In many ways, awards season has never seemed less important – but the show, as always, must go on.
The 78th Golden Globe Award ceremony is set to take place on Sunday, 28 February, with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey returning to host for the fourth time. For the first time ever, the arrangement will be a bi-coastal one, with Fey broadcasting from New York’s Rockefeller Center, and Poehler from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in California.
When the nominations were announced earlier this month, many of the picks were met with apathy and outrage. The nominees are selected by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association – an organisation which comprises less than 100 members – and the voting process is notoriously opaque.
This year, a host of notable snubs included Paul Mescal in Normal People, Michaela Coel’s HBO series I May Destroy You, and Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, while some of the inclusions – such as the critically panned comedy Emily in Paris – raised eyebrows.
The Globes’ film awards are often seen (rightly or wrongly) as a barometer for the Oscars – which are being held this year in April – but the TV categories are more an end unto themselves.
With The Crown leading the way for most nominations, followed by Canadian sitcom Schitt’s Creek, whose final season took the Emmys by storm last year, there’s a handful of interesting match-ups across the different TV categories.
Here is a breakdown of who we think will win each award, who deserves to win the most, and who we’re disappointed not to see nominated…
Best Television Series, Drama
Will win: The Crown
Should Win:The Mandalorian
Shoulda got a look-in:I May Destroy You
Given the mixed reviews of some of the nominees, it’s hard to call 2020 a vintage year for TV drama. The Crown’s six nominations suggest that the voters have a soft spot for the Netflix show’s stately charms, but the comparatively frivolous Mandalorian has it beaten for sheer well-crafted entertainment. I May Destroy You, however, remains perhaps the most egregious snub of the whole ceremony.
Best Television Series, Comedy or Musical
Emily in Paris
The Flight Attendant
Will win: Schitt’s Creek
Should win: Schitt’s Creek
Shoulda got a look-in: Dave
A beloved long-running series coming to an end often plays well during awards season, and Schitt’s Creek certainly ticks a lot of boxes. The affable, quietly empowering sitcom, about a wealthy family who slum it in a run-down motel, was a surprise Emmy darling, and stands head and shoulders above the competition both critically and in popular support. Still, it’s a shame there wasn’t room for Dave – FX’s hilarious and insightful dramedy about an aspiring rapper played by Dave “Lil Dicky” Burd – among the nominations.
Best Limited Series, Anthology or TV Movie
The Queen’s Gambit
Will win: The Queen’s Gambit
Should win: Small Axe
Shoulda got a look-in: The Plot Against America
A tighter category to call. There were a handful of very good miniseries last year, with Steve McQueen’s Small Axe and the BBC’s Sally Rooney adaptation Normal People both resonating powerfully with viewers. But it’d be difficult to bet against The Queen’s Gambit, the chess-themed miniseries that drew huge viewership numbers for Netflix and even caused a surge in the popularity of chess.
Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series, Drama
Olivia Colman – The Crown
Jodie Comer – Killing Eve
Emma Corrin – The Crown
Laura Linney – Ozark
Sarah Paulson – Ratched
Will win: Olivia Colman – The Crown
Should win: Laura Linney – Ozark
Shoulda got a look-in: Rhea Seehorn – Better Call Saul
People love Olivia Colman. If that much wasn’t clear three years ago, you’d better believe it was clear when she took home her Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Queen Anne in The Favourite. Her turn as Queen Elizabeth II (which she took over from Claire Foy at the start of The Crown’s third season) couldn’t be more different to her Queen Anne; she captures the monarch with a deft performance that strikes the right balance of impression and interpretation. She is, however, not a patch on Better Call Saul’s Rhea Seehorn, whose work as skilled attorney Kim Wexler was robbed of recognition for the fifth year running.
Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series, Drama
Jason Bateman – Ozark
Josh O’Connor – The Crown
Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul
Al Pacino – Hunters
Matthew Rhys– Perry Mason
Will win: Matthew Rhys – Perry Mason
Should win: Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul
Shoulda got a look in: Pedro Pascal – The Mandalorian
This category could also go a few different ways, though Matthew Rhys’ widely acclaimed turn in HBO’s Perry Mason reboot might just edge it. Rhys was twice nominated before, for his role in the FX spy thriller The Americans, so he’ll be hoping that the third time’s the charm.
Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series, Comedy or Musical
Lily Collins – Emily in Paris
Kaley Cuoco – The Flight Attendant
Elle Fanning – The Great
Jane Levy – Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
Catherine O’Hara – Schitt’s Creek
Will win: Catherine O’Hara – Schitt’s Creek
Should win: Catherine O’Hara – Schitt’s Creek
Shoulda got a look-in: Pamela Adlon – Better Things
It’s hard to see anyone topping O’Hara, who gives a tornado of a performance as Schitt’s Creek’s histrionic matriarch Moira Rose. An industry veteran known for her great if often unshowy work in films such as Home Alone and Beetlejuice, O’Hara has, in Moira, been given a chance to really stretch her comedic muscles. She took home the Emmy back in September, and is expected to take home the top prize here.
