I've never commented on the Golden Globes on this blog, mostly because I think their film awards typically carry more weight than their television ones. (Can you even remember what won Best Comedy Series last year? It was Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which was an out-of-left-field choice and one that hardly made any waves given that it didn't translate to the Emmys or the ratings.) Even their film nominees and winners have a history of catering to popularity over art, but this year the Hollywood Foreign Press seemed to want to go legit by nominating a host of new, acclaimed series and stars. The nominees are:
Best Television Series - Drama
The Good Wife
House of Cards
Game of Thrones
The first thing the Globes have in common with the Emmys here is the lack of love for broadcast dramas. Despite Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder topping the ratings and many viewers' favorites lists, CBS's The Good Wife is the only drama on a broadcast network to receive a nomination in the top category. It's also nice to see Showtime's critically-acclaimed but underwatched new series The Affair slip in.
Best Performance By an Actor in a Television Series - Drama
Kevin Spacey - House of Cards
Liev Schrieber - Ray Donovan
Dominic West - The Affair
James Spader - The Blacklist
Clive Owen - The Knick
Cinemax enters the fray for the first time ever with a major nomination for its new series The Knick. Schrieber, Spacey, and Spader all repeat from last year, but with 2014's winner (Bryan Cranston) now out of the picture and Masters of Sex's Michael Sheen failing to repeat, Owen and West were able to secure nods.
Best Performance By an Actress in a Television Series - Drama
Robin Wright - House of Cards
Julianna Margulies - The Good Wife
Viola Davis - How to Get Away with Murder
Claire Danes - Homeland
Ruth Wilson - The Affair
Homeland is going through a bit of a revival with a strong fourth season (following the abomination that was season three), so it's good to see Danes' name back on the list after missing out last year. Davis secured her second major nomination for the fall's highest-rated new drama, following a SAG nomination yesterday, and she looks well on her way to an Emmy nomination later in the year. Margulies has been nominated every year The Good Wife has been on the air but only won once, in 2010; on the heels of her Emmy win, will she get another one here?
Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy
Orange is the New Black
Jane the Virgin
This is a really interesting category. Gone are former stalwarts Modern Family (which was completely shut out for the first time in its five year history) and The Big Bang Theory, as well as last year's winner, Brooklyn Nine-Nine. So no matter what, a first-time winner will be crowned in this category. Orange is the New Black was categorized as a drama in 2014, and it competes for the top prize for the first time this year. And let's all welcome The CW and Amazon to the awards-season fold! Amazon had a great year with its first adult series, Transparent, garnering rapturous reviews and now some awards love as well. And The CW seems to have finally crossed over from the narrow appeal of its target demographic (comic book fans and teenage girls) with Jane the Virgin garnering the network's first major nominations in its eight-year history.
Best Performance By an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy
Don Cheadle - House of Lies
Ricky Gervais - Derek
William H. Macy - Shameless
Louis C.K. - Louie
Jeffrey Tambor - Transparent
Cheadle is the only returning nominee in this wide-open category, which includes Macy for the first time since Shameless switched from competing as a drama to a comedy this season. And despite poking fun at HFPA for years, Gervais managed another nomination for his Netflix show, proving that the group behind the Globes doesn't take itself too seriously and can take a joke without taking it too personally.
Best Performance By an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy
Lena Dunham - Girls
Edie Falco - Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Veep
Gina Rodriguez - Jane the Virgin
Taylor Schilling - Orange is the New Black
Schilling was nominated last year when Orange competed as a drama (the show's sole recognition), but she'll have just as tough a time of it this season with competition from Louis-Dreyfus, who now has three consecutive Emmys for Veep but has never won the Globe.
Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
The Normal Heart
After competing (and mostly losing) at the Emmys as a drama series, the Globes recognize True Detective for what it is: an anthology mini-series. It will go head-to-head with Fargo for the first time at a major awards show.
Best Performance By an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Matthew McConaughey - True Detective
Woody Harrelson - True Detective
Martin Freeman - Fargo
Billy Bob Thornton - Fargo
Mark Ruffalo - The Normal Heart
For my money, this one is McConaughey vs. Thornton.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Jessica Lange - American Horror Story: Freak Show
Frances O'Connor - The Missing
Frances McDormand - Olive Kitteridge
Maggie Gyllenhaal - The Honourable Woman
Allison Tolman - Fargo
Will Tolman win the Globe after many felt she was robbed of the Emmy?
Best Supporting Performance by an Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Jon Voight - Ray Donovan
Matt Bomer - The Normal Heart
Bill Murray - Olive Kitteridge
Colin Hanks - Fargo
Alan Cumming - The Good Wife
After Voight's surprise win last year, I won't count him out this time. But I sincerely hope the Globes can do some justice by Matt Bomer, who should have taken home the Emmy in September.
Best Supporting Performance by an Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Allison Janney - Mom
Uzo Aduba - Orange is the New Black
Kathy Bates - American Horror Story: Freak Show
Michelle Monaghan - True Detective
Joanne Froggatt - Downton Abbey
Janney, Aduba, and Bates all won Emmys in September (though Bates' was for Coven, whereas her nomination here is for Freak Show), so this category is pretty open. Of note is that this is the first year since its debut in 2009 that Sofia Vergara has not been nominated in this category (even crazier: two-time Emmy winner Julie Bowen has never been nominated).