Admittedly something of an oddity in the TV landscape with its surreal, often punishing haze, we might have forgiven the overlook of ‘Hannibal’ itself, if only the series could have scored an acting nod for series lead Hugh Dancy. Mads Mikkelsen makes for an inviting and enigmatic Dr. Lecter to be sure, amid a strong supporting cast that rarely pulls focus until it’s deserved, but like Dancy’s real-life wife Claire Danes, few manage to pull off such believably brutal dramatic breakdowns as Dancy’s Will Graham.
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
We’d argue that ‘Boardwalk Empire'’s fourth season made a marked improvement on its predecessors, wisely turning the period drama more toward an ensemble piece than continually focus on Steve Buscemi’s Nucky Thompson, but we were surprised to find that Bobby Cannavale’s Gyp Rosetti eked past without a Supporting Actor nod. Cannavale was given the task of both crafting a memorable if overly emotional character who filled a void in the wake of Michael Pitt’s exit from the series, which we’d have hoped could afford the HBO drama some recognition this year.
Sure, some might have put forth ‘Sons of Anarchy’ or ‘The Americans’ from FX’s lineup, though we wouldn’t be surprised to find ‘Sons’ a bit too bombastic for HFPA’s tastes, while ‘The Americans’ might have needed a season or two to simmer, perhaps find a more even-toned voice in its international setting. We’d rather have seen ‘Justified’ given some kind of nod for its work, which often fails to attract any major attention outside of its two leads, but has proven as smart and engaging as ever in bringing the late Elmore Leonard’s work to life.
Jon Hamm, Best Actor in a Drama Series
‘Mad Men’ seems to have fallen out of fashion a bit among award shows, though most curious of all lies in Jon Hamm’s failure to score even a nomination for his ‘Mad Men’ work, having previously been given Globe consideration in other years. We’re pulling for Hamm not to join the list of actors overlooked for their most iconic roles, but the ‘Mad Men’ snub this year could well prove a sign of things to come.
Best Comedy Series
Julia Louis-Dreyfus rightly scored a nod for her performance as Vice President Selina Meyer, though overlooking the series at large for Best Comedy seems like a major affront to the supporting cast, as well as the creative juices that keep Dreyfus’ many insults flowing. Lest we forget, how many other series could make such biting comedy out of the White House, without even incorporating its commander in chief?
'Masters of Sex'
Lizzy Caplan, Best Actress in a Drama Series
The infusion of fresh blood into the Golden Globe categories this year proved wonderfully refreshing, tipping its hat to Showtime’s ‘Masters of Sex’ in the drama category, but what of its breakout star Lizzy Caplan? After popping in and out of the TV and film landscape for years, Caplan’s revelatory role as sex researcher Virginia Johnson has proven the most talked-about aspect of the series, lending a gentle grace and humanity that elevates the showtime drama far beyond its period setting.
'Game of Thrones'
Michelle Fairley, Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
We’re actually on board with the larger ‘Game of Thrones’ snub, given that season 3’s intense climax and increased scale didn’t come without a price. More than ever, the structure of storytelling became a pattern of inching parallel stories forward several steps at a time, few episodes truly standing apart from one another as showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss wove a much larger tapestry. That said, we’d be remiss without acknowledging Michelle Fairley, whose demure grace as Catelyn Stark became a powerhouse performance as the Stark family crumbled around her, particularly in the infamous Red Wedding.
'Orange Is the New Black'
Best Drama Series
Like ‘Masters of Sex,’ we were happy to see ‘Orange Is the New Black’ score at least one nomination for Taylor Schilling’s Piper Chapman, though the selection seems somewhat curious as showrunner Jenji Kohan has often discussed Piper as a gateway toward exploring a larger world of more diverse characters. If not awarding the series at large for its bravery and surprising humanity, was Piper really the only Litchfield lady worthy of recognition?
‘Downton Abbey’ again? It isn’t quite that TNT’s ‘Southland’ broke any seriously new ground in its fifth and final season, though given the somewhat surprising cancellation after years of an acclaimed revival on the cable network, we’re mostly sad to see that ‘Southland’ will go sadly uncelebrated into its grave. At least we’ll have Michael Cudlitz on ‘The Walking Dead,’ and Regina King on ‘The Strain,’ right?
Say what you will about ‘Homeland’’s second and third seasons going off the rails, but following so very many accolades in its first run (among them Golden Globes), it comes as a surprise to see ‘Homeland’ largely left off the list this year. In particular, no one should take it out on Claire Danes or Damian Lewis for the show’s uneven writing, as both performers continually gave it their all, making scenes like the climax of “Q&A” a highlight of the entire series.