The Hollywood Foreign Press Association loves what’s shiny and new, and in the Best TV Drama Series category they’ve nominated four new shows this year: “The Crown,” “Stranger Things,” “This is Us” and “Westworld.” But they also don’t like to look foolish, and after six seasons of “Game of Thrones” breaking records in the ratings and at the Emmys, ignoring it again could be viewed as such. So is this the year the series finally ascends the Golden throne?
Let’s take a look at how the five nominated drama series performed and what it could mean for a potential overdue “Thrones” victory.
“Westworld” is tied for the most nominations for a drama with three, but that can be seen as under-performing relative to expectations. It features a large cast of well-known actors but only could get Evan Rachel Wood (Best Drama Actress) and Thandie Newton (Best TV Supporting Actress) nominated. The Golden Globes snubbed 2006 Cecil B. DeMille winner Anthony Hopkins and two past Globe winners for Best TV Supporting Actor: Ed Harris, who previously prevailed for supporting turns in the film “The Truman Show” (1998) and the TV movie “Game Change” (2012), and Jeffrey Wright, who won for the miniseries “Angels in America” (2003). If a trio of past Globe favorites couldn’t get nominations, how much does the Hollywood Foreign Press really love the show?
“Stranger Things” also under-performed. While the Netflix drama skews young it was able to garner a Drama Series nomination as expected. And Winona Ryder, a past Golden Globe winner (Best Film Supporting Actress for “The Age of Innocence,” 1993), was also nominated as expected for Best Drama Actress. But where is the show’s breakthrough star Millie Bobby Brown who plays Eleven? Prior to nominations she was the favorite to win the catch-all Best TV Supporting Actress race, but she was left out, calling into question the overall strength of the show’s voter support.
“The Crown” performed about as well as expected. Netflix’s most expensive drama to date was nominated for Drama Series, and as we anticipated it received two acting nominations: Claire Foy reaped her first Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II (Best Drama Actress) and two-time past winner John Lithgow for his transformative performance as Winston Churchill (Best TV Supporting Actor). But if they really loved the Peter Morgan-created drama where is the love for Matt Smith as Queen Elizabeth’s husband Prince Philip or Vanessa Kirby for her heartbreaking portrayal of Princess Margaret?
NBC’s “This is Us” over-performed. The sole Drama Series nominee from one of the big four networks not only landed a nom in the top category but also two nominations in the Best TV Supporting Actress race for Mandy Moore and Chrissy Metz. But “This is Us” is at a disadvantage as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has not awarded a broadcast show since “Grey’s Anatomy” (2007) pulled out the win at the height of its popularity. When “Grey’s Anatomy” won, it received three acting nominations — for lead actors Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey and supporting star Katherine Heigl — so maybe if “This is Us” had an additional nom for co-stars Justin Hartley or Milo Ventimiglia it would be decisively out front.
Then there’s “Game of Thrones,” which has two nominations: Best Drama Series and Best TV Supporting Actress (Lena Headey), which matches the show’s best result ever.
For its first season in 2011 “Game of Thrones” received two nominations: Best Drama Series and Best TV Supporting Actor (Peter Dinklage), winning the latter. The show was snubbed entirely for its second and third seasons, but it returned to the Best Drama Series race for its fourth and fifth years in 2014 and 2015, but none of its actors were singled out for recognition.
Many prognosticators expected “Game of Thrones” to reap an acting nomination for supporting actor Kit Harrington. He was snubbed, but Lena Headey was singled out for her stellar season as Cersei Lannister for Best TV Supporting Actress, which is the first acting nom for the show in five years, and by “Thrones” standards that’s over-performing.
Like in 2014, when “Breaking Bad” and star Bryan Cranston won for their final season, “Game of Thrones” has now reached this point again as one of the most popular and acclaimed shows on television where continuing to ignore it might make the Golden Globes look like they’re out of touch. This may be their golden opportunity to correct that.
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