“Mr. Robot” concluded its second season late last month to its best ratings since the season premiere. While audiences embraced the show, will Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Awards voters recognize it with top nominations and wins again?
At last year’s Critics’ Choice Awards, which had a shortened eligibility season due to combining the TV prizes with those for film, “Mr. Robot” won Best Drama Series, Best Drama Actor (Rami Malek) and Best Drama Supporting Actor (Christian Slater). The show also claimed Best Drama Series at the Golden Globes while Christian Slater prevailed in the catch-all category of Best Television Supporting Actor. However, Malek lost Best Drama Actor to Jon Hamm for the final episodes of “Mad Men.”
The Globes has a reputation for snubbing incumbent champs. In 2015, the first season of “The Affair” won both Best Drama Series and Best Drama Actress (Ruth Wilson) but was left off the list last year. And three years ago the first season of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” won both Best Comedy Series and Best Comedy Actor, but the series has not been nominated for a single Globe since.
For Slater to win at the Globes again would be all but unprecedented: only one man has claimed consecutive trophies in the category for the same role — Vic Tayback for “Alice” for 1979 and 1980 — and there were ties both years, first with Danny DeVito (“Taxi”), then Pat Harrington, Jr. (“One Day at a Time”).
Recently crowned Emmy champ Malek is more likely than Slater to win at the Globes. After all, two men claimed Best Drama Actor for the second seasons of their shows after losing for the first: Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards,” 2014) and Damian Lewis (“Homeland,” 2012) with the latter doing so several months after winning the Emmy.
The show was such a hit with Critics’ Choice voters last year that BD Wong received a nomination for Best Drama Guest Performer despite only five minutes of screen time; he lost to Margo Martindale, who appeared in nine episodes of “The Good Wife” in 2015. Wong featured much more prominently in the second season, appearing in four episodes and delivering several monologues. He should be safe for another nomination and might even win, as the Critics’ Choice always awards recurring performances in this category over one-off appearances.
In the six-year history of the Critics’ Choice Awards, the reigning Best Drama Series, Drama Actor and Drama Supporting Actor winners have all contended the following year when eligible. However, these kudos have, at one time or another, snubbed the previous year’s winners in the other comedy and drama acting categories, as well as Best Comedy Series.
To that end, Slater might be in trouble as his role was reduced and essentially limited to scenes that were explicitly flashbacks or hallucinations. And he now faces a strong challenge from Jonathan Banks, who was ineligible at the last ceremony for “Better Call Saul.”
“Mr. Robot” might have better luck in Best Drama Supporting Actress race. Carly Chaikin became almost a co-lead in the second season, picking up the narrative slack as Malek’s character served a prison sentence. Indeed, Malek and Slater were absent from an episode, with the focus squarely on Chaikin. Breaking through at the Critics’ Choice Awards for a second season would be nothing new for Chaikin — she earned a Best Comedy Supporting Actress nomination for the sophomore edition of “Suburgatory” in 2013. However, she faces an uphill battle at the Globes, where is contends in a category that combines performances from dramas, comedies, limited series and movies.