Film is the top dog at the Golden Globes, as a night of surprises often sends Hollywood scurrying to reassess what might happen at the Oscars. After all, the ceremonies are only separated by a handful of weeks, and FYC campaigns are already in full swing — the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s picks can sway Academy voters one way or the other, either through the victor’s speeches or general bandwagon jumping.
But TV fans shouldn’t turn a blind eye to the unpredictable, even outrageous, awards show. Even with more than six months separating the shows, Emmy futures shifted Sunday night. But some of the odd choices in the 76th annual ceremony also illustrated an adjustment in how we see the Globes.
Over the years, the Globes have earned a reputation as the awards-season kingmaker — they often crown unexpected champions as a way of exerting their influence over the industry. They like being the first to honor yet-to-be-honored shows, thus claiming them as their own little darlings. Sometimes it works (like with “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” which went on to Emmy glory in September 2018 after winning Globes in January), and sometimes it doesn’t. (“Mozart in the Jungle” never really registered with the TV Academy.)
But instead of playing kingmaker, the 2019 Globes either affirmed or corrected past decisions. By awarding “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” over “Sharp Objects” and “Escape from Dannemora” — two new, buzzy, and awards-friendly limited series — they confirmed what the Emmys already declared: Ryan Murphy’s “American Crime Story” franchise is a beast to be reckoned with, even if one season disappoints. Meanwhile, “The Americans” won Best Drama Series for its final season over newcomers like “Pose,” “Homecoming,” and “Bodyguard.” Sure, the HFPA elevated “The Kominsky Method” to an across-the-board Emmy contender, but they could’ve done much more and chose not to.
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For as much as the HFPA seems to savor playing Oscars kingmaker, it’s an erratic bellwether for the Emmys. The HFPA’s power to sway the Emmys toward their chosen winners varies wildly by category. In the last 11 years, the Globes kicked off big years for “Mad Men” (2008), “Homeland” (2012), and “Breaking Bad” (2014) — all of which won Best Drama Series at the Globes and then the Emmys. HFPA winners like “The Crown” and “Mr. Robot” went on to snag Emmy nominations in the same category, as did “Boardwalk Empire” in 2011. In fact, the only winner in that timespan not to be later nominated for an Emmy is 2015’s “The Affair.”
But the comedy category is a different story. Sure, “Maisel” won the Globe and then the Emmy in 2018, while “Atlanta” and “Transparent” rode HFPA wins to Emmy nominations for Best Comedy Series. But “Mozart in the Jungle” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” couldn’t even land Emmy nominations after their Globes’ wins. That makes one win, three nominations, and two no-shows at the Emmys in the last five Globes winners — not bad, but “Kominksy Method” shouldn’t feel totally at ease about its future prospects.
Finally, the Limited Series or TV Movie picks are almost entirely based on whatever the Emmys already picked. For the last eight years, the winner of the Golden Globe in this category had already won an Emmy the year prior. So the Globes weren’t blazing a trail so much as they were walking a safely paved path. The last time they went off on their own was in 2011 when “Carlos” won — and it was then shut out of Emmys’ limited series race.
Does all this mean the Golden Globes aren’t, in fact, a kingmaker? Not at all. They definitively boost prospects and elevate the conversation around their selected series. But their primary objective — if any body of voters actually comes together to form such a thing — isn’t just being a kingmaker. It’s more of a wild card; a prankster, a court jester delighting in the shocked faces of audiences and prognosticators alike. And after the 2019 awards, there were plenty. The Globes still wield power, but they also seem comfortable just being their own thing. Here’s how their most recent wild cards may have changed the Emmy race:
1. “The Kominsky Method” is a major player now
With two Oscar winners leading the cast and an eight-time Emmy nominee producing, “The Kominsky Method” was always meant to be an awards contender. Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin are the types of leads older voters fawn over, no matter what some reviews say, and Chuck Lorre’s semi-serious turn away from multi-cam comedies is as avant garde as the legendary network writer is going to get. So this Netflix original was always going to be in the Emmy conversation — now, it’s got hardware as evidence. Douglas, who won the Globe Sunday, and Arkin (who was nominated) should be considered early favorites for nominations, and the series is right up there with “GLOW” as the streaming giant’s top comedy option thus far.
2. “Sharp Objects” isn’t a shoo-in — even for Amy Adams
The “Big Little Lies” magic that was supposed to boost HBO’s second limited-series sensation could only muster a win for its Woman in White. Patricia Clarkson won the Golden Globe for Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie Sunday, but “Sharp Objects” itself — and even more shockingly, its star, Amy Adams — were kept off the stage.
That it lost to “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” is only a problem in that it lost at all: Ryan Murphy’s series won’t be eligible at the 2019 Emmys, but “Sharp Objects” was looking to solidify itself as the only choice here. Now, the field is a bit more open; one could even argue “Escape at Dannemora” has the edge given Patricia Arquette topped Adams in the lead actress race. (I wouldn’t argue that — let’s see what happens at the SAG Awards when the two face off again — but someone could.)
3. Can “Bodyguard” compete?
Technically, yes — the Netflix acquisition premiered all six episodes in America on October 24, 2018, making it eligible to compete at the Emmys. With Richard Madden’s win at the Globes, it’s possible the audience favorite could make a bit of a run at the Emmys, but it will face stiffer competition than it did at the Globes. There are a lot of TV shows left to debut before the May 31 deadline, including a few Netflix might rather see make the shortlist, so this action-heavy import still has a bit of a hill to climb.
4. Watch out: “Killing Eve” is on the rise…
Some may discount Sandra Oh’s win as pandering to the evening’s host, but it’s actually one more reason to take BBC America’s addictive drama very seriously this awards season. First of all, “Killing Eve” had a decent initial showing at the Emmys: two nominations in acting (Oh) and writing (creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge). That means it’s on the TV Academy’s radar, which is a huge first step toward future success, but also more and more people are watching thanks to a) its inherent popularity, and b) a Hulu streaming deal making the show accessible to a broader fanbase.
More eyeballs are critical, but so are solid new episodes. Season 2 now has a very Emmy-friendly premiere date — April 7 — and its weekly release will run through May 26. Voting starts June 10, so “Killing Eve” should still be fresh. Presuming its still good, the Sandra Oh Globes win will help elevate her profile a bit (as did hosting), and that “Killing Eve” lost to “The Americans” doesn’t mean too much since the FX drama is out of the running. Everything is looking up for “Eve.” Now, we just need to see those episodes.