Homeland, Game Change and Girls were the big TV winners at last night’s 70th Golden Globe Awards. All three walked off with multiple gongs on a night where the major US networks left the ceremony empty-handed.
Homeland, Showtime’s adaptation of the Israeli series Hatufim (Prisoners of War), was last year’s only multiple TV winner with two awards. This year it went one better, sweeping the Drama categories as Damian Lewis joined Claire Danes and the series itself to hold off strong competition from the likes of Julianne Margulies (The Good Wife), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Boardwalk Empire and Downton Abbey. Of the show’s nominees, only Mandy Patinkin went unrewarded in the Best Supporting Actor category.
It’s easy to see why both Lewis – the grandson of a former London mayor and schooled at Eton – and Danes triumphed. Given the kind of material to work with that actors die for, Homeland provided them with several lengthy and emotionally wrought two-handers to showcase their range. Frequently several minutes long at a time, they were the real highlights of season two, papering over an overarching plot which, though exciting, required viewers to suspend disbelief a little too often.
Game Change and Girls make HBO’s night
Game Change is an HBO TV film based on the events of the 2008 US presidential election campaign, specifically the roles played by Republican presidential candidate John McCain (Ed Harris), his controversial choice of running-mate, Alaska governor Sarah Palin (Julianne Moore) and political strategist Steve Schmidt (Woody Harrelson). Already the recipient of five Primetime Emmys, the film won Best Mini-Series/TV Film, Moore’s astonishing portrayal of Palin earned her Best Actress in the category, and Harris added the multi-genre Best Supporting Actor award. Harrelson and Sarah Paulson lost out to Kevin Costner (for History’s mini-series Hatfields & McCoys) and Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey) in the Best Actor Mini-Series/TV Film and Best Supporting Actress categories respectively.
HBO stablemate Girls provided the platform for a personal triumph for writer/director/star Lena Dunham, as it claimed the spoils in the Best Comedy/Musical genre and crowned her Best Actress in the same category. Based in part on Dunham’s real-life experiences, the series has been heralded as a grittier and more realistic version of Sex and the City for the modern twenty-something New Yorker.
Personally I found season one a trifle uneven. It’s well written and certainly had potential, but I struggled to warm to any of the four central characters and found many episodes distinctly short on laughs. Maybe I just have the wrong chromosomes, but I’ll be giving season two a try when it starts up tonight (Sky Atlantic, Monday 10pm).
The other winner on the night was Don Cheadle, who claimed Best Actor Comedy/Musical for Showtime’s slick management consulting-based comedy House of Lies. It started promisingly but faded badly in the second half of its debut season under the weight of its own storylines and one-note supporting characters. Cheadle, however, is fantastic as main protagonist Marty Kaan, striking a fine balance between sympathy and ruthless amorality.
So. overall it was a successful night for subscription channels HBO and Showtime, who claimed five and four awards respectively. History and the UK’s ITV took the other two, leaving both the BBC (which had nominations for The Hour, Sherlock and Showtime co-production Episodes) and the major US networks empty-handed, with even traditional heavy-hitters such as Modern Family left trailing. At least the UK could claim two awards winners in Maggie Smith and Damian Lewis.
The full list of film and TV nominations and winners can be viewed on the Golden Globes website here, with the 11 TV winners summarised below:
- Best TV series (Drama) – Homeland (Showtime)
- Best Actress in a TV Series (Drama) – Claire Danes, Homeland (Showtime)
- Best Actor in a TV Series (Drama) – Damian Lewis, Homeland (Showtime)
- Best TV Series (Comedy or Musical) – Girls (HBO)
- Best Actress in a TV Series (Comedy or Musical) – Lena Dunham, Girls (HBO)
- Best Actor in a TV Series (Comedy or Musical) – Don Cheadle, House of Lies (Showtime)
- Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for TV – Game Change (HBO)
- Best Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for TV – Julianne Moore, Game Change (HBO)
- Best Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for TV – Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys (History)
- Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for TV – Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey (ITV)
- Best Supporting Actor in a TV Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for TV – Ed Harris, Game Change (HBO)
In the UK, Homeland season three will return to Channel 4 later in the year. Game Change has been shown across Sky’s subscription channels but no repeat is currently scheduled. Girls season two returns to Sky Atlantic tonight (Monday 14th January) at 10pm. House of Lies season two will return to Sky Atlantic later in the year. Downton Abbey season three will air on ITV1 in the autumn, subject to confirmation. Hatfields & McCoys is not currently scheduled for UK transmission.