2018 Golden Globes: TV Surprises and Snubs

Posted December 11, 2017 1:36 p.m. EST

The Golden Globe nominations came out this morning, and on the TV side, it was business as usual — which for the Globes means some snazzy out-there choices, predictably unpredictable. The Emmys remain TV’s main award, while the Golden Globes are more of a fun side project. And sometimes, they really are a lot of fun.

Snub: ‘The Good Place’

Nothing for “The Good Place” at all; not a best-comedy nod, not for Ted Danson, not for Kristen Bell, not for D’Arcy Carden. Maybe at the Emmys? The show is so joyously clever and surprising, in an era where many other network comedies are cynical, predictable or just dreadful. “The Good Place” is one of the brightest spots on TV right now, nimbly both highbrow and lowbrow. Give it an award!

Surprise: ‘SMILF’

The Golden Globes love a new comedy, but Showtime’s “SMILF” is still an out-there choice. The show, created by and starring Frankie Shaw — also nominated, in the comedy series lead actress category — follows a single mother in Boston who is barely making ends meet. (It’s interesting, if not always fully hatched.)

Snubs: Comedies

This is a quintessential Golden Globes slate. In recent years, the Globes have fallen hard for Amazon shows, with “Transparent” and “Mozart in the Jungle,” so “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” isn’t out of left field. “black-ish” was nominated last year, and “Master of None” earned Aziz Ansari a nomination in 2016, too. “SMILF” is the wild card — there’s often a wild card — and “Will & Grace”? “Will & Grace” was nominated for 27 Golden Globes during its initial run. (It went 0—27, somehow.)

Left out, though, are last year’s nominees “Transparent” and “Veep.” “Better Things,” “Glow” and “Insecure” all earned acting nominations for their female leads, but not best comedy nods. “Girls,” which won in 2012 and was nominated twice more, didn’t make it, nor did previous winner “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

Surprise: ‘The Sinner’

USA’s murder-mystery miniseries did well ratingswise, but this is a competitive category: “The Sinner” edged out “Twin Peaks: The Return,” “American Horror Story: Cult” and the Emmy nominees “American Crime” and “Genius.”

Snubs: Dramas

This is almost the same drama lineup as last year’s nominees, with “Westworld” swapped out for “The Handmaid’s Tale.” And the truth is it’s not a bad list of contenders: “The Crown,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Stranger Things” and “This Is Us” is a perfectly serviceable selection.

Missing, though, is of course “The Leftovers,” somehow congenitally unable to garner award nominations despite its forthright excellence. “The Americans” had an off season but still felt like an outside-chance possible contender. More surprising is the absence of shows that seem to have that Golden Globes glint — new shows with darkly jazzy appeal, like recent winners “The Affair” (2014) and “Mr. Robot” (2015). Sorry, “The Deuce” and “Mindhunter.”

Surprise: Katherine Langford, ’13 Reasons Why’

Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” was one of the buzzier shows of 2017, particularly among younger viewers, but it didn’t seem like an awards contender. Langford stars as Hannah Baker, a high school student who kills herself and leaves behind a series of cassette tapes explaining why.

Snub: ‘Veep’

“Veep” didn’t pick up a single nomination this year. Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been nominated the last five years, though she hasn’t won.

Snubs: Sean Hayes, Debra Messing and Megan Mullally

“Will & Grace” is nominated for best comedy, and Eric McCormack is nominated for best actor in a comedy. But the rest of the “W&G” cast did not get nominated, even though during the show’s previous incarnation everyone was nominated many times.

Surprise: Freddie Highmore

“The Good Doctor” is a ratings bonanza but largely a critical dud, so Highmore’s nod — for his role as a young, autistic doctor — stands out. Sterling K. Brown is the favorite in the best actor in a TV drama category, with two recent Emmy wins and a shimmering universal positive regard. But the Globes love an upset.

Surprise: Jude Law

“Big Little Lies” has burned so brightly in the miniseries and made-for-TV-movie categories it just about blocked out everyone else — except in the actor category. Robert De Niro, Kyle MacLachlan, Ewan McGregor and Geoffrey Rush are also nominated, but come on. “The Young Pope” has to win something, somehow, someday, eventually, doesn’t it? Just for sheer audacity?