2016 may not be fondly remembered for many things on a global scale, but try telling that to the TV industry; over recent years, the small screen has morphed from Bruce Banner into the Incredible Hulk, transforming into a high-budget force of endless binge-worthy entertainment.
The 2017 Golden Globes are a reflection of that continued upward trend. There is an embarrassment of riches in contention, from established shows such as Game of Thrones, to stylish newcomers Westworld, Stranger Things and The Crown, to miniseries sensations The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story or The Night Manager.
Before Sunday's ceremony, here at Movie Pilot we've broken down all the nominations for television, highlighting who deserves to win, and who probably will. So pause your Netflix stream and check out our picks below:
Best Series - Drama
- The Crown
- Game of Thrones
- Stranger Things
- This Is Us
This category oozes class, with heavyweight #GameofThrones — yet to win but returning to this category for the fourth time — joined by impressive newcomers in all shapes and sizes: #StrangerThings was surrounded by hype following its release, while The Crown appeals to the high-brow and Westworld to the big-budget, stylized production that epitomises the quality of modern TV, with This Is Us an outsider.
For its episode "Battle of the Bastards," Game of Thrones is deserving; but, with two seasons to come, it may make more sense for a win later down the line. Stranger Things isn't perfect, by any shot, and #Westworld may be ahead in terms of quality, but, it is a show that evoked a present-nostalgia, full of strong child performances, glossy production and an abundance of '80s callbacks.
Best Series - Musical or Comedy
- Mozart in the Jungle
Both Veep and Transparent receive a second nomination, with the latter winning the award for its first season. However, this category is one of the most surefire spots, with Donald Glover's subversive and absurdly entertaining comedy #Atlanta standing head and shoulders above the crowd.
Best Miniseries Or Television Film
- American Crime
- The Dresser
- The Night Manager
- The Night Of
- The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Although a category with strong contenders, The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story is still the strong favorite to continue its sweep of awards after being nominated for five Golden Globes this year.
However, both the British John le Carré thriller, #TheNightManager, and crime miniseries The Night Of give the favorite a run for its money, with the former perhaps the most deserving, with an outside chance of a win on the night.
Best Actor In Drama
- Rami Malek – Mr. Robot as Elliot Alderson
- Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul as James Morgan "Jimmy" McGill
- Matthew Rhys – The Americans as Philip Jennings
- Liev Schreiber – Ray Donovan as Raymond "Ray" Donovan
- Billy Bob Thornton – Goliath as Billy McBride
Rami Malek, Bob Odenkirk and Liev Schreiber all return after nominations at last year's ceremony. It's a painfully tough category to decide from, with Odenkirk striking a charismatic balance of inner-turmoil and tragic comedy in the Breaking Bad spinoff, Malek stepping things up a notch in #MrRobot and Matthew Rhys finally receiving a nomination after years of outstanding performances in #TheAmericans.
The nod goes to Malek, though, who excelled in Mr. Robot's debut season, and managed to dive even deeper into the fractured psyche of Elliot Alderson in Season 2, all the while being a generally decent human being. Whether that's enough remains to be seen though, with an outside win for Billy Bob Thornton predicted.
Best Actress In Drama
- Caitriona Balfe – Outlander as Claire Beauchamp Randall/Fraser
- Claire Foy – The Crown as Queen Elizabeth II
- Keri Russell – The Americans as Elizabeth Jennings
- Winona Ryder – Stranger Things as Joyce Byers
- Evan Rachel Wood – Westworld as Dolores Abernathy
Evan Rachel Wood deserves to receive recognition on behalf of Westworld with her strong performance, but she does face plenty of competition. Claire Foy may entice the Globes, having appeared in last year's winning period drama Wolf Hall. Keri Russell, like Matthew Rhys, is also finally recognised after being overlooked, and an award would be justified.
The surprise win may go to Winona Ryder, though. The award show has a soft-spot for career resurgence (see Christian Slater winning for Mr. Robot last year), and Ryder's role as tortured mother Joyce may tempt a victory, despite the role's limitations.
Best Actor In Musical or Comedy
- Anthony Anderson – Black-ish as Andre "Dre" Johnson Sr.
