Golden Globes 2020 nominations herald broadcast TV’s demise

The 2020 Golden Globe nominations sent a clear message Monday to broadcast television: You’re toast.

ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC were completely shut out of the major-category TV nominations announced Monday morning by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — with streaming platforms (Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV+) and cable (HBO, BBC America, Showtime) dominating the field of contenders.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, just a statement of television in 2019 and a reflection of just how far the quality (and viewership) of broadcast television has fallen — at least in the eyes of the HFPA.

ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC — and their shows and talent — can and will be redeemed somewhat in next fall’s Emmy Awards. Or will they? It’s not a sure thing anymore in this TV world of digital domination.

Still, it’s gotta hurt for those networks, while at the same time giving streaming — and, to a lesser extent, cable — an invigorating shot in the arm and a generous amount of validation. Even if the Golden Globes aren’t held in the same lofty esteem as their cousin Emmy, tell that to all the fragile Hollywood egos who are, no doubt, now wallowing in self-pity over being snubbed (by the HFPA, yet)!

That being said, the nominations were, by and large, consistently inconsistent. On the plus side, good for the HFPA for not buying into the “Schitt’s Creek” hype. (The Pop TV series was ignored in the major categories.) Yes, I agree that it’s a good show with clever writing and performances, but its one-joke premise was well past its sell-by date heading into Season 5. (Its sixth and final season premieres next month.)

On the other hand, the HFPA did fall sway to publicity in the Best Drama category, nominating both “Big Little Lies” and “Killing Eve” — both of which ran out of narrative gas after their first seasons — and the new Apple TV+ series “The Morning Show,” which generated mostly negative buzz after premiering in mid-November. Ditto for its two stars, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, who will square off in the Best Actress in a Drama category. Chalk it up to choosing glitz over grit.

There were some head-scratchers, too. Kirsten Dunst (“On Becoming a God in Central Florida”) for a series no one watched?

And, predictably, the knee-jerk nominations for Meryl Streep — annoying in “Big Little Lies” — and for Rachel Brosnahan and her Amazon series, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” an overblown, historically tone-deaf show that plays more like a Broadway musical (especially this season) than a sharp-edged comedy. It exists in a world where, in Season 3, the showbiz racism of 1960 Las Vegas doesn’t touch African-American performer Shy Baldwin (Leroy McClain) who, in reality, would only be allowed to enter a hotel through its kitchen. This is insulting to all, with its cloak of feel-good harmony of spontaneity. (Drag races on the outskirts of Vegas? Really?) Shy does say to Midge that he could never stay in her hotel because of his skin color, but it’s one line of dialogue in the show’s otherwise Disney-fied universe (brought back down to reality whenever Luke Kirby appears as Lenny Bruce. He continues to shine in his Emmy-winning role). And could Joel’s parents, played by Kevin Pollak and Caroline Aaron, be any more boorish, obnoxious and stereotypical? Again, insulting.

The HFPA did get it right in nominations for “Barry” (including one for Emmy winner Henry Winkler as Barry’s acting teacher, Gene Cousineau) and “The Kominsky Method,” much stronger in Season 2. Both the show and co-stars Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin received Golden Globe nods, for some reason Douglas as a series lead and Arkin as a supporting player, which isn’t fair to Arkin, who’s just as vital to the series.

The same can be said for Patricia Arquette, who was terrific in “The Act” (Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series), although anyone who saw the series would take umbrage with that. (Arquette’s co-star Joey King was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress for the show.) And kudos to “Succession,” which everyone loves and which garnered such nominations as Best Drama Series and a nod for stars Brian Cox and Kieran Culkin (in the Supporting Role category).

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