It’s a new year and a new awards season. As the first show of the year, I have heard it said that the Golden Globe Awards are a good indication of both nominees and winners for the Academy Awards (nominations which will be announced four days after the Globes telecast). While this is often true, I hold that they more importantly serve as a way to look back to the year past and offer condolences to television shows not recognized by the Emmys. Of course, in covering both film and television, the Globes have fewer categories in which to get it right, as shown in some surprising absences in this year’s nominees. However, some chance does exist for television (and personal prediction) redemption on Sunday, January 11th. As always, here are my winners for the year, no matter what Hollywood Foreign Press has to say about it.
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
House of Cards
The biggest television category of the night reads like it could be any year’s nominees, excepting newbie The Affair. All strong shows in their own right, was there no other new blood to be added? That said, there is one show among these that encountered so much change in the last year that it feels new again. That show? The Good Wife. Now in its sixth season, The Good Wife shocked television viewers by killing off one of its original characters, Will Gardner (Josh Charles), in a sudden shooting during court. That single act sent shockwaves through the entire cast and resulted in some of the finest acting of the year. And if that were not enough, once the dust had settled, Cary Agos(Matt Czuchry) found himself the center of a drug investigation that could send him to jail for up to 15 years. Oh, and all of this is happening while Alicia is running for State’s Attorney and still working at Florrick Agos, which is still exhibiting a few growing pains. With plots like these and a brilliant ensemble cast, The Good Wife is stronger than ever before; let’s give some encouragement to keep up the good work, shall we?
DRAMA – ACTOR
Clive Owen, The Knick
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
James Spader, The Blacklist
Dominic West, The Affair
Is it horrible to admit that the only show listed that I watch regularly is The Blacklist? In that, James Spader is perfection, but every episode I have seen of House of Cards (though few and far between) has shown Kevin Spacey at the height of his game. Can you believe this man has yet to win a Golden Globe for a television or movie role? With is body of work, that seems pretty absurd, but I expect that even if this is not his year, he will eventually win for his role as the scheming Frank Underwood.
DRAMA – ACTRESS
Claire Danes, Homeland
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Ruth Wilson, The Affair
Robin Wright, House of Cards
What does Tatiana Maslany have to do to win a Globe or an Emmy? Does she need to play upwards of twenty characters at a time? In a perfect world, this award would go to her, but I have complained about this on many a review and a prediction in past years, so I won’t bore you by repeating myself much here. That large nomination snub aside, I have to give this category to the divine Julianna Margulies. She hasn’t won this award since 2010, and The Good Wife gave her some rich material with which to work this year, as mentioned above. Need I say more?
COMEDY OR MUSICAL SERIES
Jane the Virgin
Orange Is the New Black
“Are you going to start dressing up like a lady all the time?”
“No. All my life. My whole life I’ve been dressing up like a man. This is me.”
Often depressing, sometimes heartbreaking, with a little hint of sweetness and love, Transparent seems out of place in the comedy category. But with companions like Orange is the New Black and Girls, I suppose that is not surprising. The hefty dose of absurdity does sometimes produce some laughs, but the same could be said for many great dramas. Maybe this best blur these lines until they become indistinct? Anyway, enough philosophizing. With Transparent, it is the overall struggle of a family trying to come to terms with some major life changes that make this story identifiable for many, the strong theme of gender issues aside. And it is the realistic way in which the show handles these gender issues, not shying away from the range of confusion, acceptance, or outright denial that occurs when a man with three grown children comes out as transgender, that makes this show extraordinary in any category.
