Joe Reid isn't just Primetimer's managing editor. He's also an awards expert and one half of the popular podcast, This Had Oscar Buzz. So who better to offer his predictions for who will take home the TV awards at Sunday's 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards?
The Golden Globe television awards are a funny thing. Every year, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, in all its inscrutable glory, votes on the best of movies and TV and then presents awards in TV's drunkest, often most-fun award show. With the movie awards, the nominees are in the throes of the very competitive Oscar season, with the Globe winners perceived as getting a leg up in Oscar voting. Whether or not that is true, the fact remains that the Golden Globe movie awards are a step on the road to something bigger.
The Globe TV awards, on the other hand, don't really lead to anything. They occur several months after the Emmys, and since they don't even cover the same time period as the Emmys (the Globes cover the last calendar year, while the Emmy eligibility period runs from June through May), their usefulness as an Emmy predictor is pretty nil. Historically the Globes have occasionally surfaced a previously unheralded contender, but since the dawn of Peak TV, that's also stopped happening. The HFPA has always had a penchant for the newest, buzziest TV shows on the scene, but nowadays those shows arrive weekly, and increasingly, the Globes' TV slate looks like the results of throwing a series of darts at the most recent Netflix, Hulu, and HBO listings.
With that in mind, we encourage you to watch the Golden Globes in the right frame of mind. The movie awards are to be viewed like the NFL playoffs: a fun spectacle with implications that matter. The TV awards, however, should be viewed as pure lark, suitable for cheering heedlessly for our personal faves and padding our stats in the office pool. And in the interests of that particular endeavor, we present our take on each of the TV categories, including who we think will win.
Best TV Series: Drama
Big Little Lies
The Morning Show
Big Little Lies makes the jump from mini-series to series here, but after a mixed second season, it might not have the stuff to win. The Crown's cast refresh could be enough to give it that brand-new shine for HFPA voters to notice, but this will likely come down to the newest kid on the block, The Morning Show, and this summer's hot new drama, Succession. The latter is by far the more critically-acclaimed show, but the Globes don't usually go for HBO in this category. In fact, only three times ever has this award gone to an HBO series (Boardwalk Empire in 2010, Six Feet Under in 2001, and The Sopranos in 1999). Meanwhile, The Morning Show might be the most star-studded, perfectly calibrated show to win Golden Globes (and put Apple TV+ on the awards map).
Predicted Winner: The Morning Show
Best TV Series: Musical/Comedy
The Kominsky Method
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
The fact that the Emmys got around to awarding Fleabag as best comedy before the Globes did is the kind of upset that proves that anything can happen in awards shows. The question is whether the HFPA will jump on the bandwagon or seek out their own hot new thing. They've already had their chance to award Barry and they haven't. Meanwhile, the two most recent winners are Kominsky and Maisel, but the last time the Globes honored a repeat winner in this category was Glee in 2010. Which leaves us with The Politician, whose new-ness, Netflix-iness, and Ryan Murphy-ness all bode well for it. But it still feels like it's Fleabag's moment.
Predicted Winner: Fleabag
Best TV Actor: Drama
Brian Cox, Succession
Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Tobias Menzies, The Crown
Billy Porter, Pose
Interesting that after winning the Oscar Rami Malek gets back into this category after two years out. But this feels like it's coming down to Brian Cox — celebrating his second career Globe nod after being nominated in 2000 for the TV movie Nuremberg — and Billy Porter, who lost in this category last year to Bodyguard's Richard Madden, but in the interim has won an Emmy award. It's folly to expect the Globes to follow the Emmys' lead too closely, but how can the famously festive Golden Globes resist the celebration that should occur if and when Porter triumphs.
Predicted Winner: Billy Porter
Best TV Actress: Drama
Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
Olivia Colman, The Crown
Jodie Comer, The Killing
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
Reese Witherspoon, The Morning Show
Oliva Colman has never lost a Golden Globe contest, having previously won for The Night Manager in 2017 and last year for The Favourite, en route to her bg Oscar upset. Here, she's up against two other Oscar winners in Kidman and Witherspoon (who is nominated for The Morning Show and not Big Little Lies, which might give an indication as to which way the voters are leaning), as well as the most recent Emmy winner in Jodie Comer. And yet, our eyes are on Jennifer Aniston, who last won a Globe in 2003, her second of two consecutive nods for Friends (she was also nominated in 2015 for the movie Cake). An Aniston win, on the same night that Brad Pitt is expected to win for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, might be too delicious for the Globes to resist.
