Golden Globes: 'Affair' and 'Transparent' Wins Punctuate a Big Night for Women

Transparent Cast Onstage Golden Globes - H 2015
Paul Drinkwater/NBC

Transparent Cast Onstage Golden Globes - H 2015

The best drama and comedy winners both hail from female showrunners — as Amazon notably breaks through

No one could accuse this year's Golden Globes of being predictable — at least where the small screen is concerned. The TV series and actors singled out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for the 2015 kudos are a who's-who of new blood.

From the top of the night and stretching until the best drama win for Showtime's The Affair, the Globes dependably picked first-timers and young guns and bestowed surprise awards on outliers like Amazon (Transparent) and The CW (Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez). It was also a huge night for women showrunners. Jill Soloway (Transparent) and Sarah Treem (The Affair) saw their creations top the two biggest races, each with only one season under their respective belts.

"It's not an accident," Treem said backstage after the show. "Women are storytellers, too. I think what's exciting is that when it started to change, it it changed very quickly. What that tells me is that women have been waiting in the wings for a long time."

In retrospect, the first TV category of the evening set the tone. Yes, Downton Abbey is a perennial fave for anyone tasked with nominating anything even tangentially TV, but that hasn't translated to many trophies. Joanne Froggatt's win for her supporting work on the drama was also her first nomination for the show, though she's twice been up for an Emmy in the same race.

And if Rodriguez's win for little-watched CW comedy Jane the Virgin was a breath of fresh air, Transparent's win for best comedy and nod to star Jeffrey Tambor was a gust. The streaming series, a critical fave from veteran scribe Soloway, mirrored the surprise wins for Brooklyn Nine-Nine and star Andy Samberg last year. (Brooklyn was shut out this year, like many past TV nominees.) In one night, Amazon made a bigger impact than Netflix did during its first year of eligibility.

Read More The Complete Golden Globes Winners List

Netflix didn't walk away empty-handed, either, though. The second time was the charm for Kevin Spacey. The House of Cards star won for best actor, his first accolade for the political drama. Spacey's win also kept The Affair from sweeping the big drama categories. He topped Dominic West, who saw Affair co-star Ruth Wilson walk away with the Globe for best lead actress in a drama.

Showtime's two big Affair wins also put it ahead of HBO for the night. The perennial leader in TV accolades pulled one trophy when Matt Bomer nabbed the supporting actor nod for his work in the pay cable net's 2014 adaptation of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart. Noticeably absent from any winners lists is HBO's True Detective. Technically an anthology, the network moved it into the miniseries race after entering it as a drama at the Emmys.

That didn't deter FX's Fargo. Again entered as a miniseries, the anthology topped the category with a win for creator Noah Hawley and a best actor nod for Billy Bob Thornton. The latter win won't be repeated, as Fargo is enlisting an entirely different cast for its second go-round. (Elsewhere in minis, Maggie Gyllenhaal brought a win for Sundance TV's sleeper mini The Honorable Woman.)

The HFPA has something of an ephemeral affection for the TV series it chooses to celebrate, obvious from this year's many snubs, but also evidenced by this year's Golden Globes is a clear affection for the underdog. Each TV win was a first for everyone whose name was called onstage.