The Golden Globes are here. This Sunday night on NBC, host Jimmy Fallon will tell a few jokes about the champagne-guzzling celebrities in attendance and then the Hollywood Foreign Press will hand out awards to, well, whoever the Hollywood Foreign Press wants to hand awards out to this year. The Golden Globes are always weird, especially in the TV categories. Sometimes this is good, because the emphasis on new shows can shine a light on people and projects that could really use it (Gina Rodriguez for Jane the Virgin, Rachel Bloom for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), but it also makes scrolling through lists of previous winners an exercise in disbelief (“Wait… The Affair won for Best Drama?”) And sometimes they don’t make sense at all. Take a few minutes to look back through nominees and winner from the past 10-15 years. It’s a trip.
All of which is to say, attempting to predict the winners can be a fool’s errand at best and a waste of everyone’s time at worst. But we’re going to do it anyway. Remember, these picks are not based on merit. They’re based on who we think the Hollywood Foreign Press will select. We’re not the ones you should be yelling at here.
Best Television Series — Drama
Game Of Thrones
This Is Us
Brian: The Globes loves to award the new shiny and/or weird thing, which makes them both predictable and totally unpredictable. There are a lot of shiny new things here, on what is a really weird list. I’d like to see, oh, I don’t know, Stranger Things win? Yeah, let’s go with that.
Alan: Dude, it’s The Crown. It checks all the HFPA boxes: new, on a streaming service (and thus extra-new, as far as they’re concerned), and incredibly European. I could see Westworld winning due to the bigger buzz (plus it has Sir Anthony Hopkins and several other international actors), but a show about the young Queen Elizabeth seems much more HFPA’s speed than one about four ‘80s nerds who love to play D&D.
Best Television Series — Musical or Comedy
Mozart In The Jungle
Brian: Mozart in the Jungle has a Golden Globe despite the fact that it is watched by exactly zero people I know who do not work in some form of media. Just pointing that out. My pick here is Atlanta.
Alan: FX doesn’t have a great track record with HFPA, but it’s the only brand-new show in the bunch, which gives it a slight edge over the others. Still, my guess is that their love for Mozart doesn’t run out just yet.
Best Limited Series
The Night Manager
The Night Of
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Brian: The Year of O.J. can only be stopped if the voters decide to get cute and contrarian. If they do, I hope The Night Manager wins, if only so we get more shows about arms dealers named Dickie in pastel shirts drinking champagne in Mallorca.
Alan: Here’s where FX should do juuust fine. HFPA loves being part of the zeitgeist, and the only thing People v. O.J. has going against it is that it aired a long time ago.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Drama
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Billy Bob Thornton, Goliath
Brian: I feel like all of my answers are “Here’s what I think should happen but…” followed by the written equivalent of a shrug emoji. Same here. I’m fine with Rhys or Odenkirk. I bet they give it to Thornton, who was good but also not even the best actor on Goliath. (Nina Arianda as Patty was a delight, all bug-eye sunglasses and swear words.)
Alan: The only Globes-ier pick than Thornton would be for Liev Schreiber to finally win for wearing suits well on Ray Donovan. But Billy Bob seems the obvious choice. (And I’m with you on Arianda being so much fun on Goliath, which I enjoyed up until that lame ending.)
Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series — Drama
Caitriona Balfe, Outlander
Claire Foy, The Crown
Keri Russell, The Americans
Winona Ryder, Stranger Things
Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld
Brian: LOL I have no clue here. Let’s say… Evan Rachel Wood?
Alan: Wood, probably, though Foy has the British thing going for her, plus she’s less famous, and HFPA likes to crown (pun not intended) young unknown actresses.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Musical or Comedy
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Gael Garcia Bernal, Mozart In The Jungle
Donald Glover, Atlanta
Nick Nolte, Graves
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
Brian: I’m going Glover just because Atlanta was a big splashy hit that did more to expand television than any show this year, but I will also accept Nolte for his performance in a show I didn’t watch just because I want to hear his gravelly acceptance speech.
Alan: A Nolte win feels even Globes-ier than Thornton. That show was a mess, but it doesn’t matter here.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series — Musical or Comedy
Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Sarah Jessica Parker, Divorce
Issa Rae, Insecure
Gina Rodriguez, Jane The Virgin
Tracee Ellis-Ross, Black-ish
Brian: Well, Gina Rodriguez won two years ago and Rachel Bloom won last year, so if we keep going with the pattern of Newest Person on the List Wins, then congrats Issa Rae!
Alan: Yup, Rae is the newest of the Hot New Things in this category, though I could also picture them going with Parker, who won a bunch back in the Carrie Bradshaw days.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
Bryan Cranston, All The Way
Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager
John Turturro, The Night Of
Courtney B Vance, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Brian: Riz Ahmed. I didn’t even like The Night Of as much as most people (sloppy, feet, etc.), but his performance was great.
Alan: What do you have against eczema-ridden feet, Brian? What? And this seems tailor-made for Hiddleston, even though I thought he was one of the weaker links in the pretty but dull Night Manager.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Riley Keough, The Girlfriend Experience
Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Charlotte Rampling, London Spy
Kerry Washington, Confirmation
Brian: See, everyone thinks Sarah Paulson should win, because she was great and on a show that was a huge deal, but that’s why they’ll give it to Riley Keough. I’m sure of this. Write it in stone, I say.
Alan: Yeah, Keough fits various HFPA eccentricities a lot more than Paulson does. And she was pretty good, too. But come on.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Sterling K. Brown, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager
John Lithgow, The Crown
Christian Slater, Mr. Robot
John Travolta, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Brian: GIVE IT TO TRAVOLTA HE TRIED SO HARD.
Alan: I take it back about Nolte and Thornton. Travolta winning for that weird, hammy stuff he did in the middle of a show that was largely filled with powerfully nuanced performances would be the Globesiest thing of all. Lock of the night.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Olivia Colman, The Night Manager
Lena Heady, Game Of Thrones
Chrissy Metz, This Is Us
Mandy Moore, This Is Us
Thandie Newton, Westworld
Brian: I bet it goes to Mandy or Thandie, a decision I’m making only in part because their names rhyme.
Alan: Mandy gives them a way to salute an NBC show that’s hot at the moment, while also paying homage to her teen pop days. You know half of HFPA still listens to “Candy.”