Quick: Who won Golden Globe awards last year? No peeking at Google, now. Does anybody remember, let alone care?
I didn’t, until I looked it up. The best picture winners — the Globes reward drama and comedy/musical categories — were “The Descendants” and “The Artist.” Best TV drama and comedy winners were, respectively, “Homeland” and “Modern Family.”
Let’s be honest here. Nobody really cares who wins a Golden Globe. The awards are essentially ridiculous. They’re voted on by members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of correspondents who are — to put it mildly — not held in the highest esteem. The members write for a variety of international media, but Globes voters are known more for their love of posing with stars than for their journalistic insights.
That said, it’s true that most years, the Golden Globes broadcast is the most entertaining awards whoop-de-doo of them all. Plenty of stars show up for the event, which is held in the ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Many glasses of wine are downed, nobody takes it terribly seriously, and a good time is generally had by all.
By comparison, attendees at the Academy Awards look as grimly dutiful as parents waiting for their kid to walk across the stage during a lengthy high school commencement ceremony.
This year’s Globes ceremony, which airs Sunday on NBC, is even more promising. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are co-hosting, which is such a good idea I’m amazed anybody involved on any level with the Globes had it. When they show up as presenters at other awards shows, Fey and Poehler are routinely much funnier than whoever the official host is, so double-teaming them is an inspired move.
And for pure entertainment’s sake, it’s hard to top some of the more eccentric nominations and winners the Globes voters — in their inscrutable wisdom — select. This is, remember, the outfit that showered nominations on such duds as the Johnny Depp-Angelina Jolie bomb “The Tourist.”
But the Globes voters really show their unpredictable tastes in the TV category nominations. The Globesters have honored cable shows that other awards-givers tend to overlook, such as HBO’s “Enlightened,” Starz’ “Boss” and Showtime’s “Episodes.” At the same time, they have a habit of leaving out deserving nominees that show up elsewhere, as with this year’s incomparably idiotic stunt of not including “Mad Men” among the best TV drama series nominees.
Rather than fume about the silliness of it all, let’s just treat the Globes like the goofy glitzathon they are. Here are my guesses for TV winners and losers.
BEST TV SERIES — DRAMA: Of the nominees — “Breaking Bad,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Downton Abbey: Season 2,” “Homeland” and “The Newsroom” — the obvious howler is Aaron Sorkin’s insufferably preachy HBO gabfest, “The Newsroom.” Last year, the Globes voters surprised many by going for “Homeland” in its freshman season. I won’t be surprised if they do it again, though “Downton Abbey” could sneak in there, too.
BEST TV SERIES — COMEDY OR MUSICAL: Between “The Big Bang Theory,” “Episodes,” “Girls,” “Modern Family” and “Smash,” I’m betting “Modern Family” will win, because a law has apparently been passed that it has to win everything it’s nominated for.
BEST ACTOR — TV drama: At least Jon Hamm got nominated for “Mad Men,” but he faces stiff competition from Steve Buscemi (“Boardwalk Empire”), Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”), Damian Lewis (“Homeland”) and Jeff Daniels, who is, admittedly, the best thing about “The Newsroom.” Since the Globes have a weakness for new series, I’m betting Daniels may get this.
BEST ACTRESS — TV DRAMA: Oh, just give it to Claire Danes again already. She won for “Homeland” last year, and she’s miles ahead of the field: Glenn Close (“Damages”), Michelle Dockery (“Downton Abbey”), Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife”). The dark horse is Connie Britton, who may also benefit from freshman-series love for “Nashville.”
BEST ACTOR — TV COMEDY OR MUSICAL: Matt LeBlanc won last year for “Episodes,” which seemed to amaze even him. The other nominees are Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”), Don Cheadle (“House of Lies”), Louis C.K. (“Louie”) and Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”). I’m thinking this comes down to whichever network gave the Globes voters the best party/swag/celeb photo op. It would be, however, delicious if Louis C.K. — whose stubborn artistic integrity makes him as unlikely a Golden Globes honoree as I can imagine — took it.
BEST ACTRESS — TV COMEDY OR MUSICAL: Both Fey (“30 Rock”) and Poehler (“Parks and Recreation”) are nominated, which should make for banter fodder between the two of them. Of the rest — Zooey Deschanel (“New Girl”), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”) and Lena Dunham (“Girls”) — it’s hard to say. Last year’s winner, Laura Dern for “Enlightened,” isn’t nominated. My coin toss pick: Louis-Dreyfus, since Fey and Poehler might split the mainstream-funny vote, and Deschanel and Dunham the hip-funny vote.
BEST ACTOR — SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINISERIES OR MADE-FOR-TV MOVIE: Here we have the most absurd category in the history of awards shows. Lumping together performers and projects as varied as Max Greenfield in “New Girl” and Mandy Patinkin in “Homeland” is insane even by Globes standards. The other nominees — Ed Harris (“Game Change”), Danny Huston (“Magic City”), Eric Stonestreet (“Modern Family”) — just underscore that. I have no idea who’ll win, but this gets the “Most Kooky” prize.
BEST ACTRESS — SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINISERIES OR MADE-FOR-TV MOVIE: Good luck, Hayden Panettiere (“Nashville”) — who isn’t supporting, but is a co-lead, for that matter — Archie Panjabi (“The Good Wife”) Sarah Paulson (“Game Change”) and Sofia Vergara (“Modern Family”). If Maggie Smith doesn’t take this for “Downton Abbey,” I’ll do a spit-take in my teacup.
WHERE TO WATCH: “Countdown to the Red Carpet” features the celebs not famous enough to show up at the last minute or skip the red carpet altogether (5 p.m. Sunday, E!); “Live From the Red Carpet,” brings that hard-hitting duo, Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic, asking stars the tough questions: i.e., “who are you wearing?” (6 p.m., E!); “Golden Globes Red Carpet Special,” puts Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Natalie Morales to work, trying to get people to watch the “Today” show again — er, that is, talking to celebs about their outfits (7 p.m., NBC); and finally, “The Golden Globe Awards,” with Fey and Poehler (8 p.m., NBC).