This year's Golden Globe nominations were uncharacteristically predictable. If the Globes are anything each year, it's unpredictable. Different for the sake of it. Out of left field and far-fetched beyond imagination. Rewarding flavors of the month rather than actual merit. But this year's batch of TV nominees is more or less a rehash of what we've seen last year at the 69th Golden Globes, as well as September's Primetime Emmy Awards.
Last year, the Globes recognized newcomers American Horror Story, Boss, Enlightened, New Girl, The Killing and Revenge. This year, only Smash, Nashville and The Newsroom are the series straight from left field. The fall's new television entries are almost entirely absent: The Mindy Project's Mindy Kaling? Ben and Kate's Dakota Johnson? The New Normal's Ellen Barkin? Go On's Matthew Perry? As unconventional as those are, in years past, the Globes would have happily nominated them all.
Most shocking is the almost entirely-shutout Mad Men, save for a nod to Jon Hamm.
So who will take home the trophies tonight? Let's take a look:
Best Supporting Actor
Max Greenfield, New Girl
Ed Harris, Game Change
Danny Huston, Magic City
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Biggest Snubs: Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones; Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
The Supporting categories remain a headache. Combining drama, comedy and miniseries means that the Golden Globes really don't care about TV. Why bother with the Supporting categories at all if this is how you treat them? In any event, it's a solid group of nominees: Max Greenfield stole New Girl this year right out from the titular girl herself, Zooey Deschanel; Eric Stonestreet is always outstanding as gay Cameron, though Ty Burrell deserved this as well; and Homeland's Mandy Patinkin is always a solid performer, despite his less-than-warm backstage demeanor. I would love to see Greenfield or Patinkin take this, and part of me thinks Patinkin will, but if any of the TV series nominees has a shot, I'd say it's long-overdue Stonestreet.
Who Should Win: Max Greenfield
Who Will Win: Eric Stonestreet
Best Supporting Actress
Hayden Panettiere, Nashville
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Sarah Paulson, Game Change
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Biggest snubs: Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad; Ellen Barkin, The New Normal; Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Surprise nominee Hayden Panettiere joins a bevy of previous winners and nominees from the awards show circuit. Archie Panjabi last took him a major award for the first season of The Good Wife (the Emmy), but I'm not feeling a victory here. The Good Wife's buzz isn't so much waning as it's just slipping away as age plays a factor. Sofia Vergara may finally win an award for playing Gloria on the hit ABC sitcom, though I predict only one of the two Modern Family nominees to win and Stonestreet deserves it. That leaves Maggie Smith, who just seems like the favorite for every awards show. Panettiere will have to be happy just to be nominated.
Who Should Win: Sofia Vergara
Who Will Win: Maggie Smith
Best Actor, Comedy
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis C.K., Louie
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Biggest snubs: Matthew Perry, Go On
Previous winners Baldwin, LeBlanc and Parsons are joined by newbie noms C.K. and Cheadle. This is one category where the Globes don't mind returning to the well as far as winners go. But can they really go back to Baldwin again? LeBlanc was a fun win last year, but he won't repeat. Cheadle stars on a fairly reviled Showtime series. That leaves it down to C.K. and Parsons, and while I'd love to see Louis C.K. win a Golden Globe, my safe money is on Parsons repeating for Big Bang's biggest season yet.
Who Should Win: Louis C.K.
Who Will Win: Jim Parsons
Best Actress, Comedy
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Lena Dunham, Girls
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation
Biggest snubs: Dakota Johnson, Ben & Kate; Mindy Kaling, The Mindy Project; Kat Dennings or Beth Behrs, 2 Broke Girls
After last year's disappointing loss to Laura Dern, Deschanel comes off a rather subdued year as Jess. Her "adorkable" qualities were scaled way back, leaving her far from a runaway here. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the night's hosts, are unlikely to win the award over the other. Notoriously, the actual host never wins during the show. That leaves HBO's new darlings of comedy, Julia and Lena. Julia took home the Emmy for Veep and could repeat at the Globes, but my money is on It Girl Lena Dunham.
Who Should and Will Win: Lena Dunham
Best Actor, Drama
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damian Lewis, Homeland
Biggest snubs: Can't think of any
It's the usual suspects, plus Jeff Daniels. Jon Hamm and Steve Buscemi are the only previous winners and while it seems like a given to give it to Emmy winner Damian Lewis, the Globes enjoy going against the grain, especially after rewarding Homeland and Claire Danes last year. The odds are completely against Jeff Daniels, which is why I think he could win. But Bryan Cranston, after winning three Emmys, has never won the Golden Globe. It's his second-to-last chance and I predict it finally happens tonight.
Who Should and Will Win: Bryan Cranston
Best Actress, Drama
Connie Britton, Nashville
Glenn Close, Damages
Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Biggest snubs: Emily VanCamp and Madeleine Stowe, Revenge
The most shocking winners have typically came from Best Actress in a Drama in previous years: Jennifer Garner for Alias, Katey Sagal for Sons of Anarchy, Anna Paquin for True Blood, Geena Davis for Commander-in-Chief. In fact, only Edie Falco and Angela Lansbury have repeated in this category for the same role in the past 43 years since the category's inception. Which eliminates Glenn Close, Claire Danes and Julianna Margulies. And while Downton Abbey is critically-adored, the most shocking victor on the list would be Connie Britton. You likely heard it here first: she's winning for Nashville.
Who Should Win: Claire Danes
Who Will Win: Connie Britton
The Big Bang Theory
Biggest snub: Veep; Parks & Recreation; Happy Endings
Biggest opposite-of-snub: Smash? Really?
This category rarely rewards long-past-due winners. Modern Family pulled it off last year, but don't expect a repeat win this year. Episodes gets rave reviews, and the Globes seem to love the small Showtime comedy, but it's not winning. Neither is head-scratcher Smash. It comes down to do they give it to the veteran or the rookie? While The Big Bang Theory is indeed bigger than ever, the Globes love giving it to a show that has big buzz NOW. And that's Girls.
Who Should Win: Modern Family
Who Will Win: Girls
Biggest snubs: Mad Men; Mad Men; Mad Men, really?
After winning three previous times, the Globes had the Stephen Colbert-sized globes to not nominate television's beloved Mad Men. Has the sky fallen? Perhaps. And perhaps it's time to look past the Mad Men era. The Newsroom is an odd choice, but this is the same category that Nip/Tuck won in 2004. Yeah, really. Boardwalk Empire won already and seem unlikely to repeat. Homeland's second season wasn't as adored as its rookie year. It comes down to long-overdue Breaking Bad and long-overdue Downton Abbey. My money is on Downton Abbey.
Who Should Win: Breaking Bad
Who Will Win: Downton Abbey
As always, accuracy not guaranteed.
Until next time, stay tuned.