Deggans heads west to cover Golden Globes and TV Critics Tour
Given the awful news clogging the headlines these days, it might seem a bit jarring to spend a week in Los Angeles working the Golden Globes red carpet and schmoozing TV executives.
But the nation's television and entertainment industry has never been in greater disarray. Networks like NBC are looking more like cable channels, even as cable channels like TNT are loading up on new scripted series like an old-school broadcast network. And celebrities famous for being famous often seem more acclaimed than some of the industry's most skilled performers.
So that's my justification for heading west for a week starting Saturday to give dispatches from the TV Critics Association's winter press tour. On Sunday, for example, I'll be ringside for a show business milestone: the first star-studded, super-glitzy Golden Globes awards show in two years.
Turned into an off-balance press conference last year by the Hollywood writers strike, the Globes show gets worldwide press for two things I’ve never felt were true: that it's the show where stars let their hair down (never on an event televised worldwide) and that the Globes are a good forecast for Oscar gold.
What is true: the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s nominees for TV awards are often a better barometer of Emmy success than any Academy Award prediction -- excepting their understandable love affair with British actors and made-for-TV movies.
With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the stars who should stand in the winners circle when the 67th Annual Golden Globes awards air at 8 p.m. Sunday on WFLA-Ch. 8:
Best TV drama
Nominees: Dexter (Showtime); House (Fox); In Treatment (HBO); Mad Men (AMC); True Blood (HBO).
Should win: Mad Men. For the most elaborate fable about a distant dad I’ve ever seen.
Will win: In Treatment. The Globes love a sexy HBO series starring a European; Irish hunk Gabriel Byrne will seal the deal.
Best actress, TV drama
Nominees: Sally Field (Brothers & Sisters); Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU); January Jones (Mad Men); Anna Paquin (True Blood); Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer).
Should win: Jones (left). Snubbed by Emmy, she rebounded by nailing housewife Betty Draper’s struggle with her husband’s infidelities on a show supposedly about men.
Will win: Paquin. Because she’s a film actress in a sexy HBO show.
Best TV comedy
Nominees: 30 Rock (NBC); Californication (Showtime); Entourage (HBO); The Office (NBC); Weeds (Showtime).
Should win: 30 Rock. After watching her swing an election and grab a boatload of Emmys last year, I realized: This is Tina Fey’s world. I just get to criticize it.
Will win: See above.
Best TV movie or miniseries
Nominees: A Raisin in the Sun (ABC); Bernard and Doris (HBO); Cranford (PBS); John Adams (HBO); Recount (HBO).
Should win: John Adams. For a painstaking, star-studded reinvention of our least-known founding father.
Will win: Cranford. Because it’s a British made-for-TV movie starring Dame Judi Dench, whom the Globes love.
Best supporting actor, series, miniseries or made-for-TV movie
Should win: I'm torn between Wilkinson (left), who turned our quirkiest founding father into a bravura performance as Ben Franklin, and Underwood's career-high portrayal of a suicidal pilot seeking psychological help. Either win would warm this critic's heart.
Will win: Wilkinson. Because he's a Brit who scored the ultimate irony; success playing one of the rebels who handed England her biggest defeat in the American Revolution.