Golden Globe TV Noms Maintain 'Handmaid' and 'Big Little Lies' Heat, Comedy Race Upended

Ten new series, not even counting limited efforts, join a very open race — though the HFPA's 'Crown' love remains apparent.
Courtesy Photos

Big Little Lies dominated Monday morning's TV nominations for the 2018 Golden Globes with six mentions — though, just days after the official green light on its second season, it again finds its way into the limited race after its Emmy sweep. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Emmy follows extend to more top mentions going to Hulu's breakout drama, The Handmaid's Tale, but many of the similarities end there. The comedy race, in particularly, has been upended from the Globes of recent memory.

There's only one carryover best comedy nominee from the 2017 Golden Globes, Black-ish. It's joined by Amazon's recent entry The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Netflix's Master of None (ineligible last year), Showtime's SMILF and NBC's Will & Grace revival. The biggest snub here may be Veep, though the HBO comedy has always performed better at other awards shows than with the HFPA.

SMILF's strong first showing, with nominations for the series and star Frankie Shaw, are a coup for Showtime. The network's five total nominations tied NBC with the third-most of any TV outlet, trailing only Netflix (9) and perennial leader HBO (12).

Comedy's acting races are filled with familiar nominees (Shameless star William H. Macy) and a few unexpected mentions. Kevin Bacon scored a best actor mention for his role in Amazon's I Love Dick. The cerebral Jill Soloway comedy made a much more subdued impression than the streamer's other series, Transparent  — one that was nowhere to be seen after misconduct accusations against star Jeffrey Tambor marred the comedy and put its future in question.

Speaking of misconduct scandals and their repercussions on nominations: Netflix's House of Cards, long an HFPA favorite, was absent from the list after Kevin Spacey's on-set behavior got him fired. But voters did not hold Louis C.K.'s admitted sexual misconduct against the star of his FX-produced comedy Better Things. Pamela Adlon was nominated for the first time after two seasons.

Of the many, many new TV series represented by this year's Golden Globes nominations (10 series and four limited), only one made it into the top drama race. The Handmaid's Tale, joined by Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, This Is Us and 2017 winner The Crown, was the only newcomer to the category — albeit an expected one. (The nominations for The Crown and series star Claire Foy, fresh off the release of the Netflix drama's second season, mean their 2017 successes were not outliers.)

That's not to say the drama races aren't without their own new blood. 13 Reasons Why breakout Katherine Langford scored a nomination for best actress after her Netflix series was snubbed by the Emmys. And joining Longworth, Foy and Outlander's Caitroina Balfe are Handmaid's Tale star Elisabeth Moss and The Deuce's Maggie Gyllenhaal. Among actors, Jason Bateman gave Ozark its lone nomination. Same goes for The Good Doctor star Freddie Highmore. They'll compete with This Is Us' Sterling K. Brown, Better Call Saul's Bob Odenkirk and Ray Donovan star Liev Schreiber.

Still, the 2018 Golden Globes look likely to be driven mostly by Big Little Lies. Duplicating much of the miniseries' (now series series) Emmy track record, both Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are both nominated — as are supporting players Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley and Alexander Skarsgard. (The show's closest competition, FX and Ryan Murphy's Feud, went away empty-handed at the Emmys, save hair and makeup.)

As always, the Golden Globes' relation to the rest of the TV awards ecosystem is pretty thin. Unlike with film, Globe noms and wins don't often translate to success with Guild kudos or with the very large TV Academy voting body. But, with such a constantly refreshing list of nominees there's bound to be at least a few surprises.