The Golden Globes used to be the home of surprises, making the Emmy nominations seem stodgy. But with a few exceptions, this year’s TV nominees could have been predicted by anyone with a pay-cable subscription: True Blood, Dexter, Big Love, and (on basic cable) Mad Men dominated the Globes. Not that there’s anything wrong with those choices.

Still, I’m cheered by the some fresh faces and shows among the nominees:

• Julianna Margulies, for best drama actress in The Good Wife: yay, a 10 p.m. CBS network drama about grown-ups gets some recognition!

Modern Family and Glee in the comedy category: How great that Modern Family in particular, a show that found its great comic voice from the moment its pilot aired, should be selected for nomination so quickly by the Globes! And to have Matthew Morrison, who leads up Glee, nominated is a fine choice among so many comedy-series possibilities.

Dexter fans, sharpen a knife in celebration: John Lithgow (for his Trinity killer turn) joined previously-nominated Michael C. Hall and Dexter itself in being nominated!

• The comedy-category vote-of-confidence resides in Courteney Cox’s nomination for Cougar Town. That sitcom is wildly uneven, pretty clever, and Cox is, of course, a TV-awards favorite, but seeing her join the ranks of Edie Falco (hoo-ray: Nurse Jackie!) and Toni Colette (United States of Tara) is impressive. Even more impressive? The nomination of Glee’s Lea Michelle in the same category (Best Comedy Actress).

Hung: The freshman HBO dramedy got some Globes support — stars Thomas Jane and Jane Adams were both nominated!

As for the predictables, well, I’ll tell you right now, in any TV-movie/miniseries category, bet your mortgage on HBO’s Grey Gardens — that thing is catnip to any awards voter.

The same goes for Mad Men: While I hope True Blood, Dexter, and Big Love give it strong competition, this industry fave is going to be hard to beat as Best Drama. Same goes for Jon Hamm in the best-actor category.

Read the full list of nominations here.

What do you think of the nominations? Who do you hope will win?