The 70th Annual Golden Globes were awarded last night from the Hollywood Foreign Press. This voting body is distinct from the academy that produces The Academy Awards and, happily, the Golden Globes give awards for television!
Hosted by Tina Fey ('30 Rock,' 'Saturday Night Live') and Amy Poehler ('Parks and Recreation,' 'Saturday Night Live') the night had an SNL feel to it. Sadly, some of the weak attempts at humor from Fey & Poehler had that feel as well. Still, the duo from television got their shots in about how the Hollywood elite are rubbing shoulders "with the rat-faced people of television." As usual, it seemed as though the television awards were rushed aside before the Globes could pretend to be the Academy Awards; but it's the television that I care about, dammit! So here we're going to recap the big winners from the Television Awards at the 70th Golden Globes.
Kevin Costner won the Globe for Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie for his performance as "Devil" Anse Hatfield in 'Hatfields & McCoys.' Costner, who has won Oscars for both acting and directing, is one of many Hollywood stars who took their talents to television in 2012, lending a credibility to a miniseries like 'Hatfields & McCoys' that it may not have had to the average viewer without him. Costner is best known for his films 'Dances with Wolves,' 'Field of Dreams,' 'Bull Durham' and 'Robin Hood: Prince of Theives.' Costner had previously won a Golden Globe in 1991 for Best Director for 'Dances with Wolves,' although he had also racked up three more Globes nominations before last night's win.
Costner's win was the only Globe awarded to the Miniseries 'Hatfields & McCoys,' the History channel series about the feud between the two families of the Kentucky-West Virginia area in the late 1800s. Costner starred opposite Bill Paxton, who played Randolph "Randall" McCoy. The miniseries marked History channel's first foray into scripted drama and was, by all accounts, a rousing success. Catch this one on DVD or BluRay if you get the chance.
Don Cheadle won the Television Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for his performance of Marty Kaan in 'House of Lies.' Interestingly, the premiere of the second season of 'House of Lies' aired on the same night that Cheadle won the Golden Globe; the Showtime series was a bit of a sleeper hit last season, earning critical acclaim. With the Globe win for Cheadle, hopefully 'Lies' will garner a wider audience.
Arguably, the Marty Kaan character has yet to allow a talent like Cheadle to display his range. I'm hoping that 'House of Lies' continues until Kaan is given some more emotions to display so we can all marvel at Cheadle's obvious talents.
Cheadle was the biggest star of the nominations in his category, earning himself his second Golden Globe; his first win was in 1999 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for 'The Rat Pack.' Many film buffs contend that he should have won the Best Actor Oscar in 2005 for 'Hotel Rwanda,' however that win went to Jamie Foxx (who, interestingly, may also be making the move to television). That makes last night's Globe the biggest award win in Cheadle's career.
Cheadle's win was the only award for 'House of Lies' at last night's proceedings; I expect a greater contingent of 'Lies' nominations after this second season, which is primed for bigger things.
Maggie Smith won the TV Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, in the series 'Downton Abbey.' The seventy-nine-year-old Smith has a career spanning seven decades and she's still besting the competition. Do you think she'd be slowing down at seventy-nine? Hardly: last night she was also nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy for 'Quartet.' Seventy-nine and still earning multiple nominations for multiple projects on screens big and small.
Last night marks Smith's third Golden Globe; she had previously won Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy in 1979 for 'California Suite,' as well as 1987's Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for 'Room with a View.' Last night marks her first television award for her 'Downton Abbey' role, a series that has sustained a distinctly cinematic feel throughout its highly successful run.
Through twenty-five episodes of 'Downton Abbey,' Smith has shown the same poise and talent that made her famous fifty years ago. Unfortunately she was not present at the award show last night, so we didn't get to see what a truly dignified actress has to say when she wins something like this; all we were left with was people falling over themselves on stage.
Smith's win was the only award given to 'Downton Abbey' last night, a show that is only gaining in popularity on this side of the pond. Go and grab the first season on DVD or BluRay--you'll be surprised how swiftly you get hooked!
Now, we move on to the heavy-hitter series in television. Each of the following series won two or more Globes last night, making them the biggest shows of 2012, when it comes to critical acclaim.
'Game Change' pulled in Globes for Best Miniseries or TV Movie, Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie (Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin) and Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries, or TV Movie (Ed Harris as John McCain). A made-for-television film about John McCain's 2008 election campaign, 'Game Change' proved an actual game change when it comes to TV movies. This film was as much a ratings success as it was a critical success, showing Hollywood stars such as Moore, Harrelson and Harris that it is worthwhile to produce for the smaller screen as well.
