The Golden Globes are Sunday, and on the TV side of things, the show always provides a thrilling set of head-scratching decisions and joyful surprises. Predicting Golden Globes winners is an impossible task, so instead of trying to guess who will win, these are our picks for who ought to win.
BEST TELEVISION SERIES, DRAMA
Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones won the much-more-important Emmy in this category back in the fall, plus it’s a huge international sensation, and a Golden Globes win isn’t really going to change anything for the show. Empire could use the win, though the show’s second season has drifted from the central thrills of its first. Narcos and Outlander are both terrifically solid shows, but Mr. Robot is the clear favorite here — edgy, inventive, and with a shockingly assured freshman season.
BEST TV SERIES, MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Mozart in the Jungle
Orange Is the New Black
What an unusual selection of nominees! The Golden Globes are basically the nutty next-door neighbor of awards shows — often normal and fine, but occasionally and persistently truly baffling. OITNB, Veep, and Silicon Valley all put out excellent seasons this year, but the knockout of the year was Transparent, which also won in this category last year. Re-peat! Re-peat! (Plus, a win would play into the peculiarity of being nominated alongside Casual, the diet-lite version of itself.)
BEST TELEVISION LIMITED SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
American Horror Story: Hotel
Flesh and Bone
This is another real head-scratcher: Did we watch the same Flesh and Bone, HFPA? Fargo won last year and should win again, but Jeez Louise, what’s Wolf Hall gotta do to get a little recognition?
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES, DRAMA
Caitriona Balfe, Outlander
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Eva Green, Penny Dreadful
Taraji P. Henson, Empire
Robin Wright, House of Cards
Robin Wright has won a Golden Globe for House of Cards already, so let’s focus on sharing the wealth. To that end, Viola Davis has the (again, more significant) Emmy, too. Caitriona Balfe is just fine on Outlander, but the role isn’t as juicy and fun as Taraji P. Henson’s or Eva Green’s. Between those two, let’s root for a tie.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES, DRAMA
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Wagner Moura, Narcos
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
While it feels important in other categories that everybody get a chance at the podium, in this category, that gets trumped by a farewell tour. Jon Hamm has one last award he can win for Mad Men, and it’d be lovely to see him go out on top. Remember Mad Men? Ah, those were the days.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES, MUSICAL, OR COMEDY
Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Jamie Lee Curtis, Scream Queens
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie
If there’s a TV God above, this’ll go to Rachel Bloom. It’s not that any of the other performances are subpar — far from it — but Queen JLD has seven Emmys, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend could use a boost in popular awareness.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES, MUSICAL, OR COMEDY
Aziz Ansari, Master of None
Gael García Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle
Rob Lowe, The Grinder
Patrick Stewart, Blunt Talk
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
Aziz Ansari is absolutely not the best actor in this category, but he is the odds-on favorite to give the best speech should he win. That’s reason enough to root for him. Sorry, Rob Lowe.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Kirsten Dunst, Fargo
Lady Gaga, American Horror Story: Hotel
Sarah Hay, Flesh and Bone
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Queen Latifah, Bessie
Just for the intrigue factor, one is inclined to sort of root for Lady Gaga, but it’d be a shame not to reward Kirsten Dunst for actual good work rather than mostly spectacle.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Idris Elba, Luther
Oscar Isaac, Show Me a Hero
David Oyelowo, Nightingale
Mark Rylance, Wolf Hall
Patrick Wilson, Fargo
This might be the most competitive category of the year: Patrick Wilson was heartbreaking, Oscar Isaac extraordinary. Are there circumstances under which you wouldn’t root for Idris Elba? I can’t think of one. David Oyelowo is the only person in Nightingale, and somehow, it works. (Mostly.) No bad bets here. But Mark Rylance’s performance as Thomas Cromwell in Wolf Hall burns just a little brighter. He should have won the Emmy; at least he could still win a Globe.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A SERIES, LIMITED SERIES, OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Regina King, American Crime
Maura Tierney, The Affair
Judith Light, Transparent
Of all the performers on Transparent, Judith Light is the one whose role changed the most in season two. She was more than up to the task, and if she wins, great. Regina King has an Emmy for American Crime, and if she wins here, too, that’s also great. Team Regina King. But Uzo Aduba has two Emmys for her role on OITNB and should add a Golden Globe to the collection. Once upon a time, everyone called her character Crazy Eyes — but after season three, she’s better known as Suzanne, and that’s thanks largely to the depth and humanity and richness Aduba brings the role.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A SERIES, LIMITED SERIES, OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Damian Lewis, Wolf Hall
Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
Tobias Menzies, Outlander
Christian Slater, Mr. Robot
Ben Mendelsohn by a light year. Bloodline was not as good as it thought it was, but Mendelsohn’s jangly, shifty performance as the deadbeat black-sheep brother was mesmerizing.