Unlike other awards, the Golden Globes have no problem finding new dramas to award year after year. In fact the past four winners have all been first season dramas with The Handmaid’s Tale, The Crown, Mr. Robot, and The Affair. In all likelihood, the 2019 Golden Globes will be no different. While many of the traditional favorites have taken the year off a group of unconventional awards contenders have stepped to the forefront including Pose and Killing Eve.
2018 has saw an influx of Oscar winners and movie stars headlining buzz-worthy new shows across premium and streaming networks. Oscar winners like Julia Roberts, Sean Penn, and JK Simmons are in contention while John Krasinski is capping off the biggest year of his career with a brand new Amazon series.
No new show in 2018 has had as strong a debut as Killing Eve. The BBC America sensation broke ratings records week after week, an accomplishment that is increasingly rare in modern TV. Sandra Oh was the dark horse to win the Emmy, and she just might be on her way to sweeping the winter awards. Killing Eve wouldn’t be the success it is without Jodie Comer, the breakout star that goes up against Oh. If any group embraces Comer it will be the HFPA.
In just about every aspect Homecoming is a quintessential Golden Globes drama. Voters love Amazon Prime and Julia Roberts is Hollywood royalty. Based off of the popular podcast the streaming show is a psychological thriller following Roberts’ character as she begins to unravel what was going on behind the scenes at her old job at a transitional support center for soldiers. Executive producer and director Sam Esmail won the top award just three years ago for Mr. Robot and there is a good chance that voters will embrace him once again.
Pose is the best of both worlds for HFPA voters with transcendent ballroom musical numbers and the political and cultural importance of highlighting trans and queer people of color while also taking on the early Trump years. The cast is filled with relative unknowns but the upside of that is that it gives the HFPA the opportunity to introduce a new ingenue to Hollywood with breakout performances from Indya Moore and MJ Rodriguez or even Tony winning Broadway legend Billy Porter in the lead actor race.
Netflix has quickly become one of the most influential networks in the industry and with past favorites like Stranger Things and The Crown on hiatus it opens up an opportunity for a new show to break into the awards conversation. This year the drama with the best chance of a nomination is the instant phenomenon The Haunting of Hill House. The overnight success of the show was similar to Stranger Things, and we could see that success translate into a surprise awards run especially since the HFPA hasn’t been afraid to celebrate genre shows in the past.
The other Netflix possibility is the BBC original drama Bodyguard starring Richard Madden as a veteran suffering from PTSD assigned to protect a politician he is at constant odds with. The new drama shattered ratings and became the most watched BBC show in ten years. Bodyguard was a major success in the UK, and that is a good sign at the Golden Globes but without any clear way to gauge its success in the United States it might not have enough buzz to become a major player. There is some contention on whether or not Bodyguard is going to compete as a drama or a limited series and that might affect how many nominations it receives. (Netflix representatives indicated to Awards Daily on November 13 that Bodyguard will be submitted as a Drama Series.)
The first season of The Handmaid’s Tale swept through awards season and even picked up two Golden Globe awards for series and actress. The second season received just as much buzz but in the end failed to take home any Primetime Emmys. It will be interesting to see if HFPA voters will fully embrace the second season or move on in such a competitive year. Awards attention or not the second season remained one of the best shows of the year and will most likely be nominated in the end and might even pull off a surprise win somewhere like in supporting actress.
No network has had as good of a run at the Golden Globes. In fact since the premium network broke into the drama series race 19 years ago one of their dramas has been always been nominated (with a sole exception in 2013) and sometimes they’ve managed to get two of their dramas in. 2018 was a more subdued year for HBO though. Westworld was nominated last year but after a divisive season that excited fans while confusing critics the HFPA might not be as excited as they once were. Does that leave an opening for a new drama like Succession? The drama premiered to low ratings but a strong word of mouth that has fans excited for a second season.
This Is Us has been nominated for six Golden Globes over the past two years and up to this point is still the most beloved broadcast drama on TV. It’s difficult to say whether or not the family drama will be nominated for a third year in a row especially after Emmy voters have begun to move on. If the show continues to be nominated it will most likely be instead someone from the ensemble. Sterling K. Brown is still popular however the third season has focused squarely in on the patriarch of the Pearson family and that might be good news for Milo Ventimiglia.
Stand Alone Performances
After growing up on Mad Men and shocking audiences in the Flowers in the Attic Kiernan Shipka has finally been given her own show with The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Netflix has found a lot of success by capitalizing on the YA genre including a Golden Globe nomination last year for Katherine Langford. Kiernan Shipka perfectly fits that same ingénue role and it only helps that voters are familiar with her since Mad Men holds the record for the most wins in the category.
Oscar and Golden Globe winner JK Simmons is an underdog contender to keep an eye on for his performance in the new Starz series Counterpart. The new drama is a blend of international political and sci-fi thriller that features Simmons in a duel role. Starz is also a favorite of the HFPA making Simmons’ performance one to look out for to possibly win.
John Krasinksi is having the biggest year of his career. First his film A Quiet Place where he served as the director/writer and star became one of the biggest hits of the year. Then his new Amazon Original series Jack Ryan premiered to relatively strong reviews. Voters might nominate him for his television work as a way to celebrate his wildly successful 2018 as a whole.
Two-time Oscar winner Sean Penn made his TV debut this year with the Hulu drama The First, a space drama about the first men on Mars. The show as a whole didn’t make much of a splash but the Hollywood Foreign Press loves Oscar winners and movie stars, and Sean Penn is the perfect actor to fit the description.
House of Cards is no longer as well-regarded as it was when it first premiered but its star Robin Wright is being looked at as a hero after the Kevin Spacey scandal sent the final season into a revamp to hold onto its legacy. Even with mixed to poor reviews voters might rally behind Wright.
The original run of The Good Wife remained popular at the Golden Globes all the way through its final season with 14 overall nominations. That popularity might be strong enough to keep in mind when considering Christine Baranski in the CBS Streaming spinoff The Good Fight. The first season went largely unnoticed but as the second season grew in popularity Baranski might benefit from that popularity, especially with all of the goodwill for her from the Mamma Mia sequel.
Kevin Costner won his first Golden Globe for the limited series western Hatfields & McCoys and now he’s back in contention for his new Paramount Network drama Yellowstone. The drama following the conflict over a shared border earned mix reviews but was one of the most successful ad-supported cable shows of 2018 second only to The Walking Dead. Strong ratings and Costner’s star power might push him to a surprise nomination that the Globes are known for.
A Breakdown of The Three Top Categories
The Handmaid’s Tale
Better Call Saul
The Haunting of Hill House
Julia Roberts, Homecoming
Kerri Russell, The Americans
Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld
Elizabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale
Caitriona Balfe, Outlander
Robin Wright, House of Cards
Kiernan Shipka, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina