Will the Golden Globes play catch-up with Matthew Rhys with a win for ‘Perry Mason’?

The Golden Globes hardly crowns back-to-back champs anyway, but with “Succession” ineligible, we are guaranteed a new winner in Best TV Drama Actor, which Brian Cox won earlier this year. Our early odds peg Matthew Rhys to take home the honor for “Perry Mason,” and the Emmy champ certainly has a path to a maiden victory, especially if Globe voters feel like they owe him one.

Rhys won the Best Drama Actor Emmy for “The Americans” in 2018 and was the odds-on favorite to add a Globe to his collection in January 2019, but he lost to a tried-and-true Globe prototype, “star of a new show,” “Bodyguard’s” Richard Madden. Instead, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association bestowed Best Drama Series onto “The Americans,” giving it its first and only win for its sixth and final season. The critically acclaimed but under-awarded spy drama was the first show in seven years to claim a series prize without a corresponding acting award, as Keri Russell also lost the drama lead actress category. What’s more, the HFPA had never even nominated “The Americans” for Best Drama Series until then, but the show was fresh off two Emmy wins — the other being Best Drama Writing — so it felt like the HFPA wanted to “take care of it” in some way as the group is sometimes wont to do.

Numbers-wise, Rhys is not overdue for a Globe win since he only has one other nomination under his belt, for “The Americans” in 2017, but that’s sort of irrelevant if the Globes just want to make it up to you after a snub or two. Rami Malek won his first Globe on his third bid, in Best Film Drama Actor for “Bohemian Rhapsody” (2018), after surprisingly losing for his breakout performance on “Mr. Robot” for its first season to “Mad Men’s” Jon Hamm in 2016. Malek went on to snag an Emmy, but the Globes overlooked him again in 2017, going for movie star Billy Bob Thornton on then-new Amazon series “Goliath.”

SEE ‘Perry Mason’ reviews: Matthew Rhys leads an ‘amazing’ cast in gritty prequel to classic Raymond Burr series

There are obviously huge differences between Rhys and Malek, like “BoRhap” being a movie and going over huge with the HFPA, which also gave it Best Drama Film, and the masses. Unlike “Mr. Robot,” “Perry Mason” was not a water-cooler buzzy new show and polarized some fans of the original series, which ran from 1957 to 1966, that starred Raymond Burr as the iconic defense attorney.

But the HBO prequel, which as been renewed for a second season, is still a new show — something the HFPA adores — and did score decent reviews. And Rhys, portraying a younger version of Perry as a private investigator, delivered once again as he has the market cornered on tortured, sad men. (Of note: While Burr won two Emmys for “Perry Mason,” the Globes never nominated him for this role.) Plus, while he wasn’t shortlisted anywhere, the actor is coming off the well-received “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” (2019), for which the Globes nominated Tom Hanks.

The race this year is also fairly open between COVID-19 affecting production and release schedules and four of last year’s nominees ineligible; besides Cox, Kit Harington (“Game of Thrones”), Malek and Billy Porter (“Pose”) are out of the running. Only Tobias Menzies (“The Crown”), who is in fourth in our odds, can return. In second place is “Ozark’s” Jason Bateman, who’s twice been nominated before, representing the Netflix series’ only Globe bids ever. Jonathan Majors (“Lovecraft Country”) and Al Pacino (“Hunters”), both from new shows, are in third and fifth, respectively.

PREDICT Golden Globe TV nominations now; change them until February 3Golden Globes 2021 Best TV Drama Actor
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