Friday, December 18, 2009

Golden Globes: TV

The thing I love about the Golden Globes is that they're a combination of the Oscars and the Emmys, with twice the alcohol and half the prestige. But compared to the Emmys, the Globes are much more willing to include new programs and honor new perfomances that would otherwise be sidelined at the Emmys in favor of old favorites. This year is more or less the same, as you can see below. BEST DRAMA
  • Big Love
  • Dexter
  • House
  • Mad Men
  • True Blood
I'm bitter that they didn't include Lost here, which is coming off it's fantastic fifth season (shameless plug: the final season begins February 2, 2010!). But this group is not in the least surprising. True Blood recieved great reviews this year and developed into a huge hit for HBO, as has the superior Dexter for Showtime. House has evolved into a fascinating network character drama, with critics and fans adoring every minute of it. However, per usual, I'm sure this night belongs to Mad Men, though the Globes don't always choose the predictable favorite. Dexter or True Blood could pull the upset.
BEST ACTRESS - DRAMA
  • Glenn Close, Damages
  • January Jones, Mad Men
  • Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
  • Anna Paquin, True Blood
  • Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Who would have thought, at the beginning of the 2009-2010 TV season, that The Good Wife would be the recipient of such good will? I personally haven't seen it, but appearantly what could have been a shameless drama about political infidelity has become a rah-rah feminist drama that features a strong female character who is not a quote-unquote "bitch." So good for Margulies for earning a nod here. Otherwise, this is a fairly standard set of nominees, though it does noticably exclude Edie Falco's performance in Nurse Jackie.
BEST ACTOR - DRAMA
  • Simon Baker, The Mentalist
  • Michael C. Hall, Dexter
  • Jon Hamm, Mad Men
  • Hugh Laurie, House
  • Bill Paxton, Big Love
So Laurie has two of these things but no Emmys for this role? Scandalous. In a perfect world, Hall would have won this at the Emmys for his incredible performance as Dexter Morgan, a role that could have been one-note but has been given a multitude of layers and textures by Hall. I kind of feel like the Globes are copying the Emmys with the Baker nomination, and though Paxton could be considered an unusual choice, the Globes actually like him a lot. And Hamm is probably going to win this. It should be noted, however, that two-time Emmy winner Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) is absent from this category.
BEST COMEDY
  • 30 Rock
  • Entourage
  • Glee
  • Modern Family
  • The Office
Glee and Modern Family are the best new shows of the season, so their inclusion here is well-earned and, with any luck, one of them will win. 30 Rock and The Office are old (and hilarious) favorites, and 30 Rock will most likely win. I don't know why Entourage has suddenly reemerged, but it seems to be popular again, at least critically. Most importantly, the Globes have righted an obnoxious Emmy wrong: no Family Guy.
BEST ACTRESS - COMEDY
  • Toni Collette, United States of Tara
  • Courteney Cox, Cougar Town
  • Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
  • Tina Fey, 30 Rock
  • Lea Michele, Glee
So Nurse Jackie is actually a comedy? Who knew? This is actually an eclectic category this year, with nary a housewife of the usual kind (Desperate Housewives and Weeds) in sight. Instead, we see Toni Collette in her Emmy encore (she's actually quite entertaining) and Tina Fey returning for her fantastic role as Liz Lemon, a modern, thinking-girl's version of Mary Tyler Moore. Courteney Cox is appearantly quite a draw in Cougar Town, another show, like The Good Wife, that surprisingly worked. And Glee's Michele is an inspired choice; her performance as the glee club's main diva is pitch-perfect.
BEST ACTOR - COMEDY
  • Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
  • Steve Carell, The Office
  • David Duchovny, Californication
  • Thomas Jane, Hung
  • Matthew Morrison, Glee
In the traditional category, Baldwin and Carell have returned for their routinely uproarous turns on their respective programs. The Globes really like Duchovny, whose performance on Californication is solid and, honestly, the best part of the show. I'm surprised that Jane is here, given Hung's lackluster viewership and mediocre reviews, but maybe this is a vote of confidence to bring it back. And once again, the Glee nomination is inspired and welcome: its obvious that the Globes love this show (just like the rest of us), and Morrison is the heart of the show, balancing his comedy with dark drama (just watch his reaction to his wife's fake pregnancy).
BEST MINISERIES OR MADE-FOR-TELEVISION MOVIE
  • Georgia O'Keeffe
  • Grey Gardens
  • Into the Storm
  • Little Dorrit
  • Taking Chance
HBO still has a stronghold here, with three of the nominees (Gardens, Storm, and Chance). I don't really know much about these, except that the Emmys really liked Dorrit and Gardens, so one of them will probably take this one.
BEST ACTRESS - MINISERIES OR MADE-FOR-TELEVISION MOVIE
  • Joan Allen, Georgia O'Keeffe
  • Drew Barrymore, Grey Gardens
  • Jessica Lange, Grey Gardens
  • Anna Paquin, The Courageous Heart of Irena
  • Sigourney Weaver, Prayers for Bobby
They really love Paquin, don't they? The rest are kind of expected, and its most likely that one of the Gardens girls will win.
BEST ACTOR - MINISERIES OR MADE-FOR-TELEVISION MOVIE
  • Kevin Bacon, Taking Chance
  • Kenneth Branagh, Wallander: One Step Behind
  • Chiwtel Ejiofor, Endgame
  • Brendan Gleeson, Into the Storm
  • Jeremy Irons, Georgia O'Keeffe
This pretty much looks exactly like the Emmy category, with the exceptions of Irons and Ejiofor (both of whom the Globes seem to really, really like).
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
  • Jane Adams, Hung
  • Rose Byrne, Damages
  • Jane Lynch, Glee
  • Janet McTeer, Into the Storm
  • Chloe Sevigny, Big Love
The thing I love about these nominees is how 4 out of 5 of them come from TV series, rather than miniseries and movies. The best of the bunch is easily Lynch, who deserves the win here the most.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
  • Michael Emerson, Lost
  • Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
  • William Hurt, Damages
  • John Lithgow, Dexter
  • Jeremy Piven, Entourage
This is probably the strongest acting category of the TV Globes, with a fantastic set of actors who either define or revitalize their respective shows. Piven gets the most attention from Entourage, and Hurt brought a strong male voice to the strongly-female based Damages. However, the trophy breaks down to a three-way race: Emerson, who's finally been recognized by the Emmys for his intensely creepy and intricate work on Lost; Harris, who is the catchphrase-generating womanizer who proivdes some of Mother's funniest moments; and Lithgow, who on this past season of Dexter proved to be Dexter's biggest challenge yet as the Trinity Killer. With any luck, one of these three will win.

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