Predicted Winner: Jennifer Aniston
Best TV Actor: Musical/Comedy
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
Bill Hader, Barry
Ben Platt, The Politician
Paul Rudd, Living with Yourself
Ramy Youssef, Ramy
Michael Douglas won last year (beating Hader, among others), so don't expect the Globes to revisit that win. Among the trio of first-time nominees, Rudd has the star power but by far the least buzzy show. A Ramy Youssef win would be very cool, but probably cooler than the HFPA are capable of. Ben Platt, however, hits the sweet spot of buzzy actor that the Globes could put their stamp on early, and deep-pockets in his studio (Netflix) and family (big-shot Hollywood producer Marc Platt is his dad) to help his campaign along.
Predicted Winner: Ben Platt
Best TV Actress: Musical/Comedy
Christina Applegate, Dead to Me
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Kirsten Dunst, On Becoming a God in Central Florida
Natasha Lyonne, Russian Doll
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag
Rachel Brosnahan became a rare back-to-back winner last year, when there were precious few shiny new objects in the category to draw votes. That's not the case this year, as she's up against an entire slate of either first-time nominees (Waller-Bridge), actresses representing their shows' first seasons (Applegate and Dunst), or both (Lyonne). Kirsten Dunst got her first Golden Globe nomination when she was just 12 years old, for 1994's Interview with the Vampire. It would be a very satisfying full circle if she could pull off a surprise win here. I don't have the guts to pull the trigger on that prediction, but I do think it's more likely than you may think.
Predicted Winner: Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Best TV Actor: Miniseries
Christopher Abbott, Catch-22
Sacha Baron Cohen, The Spy
Russell Crowe, The Loudest Voice
Jared Harris, Chernobyl
Sam Rockwell, Fosse/Verdon
The miniseries categories are always the hardest to predict because they're all shiny new shows. Sacha Baron Cohen is an intriguing wild card. Sam Rockwell seems to have the ideal blend of star power and positive reviews to take this. Meanwhile, Russell Crowe winning for playing Roger Ailes would be the thing that would have your twitter feed groaning, which is why it'll be him.
Predicted Winner: Russell Crowe
Best TV Actress: Miniseries
Kaitlyn Dever, Unbelievable
Joey King, The Act
Helen Mirren, Catherine the Great
Merritt Wever, Unbelievable
Michelle Williams, Fosse/Verdon
It's too bad the two women from Unbelievable will likely cancel each other out instead of giving us the joint Merritt Wever/Kaitlin Dever rhyming double-win we all deserve. The question here is whether Michelle Williams repeats her Emmy win or Helen Mirren can nab her FOURTH Globe win on her SIXTEENTH nomination. I've predicted too many Emmy repeats already, and even though there is zero buzz for HBO's Catherine the Great, I'm betting on shamelessness to win the day.
Predicted Winner: Helen Mirren
Best TV Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method
Kieran Culkin, Succession
Andrew Scott, Fleabag
Stellan Skarsgard, Chernobyl
Henry Winkler, Barry
Arkin, Culkin, and Winkler all lost to adorable Ben Whishaw last year. Ben Is (Not) Back this year, but in his place is another Brit who's been the subject of dreamy fantasies by TV watchers everywhere: Fleabag's Andrew Scott is more than just a "Hot Priest," but if you persist in calling him that, at least acknowledge that he's also the best part of the Globe-nominated drama film 1917.
Predicted Winner: Andrew Scott
Best TV Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, The Act
Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
Toni Collette, Unbelievable
Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies
Emily Watson, Chernobyl
Surprise -- this is perhaps the most competitive of all the TV categories. Last year's Globes is where Patricia Arquette first put the whammy on Amy Adams' awards hopes by winning for Escape at Dannemora, so clearly the HFPA are fans. In any other year, Helena Bonham Carter would be a layup win for her scene-stealing work in The Crown. Toni Collette probably deserves the win, if the Golden Globes were about "deserves." And yet with all that being said, it's practically impossible to imagine the Hollywood Foreign Press voters, who have awarded Meryl Streep EIGHT wins on THIRTY-ONE previous nominations (not including her Cecil B. DeMille award in 2017), to resist handing her a ninth trophy for her buzzy performance as mother-in-law from hell Mary Louise on Big Little Lies.
Predicted Winner: Meryl Streep
Best TV Miniseries
The Loudest Voice
Okay, this could get interesting. Rule out Catch-22 and probably also Chernobyl (I'm probably being too pessimistic on Chernobyl, but I can't see the glitzy Globes going for something so punishing). Fosse/Verdon is more the Globes' speed, but it's perhaps a bit old news. If Showtime's The Loudest Voice had made more of a splash in popular culture, it'd probably have enough to overcome middling reviews. Maybe here is where Netflix's beyond-deserving Unbelievable squeaks out a win that would surely rank among this year's best-received.
Predicted Winner: Unbelievable
The 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards air Sunday January 5, 2020 at 8:00pm ET/ 5pm PT on NBC
Joe Reid is the Managing Editor at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, The Herald Sun, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.