It’s been a hot week in Hollywood for two former students at UC Santa Cruz.
Last night, former "Saturday Night Live" cast member — and now TV star — Andy Samberg picked up a 2014 Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a TV Series Comedy for his new show, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."
Samberg spent his first two years of college at UC Santa Cruz in 1996-98, during which he worked as a ticket-taker at the old Del Mar movie theater in downtown Santa Cruz.
In a surprise win, Samberg bested fellow nominees Michael J. Fox, Jason Bateman, Jim Parsons and Don Cheadle for the award.
He was honored for his role as Jake Peralta, a quirky detective who has to get it together when a new captain is put in charge of a precinct of eccentric cops.
The freshman show on Fox also received the award for Best Comedy series, beating out "Girls," "Modern Family," "Parks and Recreation" and "The Big Bang Theory."
It was, oddly, a family affair.
Televised nationally, the Golden Globes Award Ceremony was hosted by SNL’s Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. And his best actor award was presented by Samberg’s former SNL colleague, Seth Meyers.
“Oh no, I didn’t prepare anything. This wasn’t gonna happen…who knew?” said Samberg with either real or mock surprise — it’s sometimes hard to tell — in his brief acceptance speech. “Thanks to Fox and Kevin Reilly and Universal. And, you know, the guys that came up with the show…”
But that’s not all that went on last night.
It also happened to be the premiere of one of the most highly anticipated television shows of the new year. That would be "True Detective" on HBO — directed by UC Santa Cruz alumnus Cary Fukunaga — and starring Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey (who also picked up a Golden Globe last night for best actor in a drama for "Dallas Buyers Club").
Fukunaga, who graduated from UCSC in 1999 with a B.A. in history, first gained notice when he received the best "Directing, U.S. Drama" award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival for his debut feature film "Sin Nombre."
He wrote and directed "Sin Nombre," based on his own firsthand experiences with Central American immigrants seeking a better life in the U.S.
Two years later, he followed that auspicious beginning with "Jane Eyre," Fukunaga’s own take on the classic 1847 novel by Charlotte Bronte. That film featured Australian actress Mia Wasikowska (Tim Burton’s "Alice in Wonderland," "The Kids Are Alright") and Irish actor Michael Fassbender (Quentin Tarantino’s "Inglourious Basterds," HBO’s "Band of Brothers").
Now he’s back with the HBO anthology "True Detective," which the San Francisco Chronicle three days ago raved “takes an early lead as the best show of 2014.”