COMEDY OR MUSICAL SERIES – ACTRESS
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Taylor Schilling, Orange Is the New Black
Yes, the day has come when a CW show was nominated for a Golden Globe. While I doubt Jane the Virgin is strong enough overall to take on the heavy hitters in the category above, I have more faith in its star, Gina Rodriguez, when it comes to taking home a trophy. Amidst the craziness that ensues on this telenovela-inspired show, Rodriguez’s Jane is a breath of fresh, sane air, whose sincerity makes you forget that this entire show is predicated on the assumption that a woman could be accidentally, artificially inseminated. And if she doesn’t win in this category, maybe it is a sign that I should finally start watching Veep…
COMEDY OR MUSICAL SERIES – ACTOR
Louis C.K., Louie
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Ricky Gervais, Derek
William H. Macy, Shameless
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
I can understand how Transparent may be polarizing. Not because of the main topic of the show, but because of the abrasive family portrayed. Reading the few negative reviews (this is an Amazon product, of course, so reviews are easy to obtain), I actually found myself agreeing with a lot of the two- and one-star reviewers. At times even I, who has already raved about the show in this post, found the star family utterly repulsive. But despite how often I found myself picking a different sibling to hate, there was one character I never abhorred: the patriarch at the center of it all, Maura Pfefferman. Maura, as played by Jeffrey Tambor, exhibits both a strength and a vulnerability as a man taking his first stumbling steps into becoming the woman he always felt he should be. Between the flashbacks where he joyfully finds a new name, the moments where Maura bonds with other members of the LGBT community, and the trepidation with which she comes out to her family, Tambor showcases an authenticity that brings easy smiles to viewers’ lips and tears to their eyes. Even naysayers agree, his performance is a joy to watch.
TV-MOVIE OR MINISERIES
The Normal Heart
Ok. There were enough problems when it was just Fargo and The Normal Heart fighting it out. What is True Detective doing in the TV-Movie or Miniseries category? If you read my Emmy predictions, you will know that all three were my part of my prediction research, and all three were beyond great in many ways. But as I said, fewer categories leads to fewer great shows being recognized. Here I am hoping that True Detective will take it home. Although, if The Normal Heart takes it I will most likely cry for a well-deserved win and a probably heart-breaking acceptance speech.
TV-MOVIE OR MINISERIES – ACTOR
Martin Freeman, Fargo
Woody Harrelson, True Detective
Matthew McConaughey, True Detective
Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart
Billy Bob Thornton, Fargo
I’m pretty sure that Matthew McConaughey was pretty disappointed not to add an Emmy to his collection of awards’ statuettes. Last year he won the Globe for Dallas Buyer’s Club, but it would be nice to see him recognized for his very successful transition from movie to TV star, especially since I doubt it will happen again any time soon. Although I’m not sure that the miniseries category will help him, seeing that he is up against his co-star and performers from the critically acclaimed Fargo and The Normal Heart.
TV-MOVIE OR MINISERIES – ACTRESS
Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Honorable Woman
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge
Frances O’Connor, The Missing
Allison Tolman, Fargo
Allison Tolman’s Molly Solverson was Fargo’s biggest surprise. As the town and even police force devolved into absurdity around her, her character simply buckled down and persevered to make sense of it all. In the end, she was rewarded with a promotion and a slightly dim-witted by extremely sweet husband. I think her portrayer deserves a reward as well, especially as her loss in this category at the 2014 Emmys was perhaps my greatest disappointment of the night. Speaking of Kathy Bates…
SERIES, TV-MOVIE OR MINISERIES – SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Allison Janney, Mom
Michelle Monaghan, True Detective
Guess who finally caught up on AHS! Granted, I skipped AHS: Coven, but Freak Show is my favorite of the series thus far. The incomparable Kathy Bates won the Emmy for her work in Coven, but she still deserves to win the Globe for her portrayal of Ethel Darling, the bearded woman with a heart of gold who will do anything to protect her son and adopted family of freaks.
SERIES, TV-MOVIE OR MINISERIES – SUPPORTING ACTOR
Matt Bomer, The Normal Heart
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Colin Hanks, Fargo
Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge
Jon Voight, Ray Donovan
Every time I see Alan Cumming in The Good Wife, I know that the episode will be better for it. He is simply superb in everything that he does. But to quote myself, in predicting who of The Normal Heart would win an Emmy, “if I have to single out a performance, it has to be Matt Bomer’s. He’s the one that wrung emotion from me. And award shows notoriously reward actors and actresses who have to alter themselves mentally AND physically for their role. Bomer started the movie as his vibrant, sexy self and ended at about half his normal size, a pale shadow of what he could be.” Bomer is an actor who could easily branch out from playing the sexy stripper or the sexy con-man, or the sexy anything else, and hopefully this role and a well-deserved Golden Globe will lead to bigger and better things for him.
Even if none of these predictions come true, the telecast should be exciting enough with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler back at the helm. So I will be back to review the dresses, the jokes, and myself when we find out who takes home the golden statuettes in a little over a week. Until then!