All year long we couldn’t escape a drama series conversation that didn’t obsess over Game of Thrones. Lucky for us the Golden Globes will be an entirely different story. The Hollywood Foreign Press loves nothing more than to make a headline and change the conversation.
But how do you even begin to predict a category when two major streaming platforms haven’t even premiered yet? In a couple weeks both Apple TV+ and Disney+ will go live and immediately expand the streaming lineup and they’re already spending the big dollars. Each episode of The Mandalorian reportedly costs as much as an episode of Game of Thrones, and The Morning Show immediately became one of the most expensive shows in history at $150 million a season.
So when nominations are announced on December 9th will the new streaming services become the biggest stories of the year? Or will HBO and Netflix continue to be the awards darlings with their rapidly expanding lineups?
The New Streaming Giants
Jennifer Aniston’s long awaited return to television. Reese Witherspoon cementing herself as one of the most essential producing talents in the industry. A high profile drama tackling the long overdue conversation about sexual harassment in television. No matter the network The Morning Show was always going to be the most anticipated new show of the year but as the flagship show of Apple TV+ it has taken on an all new level of importance.
We probably won’t get a critic and audience consensus for another week, but there is already buzz for the performances from Aniston and Carrell. It’s also easy to believe that Apple is going to spend a lot of energy and money on an awards push, so as of now it’s safe to assume The Morning Show is the one to beat.
The other major Apple TV+ project with the most excitement seems to be the Jason Momoa vehicle, See. The sci-fi drama is set in the near future where we’ve all lost our sense of sight (think Children of Men meets Bird Box). As Jason Momoa becomes an even bigger star is this the project that propels him to the first nomination of his career?
Disney+ is poised to become a major streaming player but as of right now they don’t have any obvious drama awards contender. There is a chance that we are grossly underestimating The Mandalorian, the first major attempt at a Live Action Star Wars series. The trailers are visually stunning and the show will surely be nominated for countless craft awards but it still has a lot of bias to overcome to become a major contender.
After becoming two of the best reviewed dramas of 2018 both FX’s Pose and BBC America’s Killing Eve first jumped into the awards race at the Golden Globes. Since then both shows have turned out stellar second seasons and although both lost the Emmy to Game of Thrones they became the talk of Emmy night with Billy Porter’s historic moment and Jodie Comer’s shocking win. But in such a crowded year can both make it back into the race? With so much competition and Globes’ voters constant itch for the shiny new thing there’s a chance that one or both might be dropped.
What about other nominees and winners from recent year? Voters may have left This Is Us out of last year’s lineup but the Pearsons are still one of the most beloved families on TV. The fourth season is already off to a great start sending its characters off in new directions instead of trying to stretch the past as thin as possible.
The first season of The Handmaid’s Tale swept through awards season including winning the top award at the Golden Globes. So why were HFPA voters so quick to abandon it in its second season? This year the third season came and went without making a dent in the cultural conversation even with that insanely tense season finale. Can it sneak back into the conversation or have the Globes moved on for good?
HBO has an embarrassment of riches going head to head in this year’s drama categories. Game of Thrones and Big Little Lies both had their final seasons. In its second season Succession has become one of the most unlikely cultural obsessions of the year. Watchmen just premiered to strong reviews and has the opportunity to become the next hit for the groundbreaking network.
It took some time for larger audiences and awards groups to catch onto Succession. In fact its only nomination at the Golden Globes was a sole supporting nod for Kiernan Culkin. A year later and Succession is one of the biggest hits of the year with critics and audiences obsessing over every episode. Its sudden success is all the more astonishing seeing as it didn’t rely on any dragons, nostalgia, or comic book franchises to become one of the most talked about shows of the year. Instead its success can be directly tied to immaculate storytelling and because of that it will probably become a major player.
Unlike the Emmys the Golden Globes have never been won over by Game of Thrones. The fantasy epic has only won one Globe, a supporting award for Peter Dinklage for the first season. It’s never won the top award and even missed out on nominations in the middle of its run. So why should this year be any different especially with such a polarizing season? It’s a lot more likely that voters rally behind new shows that they like a lot more.
There’s no arguing the fact that the second season of Big Little Lies gave us some of the biggest cultural moments of the year in large part because of the addition of Meryl Streep. But does that mean it was actually a great season of television? Depends on who you ask. Either way this is still the show that hits all of the Hollywood Foreign Press’s sweet spots. It’s also never lost a Globe taking home four trophies back in 2017. On the other hand it might oddly lose votes to Reese Witherspoon’s other starring role/EP project, The Morning Show.
Every couple of years a show comes along that gains a lot of buzz and scares parents into thinking teens are out of control. HBO’s answer to Gen Z was Euphoria – one of the first high-profile teen dramas to tackle growing rates of anxiety, depression, drug use, and the role social media has. It also comes with a huge online fan base, the support of A24, and the undeniable celebrity of executive producer Drake. This year’s drama lineup might be impossible to break into but Euphoria features multiple performances that seem perfect for the Globes including former Disney star Zendaya and breakout supporting turns from social media stars Hunter Schafer and Barbie Ferrera.
As the first major streaming service Netflix has become one of the most innovative networks in the industry both because of the way it’s changed how we consume media as well as the endless amount of top quality, binge worthy TV its produced. In six short years the groundbreaking network has made a name for itself with Globe nominations for five of their dramas: House of Cards, Narcos, Stranger Things, The Crown, and Bodyguard. Now that the streaming landscape has quickly expanded it will be interesting to see if Netflix remains the one to beat.
Although Netflix released a slate of popular new dramas (Umbrella Academy, Sex Education, The Dark Crystal) none of them are garnering as much awards buzz as the long awaited return of two of their most popular shows. After a long two year hiatus but Stranger Things and The Crown returned with critically acclaimed third seasons that are bound to become major contenders.
The HFPA were the first awards group to celebrate The Crown when it premiered back in 2016 and now the decades spanning dive into the life of Queen Elizabeth is back with a brand new (and Oscar friendly) cast! The third season won’t be released until November 17th but the early word has been great. It may be in its third season but with an updated ensemble it comes with the charm of a brand new show. With two years between seasons there has also been a growing hunger fore more and that could very well lead to a successful night at the Globes.
Earlier this month Netflix revealed that the third season of Stranger Things broke ratings records for the streaming service with 64 million views in its first month, making it the most successful season of television in Netflix history. It may not come with the buzz of weekly word of mouth but those numbers are proof that the excitement for the show isn’t dying down. As the show progresses into summer the ensemble has also become stars in their own right. Is this the year it finally wins the top award?
One of the last big question marks of the year is Netflix’s upcoming fantasy epic The Witcher. Starring Henry Cavill the upcoming drama is based off of a wildly popular book series and follows a “beast hunter” in a world of endless supernatural figures. Is it the next Game of Thrones? The trailer was met with mixed reviews but this might have the opportunity to become the first major awards play for Cavill.
Making Sense of the Crowded Field
|Front Runners||Possibilities||In the Conversation|
|Big Little Lies
Game of Thrones
The Handmaid’s Tale
This Is Us
Readers, what are you predicting to happen at this year’s Golden Globes? Will Apple TV+ have a breakthrough year? Will HBO control the category?