Best Performance by an Actor in a TV series, Comedy or Musical
Don Cheadle – Black Monday
Nicholas Hoult – The Great
Eugene Levy – Schitt’s Creek
Jason Sudeikis – Ted Lasso
Ramy Youssef – Ramy
Will win: Jason Sudeikis – Ted Lasso
Should win: Ramy Youssef – Ramy
Shoulda got a look in: Matt Berry – What We Do in the Shadows
It wouldn’t be hugely surprising to see Eugene Levy bag an award for Schitt’s Creek, or Ramy Youssef for Ramy, the sublime Hulu comedy series which he both co-created and starred in. The current frontrunner, however, is Jason Sudeikis, whose turn as a fledgling Premier League coach in the fish-out-of-water football comedy Ted Lasso was a surprising success – taking a fairly tired premise and imbuing in with no small amount of comic prowess.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series, Anthology or TV Movie
Cate Blanchett – Mrs America
Daisy Edgar-Jones – Normal People
Shira Haas – Unorthodox
Nicole Kidman – The Undoing
Anya Taylor-Joy – The Queen’s Gambit
Will win: Anya Taylor-Joy – The Queen’s Gambit
Should win: Shira Haas – Unorthodox
Shoulda got a look-in: Winona Ryder – The Plot Against America
It’ll be a surprise if anyone other than Anya Taylor-Joy emerges victorious in this category. A bona fide film star on the ascendence, the 24-year-old actor seems to have momentum on her side – and her performance as troubled chess prodigy Beth Harmon was an accomplished one. But other nominees are no less deserving, especially Shira Haas, whose role as a young Jewish woman who flees her ultra-orthodox husband and community to pursue a new life in Berlin was one of the year’s very best performances.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series, Anthology or TV Movie
Bryan Cranston – Your Honour
Jeff Daniels – The Comey Rule
Hugh Grant – The Undoing
Ethan Hawke – The Good Lord Bird
Mark Ruffalo – I Know This Much Is True
Will win: Mark Ruffalo – I Know This Much Is True
Should win: Mark Ruffalo – I Know This Much Is True
Shoulda got a look in: Paul Mescal – Normal People
This star-studded category sees a number of industry heavyweights face off – with Mark Ruffalo sitting at the front of the pack for his dual roles in the generally underseen miniseries I Know This Much Is True. Playing two twin brothers, one of whom suffers from serious mental illness, Ruffalo is given a lot to do, and he pulls it off with typical assuredness. Hawke is the youngest nominee here, though, at a sprightly 50 years old; it would have been nice to see some up-and-coming talent make the cut, and Normal People’s Paul Mescal could rightly feel aggrieved at being passed over for a nod.
Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series
Gillian Anderson – The Crown
Helena Bonham Carter – The Crown
Julia Garner – Ozark
Annie Murphy – Schitt’s Creek
Cynthia Nixon – Ratched
Will win: Gillian Anderson – The Crown
Should Win: Annie Murphy – Schitt’s Creek
Shoulda got a look in: Alison Brie – BoJack Horseman
Playing a larger-than-life historical figure is always a decent tack to take in the pursuit of Awards glory, and as Meryl Streep would attest, Margaret Thatcher is just such a figure. The divisive Tory PM was embodied in The Crown by Sex Education star Gillian Anderson in a performance which ably captured Thatcher’s cold, combative affect. But Annie Murphy should win for Alexis, the pampered socialite with a heart of gold.
Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series
John Boyega – Small Axe, “Red, White and Blue”
Daniel Levy – Schitt’s Creek
Brendan Gleeson – The Comey Rule
Jim Parsons – Hollywood
Donald Sutherland – The Undoing
Will win: Daniel Levy – Schitt’s Creek
Should win: John Boyega – Small Axe, “Red, White and Blue”
Shoulda got a look in: GaTa – Dave
With a scene-stealing role in last year’s holiday comedy Happiest Season and a recent hosting slot on Saturday Night Live, Daniel Levy seems poised to become the breakout star of Schitt’s Creek, and he’s the bookies’ favourite to take home the prize on Sunday night. He’s hardly a “supporting” actor – no more than Eugene Levy or Catherine O’Hara, really – but putting the usual spurious category politics aside, Levy would be a fairly deserved victor. There is more depth, and difficulty, however, in John Boyega’s Small Axe turn as police reformist Leroy Logan, or GaTa’s supporting role in Dave – playing Lil Dicky’s hype-man who is diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
The 78th Golden Globe Award ceremony will take place on Sunday, 28 February