HFPA’s love affair with Glee continues. For a second consecutive year, the Fox dramedy was the most nominated program at the Golden Globes with 5 noms. And for a second consecutive year, it was the winner for best comedy/musical series. But this time, Glee was also the biggest TV winner of the night, for best series and best supporting actors Jane Lynch and Chris Colfer. HBO’s Boardwalk Empire emerged as a new awards heavyweight with 2 wins, including best drama series. HBO once again topped the networks’ tally with 4 Globes, followed by Fox (3) and Showtime, FX and Sundance Channel (1 apiece).
After starting off with several big surprises early on, the TV portion of the Golden Globes turned more predictable as the night went on. But overall, it was out with the old and in with the new as, except for Glee‘s repeat best comedy series victory, all other series winners were first-timers, including the wins for freshman Boardwalk Empire, one of the biggest upsets of the night – Katey Sagal’s best drama series victory for FX’s Sons of Anarchy, as well as Emmy winner Jim Parsons’ best comedy actor trophy for The Big Bang Theory. Big Bang already accomplished something a multicamera comedy had not been able to do in 6 years – land a best comedy series Globe nomination. But with Parsons winning the best actor award, Big Bang did something such acclaimed multicamera comedies as Will & Grace and Everybody Loves Raymond could never do – win a Golden Globe. This was the first Globe for a multicamera sitcom in 8 years, since Friends star Jennifer Aniston won in 2003.
Parsons gave a good speech. He thanked a lot of people, including the show’s writers, directors, network, studio as well as his reps and nephew. But he only acknowledged the cast of the show in passing, despite his co-star Kaley Cuoco, who presented his award, literally jumping for joy on stage after reading his name and giving Parsons a warm embrace as he walked up to accept his award.
The ceremony started off with two shockers in the first minutes in the best actress in a drama series and best movie or miniseries categories. Last month, Sagal’s Golden Globe nomination represented hit biker drama Sons of Anarchy’s first mainstream award nomination. Make that the show’s first major award as Sagal won the drama actress category over January Jones, Elisabeth Moss, Juliana Margulies, Kyra Sedgwick and Piper Perabo.
In an even bigger upset, Olivier Assayas’ trilogy Carlos topped the best movie or miniseries category over HBO’s heavyweights The Pacific, Temple Grandin and You Don’t Know Jack. The biopic of Carlos the Jackal, which netted the Sundance Channel its first ever Golden Globe, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and has been piling up film critics awards and nominations, but because it was co-produced/run by the Sundance Channel, it was nominated in the long-form TV categories instead of the feature ones at the Globes. Carlos’ airing on Sundance also prevents the project from a shot at an Academy Award. But the film’s producers treated the Golden Globe TV movie/miniseries win almost like an Oscar, with producer Daniel Leconte, who accepted the award thanking “the Academy of Golden Globes” and repeatedly referring to HFPA as “the Academy.”
Then came the dethroning of Mad Men as best drama series by another glossy period drama, Boardwalk Empire. Mad Men was going for a record fourth consecutive win in the best drama series category but was left empty-handed. It was not alone. In fact, the reigning Emmy winners for best drama (Mad Men) and comedy (Modern Family) series were both shut out tonight, along with perennial favorite 30 Rock, which had won at least one Golden Globe every year for the past 4 years. Completing Boardwalk’s series win was a first Golden Globe trophy for the series’ star Steve Buscemi.
Last year, Jane Lynch losing the supporting actress race was considered one of the night’s biggest upsets. No surprise this year as Lynch added a Globe to her Emmy for portraying acerbic cheerleader coach Sue Sylvester, joined by co-star Colfer. The two, at 50 and 20, respectively, were the oldest and youngest Globe winners in the series categories.
Also no surprises in the long-form acting fields, with Al Pacino and Claire Danes repeating their Emmy wins for the title roles in HBO’s You Don’t Know Jack and Temple Grandin, respectively.
For the second consecutive year, the best comedy series actress award went to a feature actress on a dark Showtime comedy series playing a woman with affliction. Last year, it was Toni Collette from the multiple-personality disorder-themed The United States of Tara, this year, it was Laura Linney, who plays a cancer-stricken heroine on The Big C.
On the joke front, it was Leno out, Sheen in. Last year’s ceremony was held at the height of the Jay Leno-Conan O’Brien upheaval, generating several jabs at the salt and pepper-haired Tonight Show host. This time, it was Charlie Sheen’s turn, with host Ricky Gervais not wasting any time in taking a shot at the Two and a Half Men star whose erratic off-work behavior has been making headlines for the past week. “It’s going to a night of partying and heavy drinking, or as Charlie Sheen calls it: breakfast,” was Gervais’ opening line.