Earlier this week, the Golden Globes and SAG TV Awards announced their nominations for the best television of 2017, solidifying certain shows in next year’s Emmy race. As usual, there were plenty of surprises from Katherine Langford breaking into the Golden Globes race to baffling snubs like the complete shutout of Mindhunter.
Winter awards season is always an interesting and sometimes confusing mix of shows that just competed at the previous Emmy Awards with newer shows not eligible until the following year. Still, they can be a key indicator of what has staying power within the industry as the first season of Transparent did when it broke out at the Golden Globes. But for every Transparent discovery, the awards groups confuse everyone with a Mozart In The Jungle. These are the biggest takeaways from the nominations so far and the potential impact they’ll have on Emmy voters.
As expected, voters largely abandoned former favorites that have been accused of sexual misconduct. Kevin Spacey and Jeffrey Tambor were kicked out of the Golden Globes and SAG Awards after previously taking home consecutive prizes. After being written out of House of Cards, Kevin Spacey won’t even be an option at next year’s Emmys. Even though Jeffrey Tambor is still a part of Transparent, his omission at the SAG awards is very telling. Still, not every high profile actor accused of sexual misconduct was shunned from awards groups. Geoffrey Rush received nominations at both the Golden Globe and SAG TV awards after having just stepped down from his role as the president of the Australian Academy.
The comedy categories throughout the winter awards season will play a crucial role in naming a frontrunner in the Emmy races now that Veep will be ineligible at next year’s Emmys. Golden Globes voters have the opportunity to propel a new show into frontrunner status while guild awards like SAG and WGA are key indicators of what is already on the minds of voters. Past nominees like black-ish, Master of None, and to a lesser extent Silicon Valley and Grace & Frankie continue to be industry favorites. However there is a lot of room for a new show to win in its first season.
Only one new comedy has shown up at every awards group so far, Netflix’s GLOW. The wrestling comedy received at least one nomination at the Golden Globes, SAG, and WGA voters. The biggest surprise was its astounding four SAG nominations including recognition for Allison Brie, Marc Maron, and the show’s stunts. GLOW is clearly now a frontrunner, and if it continues its streak with DGA and PGA voters, it might even have the chance to become the new Emmy winner.
Other than GLOW, there wasn’t much universal acclaim for new comedies. Curb Your Enthusiasm is clearly a guild favorite with top nominations at the SAG and WGA awards but was surprisingly left out at the Golden Globes. Will & Grace is barely popping up anywhere with a sole nomination for Sean Hayes at the SAG Awards and only nominations for Eric McCormack and the series as a whole at the Golden Globes. This may be a sign that even if its fans are excited for its return, most viewers have no interest in reboots of any kind. The Good Place was predicted to finally break through but was completely left out of every major award which is surprising seeing as how popular it became this fall.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel broke out at the Golden Globes in a big way. Even though the show has so far been absent at the various guild groups, it doesn’t really have a negative effect on the show’s Emmy chances. Most likely the show’s last minute release schedule hurt its guild chances, but as the show is discovered by bigger audiences, it will probably become Amazon’s most successful show to date.
Last year’s Emmy categories saw a complete turnover in the drama categories. It culminated in some of the most exciting categories in years with shows like The Handmaid’s Tale, The Crown, This Is Us, and Stranger Things. Unsurprisingly all four shows have dominated the winter awards season with nominations with every single major group. With these shows alongside Game of Thrones feeling like forgone conclusions, it will be interesting to see what shows come out on top at the Producers Guild once members revote and consider Big Little Lies.
The most confusing snub of the year was the complete omission of Mindhunter with any major awards group. After becoming a major critical and fan favorite, the FBI thriller was expected to be a major player at the Golden Globes and possibly with the WGA. Instead, the show failed to be nominated anywhere, completely hindering its upcoming Emmy chances. Maybe enough voters haven’t watched the show yet, or maybe voters unfairly perceived the show and performances to be cold.
Other than the continued obsession of The Handmaid’s Tale, no other new drama made a major dent throughout with the various groups. The Deuce was nearly shutout besides a sole Golden Globe nomination for Maggie Gyllenhaal and WGA recognition for Best New Series. Critics heavily supported the HBO drama, but industry voters have never been kind to David Simon. Voters’ lukewarm reactions aren’t all that surprising. Ozark did surprisingly well in the acting races with Jason Bateman earning Golden Globe and SAG nominations as well as Laura Linney receiving a SAG nomination. Ozark was one of the most streamed shows of the summer, and its plot focusing on suburbanites forced into organized crime probably did well with fans of Breaking Bad.
Throughout the guild awards, it will be interesting to watch Game of Thrones go head to head against The Handmaid’s Tale. Game of Thrones has become an unstoppable juggernaut in terms of ratings and accolades and that streak could easily continue throughout awards season into next year’s Emmys. The Handmaid’s Tale seems to be the new Emmy favorite sweeping every major award. As the political situation only gets worse and more sexual assault allegations receive more coverage, the show might be the only drama with enough clout to beat Game of Thrones.
SAG voters have the opportunity to reward the casts of their favorite TV shows including recent popular winners like Downton Abbey, Orange Is the New Black, and Stranger Things. However there are only two ensemble categories honoring the best casts in comedy and drama. Without a third category for limited series and TV movies, the best ensembles go unrecognized. This year, there were no better ensembles than those in Big Little Lies and Feud. In recent years some of the best casts on TV have included American Crime Story, American Horror Story, Fargo, and American Crime. The golden age of television has reached the point where limited and anthology series are more than an afterthought. The SAG awards need to either honor them with a separate ensemble award or allow them to compete against regular series.
Continuing their complete stronghold throughout the year Feud and Big Little Lies raked in nominations with every major awards group. In fact the Oscar winners dominated their categories to such an extent that no other actress was able to stand out to SAG voters, and Jessica Biel in The Sinner is the sole other nominee at the Golden Globes. Along with Biel, the only nominees to pop up anywhere that have the potential to become Emmy winners are Kyle McLachlan (Twin Peaks) and Jeff Daniels (Godless). With a much wider open Emmy race next year, it will be interesting to see if Biel, Daniels, and MacLachlan will be able to make it in especially since Biel and MacLachlan both have a good chance at winning the Golden Globe.