With so much TV to choose from, it helps to have award shows tell us which ones to move to the top of our watchlist. While the Emmys remain a little predictable, the Globes like to get rowdy with novelty wins.
This is both delightful and frustrating. No one saw Mozart in the Jungle's double wins coming last year, but it was wonderful to see buzzworthy shows like USA's Mr. Robot and the CW's Crazy-Ex Girlfriend get noticed.
And this year's nominations already offer some head-scratchers. Nick Nolte is up for Best Comedy Actor for Graves, a little-known political show on little-known Epix. And while Amazon's legal drama Goliath from David E. Kelley hasn't found a large audience, yet, Billy Bob Thornton has a good shot to take home the gold statue.
Few Globe categories are shoo-ins, but this year's most talked about television event was FX's The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. It strolls into the evening with the most nominations (five), and we won't be surprised for it to win most of them.
Here are the rest of our picks:
The Crown, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, This Is Us, Westworld
Four freshmen are up against one of TV's strongest dramas ever (however, Game of Thrones has yet to win a Globe). But it'll be hard for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to pass up Peter Morgan's lavish period drama about Queen Elizabeth II. Winner: The Crown.
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot; Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul; Matthew Rhys, The Americans; Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan; Billy Bob Thornton, Goliath
Billy Bob Thornton gave one of those tremendous performances meant for award shows. And with the HFPA's love affair with Amazon (Jungle, Transparent), and movie stars (Kevin Spacey), we expect him to win another Globe. Winner: Billy Bob Thornton.
Caitriona Balfe, Outlander; Claire Foy, The Crown; Keri Russell, The Americans; Winona Ryder, Stranger Things; Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld
This is the night's hardest pick, and voters could be predictable (Foy's compelling take on the British monarch) or wild (Ryder's stellar comeback performance). We have to bow down to royalty here. Winner: Claire Foy.
Atlanta, Blackish, Mozart in the Jungle, Transparent, Veep
We loved Donald Glover's comedy, as did lots of critics, and the HFPA has given this award to first-time nominees four years running. Atlanta had a pitch-perfect debut, and there's just nothing quite like it on TV. Winner: Atlanta.
Anthony Anderson, Blackish; Gael Garcia Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle; Donald Glover, Atlanta; Nick Nolte, Graves; Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
The Globes like to spread the wealth; however, Atlanta's confident creative force will always have our heart, and more importantly, he leads this pack. Winner: Donald Glover.
Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep; Sarah Jessica Parker, Divorce; Issa Rae, Insecure; Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin; Tracee Ellis Ross, Blackish
Let's make this the third year in a row for this category to reward fresh, creative faces. We love this Awkward Black Girl (check out the Youtube series) and her HBO show, Insecure. Winner: Issa Rae.
Miniseries or Movie
American Crime, The Dresser, The Night Manager, The Night Of, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
American crime series had a great year, and while ABC's anthology series had a superb second season everyone needs to watch, it'll be O.J.'s night. Winner: The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.
Actor, Miniseries or TV Movie
Riz Ahmed, The Night Of; Bryan Cranston, All the Way; Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager; John Turturro, The Night Of; Courtney B. Vance, The People vs. O.J. Simpson
We'd love to see newbie Ahmed strut to the award stage, but we expect to watch another victory for Johnnie Cochran. Winner: Courtney B. Vance.
Actress, Miniseries or TV Movie
Felicity Huffman, American Crime; Riley Keough, The Girlfriend Experience; Sarah Paulson, The People vs. O.J. Simpson; Charlotte Rampling, London Spy; Kerry Washington, Confirmation
We might just jinx it by saying Paulson is the surest winner at the Globes. Can you imagine a world where, say, Rampling won, instead? We can't, and we won't. Winner: Sarah Paulson.
Sterling K. Brown, The People vs. O.J. Simpson; Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager; John Lithgow, The Crown; Christian Slater, Mr. Robot; John Travolta, The People vs. O.J. Simpson
If anyone could stop O.J.'s stampede to the stage, it'll be a giant among men. Winston Churchill was the best part The Crown, but will voters, like audiences, be swooning for Sterling K. Brown, TV's breakout star? Winner: John Lithgow.
Olivia Colman, The Night Manager; Lena Headey, Game of Thrones; Chrissy Metz, This Is Us; Mandy Moore, This Is Us; Thandie Newton, Westworld
With HBO's newest drama fresh in voters' minds, this might be Westworld's only win. We didn't love this sci-fi series, but this rebellious robot stood out among a lot of tremendous performances. Winner: Thandie Newton.
Contact Brittany Volk at [email protected] Follow @bevolk.