Predicting this year's Golden Globe TV winners
Lots of exciting newcomers are sprinkled throughout this year's Golden Globe television nominees, and not just the actors and actresses. Network TV struggled to gain any nominations, while streaming and premium channels dominate most categories because the Hollywood Foreign Press Association adores newbies. As always, don't expect the Emmys to predict this year's winners. The Globes like to have fun in honoring new trends in TV, and we appreciate that.
My favorite nominees include Outlander, Mr. Robot, Empire and Fargo, and all have strong chances to win their categories. Head-scratchers Narcos, Mozart in the Jungle, Flesh and Bone and Casual can bask in the glory of a nomination, but not a win. It's lovely for low-profile shows to get some acclaim, but they're just not big enough for the gold.
What keeps the Globes interesting is the small chance for repeat nominations and wins. Mad Men wasn't even nominated for Best Drama for its swan song last year, and that should tell you something about HFPA voters. In fact, it's a little shocking not to see last year's winner The Affair on the list. Or Homeland, Downton Abbey and House of Cards. The final Best Drama nomination list is a strong representation of a diverse sea of new good-but-not-great television out there.
However, the comedy category raises some questions. Sure, comedy is subjective, but this year's nominees pull more weight in their dramatic storylines. Last year's winner, Amazon's Transparent, certainly deserves all the acclaim, but how often are we actually laughing? I'm laughing, only a little more, while watching Orange is the New Black. HBO's Silicon Valley and Veep are the only nominees with true jokes, but the trend in awarding comedies seems to be in its groundbreaking integrity. The show that seems to truly marry the comedy-drama concept extremely well is Netflix's Master of None, which was only nominated for Best Actor in a Comedy Series. Seems like a misstep for the Globes.
Here are my predictions for Sunday night's winners, but if this year's nominees suggest anything, is to expect delightful surprises. Watch the live party show on NBC at 8 p.m. Sunday. Ricky Gervais hosts.
Nominees: Empire (Fox), Game of Thrones (HBO), Mr. Robot (USA), Narcos (Netflix), Outlander (Starz)
Don't expect last year's Emmy winner Game of Thrones to take home the prize here. The HFPA will award the hottest new thing on TV, and that would definitely be USA's summer breakout hit, Mr. Robot.
Best Comedy Or Musical
Nominees: Casual (Hulu), Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon), Orange Is the New Black (Netflix), Silicon Valley (HBO), Transparent (Amazon), Veep (HBO)
This category should show you that network comedies need to step it up. Emmy darling Veep (and its star Julia Louis-Dreyfus) hasn't won a Globe. The only show that could beat it is Amazon's critically-acclaimed drama Transparent, which actually has a great chance for a repeat win for its outstanding second season, whether it was funny or not.
Best Actress, Drama
Nominees: Caitriona Balfe, Outlander; Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder; Eva Green, Penny Dreadful; Taraji P. Henson, Empire; Robin Wright, House of Cards
If Fox's Empire can't pull a Best Drama win, Taraji P. Henson will get some love for the show that had many of us on the edge of our seats during its first season. (It premiered too late to be nominated last year.) Viola Davis's riveting Emmy win speech might convince HPFA voters to put her up on stage again, but it's Henson's time to shine for creating Empire's heart and soul, and attitude, in Cookie Lyon.
Best Actor, Drama
Nominees: Jon Hamm, Mad Men; Rami Malek, Mr. Robot; Wagner Moura, Narcos; Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul; Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
TV's newest leading man, Rami Malek, is the one to beat here, and the only one who could feasibly do that would be Jon Hamm for Don Draper's final season on Mad Men. But Hamm hasn't won since 2008, and the Globes love honoring newbies, and Malek's tortured hero took us on a trippy and exciting ride to take down of an evil corporation.
Best Actress, Comedy
Nominees: Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend; Jamie Lee Curtis, Scream Queens; Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep; Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Last year's most memorable moment at the Globes was Gina Rodriguez's moving acceptance speech. As the CW's first Golden Globe winner, she reminded us all that everyone should really be watching Jane the Virgin. I don't expect a repeat win for her. I think it's about time for Julia Louis-Dreyfus to earn a Globe for her role as the delightfully dumb and hilarious Selina Meyer on Veep.
Best Actor, Comedy
Nominees: Aziz Ansari, Master of None; Gael Garcia Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle; Rob Lowe, The Grinder; Patrick Stewart, Blunt Talk; Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
When trying to pick a winner for this category, I'm thinking about who made me laugh the hardest. So it's between Rob Lowe in network TV's best new comedy, The Grinder, and Aziz Ansari in Master of None. As the creator and star of None, one of 2015's best shows, Ansari deserves this award more than anyone.
Best TV Limited Series/Motion Picture
Nominees: American Crime (ABC), American Horror Story: Hotel (FX), Fargo (FX), Flesh and Bone (Starz), Wolf Hall (PBS)
FX's Fargo, hands down, was 2015's best show on television and it'd be a crime if it didn't get a repeat win in this category. But it's the Hollywood Foreign Press, after all, so Wolf Hall might beat it and give us the night's WTF win.
Best Actress, Limited Series/TV Movie
Nominees: Kirsten Dunst, Fargo; Lady Gaga, American Horror Story: Hotel; Sarah Hay, Flesh and Bone; Felicity Huffman, American Crime; Queen Latifah, Bessie
The Fargo love will continue, I suspect, and hand Kirsten Dunst this prize. She gave the performance of her career (so far) as Peggy, a hard-to-love hairdresser who gets mixed up in Midwest criminal warfare.
Best Actor, Limited Series/TV Movie
Nominees: Idris Elba, Luther; Oscar Isaac, Show Me a Hero; David Oyelowo, Nightingale; Mark Rylance, Wolf Hall; Patrick Wilson, Fargo
All performances in this category are worthy of the award, so I'm going to show some love for our local boy Patrick Wilson and declare him the winner. His quiet performance as the calm and collected state trooper faced with the crime of his life was gripping, but understated. It'll be a tough win for him: He's up against Oscar nominees Oscar Isaac and David Oyelowo.
Best Supporting Actress, Series, Limited Series, Or Movie
Nominees: Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black; Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey; Regina King, American Crime; Maura Tierney, The Affair; Judith Light, Transparent
I loved Regina King's surprise Emmy win and, actually, the Globes should show the same adoration. She's nominated for her role in ABC's American Crime, but it should be noted that she stole scenes in HBO's gripping second season of The Leftovers.
Best Supporting Actor, Series, Limited Series, Or Movie
Nominees: Alan Cumming, The Good Wife; Damien Lewis, Wolf Hall; Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline; Tobias Menzies, Outlander; Christian Slater, Mr. Robot
The Robot love stops here and it's between Ben Mendelsohn as the troubled son in Bloodline and Tobias Menzies in Outlander. I can't look at Menzies without thinking of his terrifying character, Black Jack Randall, who still haunts me to this day, and Outlander deserves some recognition.
Images from television press sites: ABC, Amazon, Fox, FX, HBO, Netflix, USA and Starz.