There are plenty of Hollywood A-listers duking it out for dominance this year, from Julia Roberts to Jim Carrey, with the TV categories starting to look like they took a wrong turn at the Academy Awards. But the Golden Globes are fun because they usually defy predictions. The Emmys may have established The Americans and The Marvelous Mrs Maisel as the ones to beat, but there is usually a strong British influence here, and this could be a night for A Very English Scandal or even Bodyguard to shine.
Best limited series or TV movie
There has been considerable admiration for Ryan Murphy’s starry take on the murder of Gianni Versace, and after The People v OJ Simpson won this category two years ago, it would make a neat sequel. Though Murphy might squeak it, the divisive Sharp Objects is in with a shot, if it doesn’t end up faring better in acting categories. A Very English Scandal, though, was a class act, and could be triumphant, particularly if the Hollywood Foreign Press Association decides to show some of the love for British shows that occasionally throws up a surprise.
Will win: The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Should win: A Very English Scandal
Best actress in a limited series or TV movie
Unlike 2018, when Big Little Lies and Feud dominated this category to a near comical degree, there are five performances from five very different shows here. Regina King was strong in the otherwise turgid Seven Seconds, and won an Emmy to prove it, and it’s hard to better a trio as strong as Patricia Arquette, Laura Dern and Connie Britton, but Sharp Objects marked a career-best performance for Amy Adams, who has had a very, very good career already. So it seems inevitable that her complex, broken Camille Preaker will win her the prize.
Will win: Amy Adams, Sharp Objects
Should win: Amy Adams, Sharp Objects
Best actor in a limited series or TV movie
This is Benedict Cumberbatch’s third Golden Globes nomination, having lost out on Sherlock and The Imitation Game, and his Patrick Melrose ticks all award-worthy boxes: it’s a literary adaptation, it’s a period piece, and he has to act like he’s taken an awful lot of drugs. Darren Criss has been much hyped for The Assassination of Gianni Versace, and after the Emmys, he looks like the frontrunner, but a more likely scenario is that it comes down to a battle of the Brits. And Hugh Grant continues a fruitful period with his brilliantly unvarnished portrayal of disgraced politician Jeremy Thorpe.
Will win: Benedict Cumberbatch, Patrick Melrose
Should win: Hugh Grant, A Very English Scandal
Best supporting actress in a limited series or TV movie
Surely one of the strongest and least predictable categories of the night, in which any nominee could feasibly be considered the best, particularly when comparing such different shows. Yvonne Strahovski might make up for the absence of The Handmaid’s Tale this year after an unloved second season, despite it winning best drama in 2018. Penelope Cruz and Thandie Newton were both excellent, but this could be an Emmys do-over for Alex Borstein. However, the ever-brilliant Patricia Clarkson was stunning as the ethereal mommie dearest Adora, and would be a pleasant surprise win.
Will win: Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel
Should win: Patricia Clarkson, Sharp Objects
Best supporting actor in a limited series or TV movie
Henry Winkler’s hapless acting coach brought heart to Barry, which could otherwise be cold, and it has already won him an Emmy (also, Ted Danson was robbed). Kieran Culkin was fantastic as the youngest son in a Murdoch-esque media empire, and this is the only nomination for Succession, which deserves more accolades than that. But Ben Whishaw’s flighty, fragile Norman Scott was a rich wonder, and it elevated the already great A Very English Scandal even further.
Will win: Henry Winkler, Barry
Should win: Ben Whishaw, A Very English Scandal
Best TV series – musical or comedy
Awards ceremony judges sure do love Mrs Maisel’s moxie, and even though the second season was more cloying and whimsical than the first, it seems to have escaped the more harsh exclusion of, say, The Handmaid’s Tale. So it’s a likely winner, though it is up against a strange and inconsistent bunch: Barry, The Kominsky Method and Kidding are all admirable, if hard to adore. The Good Place, so consistently inventive, might sneak a breakthrough win.
Will win: The Marvelous Mrs Maisel
Should win: The Good Place
Best actress in a TV series – musical or comedy
Rachel Brosnahan won it last year, so I’m ruling her out for the double. Candice Bergen and Debra Messing are great, but retreading old roles. Kristen Bell deserves a shot for making The Good Place as charming as it is, for fork’s sake, but I’d have an outside punt on Alison Brie, nominated for the second time for Glow, if only for her services to leotards.
Will win: Alison Brie, Glow
Should win: Kristen Bell, The Good Place
Best actor in a TV series – musical or comedy
This has been a year of diverse performances and almost every one of these nominees has lifted an otherwise inconsistent show, whether it’s Bill Hader’s glassy-eyed assassin in Barry, or big screen transplants Jim Carrey (Kidding) and Michael Douglas (The Kominsky Method). Sacha Baron Cohen might have been too bleak in Who Is America?, but really, after his 2017 wins for best actor and best show, this has to be Donald Glover’s year once again.
Will win: Donald Glover, Atlanta
Should win: Donald Glover, Atlanta
Best TV series – drama
Here we go: this is the toughest category to call, and the most likely to throw up a surprise, particularly given the pointed exclusion of last year’s winner, The Handmaid’s Tale. The Golden Globes are fun because they can be so unpredictable, though, so if Bodyguard, Pose or Homecoming won, it would not be a tremendous shock. The most obvious outcome would be a congratulatory series finale gong for The Americans, given that it has never won anything before. I would love to see the quick and witty Killing Eve take it, but Jodie Comer being snubbed for best actress makes me wonder if it is not quite as adored as it deserves to be.
Will win: The Americans
Should win: Killing Eve
Best actress in a TV series
Russell is likely to win, and deserves to, though it would be something of a catch-all for the entirety of The Americans, I think, rather than for the specific season performance. Julia Roberts was outstanding in Homecoming, another show that felt under-recognised, but Sandra Oh was utterly charming as Killing Eve’s not-so-hapless assassin-hunting spy, and she and her dowdy anorak would be worthy winners too.
Will win: Keri Russell, The Americans
Should win: Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
Best actor in a TV series
Rhys’s win would wrap up a valedictorian sweep for The Americans, if it plays out as predicted, and rightly so. I would love to see Richard Madden win something for the Bodyguard, ma’am, though I’m not quite sure his performance deserves praise above its thrilling ensemble. A low-key contender might be Stephan James, who fleshed out Homecoming with his portrayal of army vet Walter Cruz. But I think it will go to Rhys.
Will win: Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Should win: Matthew Rhys, The Americans