And just like that awards season is upon us, blowing in with such bluster and fanfare you would think there was some sort of procession for a clothes-less emperor approaching. Despite the fact that the Emmys were held back in September, the Golden Globes offer something different from the Emmys. Perhaps it is because the TV gets to rub elbows with movies or simply that the Golden Globes offer a different time table for awards consideration – such as Breaking Bad’s final season being up for awards in the Golden Globes or the new Masters of Sex. So without further ado, the predictions.
Breaking Bad and a Three Woman Race
Once all the dust had settled, Breaking Bad was widely regarded as the best ending to a TV show ever. If that is so then there is no way Breaking Bad should lose for best overall drama series. And since Bryan Cranston is so central to the show it would have to make him the front-runner for best actor in a drama. Aaron Paul is also nominated for best supporting actor (the Golden Globes do not differentiated between comedy or drama or series, mini-series, or TV movie for supporting actor/actress awards).
Breaking Bad’s toughest competition is most likely Netflix’s excellent House of Cards. Not only did House of Cards receive more nominations than Breaking Bad, but they are also competing head to head with Kevin Spacey and Corey Stoll. Showtime’s Masters of Sex could also be a dark horse for best drama and actor.
Best lead actress might be the best race of them all on the drama side of things. Robin Wright for House of Cards turned in a great performance as the cold, calculating wife to Kevin Spacey. Taylor Schilling of Orange Is the New Black officially took the mantle of “breakout star of 2013” from fellow nominee Kerry Washington. But while Orange Is the New Black was a surprise hit, it is certainly arguable that the show’s quality has more to do with the ensemble than the one and a half note Schilling. The oft-nominated Julianna Margulies for The Good Wife returns yet again. Unfortunately I have not seen/do not watch any of the shows for which the best supporting actresses have been nominated.
Interestingly absent from this year’s nominations is Homeland and anything to do with it. After back-to-back wins for the series and its lead actress, Claire Danes, and a win last year for Damian Lewis the show is completely shut out this year. Ouch.
Predictions: I think Breaking Bad and Cranston win in their final year of eligibility, especially since House of Cards Will be returning for a second season. I would not be surprised if Aaron Paul won best supporting actor either but I think Corey Stoll is more deserving. I think Washington gets the nod for lead actress but it will be close with Robin Wright. And picking blindly for supporting actress I say Sofia Vergara finally wins after having lost the past three Golden Globes.
What To Do Without a Frontrunner?
Where there are clear-cut leaders in the drama and mini-series/movie categories, comedy is completely wide open. Long time stalwarts for best comedy The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family are back, as well as last year’s winner Girls. Joining those three are two Michael Schur created comedies Parks and Recreation and the new Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Each comedy offers something different from the other and none stand out above the rest. While Girls did improve in its second season the show doesn’t have the same buzz it did going into last year’s Golden Globes. Likewise, Big Bang and Modern Family are elder statesmen in comparison to Girls and have offered very little in terms of novelty. There is something to be said for creating a long-running show without suffering much of a dip in quality but no one is excited over those two. And Schur’s brand of comedy is very similar between his two comedies, which may cause his votes to be split.
The best lead actor and actress categories have nominated some different shows, however. Don Cheadle and Lena Dunham look to repeat their wins from last year. Cheadle, especially, has some competition in terms of new-ish blood. Jason Bateman is nominated for reprising his role from Arrested Development and Michael J. Fox returned to TV this year with his performance as himself in a show named after him. Andy Samberg is also nominated for the first season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The lead actress category returns the same nominees as last year except for switching out Tina Fey for Edie Falco in Nurse Jackie. Dunham and Julia Louis-Dreyfus are probably the frontrunners.
There are no nominees for supporting actor from a comedy but Sofia Vergara is nominated, yet again, for Modern Family. And as I mentioned earlier I expect her to finally break through with a win.
Predictions: Girls repeats for best comedy series, especially since it did improve dramatically between its first and second seasons. In fact, a repeat in both lead actor and actress categories for Cheadle and Dunham probably is the most likely scenario as well. Cheadle’s main competition could come from Michael J. Fox simply because he’s Michael J. Fox and Andy Samberg’s charming goof. Dunham has the inside track for the repeat but only slightly on the more deserving Louis-Dreyfus. And do I really need to go over Vergara again?
Rising From the Shadow Cast Behind the Candelabra
Starz has to be pleased with its two nominations for best mini-series/TV movie with White Queen and Dancing on the Edge. But let’s be honest here, nothing is going to beat Behind the Candelabra. Candelabra is truly a movie worthy of the big screen that couldn’t find a distributor because no one believed it would make money. Featuring a very good impersonation of Liberace by Michael Douglas and an even better performance by Matt Damon as Liberace’s boyfriend, Behind the Candelabra is not only the frontrunner but is also deserving of any awards it is nominated. However, if Douglas and Damon split votes it could allow any of the other three nominees, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Idris Elba, or Al Pacino to slide into the award. Rob Lowe, despite his sub-thirty minutes of screen time is even nominated for best supporting actor and is perhaps the most deserving of all Candelabra actors.
The only category not featuring nominees from Candelabra are, not surprisingly, best actress. I personally have only seen one episode of Top of the Lake and HBO’s biopic Phil Spector, so I can’t really delve into this category. Helen Mirren as Phil Spector’s attorney, who corralled and came to empathize for, Spector was a very good performance but nothing that will blow your socks off. Jessica Lange also received nomination for the self-proclaimed mini-series American Horror Story: Coven, her third for each “non-season” of American Horror Story.
Predictions: Behind the Candelabra wins both best movie and Michael Douglas beats out Matt Damon for lead actor. The more interesting scenario would be if the votes were split between Douglas and Damon, as both Ejiofor and Elba are also nominated for lead actor in a motion picture drama. If either wins in that category don’t be surprised if the loser wins in the miniseries category. However, if neither wins for lead actor in a motion picture drama don’t be surprised if this award becomes a consolation prize. I’ll go with Helen Mirren to win lead actress for a mini-series/movie just because that’s the only performance I’ve really seen and it was good enough to garner a win. And while Lowe was utterly enjoyable he probably did not have enough screen time to deserve the award for supporting actor.
Check back on Monday, January 13th for my reactions to the winners of the 71st Golden Globes.
Chris graduated from the University of Iowa with a double major in English and Cinema.