Why Is 'Mozart In The Jungle' A Comedy At The Golden Globes? The Awards' Rules Can Lead To Confusing Categories


Awards season is officially upon us and it all kicks off with the Golden Globes on Jan. 8, which always have a bit of drama when it comes to classifying nominees. This year's awards are no different, and with the rising popularity of “dramedies,” things can get a bit tricky. For example, last year, there was some debate over why The Martian was in the comedy category for movies. With less questionable movie categorizations this time around, I'm most curious as to why Mozart in The Jungle is nominated as a comedy at the Golden Globes — and not for the first time.

The Amazon series, which revolves around a maestro named Rodrigo, isn't often as funny as it is dramatic. It’s in that gray "dramedy" area where series could actually fall in either category, but are only allowed to go in one. Here’s how the split works. Each year the studio or publicist submitting the show (or movie) decides which category it best fits into. According to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's rule book, when the entry period ends, members will determine if the submission was put in the appropriate category. If there’s a show or movie in question, HFPA members take a vote on where that show or movie belongs.

In this case, Amazon and the HFPA agreed that the series could be classified as a comedy, as they did for the 2016 awards show. It's also worth noting that the full category title is actually Best Television Series — Comedy or Musical, and while Mozart in the Jungle isn't a musical, it is all about a conductor, and therefore, music.

Over the years there have been many shows that, like Mozart in The Jungle, fell somewhere between comedy and drama. Here are a few other TV series that were considered comedies, but could have gone either way at the Golden Globes.

Orange Is The New Black


While there may be some fun, comedic moments in Jenji Kohan's Netflix series, Orange is the New Black is usually dramatic. The show is considered a drama-comedy, so it could have gone either way, but it probably had a better chance of winning a Globe in the comedy category, considering that as a drama, it would have had to go up against shows like Game of Thrones, Mr. Robot, and The Affair.



The Pfeffermans are equal parts funny and dramatic. While I firmly believe this Amazon series belongs in the comedy category, it’s also incredibly serious a lot of the time and surely could've been considered a drama as well.

The Big C


A show about a woman finding out she has cancer and how she deals with that doesn't exactly sound like a comedy. Plus, I’ve never cried harder at a TV show than the moment when Cathy Jamison bought her son birthday presents for every year after she’d be gone — I’m tearing up just remembering it. So suffice it to say that this Golden Globe-nominated "comedy" also would've fit in as a drama.

Nurse Jackie


This is IMDB’s description of Nurse Jackie: “A drug-addicted nurse struggles to find a balance between the demands of her frenetic job at a New York City hospital and an array of personal dramas.” Like The Big C, the basic premise of this series alone is enough to consider it a drama.

Desperate Housewives


There were way too many murders happening on Wisteria Lane for this show to be considered a true comedy, yet it showed up in the comedy category from 2005-2007 and took home Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy twice.

Ally McBeal


Yes, Ally McBeal was often times very funny and deserved to win all the awards it could in the '90s, but even Cage and Fish had some serious drama that makes the classic series another comedy-drama hybrid.



Yes,Weeds was often very funny, but the longer the show went on, the more serious it actually became. There were many intense moments that included terrifying drug deals, murder, and a human trafficking operation.

The line between comedy and drama tends to blur at the Golden Globes, and as a series that walks that line, Mozart in the Jungle is in good company.