With the Golden Globes just days away (Sunday, Jan. 11), the logical choice for this year’s Best Drama Series prize seems apparent: a program rooted in power-play, where climbing the greasy pole and a disregard for marriage vows are central, where death looms and appearance is everything. Yes, I’m clearly talking about “The Good Wife.”
The CBS series has earned its second consecutive nomination in this category and third overall, although it woefully sits in fourth place in our predictions. Here is why we shouldn’t be surprised if it receives a triumphant verdict from its Globes jury.
For the past three years, “The Good Wife” has exceeded expectations in its nomination tally
In 2012, Archie Panjabi‘s odds of a TV Supporting Actress nomination were 100/1, but she earned a bid anyway. In 2013, the series and lead actress Julianna Margulies both had 33/1 odds and were ranked eighth and ninth in their respective categories, but they were both nominated that year.
And in the race for Best TV Supporting Actor, Josh Charles in 2013 and Alan Cumming in 2014 came so far out of left field they weren’t even in our predictions center! They were nominated too. Time and again the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has embraced “The Good Wife” in multiple categories, defying our expectations.
Meanwhile, its rivals in Drama Series…
… have underperformed during the same period. “Downton Abbey” failed to receive two expected nominations: Hugh Bonneville for TV Drama Actor in 2012 and Maggie Smith for TV Supporting Actress in 2013.
“Game of Thrones” has missed five anticipated nominations in the past three years: Peter Dinklage for TV Supporting Actor from 2012-2014, Emilia Clarke for TV Supporting Actress in 2013, and the series itself missed a Best Drama bid in 2013.
Only once in the last three years has the most nominated drama series gone away empty handed (“Boardwalk Empire,” 2011). Now consider the nomination totals of this year’s Drama Series nominees: “The Affair,” “The Good Wife,” and “House Of Cards” have three apiece, “Downton Abbey” is a double nominee, and “Game of Thrones” has the sole series nomination.
The Hollywood Foreign Press often spreads the wealth
The HFPA often spreads out the gold to appease as many nominated series and films as possible, especially when there is no single contender that feels urgent enough to reward across the board. As a group of approximately 90 members, colluding over how to more evenly distribute the gold is achievable; even when an unbeatable project like “Breaking Bad” won double in 2013, the HFPA still managed to share the love with “House of Cards” by rewarding shocking upset winner Robin Wright as Best TV Drama Actress.
There is not as much urgency to reward any of the Drama Series nominees this year compared to “Breaking Bad’s” swan song last year. And there is a clear avenue to provide wins for “House Of Cards” and “The Affair,” respectively, through seven-time Globe-nominee Kevin Spacey and previous Globe-nominee Ruth Wilson in the lead-acting races. If the HFPA gives the catch-all TV Supporting Actor prize to one of the formidable movie/miniseries competitors (like Bill Murray in “Olive Kitteridge” or Matt Bomer in “The Normal Heart“), “The Good Wife” could win the top prize to make everyone happy.
6 consecutive nominations for Julianna Margulies
Margulies’s portrayal of Alicia Florrick’s scattered journey through her career and love life has been supported wholeheartedly by the HFPA, netting her six consecutive nominations. Consider previous dramas that have netted any performer six consecutive nominations below. During the years of consecutive nominations for the actor, their shows won multiple Golden Globes:
Actors with 6 consecutive nominations for the same role:
Hugh Laurie, “House” (2 wins in 9 nominations over 6 years)
Peter Falk, “Columbo” (2 wins in 10 nominations over 6 years)
John Forsythe, “Dynasty” (5 wins in 24 nominations over 6 years)
Actors with 7 consecutive nominations for the same role:
Tom Selleck, “Magnum P.I.” (2 wins in 13 nominations over 7 years)
Actors with 9 consecutive nominations for the same role:
Angela Lansbury, “Murder She Wrote” (6 wins in 15 nominations over 9 years)
“The Good Wife” has earned 13 Golden Globe nominations over its six years, yet only one win (Drama Actress for Margulies in 2009). Will it fall short of the stats above? Or will it finally add another trophy?
The HFPA doesn’t have Anti-Network Bias or Snob Appeal
Unlike in the rest of the awards world, the big four networks continue to be respected at the Globes, like Viola Davis in ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder” and James Spader in NBC’s “The Blacklist.” One network even more maligned by awards groups is the CW, which this year gained nominations for Comedy Series and Comedy Actress for the breakout series “Jane the Virgin” and its star Gina Rodriguez.
The HFPA are liberal in their selection of series champs, previously awarding the likes of “Nip/Tuck,” “The X-Files,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” and “Roseanne,” disregarding the network and content snobbery seen at the Emmys. The HFPA choose whatever they deem to be the flavor of the month, from under-awarded shows to big hits, and that only helps “The Good Wife.”
“The Good Wife” has proven its ability to beat its competitors elsewhere
In the past 12 months, “The Good Wife” was the only other big winner of drama trophies besides “Breaking Bad,” through a Drama Series win at the TCA Awards and an Emmy for Margulies, beating the likes of “House Of Cards,” “Downton Abbey,” and “Game Of Thrones” at those events. Along with a Metacritic score of 89, “The Good Wife” should be considered a force to be reckoned with.
Do you agree that “The Good Wife” should be a frontrunner for Best Drama Series. Use our drag-and-drop menu below to make your predictions, or click here to make your picks in all Golden Globe TV races, as well as the SAG Awards, Critics’ Choice, and more.