Award season has rolled in like a bomb cyclone, dressed in black and put on security high alert.
The Beverly Hilton was where the scene unfolded for the 75th Golden Globes. The year that was is still in a bizarre free-fall, with those who claimed #metoo now possibly in the cross-hairs of a Hollywood power structure unwilling to bend to absolute change. How it ultimately ends up remains to be seen.
The awards are underway and Monsters and Critics is safely ensconced in the Langham Pasadena Hotel with the Television Critics Association winter tour with the North American TV critics.
We have extremely opinionated picks of who should win within the curated list of Globes nominations:
Best Television Series — Drama
The Crown, Netflix
Game of Thrones, HBO
The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu actual winner
Stranger Things, Netflix
This Is Us, NBC
Our winner: We also pick The Handmaid’s Tale in this list based on the absolute concert of perfect performances, production design costuming and script writing. Not to mention the uncomfortable parallels of what cultural and societal hemming in that women must endure all over the world, some places more Gilead-esque than others.
Best Television Series — Comedy
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Amazon actual winner
Master of None, Netflix
Will & Grace, NBC
Our winner: We pick Netflix comedy Master of None, Aziz Ansari’s bittersweet and riotous semi-autobiographical adventure with his character Dev, an actor making his way in New York while dating and navigating his family. Ansari pokes a stick at racism, sexism, social conventions and the oddness of creating and keeping romantic connections in this age of self-marketing via Tinder, Grindr and Plenty of Fish.
Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Big Little Lies, HBO actual winner
Feud: Bette and Joan, FX
The Sinner, USA
Top of the Lake: China Girl, Sundance TV
Our winner: You cannot top Feud: Bette and Joan, FX’s bittersweet look back at patriarchal bad ol’ Hollywoodland and old-school female self-sabotage. Quite possibly the best thing that Ryan Murphy has ever done, and that’s saying something. Feud is a colorful, quickly paced tour de force dramatization of how the 1962 camp hit film, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? came to be. Also, Sarandon and Lange slay as Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, respectively.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Drama
Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us actual winner
Freddie Highmore, The Good Doctor
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Our winner: We love Liev Schreiber and have dined on his Boston-to-LA fixer thug in a well-tailored suit for many seasons. Ray Donovan is the go-to guy that makes all the problems disappear. This South Boston thug came to Tinseltown with baggage: Three troubled brothers, two problem children, and one headache of a father, Mickey. Schreiber has consistently put in the work and delivered gut-wrenching performances that make this Showtime series a winnah.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series — Drama
Caitriona Balfe, Outlander
Claire Foy, The Crown
Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Deuce
Katherine Langford, 13 Reasons Why
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale actual winner
Our winner: We chose Elisabeth Moss for her audacious and raw performance of a woman, happily married with a child who is swept up in a sea change of religious oppression sweeping the USA. Moss’s Offred has been robbed of her life in this hellish new country Gilead where all women were stripped of their rights and categorized by their reproductive worth. Child-bearers were heaped at the top of the pyramid and enslaved by the power elite for their own procreation. Moss put her all into this compelling role and series.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Comedy
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Aziz Ansari, Master of None actual winner
Kevin Bacon, I Love Dick
William H. Macy, Shameless
Eric McCormack, Will & Grace
Our winner: Aziz Ansari is Dev in this smart comedy. His wide-eyed take on a young actor making his way in New York just resonated right for the times. Aziz is truly a comedic breath of fresh air and yet he’s been around.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series — Comedy
Pamela Adlon, Better Things
Alison Brie, GLOW
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel actual winner
Issa Rae, Insecure
Frankie Shaw, SMILF
Our winner: Hands down the best adult comedy and performance by an actress is Pamela Adlon. Her role as Sam Fox, a put-upon woman sandwiched between demanding kids and a failing mother trying to pay the bills as a working actress in a town that ain’t too wimmin’ friendly is riotous, heartfelt and inspiring. Adlon freaking eats up the screen with her awesomeness.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Jessica Biel, The Sinner
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies actual winner
Jessica Lange, Feud: Bette and Joan
Susan Sarandon, Feud: Bette and Joan
Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies
Our winner: What actress dares to share this with Jessica Lange? Her Joan Crawford in Ryan Murphy’s Feud: Bette and Joan was an astonishing piece and made us weep, drop a jaw and cheer for this controlling iconic actress with her aide de camp, Mamacita (Jackie Hoffman, another who should also win all the damned awards) who plots with columnist Hedda Hopper (Judy Davis) in a bid to upend the award show hopes of her Baby Jane co-star, Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon). Lange is a goddess and never disappoints.
Best Performance By an Actor in a Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Robert De Niro, The Wizard of Lies
Jude Law, The Young Pope
Kyle MacLachlan, Twin Peaks
Ewan McGregor, Fargo actual winner
Geoffrey Rush, Genius
Our winner: Not one but two incredibly complex characters did Ewan McGregor play in FX’s beautifully lensed and crafted Fargo. His high achiever businessman Emmit was a 180-degree whirl from his doughy, slovenly brother Ray, a circa 1970 mosh of all the bad fashion of the day combined with an out of shape build. One a hard worker, one ethically challenged and lead by his little head and gullible, Mr. McGregor made you believe they were two different people.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
David Harbour, Stranger Things
Alfred Molina, Feud: Bette and Joan
Christian Slater, Mr. Robot
Alexander Skarsgård, Big Little Lies actual winner
David Thewlis, Fargo
Our winner: A scion of film and theater, actor Alfred Molina’s outstanding turn as the famed director Robert Aldrich in Ryan Murphy’s Feud: Bette and Joan was a fiery, nuanced and deeply felt performance. He was absolutely brilliant in this role of a man who tried to do right by these two powerful actresses on the wrong side of 40 at that particular time.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies actual winner
Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale
Chrissy Metz, This Is Us
Michelle Pfeiffer, The Wizard of Lies
Shailene Woodley, Big Little Lies
Our winner: Shailene Woodley WAS Big Little Lies, are we in agreement? Her tortured single mother was the spoke of the wheel that turned this turgid, toney seaside potboiler that featured a sea of blondes, a redhead, and this one smart brunette whose performance made it a gripping thriller. It was her work that kept us engaged.