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Trying to figure out what will be nominated for a Golden Globe is a fool’s game. It’s like figuring out just how your crazy uncle will act at your house during the holidays. “Unpredictable” would be a term of endearment.
But the Globes in particular are hard to read because the Hollywood Foreign Press Association invariably has two or four picks that are unfathomable. Piper Perabo is lovely and talented, but her nomination last year for best actress in a drama for USA’s Covert Affairs was, let’s say, a solitary voice among the shouts and murmurs of qualified candidates. (See also: Caan, Scott, for supporting actor in Hawaii 5-0)
But credit the Globes for two admirable trends: The awards are not afraid to be early adopters on quality shows — witness The Walking Dead and Boardwalk Empire last year. Similarly, the HFPA isn’t afraid to make the wild-card pick — the one you didn’t really consider but isn’t, upon further review, such a bad idea after all. So, in the spirit of Globes’ quirkiness, here’s a selection of possible nominees:
Best Television Series, Drama
Boss (Starz) and Homeland (Showtime). Both deserve to be there, as they should for Emmy consideration, but both could be squeezed out by more conventional (but equally worthy) picks such as Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, Justified and Game of Thrones. It wouldn’t hurt to show a little respect to the overlooked — like FX’s Sons of Anarchy and HBO’s Treme — but I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that FX’s American Horror Story is a more likely dark horse pick.
Best Actress in a Television Series, Drama
Claire Danes seems the obvious pick here for Homeland. But fixing the Emmys’ slight of Khandi Alexander in HBO’s Treme and Emmy Rossum in Showtime’s Shameless wouldn’t hurt either. Katey Sagal of Sons of Anarchy winning in this category last year was a bright spot. Another pleasing dark horse would be Michelle Fairley for HBO’s Game of Thrones.
Best Actor in a Television Series, Drama
Kelsey Grammer and Damian Lewis ought to be slam dunks for Boss and Homeland, respectively. But keep a light on for Sean Bean (Game of Thrones) and Wendell Pierce (Treme). Competition here will be, as expected, intense.
Best Television Series, Comedy or Musical
Let the fresh blood and outcasts rise up — Wilfred on FX, Enlightened on HBO, Raising Hope on Fox, Parks and Recreation on NBC and, hey, can we spare one (bleep, bleep, bleeping) second to raise our hands for FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia?
Best Actress in a Television Series, Comedy or Musical
Jane Levy in ABC’s Suburgatory has to be here, along with Laura Dern for her performance in HBO’s Enlightened. Martha Plimpton should have been here last year for Raising Hope; Amy Poehler, too, for Parks and Recreation. But, see, those last two are obvious — and the reason they weren’t nominated is because, like the Emmys, the Globes have a fascination with exceptional dramatic actresses who get nominated for unfunny half-hour dramas. See: Falco, Edie. And hey, the show might still be finding its legs, but Christina Applegate in NBC’s Up All Night would be a delightfully worthy choice.
Best Actor in a Television Series, Comedy or Musical
God only knows what’s going to happen here, but Rob McElhenney from Sunny and Jason Gann of Wilfred might make this the best Globes in years. And put Garret Dillahunt (Raising Hope) and Will Arnett (Up All Night) into the mix, shall we?
Here’s the thing about digging up overlooked talent on awards shows — there are too many good picks. It’s not like the Globes are going to right all the wrongs of the Emmys or, for that matter, the wrongs of the Globes themselves. No awards show is going to lard these nominations with brilliant but ignored actors, even if that would thrill us all. Hell, we haven’t even talked about supporting roles or miniseries. Globes folks, if you want to be inspired and different — and we want you to be exactly that — there’s no lack of qualified talent.
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