December 15, 2011 11:26am PT by Tim Goodman
Don't Smack Your Forehead - It's Just the Globes (Analysis)
One day after the Screen Actors Guild vomited all over itself in the nomination of its own people for awards, we are treated to the mystically inane and unpredictable zaniness of the Golden Globes as its members pretend to care about television.
This is a little like getting a lump of coal for Christmas, then rewrapping it and opening it again. Or, if this rings a little truer to people, sticking a pencil in your eye, pulling it out and ramming it in your ear.
The only saving grace with the Golden Globes is that, well, it’s the Golden Globes. The awards have absolutely no influence on the Emmys when it comes to television and very little relevance to small screen viewers. No astute television watcher can take seriously an awards show that leaves out the best series currently on television – Breaking Bad. Really, there’s precious little to add to this story.
Ah, but inanity loves introspection. So before analyzing (read: laughing about) what the Golden Globes got wrong or right, a few caveats and reminders:
Outrage is pointless – it’s the Globes.
For every cutting edge or trendy nomination, there’s at least five incomprehensible selections.
The nomination categories for television underscore how little the Globes either think of the medium or understand it.
And finally, remind yourself that if you ever wake up to a list of Golden Globes nominations for television that are not spectacularly kooky, then you should run for your life because the world is ending.
Now then, some thoughts:
Best Performance By An Actor in A Supporting Role in A Series, Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made For Television: Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones; Paul Giamatti, Too Big to Fail; Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce; Tim Robbin;, Cinema Verite; Eric Stonestreet; Modern Family.
For the record, I laughed for nearly three minutes just looking at the inconceivable mess here and wondered exactly how anyone could think mashing up such disparate actors and having them compete against each other would result in anything less than farce? I hope there’s a taped skit where the hilarious Stonestreet gets to deliver some of the lines Guy Pearce used in Mildred Pierce. Please, make it happen.
In any case, it’s pointless to handicap this category, just as it is for this one:
Best Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role In A Series, Mini-Series, Or Motion Picture Made for Television; Jessica Lange; American Horror Story; Kelly Macdonald; Boardwalk Empire; Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey; Sofia Vergara, Modern Family; Evan Rachel Wood; Mildred Pierce.
For videotaped skit purposes, HFPA, please have Vergara recite Dame Maggie Smith’s lines from Downton Abbey. Seriously, I’ll give you a hundred bucks. Cash.
At least these next two categories makes sense:
Best Performance By An Actor In A Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made For Television: Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey; Idris Elba, Luther; William Hurt, Too Big to Fail; Bill Nighy, Page Eight; Dominic West, The Hour.
Best Performance By An Actress In A Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made For Television: Romola Garai, The Hour; Diane Lane, Cinema Verite; Elizabeth McGovern, Downton Abbey; Emily Watson, Appropriate Adult; Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce.
Such great work all around, probably because the nominated projects -- Cinema Verite, (HBO ) Downton Abbey, (Masterpiece) The Hour, (BBC America) Mildred Pierce, (HBO ) Too Big to Fail, (HBO), were so solid. Honestly, throw a dart in all three of those categories and it would be difficult to be disappointed.
Now that we’re on solid ground and out of the hodge-podge of supporting roles, let’s cut to the chase here:
Best Television Series – Drama : American Horror Story, FX; Boardwalk Empire, HBO ; Boss, STARZ; Game of Thrones, HBO: Homeland, Showtime.
The lack of Breaking Bad here makes any real discussion pointless (though it should be said that the series has never been nominated by the Globes before, so points to HFPA voters for making asses out of themselves for four years). Drop the absurd American Horror Story from this list and replace it with Justified and FX would still be happy. But that doesn’t solve the Breaking Bad issue. Credit the inclusion of strong rookies Boss and Homeland here.
Best Television Series – Comedy Or Musical: Enlightened, HBO ; Episodes, Showtime; Glee, FOX ; Modern Family, ABC; New Girl, FOX.
Well, it’s no surprise that the Globes went for the adorable New Girl, a fine show but not one deserving to be in this category. Also, Glee is a lot of things but a comedy is not one of them (at least not intentionally). Enlightened is a fine and bold choice (though arguments about it being a comedy rather than a drama are legit). The lack of 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Louie, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia and, oh, three or four others just proves that comedy is lost in the translation for the HFPA. Emmys, please don’t besmirch the comedy category like this.
Best Performance By An Actress In A Television Series – Drama: Claire Danes, Homeland; Mireille Enos, The Killing; Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife; Madeleine Stowe, Revenge; Callie Thorne, Necessary Roughness.
Well, look – at least they got Danes right. She should also be an Emmys lock. It’s probably important to have a network show on here, so the fluffy but enjoyable Revenge gets represented by Stowe. But Thorne? She did her awards-worthy work on Rescue Me, people. Necessary Roughness? Wow. Pass the bong. The lack of Khandi Alexander from Treme and Katey Sagal from Sons of Anarchy – to name just two – qualifies as ridiculous. So Sagal wins last year but fails to get nominated this year? Whoops, forgot – it’s the Globes.
Best Performance By An Actor In A Television Series – Drama : Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire; Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad; Kelsey Grammer, Boss; Jeremy Irons, The Borgias; Damian Lewis, Homeland.
Fine – less to bitch about here. It shows a refreshing cleaning out of routine nominees like Hugh Laurie and Michael C. Hall (both excellent – no fight needs to be picked on that front). And Lewis was an essential inclusion. Still, it would have been nice to see Wendell Pierce from Treme on this list. Not only is he truly deserving, you did notice that the nominees are a blizzard of whiteness, yes? In case you overlooked it: 30 actors nominated in the television category. One person of color – Vergara from Modern Family. File that under “bad math” and “shameful.”
Best Performance By An Actress In A Television Series – Comedy Or Musical: Laura Dern, Enlightened; Zooey Deschanel, New Girl; Tina Fey, 30 Rock; Laura Linney, The Big C; Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation.
Wow – a refreshing house cleaning here. When you get a little time, pop in FX’s It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (you know, that series you and the Emmys always ignore) and take a look at Kaitlin Olson’s work. She should be here. But thank you for at least waking up to Amy Poehler. You might want to actually watch the show, though. Its exclusion from your best comedy category is more outrageous than Glee ruining Christmas songs.
Best Performance By An Actor In A Television Series – Comedy Or Musical: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock; David Duchovny, Californication; Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory; Thomas Jane, Hung; Matt LeBlanc, Episodes.
Really? Looks like a lot of missteps here. Have you soured on Modern Family or just can’t pick a lead? Nothing doing with Louie or Wilfred or the aforementioned It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia? Nobody good on Community or Raising Hope? Have you ever heard of a character named Ron Swanson?
Oh, never mind. The bile is rising and it’s time to remember one of the primary caveats – relax, it’s only the Globes.