In less than a week, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will reveal the nominations for the 2019 Golden Globe awards (Thursday, Dec. 6 at 8 a.m. ET, to be exact). My colleague Darren Franich and I have spent the last few weeks stumping for actors, actresses, and shows we’d like to see nominated, but now I’d like to take a moment to discuss the TV categories themselves.
The HFPA hands out 11 TV-related awards (you can read all about the rules and eligibility requirements for TV submissions here), listed below.
• Best Television Series – Drama
• Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy
• Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
• Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama
• Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama
• Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
• Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
• Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
• Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
• Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
• Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Notice anything missing? I do. God knows no one on this earth thinks any awards show should be longer. But in this #PeakTV era (yes, I’m over that phrase, too — suggestions for a replacement welcomed) it’s time for the HFPA to expand its list of TV categories, in an effort to recognize all the work that goes into making television America’s favorite pastime. After all, one TV show single-handedly provided half the star power in the room last year (nice work, Big Little Lies!), so the Globes should give the television industry another seat or two at the table. Some suggestions:
Best Writing for a Series or Limited Series: The film category has Best Screenplay, but the Globes have never honored television writing. While the Globes don’t serve the same purpose for TV as they do for film — they’re seen as a bellwether for what movies will be nominated for the Really Big Show, the Oscars — that’s no reason to ignore the incredible work being done by TV scribes. It would also give the Globes a chance to honor some quieter shows that might not have the A-listers or shiny new stars the HFPA tends to fall for. (Think: Trial & Error: Lady Killer, American Vandal, Howards End, Castle Rock, I could go on and on.)
Best Reality or Documentary Series: The Globes no longer hands out an award for Best Documentary Film (1972-1976), but with the explosion of streaming platforms, we’re currently in a golden age of docuseries. This year alone: Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story, Making a Murderer Part 2, Wild Wild Country, The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling, among many others. Adding “reality” to the category would allow the HFPA to add some Queer Eye and RuPaul fierceness to the ceremony, without forcing the Globes to “slum” it by inviting, like, the Real Housewives to the party.
Split the Supporting Actor Category in Two: Right now, every single actor who doesn’t have lead billing on a TV show, limited series, or made-for-TV movie — we’re talking quadruple digits here —must battle it out for a mere five nomination slots. And it’s hard to fathom how voters can judge a supporting movie performance (like Rob Lowe’s brief but bizarrely captivating turn as Dr. Startz in the HBO movie Behind the Candelabra) with, say, Aaron Paul’s performance as Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad. (The two faced off in the Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television category in 2013.) So how about it, Globes: Let’s give supporting actors in a series or limited series their own category (hey, we’re still letting you lump comedy and drama together!), while carving out a separate category for TV movies. Or if you really want to mix things up, turn the TV movies category into a Best Christmas Movie Featuring an Overworked Career Woman and/or Royalty.
Best Director, Television: Hat tip to EW’s Awardist expert Piya Sinha-Roy, who points out that the calibre of talent in the Emmys drama directing category is stellar, including this year’s winner Stephen Daldry, and 2017’s honoree, Reed Morano, who was the first woman to win in that category in 22 years and has gone one to score some high-profile film gigs. There’s more crossover in TV and film directing than ever before, so spreading the Golden Globe love to the small-screen helmers makes sense.
What categories would you add to the Golden Globes? Post your thoughts below.
The Golden Globes will air Sunday, Jan. 9, 2019, on NBC.