The Golden Globes are always filled with surprises, and 2020 promises to be no different. There’s no clear frontrunner for Best Drama, and there are two frontrunners for Best Limited Series. Meanwhile, “Fleabag” looks to keep its hot streak going, but this is the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — who knows if they’ll stick to the plan?
Below, IndieWire gives you a preview of all the television races, setting expectations that Sunday’s ceremony is bound to upend. But after reading the below analysis — gleaned from our own reporting, industry discussions, and historical perspective on each category — you’ll have a better gauge of what every win means, who pulled the true upsets, and when the Golden Globes have gone way off-book. So get ready for a wild night!
“Big Little Lies”
“The Morning Show”
Will Win: “Succession”
Could Win: “The Crown” or “The Morning Show”
Should Win: “Succession”
With four total nominations — tied for most of any 2020 program with limited series “Unbelievable” and “Chernobyl” — “The Crown” should be the odds on favorite in the drama race. But Netflix’s bio-drama already won in 2017, and the HFPA rarely hands over its top trophy to the same show twice. “Homeland” was the last to win multiple Best Drama Globes; at the height of its powers, “Mad Men” won three times, but “The X-Files” is the only series to win again after a loss. (The Fox drama won in 1994, lost in 1995 to “Party of Five,” and then won again in ’96 and ’97.) So it seems more likely that “Succession” or “The Morning Show” will snag the top spot this year, with the new kid on the block (Apple TV+) squaring off against the old guard of TV awards (HBO).
Jennifer Aniston, “The Morning Show”
Olivia Colman, “The Crown”
Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve”
Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies”
Reese Witherspoon, “The Morning Show”
Will Win: Jennifer Aniston, “The Morning Show”
Could Win: Olivia Colman, “The Crown”
Should Win: Jennifer Aniston, “The Morning Show”
If Olivia Colman hadn’t pulled off one of the biggest Oscars upsets ever in 2019, she’d undoubtedly have the edge here. But with the HFPA showing favor to “The Morning Show” and the universal acclaim for Jennifer Aniston’s performance, she seems like the frontrunner. Aniston won in 2003 for “Friends,” but she was also nominated for the little-seen (and Oscar-snubbed) indie film “Cake” in 2015 — so the Globes like her, probably enough to give her one more trophy. (Plus, Colman has already won two Globes in the past three years, for “The Night Manager” and “The Favourite.”)
Brian Cox, “Succession”
Kit Harington, “Game of Thrones”
Rami Malek, “Mr. Robot”
Tobias Menzies, “The Crown”
Billy Porter, “Pose”
Will Win: Brian Cox, “Succession”
Could Win: Tobias Menzies, “The Crown”
Should Win: Billy Porter, “Pose”
Brian Cox, Billy Porter, and Tobias Menzies all have good resumes: Cox is the chosen lead of one of TV’s most brilliant ensembles, as well as a thespian respected by generations of fans — and he’s never won a Golden Globe. Porter is hot off his 2019 Emmy win, but he was nominated at the Globes last year and lost, which doesn’t bode well for a resurgence in 2020. Menzies, meanwhile, is the wild card. If the Globes go “Crown” crazy, he could benefit from the love — much like when he snagged his only previous nomination in 2016, when “Outlander” made an unlikely run at the HFPA.
“The Kominksy Method”
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Will Win: “Fleabag”
Could Win: “The Politician”
Should Win: “Fleabag”
There’s simply no denying “Fleabag” — at least, that’s what it feels like right now. With a slew of Emmy upsets and landing accolade after accolade from critics, Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s outstanding comedy doesn’t fit the typical mold for an HFPA favorite — it’s the second season, it’s not filled with A-list stars, the Emmys already crowned it, etc. — but it just feels wrong to choose anything else. Ryan Murphy and Netflix could pull the upset if there’s one to be had, but you shouldn’t count on it.
Christina Applegate, “Dead to Me”
Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Kirsten Dunst, “On Becoming a God in Central Florida”
Natasha Lyonne, “Russian Doll”
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Fleabag”
Will Win: Kirsten Dunst, “On Becoming a God in Central Florida”
Could Win: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Fleabag”
Should Win: Kirsten Dunst, “On Becoming a God in Central Florida”
OK, OK, I know — what I just said about “Fleabag” could also apply to its star, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, but I just have to believe the HFPA will do what they do best and go against everyone’s expectations. That doesn’t mean it has to be with this category: Waller-Bridge is the Emmy winner, a beloved British actress (being judged by voters from an international organization), and one of the hottest names in Hollywood. But there’s reason to believe they’ll look elsewhere, especially since the HFPA likes its Showtime actors. Just ask Claire Danes (“Homeland”), Ruth Wilson, (“The Affair”), Damian Lewis (“Homeland”), Michael C. Hall (“Dexter”), Don Cheadle (“House of Lies”), Matt LeBlanc (“Episodes”), Laura Linney (“The Big C”), and Toni Collette (“United States of Tara”), all of whom have won at the Globes in the last 10 years. Considering Kirsten Dunst is a bonafide star with three Globes nominations and no wins from the HFPA or any other of the Big Three awards bodies — the Oscars and the Emmys — and this could be her year. Plus, the (great) show could use an awards boost heading into the Emmys (and Season 2).
Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”
Bill Hader, “Barry”
Ben Platt, “The Politician”
Paul Rudd, “Living With Yourself”
Ramy Youssef, “Ramy”
Will Win: Ben Platt, “The Politician”
Could Win: Bill Hader, “Barry”
Should Win: Bill Hader, “Barry”
Ryan Murphy came up with not one, but two scenes that are completely devoted to watching Ben Platt sing — in a Netflix comedy where he’s playing a politician, not a performer. This is why. If Platt doesn’t win, it just means the HFPA thought these lengthy would-be music videos were as overindulgent as they felt to everyone else.
“The Loudest Voice”
Will Win: “Unbelievable”
Could Win: “Chernobyl”
Should Win: “Unbelievable”
Exhibiting a competitive year is the most unpredictable category. Both “Chernobyl” and “Unbelievable” scored four nominations apiece, tying “The Crown” for the most of any 2019 television program, but which one has the advantage? Neither have competed before (this isn’t a “Fargo” or “True Detective” situation — these are both new programs), and both have well-liked, well-funded networks backing their campaigns. Given “Chernobyl” already had its time to shine at the Emmys (winning 10 trophies), I’ve got to believe in “Unbelievable” — but it’ll be a coin toss up until the presenter opens their envelope.
Kaitlyn Dever, “Unbelievable”
Joey King, “The Act”
Helen Mirren, “Catherine the Great”
Merritt Wever, “Unbelievable”
Michele Williams, “Fosse/Verdon”
Will Win: Michele Williams, “Fosse/Verdon”
Could Win: Merritt Wever, “Unbelievable”
Should Win: Michele Williams, “Fosse/Verdon”
Another challenging category, Michelle Williams and Merritt Wever square off with excellent resumes of their own. Williams just won the Emmy, she’s got a Globe already plus six total nominations, and she’s playing an actress the HFPA should love. Wever, however, has never been nominated at the Globes, despite winning two Emmys, but she’s still a well-respected actor in a show that’s apparently been quite successful for Netflix. If the HFPA goes all in on “Unbelievable,” she could top the odds-on favorite.
Christopher Abbott, “Catch-22”
Russell Crowe, “The Loudest Voice”
Jared Harris, “Chernobyl”
Sam Rockwell, “Fosse/Verdon”
Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Spy”
Will Win: Jared Harris, “Chernobyl”
Could Win: Russell Crowe, “The Loudest Voice”
Should Win: Jared Harris, “Chernobyl”
With Emmy-winner Jharrel Jerome inexplicably snubbed, the Globes are free to give Jared Harris his first major award for “Chernobyl.” Actually, aside from his SAG Awards win for being part of the “Mad Men” ensemble, this would mark the “Terror” and “Crown” star’s first major acting victory ever — how can the HFPA choose anyone else?
Patricia Arquette, “The Act”
Toni Collette, “Unbelievable”
Meryl Streep, “Big Little Lies”
Emily Watson, “Chernobyl”
Helena Bonham Carter, “The Crown”
Will Win: Helena Bonham Carter, “The Crown”
Could Win: Toni Collette, “Unbelievable”
Should Win: Toni Collette, “Unbelievable”
This is the only category where all three of the most-nominated shows square off. So does “Unbelievable,” “Chernobyl,” or “The Crown” have the edge? Toni Collette is a six-time nominee and a former winner, so she’s a favorite of the HFPA. Emily Watson is a five-time nominee without a victory, so that could be motivation enough to tip the vote in her favor… except Carter has been nominated eight times without ever taking the stage. She’s overdue and in one of the Globes’ favorite all-time shows. This has to be her year, right?
Alan Arkin, “The Kominsky Method”
Kieran Culkin, “Succession”
Andrew Scott, “Fleabag”
Stellan Skarsgard, “Chernobyl”
Henry Winkler, “Barry”
Will Win: Andrew Scott, “Fleabag”
Could Win: Kieran Culkin, “Succession”
Should Win: Kieran Culkin, “Succession”
After being snubbed by the Emmys, it’s time to see some justice for the Hot Priest — let Andrew Scott take the stage, give a great speech, and remind everyone he’s more than just a good-looking bloke who knows how to wear a white collar.