Based on the book of same name, 'Game Change' dramatizes how the McCain campaign brought in an unknown conservative woman as McCain's running-mate and then reaped the rewards and the catastrophes that the rogue Palin wrought. Admittedly, it was a little hard to swallow during the Awards last night, when every presenter repeated how brave it was of Julianne Moore to portray Palin; to the contrary, it seems to me that in Hollywood it would be far easier to mock a Republican than the alternative.
Nevertheless, Julianne Moore took home the Globe for Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie, marking her second Globe but her first as an individual performer (she had previously won 1994's Best Ensemble Cast for 'Short Cuts,' along with thirty-seven other performers). She had earned five Globe nominations (and three Academy Award nominations) prior to last night without a big win; this award marks Moore's most prestigious individual accolade to date. Both Moore and Cheadle are well-known, well-respected Hollywood stars and they each turned to television to finally garner the recognition they deserve.
Rounding out 'Game Change's victories last night is Ed Harris' win for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries, or TV Movie. Harris, like Moore, has been repeatedly nominated for Academy Awards and is yet to win an Oscar. Harris previously won a Golden Globe for his supporting role in 'The Truman Show' back in 1999. Last night marks his second Golden Globe win, beating out Mandy Patinkin for 'Homeland.'
Altogether, quite a night for 'Game Change,' bringing home three Globes!
HBO's 'Girls' won one of the two biggest television awards last night, bringing home Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy. Up against 'The Big Bang Theory,' 'Episodes,' 'Modern Family' and 'Smash,' 'Girls' faced stiff competition but the popularity and quality of the first season of the series could not be denied. Created, written by and starring Lena Dunham, it only made sense that Dunham also won for Best Actress, Musical or Comedy for her characterization of Hannah Horvath.
Some could argue that these wins made sense given the media's current love-affair with all things Dunham (Dunham has an upcoming non-fiction book coming out later this year), however 'Girls' is quality television, up to the high standards of HBO.
The win marks the first Globes nomination and win for both the freshman series and Dunham herself. Although Dunham's IMDB page shows roles since 2006, 'Girls' is by far her largest role to date making her a very fresh face on the television scene. It is refreshing to see an actress receive media attention for things other than her looks; Dunham is an accomplished writer of features and television and is directing 'Girls' herself. A triple threat at the very least, Dunham is producing television of such quality one would expect her to be a savvy veteran twice her age--hell, she's younger than me and she's accomplished more than I could ever hope to.
Dunham's upcoming book is geared towards young women who may feel outcast by the media presentation of stick-thin faux-beautiful women. Putting Golden Globe winner on the cover is sure to assist with sales.
The second season of 'Girls' premiered last night on HBO.
And last but certainly not least...
Best Television Series, Drama was won by 'Homeland.'
Despite arguably producing a weaker second season than the first, 'Homeland' earned top honors in the Television Awards categories at last night's Golden Globes for the second year in a row. Beyond that, Claire Danes won the Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series, Drama for the second year in a row. And Damian Lewis, after being nominated last year for Best Actor in a Television Series, Drama (but losing to Kelsey Grammer), finally won his first ever Golden Globe in the same category last night.
'Homeland' has Showtime riding high, collecting accolades and trophies wherever you turn. Renewed for a third season (which will debut in September), there is no reason to expect any other series to win the Globe next year; the quality is so high and the ratings are even higher.
Danes accepted her second-straight Best Actress Globe with class, looking stunning but still coming off modest and thankful for her castmates. Last night marks Danes' fourth Globe, having previously won in the same category for 'My So-Called Life' in 1995 and in Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie for 'Temple Grandin' in 2011 (yep, that's three straight Globe awards where Danes has walked away with hardware). Inarguably one of televisions finest actresses, Danes is on fire right now--and not just because of that eye-catching red dress.
Danes' co-star Damian Lewis took home the biggest accolade of his career last night, rounding out the trifecta win for 'Homeland.' Having previously earned some acclaim for 'Life,' Lewis found 'Homeland' at the ideal point in his career, helping himself and helping the series become the smash hit that it has.
Two seasons, two Best Television Series, Drama Globes? Not too shabby, Showtime.
And those were the big winners in the Television categories of the 70th Golden Globes! What did you think? Did those who deserved walk out with the awards?