The Hollywood Foreign Press announced their nominees for the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards. Netflix’s The Crown came out on top with six nominations as Ted Lasso, The Queen’s Gambit, and The Flight Attendant build awards momentum.
Earlier today the Hollywood Foreign Press announced the nominees for the 78th Golden Globe Awards. With six nominations, The Crown was the most nominated show of the year while Schitt’s Creek continued its farewell tour for the final season with five nominations.
Overall, many of the shows we expected to be in the conversation ended up with multiple nominations like Ozark, The Unoing, Ted Lasso, The Queen’s Gambit, Unorthodox, and The Great. As they usually do, the HFPA nominated plenty of A-list stars from Al Pacino to Cate Blanchett, but the big story of the year was the large number of breakout names and young talent. Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film was filled with breakout stars like Shira Haas, Daisy Edgar-Jones, and Anya Taylor-Joy. On top of that Elle Fanning, Jane Levy, Lily Collins, and newcomer Emma Corrin were nominated in their respective categories as well.
The big story coming out of the nominations was just how well Netflix did. The streaming giant pulled out 20 nominations on the TV side alone on top of their 22 film nominations. 44 nominations total is by far a record for the streaming service, and one that any network will have a hard time beating (or even matching) in the years to come. It doesn’t come as much of a surprise though. As the world went into lockdown, families largely turned to the network for escapism offering some of the biggest surprise hits of the year from Unorthodox to The Queen’s Gambit.
Starting with the obvious, we all knew that the fourth season of The Crown would be the most nominated show of 2020. The HFPA has always loved the royal drama, and that mixed with the cultural impact of Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher made this year’s success no brainers. On top of its fourth consecutive nomination for Best Television Series – Drama, it also raked in five acting nominations more than any other drama in recent memory.
As expected, the Golden Globes also fell in love with shows like The Great, The Undoing, Ozark, and the final season of Schitt’s Creek. Most of these shows had irresistible qualities that the HFPA always gravitates towards. The Great is a rompy costume dramedy with exciting talent. The Undoing is a prestige HBO limited series with an ensemble full of A-list names. Both Schitt’s Creek and Ozark are riding off huge momentum from the Emmys.
Earlier this week, the ADTV team discussed why Showtime should never be counted out at the Golden Globes, and this year proved to be no exception. The network ended up with five acting nominations, three of which were in the Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film race. If we’re making early predictions, Brendan Gleeson is someone to keep an eye on in the supporting actor race. The Irish actor has quietly earned four nominations in just over ten years, and an over-the-top portrayal of Donald Trump might bring him his first win.
The Biggest Surprises
Compared to other years, there weren’t really a lot of surprises. For the most part the Hollywood Foreign Press gravitated towards the shows we expected them to – just to varying degrees of excitement.
We warned everyone that a show like Ratched could easily sneak into the lineup for Best Television Series – Drama. They have always loved Ryan Murphy, and they were always going to enjoy the campy origin story for a film that swept the Globes 40 years prior. The first season earned three nominations: drama series, lead actress, and (with the biggest surprise of the year) a supporting nomination for Cynthia Nixon. If someone was going to sneak into the supporting actress race, Sharon Stone seemed like the obvious prediction – monkey and all. But this is Nixon’s sixth nomination, and she could very well be on her way to finally winning.
Emily in Paris was nominated twice for Outstanding Television Series – Comedy or Musical and a lead actress nomination for Lily Collins. This is Collins’ second nomination, and it fits perfectly with the HFPA’s adoration for the children of celebrities. We should have known that a show about an American in Paris would sneak into the race especially since it was a massive hit for Netflix, but most of us assumed the poor reviews would hinder its chances.
It seems like all of the surprise nominations came from Netflix. The streaming network’s 2020 slate was so popular that they even nominated Jim Parsons for his transformative turn in Hollywood.
Normal People was an international sensation that broke BBC and Hulu records and eventually went on to multiple Emmy nominations so it came as no surprise that it was singled out at the Golden Globes. The surprise came when they made room for Daisy Edgar-Jones in the lead actress race after she has been repeatedly forgotten by various awards groups. Complicating things even further, the show’s breakout actor, Paul Mescal, who up until now was the one being nominated everywhere was shockingly forgotten.
A lot of people thought that with such a weird year for dramas that this might be the year that the Golden Globes finally embrace genre shows. The Mandalorian and Lovecraft Country were two of the biggest dramas of 2020 and were rightfully nominated even though their ensembles were completely shutout. There were also rumbles of a breakout year for The Boys after it broke ratings records for Amazon and Obama himself named it as one of his favorite TV shows of the year. Unfortunately for Amazon the show was completely left out.
With the recent news that Bridgerton quickly became the most-watched show in the history of Netflix, it immediately jumped into our predictions. How were the Golden Globes going to pass up a fun costume drama from one of the most successful television producers of the past twenty years? That’s why the new drama being completely shut out might have been the biggest omission of the year. It’s possible that it simply premiered too late in the year, and voters didn’t have enough time to catch up. That certainly happened last year with the first season of The Mandalorian.
It was a strange year for limited series. While there was plenty of room in the drama and comedy categories for surprises, the limited series lineup was impossibly crowded. So much so that voters weren’t able to make room for Little Fires Everywhere and its two stars, Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon. In a normal year, the water cooler sensation and adaptation of the hit novel would have likely been the frontrunner and Washington would probably be on the way to her first major award. Instead, voters gravitated towards more European and ingenue-centered limited series.
In the past Fargo had always been nominated at the Golden Globes. The first three installments were all nominated for Best Miniseries or Television Film, even winning for the first season. Over the years it earned 11 nominations but that all came to a stop when the fourth season was completely shut out. It’s hard to say why everyone moved on from the once beloved anthology series so quickly. It took a three-year hiatus and was never able to command attention.
In fact, this was a particularly disappointing year for FX. The prestige network is usually a strong contender with every awards group but this year its sole nomination was for Cate Blanchett in Mrs. America. Shows like What We Do In The Shadows, A Teacher, and Mrs. America as a whole were left out.
The HFPA Has a Race Problem
The Golden Globes has always had a race issue. They’ve gotten much better at addressing that in recent years, but with only five nominees in a given category they are always going to lean into what they’re used to. This year that led to the voting body grossly leaving out I May Destroy You, Insecure, and the ensemble of Lovecraft Country. They also left out Uzo Aduba, the only Emmy winner eligible that voters chose not to nominate.
Overall only three actors of color were nominated in the TV categories: Don Cheadle (Black Monday), Ramy Youssef (Ramy), and John Boyega (Small Axe). No women of color were nominated even though there were plenty of high-profile names in contention from Issa Rae to Jurnee Smollett to Maitreyi Ramakrishnan and many more.
The same thing happened last year when both Zendaya and Watchmen were snubbed before going on to become major Emmy players six months later. Hopefully the same thing will happen this summer with I May Destroy You and the cast of Lovecraft Country continuing to be the contenders they deserve to be.
This wasn’t just on the television side either. Even though this was a huge year for Black storytelling every major film was left out of the Best Motion Picture – Drama race; Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, One Night in Miami, Da Five Bloods, Judas and the Black Messiah, and The United States vs. Billie Holiday.
This is a group that advertises itself as being international, but their membership is largely European and (white) Latino. Without a broader membership that welcomes in more African, Arab, and Asian press the sensibilities of the group will always be embarrassingly and grossly tone deaf.
What did you make of the 2021 Golden Globe nominees? Who are you rooting for at this year’s ceremony? Let us know in the comments below!