the two shows’ categorizations. Succession has been jokingly referred to as “not an American drama, but a British comedy” by Vanity Fair. The debates surrounding these categorizations highlight the blurred lines between comedy and drama in modern television.
Strategic Genre Placement
Some theorize that The Bear’s producers strategically positioned the show as a comedy to increase its chances of success in the less crowded comedy categories. By highlighting the show’s dramatic edge, The Bear stood out among its competitors. This genre placement tactic seemed to have worked, considering the show’s multiple wins at the Emmys.
The Blurring Divisions
The divisions between comedy and drama categorizations at the Emmys have become increasingly tenuous. In 2015, the Television Academy categorized shows based on their running time, with anything under 30 minutes considered a comedy and anything longer classified as a drama. However, in 2021, the Academy allowed shows to position themselves in whichever genre they saw fit, disregarding running time. This change further complicates the categorization process and raises questions about the necessity of these divisions.
Impact on Traditional Comedies
The Bear’s controversial categorization raises concerns about the recognition of more traditional comedies at the Emmys. Shows like Abbott Elementary, Ted Lasso, and Jury Duty, which are known for their comedic elements, lost out to The Bear. This situation prompts discussions about how comedy is viewed and appreciated, as the genre has evolved over the years. With the rise of cringe-comedy mockumentaries and surreal series, the out-and-out comedy with clearly-written jokes and laugh-out-loud moments might be losing its prominence.
Reflecting the Mess of Being Human
In response to the debates, actor Ebon Moss-Bachrach, who stars in The Bear, expressed his belief that the ideas of comedy and drama are outdated. He emphasized that all shows are ultimately trying to reflect the messy and hilarious aspects of being human. According to Moss-Bachrach, “we’re all just trying to reflect the mess of being human, which is deeply hilarious, and we’re all suffering.”
The Bear’s wins at the Emmys 2024 have stirred discussions about the blurry lines between comedy and drama and the impact on traditional comedies. The strategic genre placement of The Bear and the evolving categorization rules at the Emmys highlight the subjective nature of comedy and the need for a reassessment of these divisions. As television continues to evolve, recognizing and appreciating different forms of comedy becomes crucial.