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Best Television Series, Drama
The Affair, Showtime
Downton Abbey, PBS
Game of Thrones, HBO
The Good Wife, CBS
House of Cards, Netflix
Will Win and Should Win: The Good Wife. I shouldn't be surprised that the Golden Globes didn't think the first half of Mad Men's final season was worth placing in the field: The Globes haven't given that show a Best Drama nomination since 2010. (Men did win the award for three consecutive years, from 2007 to 2009.) Still, it's a shocker that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association considered the first season of The Affair a stronger piece of work. Other pundits think House of Cards or Game of Thrones will get the trophy, perhaps because no broadcast drama has won since 2006, when Grey's Anatomy took the title. But I think The Good Wife breaks the streak—and justly, due to a late series creative resurgence that can't and shouldn't be ignored.
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Best Performance By An Actress In A Television Series, Drama
Claire Danes, Homeland
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Ruth Wilson, The Affair
Robin Wright, House of Cards
Will Win: Viola Davis. A quality, splashy turn by an excellent actress and former Oscar nominee making a TV debut is a narrative the Golden Globes won't resist. The wig moment—Annalise at her vanity, stripping away her vanity—is worth a trophy alone. But this is a tight, competitive race. I wouldn't be surprised if Wright makes a return trip to the podium: I think her turn in House of Cards was better than season 1, and her character more interesting, too. But if The Good Wife doesn't win Best Drama, the Globes will honor the show by honoring Margulies.
Should Win: Davis or Claire Danes, a two-time winner for her turn in Homeland, and who carried the show to a comeback season this past fall. She probably enters the race with more top-of-mind awareness, but I think her momentum toward winning might have been slowed and tripped up by Homeland's so-so, low-buzz finale. The most surprising snub in this (very tough, everyone-deserving) category: Caitriona Balfe in Outlander.
3 of 11
Best Performance By An Actor In A Television Series, Drama
Clive Owen, The Knick
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
James Spader, The Blacklist
Dominic West, The Affair
Will Win and Should Win: Clive Owen. This category is more notable for its snubs than its nominees. No Jon Hamm (Mad Men), no Aden Young (Rectify), no Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex, and nominated last year), no Justin Theroux (The Leftovers). Maybe the Globes give it to Spacey, because it does sure seem like they like binging on Cards, but I think these Foreign Pressers will give it to Owen, impressive and commanding in The Knick.
4 of 11
Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy
Jane the Virgin, The CW
Orange Is the New Black, Netflix
Silicon Valley, HBO
Transparent, Amazon Instant Video
Will Win and Should Win: Transparent. The Golden Globes won't resist the opportunity to be the first major awards show to honor this critics' darling, and it shouldn't: Jill Soloway's series was the best show in this field in 2014, and the most complete artistic statement. The Globes love to recognize new stars, identify emerging phenoms, and honor underdogs—which is why I think Jane the Virgin has a strong chance of winning this, too.
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Best Performance By An Actress In A Television Series, Musical or Comedy
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Taylor Schilling, Orange Is the New Black
Will Win and Should Win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who—shockingly—has never won a Golden Globe for Veep, and it's about damn time. But an upset win for Rodriguez is possible, too.
6 of 11
Best Performance By An Actor In A Television Series, Musical or Comedy
Louis C.K., Louie
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Ricky Gervais, Derek
William H. Macy, Shameless
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
Will Win and Should Win: Jeffrey Tambor. But I can see the Golden Globes giving the prize to Louis C.K. as a way to honor his all-around auteur achievement in the most recent season of Louie, a challenging, form-busting triumph.
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Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made For Television
The Missing, Starz
The Normal Heart, HBO
Olive Kitteridge, HBO
True Detective, HBO
Will Win: The Normal Heart. Here's the blockbuster, heavyweight showdown that should've happened at the Emmys, but didn't because True Detective submitted and competed in Best Drama. But True Detective seems ancient history, and Fargo's heat has cooled, too; I think they cancel each other out and allow The Normal Heart to squeak ahead of Olive Kitteridge for the win.
Should Win: Fargo. It's not my favorite (that would be True Detective), and it's not the weightiest (that would be The Normal Heart, followed closely by Olive Kitteridge), but I do think it's the best-realized artistic statement of any of the nominees.
8 of 11
Best Performance By An Actress In A Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made For Television
Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Honorable Woman
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge
Frances O'Connor, The Missing
Allison Tolman, Fargo
Will Win and Should Win: Frances McDormand. Here's how the Golden Globes show love to the very fine Olive Kitteridge, and anyway, it's about time we see the Oscar winner strut across an awards stage again. Plus, there's a pop moment to be made out of McDormand vs. Tolman/Fargo vs. Fargo; I'd like to see it play out, because pop moments are the only reason I watch the Globes.
9 of 11
Best Performance By An Actor In A Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made For Television
Martin Freeman, Fargo
Woody Harrelson, True Detective
Matthew McConaughey, True Detective
Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart
Billy Bob Thornton, Fargo
Will Win and Should Win: Matthew McConaughey. Whatever you think of True Detective and whatever you think of McConaughey (both have been battling backlash of late), the Oscar winner was mesmerizing as Rust Cohle and created the only character here that I would deem truly iconic.
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Best Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role In A Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made For Television
Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Joanne Frogatt, Downton Abbey
Allison Janney, Mom
Michelle Monaghan, True Detective
Will Win: Allison Janney. But don't be surprised if Uzo Aduba scores for her striking, ever-deepening work as Crazy Eyes, a performance/character that challenges the cast to excellence and makes every scene more interesting and surprising.
Should Win: Uzo Aduba. But Allison Janney is equally deserving, because Allison Janney is always deserving, and she brings out the best in Anna Faris.
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Best Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role In A Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made For Television
Matt Bomer, The Normal Heart
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Colin Hanks, Fargo
Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge
Jon Voight, Ray Donovan
Will Win and Should Win: Emmy nominee and Critics' Choice Award winner Matt Bomer was open, romantic, and effortlessly heartbreaking as a reporter on the front lines of the emerging AIDS epidemic, who then was claimed by it. But will anyone begrudge the Globes from giving anything at any time to Bill Murray? I can't.