Sometimes the biggest surprise is that there aren’t any. When it comes to this year’s Golden Globe Awards nominees in the television categories, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association managed to get it mostly right — living up to most predictions, with just a few unexpected choices thrown in for good measure.
Trying to guess this year’s Globes nominations, and what the 90 or so HFPA members were thinking, was a bit trickier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With no in-person events and much of the membership back at home overseas instead of hobnobbing in Hollywood, pundits went into Wednesday’s nomination announcement a bit more blind in guessing who or what might have sway over the group.
But perhaps it’s because everyone’s at home, watching plenty of the same TV, that this year’s Globes selections ended up being on point with the shows pretty much on everyone’s binge lists: “Ted Lasso,” “The Queen’s Gambit,” “The Crown,” “Schitt’s Creek,” among many others.
The most unexpected showing was probably how much sway Ryan Murphy’s Netflix series “Ratched” would have over the group, which gave it three noms. But with a proven hitmaker like Murphy and a perennial favorite in star Sarah Paulson, it wasn’t a shock. Murphy had a good morning, as his Netflix series “Hollywood” and film “The Prom” also received nods.
Also in the kinda-surprising-but-I-guess-not-really field was the HFPA’s embrace of Netflix’s “Emily in Paris” in best musical or comedy series and star Lily Collins in the musical or comedy actress race. It’s a buzzy show set in France, and features the breakout Collins, so why not. In the end, the one truly pleasant and unexpected treat was seeing NBC’s “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” star Jane Levy land a nomination for best musical or comedy actress. (In a comedy with strong musical elements! It even lives up to the category name!)
If there was ever a category that screamed “HFPA,” it’s this year’s musical or comedy series race, which seems tailor-made to the Globes’ global appeal: The France-set “Emily in Paris,” the period satire “The Great,” the U.K.-set “Ted Lasso,” the Canadian “Schitt’s Creek” and the jet-setting “The Flight Attendant” will all face off.
No surprise, Netflix dominated the TV nominations with 20 nods, but HFPA voters managed to spread the wealth among other streamers, as Hulu (six noms), Amazon Prime Video (three), Apple TV Plus (two), HBO Max (two) and Disney Plus (one) also made their way in. HBO was second behind Netflix with seven nominations, while Showtime and its ViacomCBS sibling Pop TV (thanks to “Schitt’s Creek”) were close behind with five. Broadcast TV, meanwhile, almost completely blanked it — with the exception of Levy’s nod for NBC.
HBO was hampered by the fact that two of last year’s best shows, “I May Destroy You” and “We Are Who We Are” — both of which seemingly should have appealed to HFPA voters — somehow didn’t resonate.
The big question now: Will HFPA voters gravitate toward rewarding something new in the drama and comedy/musical categories, or will they be tempted to go with “The Crown” and “Schitt’s Creek”? Both are fine picks, but “The Crown” is already a Globes and Emmy winner for best drama, while “Schitt’s Creek” already dominated the Emmys last September for its final season.
HFPA members famously love to see the Golden Globes as a tastemaker and trailblazer, honoring new series first thanks to the ceremony’s timing at the start of the calendar year. That could lead to “Ted Lasso” making a strong run at “Schitt’s Creek” at the very least. But in drama, it’s clear “The Crown” is the one to beat. With nominations for Olivia Colman (Queen Elizabeth) and Emma Corrin (Princess Diana) in drama actress; Josh O’Connor (Prince Charles) in drama actor, and Gillian Anderson (Margaret Thatcher) and Helena Bonham Carter (Princess Margaret) in supporting actress, you can say that the HFPA finds “The Crown” too regal to ignore.