- Gael García Bernal – Mozart in the Jungle as Rodrigo De Souza
- Donald Glover – Atlanta as Earnest "Earn" Marks
- Nick Nolte – Graves as Richard Graves
- Jeffrey Tambor – Transparent as Maura Pfefferman
Along with a win for the show, expect Donald Glover to receive the award for his portrayal of Earnest "Earn" Marks in Atlanta, helped by the fact he also created the show. Tambor and Bernal have impressed, too, but they have both won previously.
Best Actress In Musical Or Comedy
- Rachel Bloom – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend as Rebecca Nora Bunch
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep as Selina Meyer
- Sarah Jessica Parker – Divorce as Frances Dufresne
- Issa Rae – Insecure as Issa Dee
- Gina Rodriguez – Jane the Virgin as Jane Gloriana Villanueva
- Tracee Ellis Ross – Black-ish as Dr. Rainbow "Bow" Johnson
Both Rodrigues and Bloom return after a nomination and win respectively at the 2016 awards. This year, Sarah Jessica Parker could cause a stir with her popular performance in Divorce, but Issa Rae deserves to be cream of the comedy crop for her performance in Insecure, especially with the Globes' tendency to favour newcomers.
Actor In Miniseries Or Television Film
- Riz Ahmed – The Night Of as Nasir "Naz" Khan
- Bryan Cranston – All the Way as President Lyndon B. Johnson
- Tom Hiddleston – The Night Manager as Jonathan Pine
- John Turturro – The Night Of as John Stone
- Courtney B. Vance – The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story as Johnnie Cochran
Another category that illustrates the talent available on television, this is one of the most closely fought picks. Tom Hiddleston is a standout as Pine, but Turturro's gritty performance matches or surpasses him. Bryan Cranston, too, will always make heads turn in the industry.
For his nuanced portrayal in #TheNightOf, Riz Ahmed is highlighted as a underdog winner. To pull off a surprise, the Rogue One actor will have to beat Emmy winner Courtney B. Vance, the favorite for his role as Johnnie Cochran.
Actress In Miniseries Or Television Film
- Felicity Huffman – American Crime as Leslie Graham
- Riley Keough – The Girlfriend Experience as Christine Reade/"Chelsea Rayne"/"Amanda Hayes"
- Sarah Paulson – The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story as Marcia Clark
- Charlotte Rampling – London Spy as Frances Turner
- Kerry Washington – Confirmation as Anita Hill
With the most nominations, it's not surprising that The People v. O. J. Simpson is dominating some categories. This is perhaps the most obvious choice, with Sarah Paulson heavily expected to take home another win following her Emmy triumph last year.
Going against the tide, Felicity Hoffman is chosen in this category. The actress, who has won a Golden Globe previously for her role in Transamerica (2005), was nominated last year, but returns as a different character.
Best Supporting Actor
- Sterling K. Brown – The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story as Christopher Darden
- Hugh Laurie – The Night Manager as Richard Onslow Roper
- John Lithgow – The Crown as Winston Churchill
- Christian Slater – Mr. Robot as Mr. Robot / Edward Alderson
- John Travolta – The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story as Robert Shapiro
Although exceptional in Mr. Robot, Christian Slater is unlikely to win twice in a row. That leaves contenders on a similar playing field, with Huge Laurie putting in a strong performance that could appeal to the Golden Globes. Lithgow, too, has award show appeal. But, the choice here is Travolta — an underdog despite his reputation — for his unforgettable performance as Robert Shapiro.
Best Supporting Actress
- Olivia Colman – The Night Manager as Angela Burr
- Lena Headey – Game of Thrones as Cersei Lannister
- Chrissy Metz – This Is Us as Kate Pearson
- Mandy Moore – This Is Us as Rebecca Pearson
- Thandie Newton – Westworld as Maeve Millay
Despite being glittered with awards since its debut, Game of Thrones has only seen Golden Globe glory once, when Peter Dinklage won in 2012. If the show doesn't win Best Drama, or even if it does, Headey should be crowned queen of the ceremony for her boundlessly evil Season 6 performance — likely her most prominent.
Whether she will win remains to be seen, with strong competition from Metz, Coleman and Newton, with the latter the favorite for her performance of madam robot Maeve Millay on Westworld.
Do you agree with these Golden Globe winners?