Aimless Prognosticating: Predicting the Television Golden Globe Awards, Supporting Categories

Just a note: I’m going to be busy this weekend, so I wanted to go ahead these taken care of here in the middle of the week.

I feel like I probably know the answer to the primary question of this post. We all know that the Golden Globe Awards are a crock, especially when in reference to television. I originally wanted to write a post discussing whether or not it was worthwhile to even predict the outcome of the Golden Globe Awards’ television side, but then realized that would basically be a 250-word column featuring me saying “not really” in various ways. Critics and scholars complain a lot about the Emmys, but at least they follow a certain kind of logic and structure and outside of the HFPA’s love for sexy women, the Globes don’t work inside any sort of framework.

The Globes happen in the middle of the official television season (as opposed to the Emmy’s clearer position at the beginning of a new season with a reflection on the past one) and for the most part, the Globes do a bit of zeitgeist chasing. Glee was a big winner last year, as was Dexter in its most-talked about season right as Michael C. Hall’s cancer issues came about. I’m not saying the HFPA just picked Hall because he had cancer and it thus made a good story to run the next morning, but I really wouldn’t put it past them. Hall definitely deserves some praise for his work on Dexter, but I think you understand what I’m saying. When the Golden Globes nominated Piper Perabo for her work on Covert Affairs I think they did all the work for me in terms of explaining their logic and process, but if I were to distill it into bullet points it would probably be something like this:

  • Attractive women = good choices
  • Popular things, sexy things = good choices
  • Things on cable, especially pay cable = good choices

That’s basically it. Those are the three criteria I am using to determine my “picks” for Sunday’s Golden Globes. I am not expecting to be correct with most of these and in fact if I end up being mostly correct, there’s probably something wrong with the HFPA. That means they’ve gotten complacent or listened to reason or something, which is unfortunate. Anyway, I’m going to tackle the supporting categories today, which gloriously smash drama, comedy, miniseries, TV movie and everything else together into five or six slots.

Best Supporting Actor — Series, Miniseries or Television Film

  • Scott Caan, Hawaii Five-0
  • Chris Colfer, Glee
  • Chris Noth, The Good Wife
  • Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
  • David Strathairn, Temple Grandin

The background: This is an interesting category, one that went to actors from the miniseries or telefim sector six out of 10 times between 2000 and 2009. John Lithgow won last year as part of the big night for Showtime and even he was credited as special guest star and not a regular cast member. The same might be said for Robert Downey Jr.’s win in 2000 for his work on Aly McBeal, but I can’t confirm nor deny his actual role in the cast. This benefits David Strathairn and his work in Temple Grandin. In that same period, there wasn’t any straight up comedy winner either. A few dramadies and Jeremy Piven, but I refuse to recognize Entourage’s place as a comedy. That suggests Eric Stonestreet might not have much of a chance here. Finally, a lot of the winners in the 2000-2009 period were big names — Jeremy Irons, Paul Newman, Stanley Tucci, etc. — which I guess benefits Chris Noth the most. I don’t know, there isn’t a massively sizeable name in this lot, but he’s probably the most well-known to the HFPA.

Other factors: We can’t disregard the zeitgeist chasing aspect of the Globes, which means big things for Glee, Modern Family and perhaps even The Good Wife. Both Glee and Good Wife won major awards last year and the buzz for both has only increased, which means Chris Colfer and Chris Noth are certainly at the top of the pile. Family is more popular than ever as well and Eric Stonestreet won the Emmy in the fall. And I guess we have to consider the cable aspect, giving David Strathairn another beat of clout.

The frontrunner: I think it has to be Colfer. It doesn’t seem like the HFPA is tired of Glee and his performance is certainly one of the most well-regarded in the series. He’s had a fairly high-profile run of episodes this fall, and though that probably doesn’t matter in the voting, it has kept his name out there. His performances feels like a Globes kind of performance. I’d say Stonestreet but the voters’ lack of appreciation or recognition for sitcom performers is telling.

Right there: If it’s not Colfer, it has to be Eric Stonestreet or Chris Noth. Both have been well lauded and talked about for their respective roles. It really just depends on which of the three series the HFPA decides to bask with its glory on Sunday night. If Modern Family or The Good Wife clean house, it would be likely that one of these two gentlemen takes this award.

Concluding ramblings: Of course, I haven’t even mentioned Scott Caan at all in this section, which probably means that he will win. I really like his work on Hawaii Five-0, but come on.

Best Supporting Actress — Series, Miniseries or Television Film

  • Hope Davis, The Special Relationship
  • Jane Lynch, Glee
  • Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire
  • Julia Stiles, Dexter
  • Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

The background: This category is generally similar to the male side of things. Between 2000 and 2009, six of the 10 winners were from minseries or telefilms. Advantage, Hope Davis. Three of the other four winning ladies were from drama series and the final one was Kim Cattrall in 2002 for her work on Sex and The City, which I guess is a comedy. This is good news for Kelly Macdonald and shockingly, Julia Stiles. And again, three of the four non-mini/telefilm winners come from the cable side of things — more goodness for those two ladies. Finally, the big name factor has been in play on the female side as well — Rachel Griffiths, Anjelica Huston, Laura Dern walked away with trophies between 2000-2009 — which I guess means something for Stiles. Hey, she’s been in movies!

Other factors: A lot of other things in play here. I’ve already discussed the possibilities of big nights for Glee and Modern Family, which means Jane Lynch and Sofia Vergara are just as likely to win as their male counterparts. There might also be some contact zeitgeist chasing involved for Kelly Macdonald if the voters decide they really want to gush over Boardwalk Empire just based on Marty’s involvement with the pilot alone. Because this is a female category and we’ve already sort of established that pretty ladies are HFPA favorites (hello, Anna Paquin), good things could come to Stiles and Vergara. And finally, there is definitely something to be said for Showtime’s clean up last year. This suggests that the cable network has some sort of hold on the voters (or an agreement) and means more good things for Stiles.

The frontrunner: I have to say, I think things are lining up for Julia Stiles. Her performance on Dexter was generally well-regarded. A lot of critics seem to appreciate that she tried something new. She’s a beautiful blonde woman. She worked on a series that won some major awards last year and the same goes for the network said series airs on. This is kind of a weird category with no clear frontrunner and she seems to have all the most important qualities going for her.

Right there: I have a weird feeling that Modern Family might clean house, which means good things for Sofia Vergara. I’m pretty sure everyone loves Hope Davis and I have vague recollections of The Special Relationship.

Concluding ramblingsJane Lynch would be an obvious possibility, but she weirdly didn’t win last year when people loved Sue Sylvester the most. It seems stupid that she’d win now, unless Glee runs the table. Kelly Macdonald probably only wins unless things go really well for Boardwalk Empire has a whole.

Tomorrow: The lead categories!

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