Move Over, Golden Globes: It’s The 2013 Cincy Awards

Via: Tuned In

In 2009 I invented a new kind of TV award, or perhaps “award.” Like a lot of critics, I always list the best shows of the year, and often the worst. But that inevitably leaves out a certain, often more interesting, group of shows: not mediocre ones, but shows that have ambitions that, for various reasons, they don’t manage to quite meet. I named these awards The Cincies, for HBO’s 2007 drama John from Cincinnati, which was in some ways an inscrutable mess, but had moments of astonishing brilliance. If it was a failure, it was an interesting one, which is often a better thing to be than an unremarkable success. A Cincy can be a commercial failure or a success. It can be a show that tried hard and just failed at greatness, or a show with the potential for greatness if it tried harder. Appearing on this list is not an insult; as I wrote in the awards’ first installment: “The Cincies, to me, represent one of my most important principles as a critic: that consistency and competence are less important than originality and ambition, and that sometimes, failure makes a greater contribution than success. There is too much programming on TV, and too little time in life, to spend that time with just-reliably-OK TV shows. The Cincies remind us that greatness and awfulness have more in common with each other than with adequacy and mediocrity.” On that note, I give you… the 2013 Cincy Awards: The Bridge. Like border towns across a river, there were two shows facing each other in The Bridge’s first season: a decent crime story about a vengeance-minded serial killer, and a breathtaking story about the meeting of rich and poor, Anglo and Mexican. I liked this season, but there’s real greatness here, just a stone’s throw away. Getting On. Cable’s dark comedies (or light dramas) are often good candidates for Cincies, because they try difficult things and often need a while to get their tone right. I didn’t love the first season

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