Yes, it's that time of year again when critics assemble all over the country and start handing out plaques and statuettes. Most of those watching are paying attention for those that honors movies, but a select few of us pore over their precious nominations for television.
If the Hollywood Foreign Press can be predictable in what films makes the grade, there is often a surprise or two to be found in the television categories. This year is no exception. Indeed, there are trends that may mean good news for the networks, but troubling news for those of us who still watch television on... well, television. Let's go through some of the trends:
HBO's time in the sun is on the wane. No doubt, they will boast in their promos that they are the most nominated network. But there are very troubling signs. For the first time since 2000, they don't have a nominee in the Best Drama category. Considering the level of Boardwalk Empire or True Blood, that's not a big shock, but Game of Thrones, after completing a season where they earned 15 Emmy nods, was shut out. Furthermore, they only had one nominated comedy-- Girls, which was subpar. If it weren't for Behind the Candleabra, they wouldn't be competitive at all.
Showtime' continues to improve. Even though Homeland, winner for the two previous years was (deservedly) completely shut out, and Episodes was out of the running, the network continued to flourish with six nods. I wasn't a big fan of Ray Donavan, but it's clear he has some pulled with the Foreign Press. And they could've given more nominations to Masters of Sex--- Lizzy Caplan and Alison Janney were spectacular. But mostly I think they made the right calls.
AMC's in trouble? Nothing for Mad Men or The Walking Dead. And while I'm thrilled that Breaking Bad finally got the recognition from them in their final season, doesn't change the fact it was the final season. Of course, all of this may be speculation may be for naught, because:
The Best TV can be seen on your laptop. Netflix stormed on the Hollywood Foreign Press with even more force than it did with the Emmys with six nods, including House of Cards, which led all comers with four., as well as one each for Arrested Development and Orange is the New Black. They can't be taken for granted any more, which should scare the remainder of the networks shitless. Then again:
Broadcast Networks not going quietly. All four networks managed one nominated Comedy, which should cheer those few but faithful viewers of Parks & Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. And CBS became the first network to have a nominated Drama in three years with The Good Wife which got three deserved nominations. NBC may be showing signs of recovery as well, grabbing five nods. Which brings me to:
High Point of the day: YES! YES! They nominated Monica Potter for Parenthood!!! The Golden Globes makes more sense than the Emmys!!! Hurray!!! On a milder note, I was glad to see Idris Elba get a nomination for Luther to go with the one he got for his Mandela biopic, and glad to see Parks & Recreation finally recognized as a best Comedy somewhere. (Amy Poehler's going to be so much fun to watch when she and Tina host) Of course, they could've recognized Mayim Bialik or Merritt Weyer for Supporting Actress instead of going to Sofia Vegara again, but you can't win them all.
As for the SAGs... you can have them. They officially relinquished all credibility when they nominated Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey again even though 30 Rock only aired four episodes in 2013 before being cancelled. And they nominated Boardwalk Empire and Homeland for Best Ensemble even though anyone who watched those shows knows that they were way below their previous standards. Of course, it's all irrelevant considering Breaking Bad is probably going to sweep through, on its farewell tour. Which I can only say.... bravo.
Stay tuned for my predictions for the winners.