BY GEOFF BERKSHIRE
Every year the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s nominations for the Golden Globe awards prove reliably unpredictable. That’s part of what makes the kudos so intriguing, but also maddening, for prognosticators.
We know the voters love honoring the new (and late arrivals like Netflix’s “Master of None” and Amazon’s “The Man In the High Castle” could be perfectly timed for honors alongside other freshmen contenders like “Better Call Saul,” “Mr. Robot,” “Narcos,” “Empire” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” which have been building buzz for months), but they also have their annual favorites (both “Downton Abbey” and “Girls” have never missed out on series noms — will history repeat this year?).
Here’s a brief rundown of the series that just might have an edge in this year’s races for top drama, comedy and limited series/movie.
Better Call Saul: An ambitious heir to the legacy of “Breaking Bad,” the prequel ably stood on its own, led by an impressive dramatic turn by Bob Odenkirk. Given the Globes’ penchant for crowning new shows, the TCA new program winner is a serious contender.
Downton Abbey: Nominated every year it’s been eligible (and a winner its first year in the miniseries category), “Downton Abbey” is a perennial favorite. The sentimentality for the final season (which has aired abroad, but not yet here) may well give the upstairs/downstairs drama a boost.
Game of Thrones: Though the HBO opus doesn’t have the best track record at the Globes — just two series noms throughout its run — its triumphant turn at the Emmys should guarantee a return trip to the Beverly Hilton, especially given its international cast and filming auspices.
Mr. Robot: USA may finally have a serious awards contender with Sam Esmail’s hypnotic hacker drama, anchored by a breakout performance by Rami Malek. Its intricate twists may seem challenging, but it will be hard to ignore the hype.
Narcos: Despite its foregone conclusion, the docudrama about the exploits of notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar proved addictive. The lack of star power may be a drawback in the awards race, but the buzz has been building.
ALTERNATE: Empire: The Globes may seek to right the wrongs done by the TV Academy, which snubbed the Fox juggernaut. It will be hard to ignore the massive cultural impact of Cookie and co., who’ve transcended broadcast to influence music, style and so much more.