Aside from not even nominating such well-received dramas as Breaking Bad and Justified, or critic-fave comedies such as Community and Parks and Recreation, the Golden Globes didn't offer many surprises in the TV categories Sunday night.
Oh, you could say it's a surprise that ABC's hit Modern Family didn't win in the best comedy/musical series category, but until Modern Family does a musical episode, it's unlikely to beat Glee, an actual musical in a category that usually doesn't have musicals. And once Chris Colfer and Jane Lynch won in the supporting categories for Glee, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Glee was going to win, even if Matthew Morrison and Lea Michele didn't win in the lead categories.
Those wins went to Laura Linney, who plays a woman with cancer on Showtime's The Big C -- and who couldn't be there, because her father, playwright Romulus Linney, died of cancer this weekend -- and to Jim Parsons, who won for playing the brilliant but socially awkward Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory.
HBO's Boardwalk Empire won best drama series, with star Steve Buscemi winning best actor in a drama for playing a Prohibition-era gangster. No surprise here: The Globes love to honor new, prestigious work, and it didn't hurt that Martin Scorsese was involved with Empire. It was a bigger surprise -- but a pleasant one -- that Katey Sagal won best actress in a drama series for playing a tough motorcycle mama on FX's Sons of Anarchy. But it's only a surprise because a performance that good is often ignored by the Globes (see: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad).
The Globes' biggest TV surprise -- to some, anyway -- was the win for Carlos in the movie/miniseries category, over such better-known entries as HBO's The Pacific and Temple Grandin. Carlos, a 51/2-hour miniseries about Carlos the Jackal that received a theatrical release, will re-air in its entirety Thursday on Sundance Channel. Temple Grandin, which seemed to win every Emmy ever last year, did score a much-deserved actress win for Claire Danes. Al Pacino won best actor in a movie/miniseries for playing Dr. Jack Kevorkian in HBO's You Don't Know Jack.
Globes host Ricky Gervais appeared to be bucking for a Best Host nomination, after a somewhat disappointing performance last year. Gervais came out swinging, taking shots at Charlie Sheen; Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp and their movie The Tourist; Cher; and members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization that puts on the Globes. Some of Gervais' targets took it well; with others, such as Depp and presenter Bruce Willis, it was hard to tell whether they were amused. But Gervais is welcome to come back next year -- if anyone will let him.
Robert Philpot, 817-390-7872