Critic's Notebook: A Golden Globes Winners Wish List
Golden Globe Awards when it comes to the TV categories. The wins often feel as random as the out-of-the-box nominees. One thing you can expect, though, is the unexpected: like last year's emotional win for Jane the Virgin's Gina Rodriguez, or looking way back, the coronation of ingenues like Alias's Jennifer Garner and Felicity's Keri Russell early in those shows' runs.
With that in mind, here are some possible-to-probable results that would make the night the most satisfying in keeping with the Globes' peculiar traditions:
Look at all the underdogs taking on Emmy winner Game of Thrones, which has also never won the big Globes prize: Starz's luscious Outlander, Netflix's Narcos (rightly squeezing out House of Cards), USA's dazzlingly trippy Mr. Robot—even Fox's Empire, snubbed at the Emmys. Considering how the Globes voters respond to buzz and noise, I'd expect Empire to walk away with this, guaranteeing an explosive celebration on stage.
If Mr. Robot doesn't score an upset as Best Drama, which would be a gas, count on its rising star Rami Malek to be this year's discovery in the spotlight for his haunted performance—unless the Globes follows Emmy's lead in rewarding Mad Men's Jon Hamm for Don Draper's last bow. (Keep in mind that the only other time Hamm won a Globe for the role was off camera in 2007, because of a writers' strike.) Either would be a great moment, but don't count out Narcos's Wagner Moura, because of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's international bent. Ray Donovan's Liev Schreiber and Better Call Saul's Bob Odenkirk seem awfully long shots.
It's only fair that after watching Viola Davis wow the Emmy crowd for her How to Get Away With Murder win, this would be Taraji P. Henson's turn to have her moment for bringing the instantly iconic Cookie Lyon to life. She'd make the most of it. (Don't be surprised, though, if Outlander's luminous Caitriona Balfe comes out of nowhere. The Globes are just that way.)
Will last year's winner, Transparent, repeat? Is it finally Orange Is the New Black's turn? (Yes, it's not really a comedy, but when did that ever matter?) Even by Globes' standards, Hulu's Casual and Amazon's Mozart in the Jungle are obscure outliers, and HBO's Silicon Valley way too scruffy (though a scream), so my money's on HBO's Veep to score in this election year in (amazingly) its first best-comedy nomination.
Also astonishing is that Julia Louis-Dreyfus has never taken home a Globe for HBO's Veep, even after four consecutive Emmy wins. (How iconoclastic are these Globes voters, anyway?) The Globes loves to honor Old Hollywood, so might go with second-generation star Jamie Lee Curtis (a two-time Globes winner) for Fox's dreadful Scream Queens or the legendary Lily Tomlin from Netflix's Grace and Frankie. They also love Young Hollywood, which is why a repeat win for Jane's Rodriguez or even her CW colleague Rachel Bloom for the insane Crazy Ex-Girlfriend isn't out of the question. And the prospect of Bloom singing her acceptance is just delicious. Still: suspecting a mini-Veep sweep with Julia Louis-Dreyfus reigning.
Jeffrey Tambor is the appropriate choice, going for a repeat win for his beautiful and transformative work on Transparent. The Grinder's Rob Lowe and Mozart's dashing Gael Garcia Bernal are inspired picks. (Patrick Stewart for Starz's awful Blunt Talk, not so much.) But the Globes' never-ending desire to appear hip and relevant should swing the pendulum toward Aziz Ansari for his unexpectedly soul-baring breakthrough in Netflix's quasi-autobiographical Master of None.
Limited Series (aka Movies and Minis)
FX's Fargo, hands down. Ditto Fargo's brilliant Kirsten Dunst for lead actress over Lady Gaga from American Horror Story: Hotel—even the Globes' superstar-pandering has limits. For lead actor, Mark Rylance of PBS's Wolf Hall (also a front runner in the movies' supporting category for Bridge of Spies) should satisfy the Globes' need to embrace someone from across the pond, although Oscar Isaac (his profile risen with Star Wars exposure) is just as worthy as the tragic crusader in HBO's Show Me a Hero.
The goofiest grab-bag in any awards' race is this mix of actors from comedies, dramas and limited series. Because last year's drama winner The Affair is otherwise MIA, Maura Tierney seems the way to go in the actress category, with Damian Lewis as Wolf Hall's fiery Henry VIII worthy of crowning. (But Ben Mendolsohn of Netflix's Bloodline or Outlander's villainous Tobias Menzies would be perfectly acceptable who-are-they-again head-scratchers for the home audience.)