Let’s face it: the Golden Globe Awards have long been enveloped by a shroud of low-rent sketchiness — even before the very public allegations of financial funny business and diversity tone-deafness leveled at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association caused NBC to press the pause button on last year’s telecast (winners were announced online-only to little fanfare).
That being said — and it’s a lot to digest — the HFPA did, at the very least, get a lot right with its nominees for the 80th Golden Globe Awards, returning Jan. 10 to NBC with first-time host Jerrod Carmichael.
Best Television Series — Drama.
“The Crown” (Netflix)
“House of the Dragon” (HBO)
“Severance” (Apple TV+)
My take: No arguments here, though there will be some who quibble with “The Crown.” Season 5, which premiered Nov. 9, has, at times, dragged a bit — particularly the episode charting the finality of Charles and Diana’s divorce, with its unnecessary and gratuitous time-filler court scenes — but, overall, its arc held together heading into the inevitability of its sixth and final season. “Ozark” was riveting (with a problematic finale), the “Game of Thrones” prequel, “House of the Dragon,” was a monster hit, so can’t ignore that, and “Severance” was a talker.
Best Television Series — Musical or Comedy.
“The Bear” (FX)
“Hacks” (HBO Max)
“Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu)
My take: I would have liked to have seen “What We Do in the Shadows” earn a nod here (replacing “Only Murders in the Building”). “The Bear” was excellent and “Hacks” didn’t slump in its sophomore season. “Wednesday” is shattering viewership record on Netflix, no easy feat, and features a viral video dance scene courtesy of star Jenna Ortega, which is a must-see.
Best Performance By An Actor in a Television Series — Drama.
Jeff Bridges, “The Old Man”
Kevin Costner, “Yellowstone”
Diego Luna, “Andor”
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
My take: Bridges was terrific in “The Old Man,” even more so considering that he was battling cancer — and COVID — while shooting the FX series. He brought gravitas as a world-weary 70something former spy dragged back in from the cold to go mano-a-mano with an old nemesis. Costner has been the cornerstone of “Yellowstone” for all of its five seasons as one of the most-watched series on television. It’s been overlooked by the Emmys; maybe that will change here. Odenkirk, surrounded by a deep bench of terrific actors, led the charge as “Better Call Saul” ended its six-season run with a finale that hit all the right notes.
Best Performance By An Actress in a Television Series — Drama.
Imelda Staunton, “The Crown”
Laura Linney, “Ozark”
Hilary Swank, “Alaska Daily”
My take: These are mostly strong choices. Staunton is the best Queen Elizabeth of the three actresses who’ve played the role (Claire Foy in Seasons 1-2, Olivia Colman in Seasons 3-4). Linney was solid, but Rhea Seehorn (“Better Call Saul”) belongs on this list. I haven’t seen enough of “Alaska Daily” to fairly judge Swank’s bona fides after giving a meh review to the opening episodes of her ABC series. Zendaya is a phenomenon.
Best Performance By an Actor in a Television Series — Musical or Comedy.
Donald Glover, “Atlanta”
Bill Hader, “Barry”
Steve Martin, “Only Murders in the Building”
Martin Short, “Only Murders in the Building”
Jeremy Allen White, “The Bear”
My take: Hader, Glover and White are the no-brainers here, and it’s nice to see White receive well-deserved kudos for “The Bear,” which came out of nowhere to capture everyone’s attention. I’d say the “overrated” tag applies for Short and Martin for a series that’s good, but not great.
Best Performance By an Actress in a Television Series — Musical or Comedy.
Quinta Brunson, “Abbott Elementary”
Selena Gomez, “Only Murders in the Building”
Jenna Ortega, “Wednesday”
Jean Smart, “Hacks”
My take: Brunson and “Abbott Elementary” took home a handful of Emmys and they could replicate that success come Jan. 10 for a multi-faceted sitcom. Smart repeated her excellence in Season 2 of “Hacks”; she, too, could replicate her Emmys success.
Best Performance By An Actor in a Limited Series, Anthology Series or Motion Picture Made For Television.
Tamar Egerton, “Black Bird”
Colin Firth, “The Staircase”
Evan Peters, “Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story”
My take: Egerton was excellent though, in my opinion, his co-star, Paul Walter Hauser, stole his “Black Bird” thunder (more on that below). “Dahmer” was overpraised — though there’s no arguing with its popularity and (ongoing) viewership numbers.
Best Performance By an Actress in a Limited Series, Anthology Series or Motion Picture Made For Television.
Jessica Chastain, “George & Tammy”
Julia Garner, “Inventing Anna”
Lily James, “Pam & Tommy”
Julia Roberts, “Gaslit”
My take: Solid nominees all. There was no way to overlook Chastain, who brought a mixture of toughness, tenderness, love, determination and vulnerability to her portrayal of Tammy Wynette opposite Michael Shannon (who was, glaringly, not nominated) as George Jones in the Paramount+ series.
Kudo to these nominees: Hauser as creepy serial killer Larry Hall in “Black Bird” (see above); Domnhall Gleeson in “The Patient” (but where’s Steve Carell?); and Henry Winkler, who continues to shine in “Barry.”