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2021 Golden Globes: TV Predictions

The Golden Globes nominations featured some notable snubs and unlikely nominees, leading to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association coming under fire for its lack of diversity and the ‘ethical lapses’ of its members. It can only be hoped that the recent controversies surrounding the HFPA will lead to some much needed structural changes — or the Globes losing their influence over awards season. 

Either way, this weekend’s ceremony will go on. Compared to the film side of the award show, there’s less pressure on the TV nominees, meaning there should at least be some interesting wins and, hopefully, a platform for some lesser-known shows. Here are my picks for who will win and who should win in each of the TV categories. (Though, knowing the Golden Globes, they’ll end up awarding the performance everyone thinks is least likely to win.)

Best Television Series: Drama

Olivia Colman as Elizabeth II |Photo courtesy of Netflix


“The Crown” (Netflix)

“Lovecraft Country” (HBO)

“The Mandalorian” (Disney+)

Ozark” (Netflix)

“Ratched” (Netflix)

The Drama race has changed drastically from last year (God, I miss “Succession”), meaning there’s a chance for newcomers such as “Lovecraft Country” and “The Mandalorian” to break through. Yet at the moment, it’s “The Crown”’s award to lose. Despite having won the same award back in 2016, the Netflix drama still ticks all of the HFPA’s boxes. The show’s improved fourth season saw high praise for its storylines and buzzy performances (see the five acting nominations), meaning it will likely reign supreme on Sunday. But if “The Crown” doesn’t take it, I think the Golden Globes will award “The Mandalorian,” which has taken a place as one of the most popular shows of the past year. Though there’s definitely a scenario where Ryan Murphy’s “Ratched” takes the crown, which is the kind of insufferable win that is right up the HFPA’s alley. 

Will Win: “The Crown”

Should Win: “The Crown”

Runner-Up: “The Mandalorian”

Should Have Been Nominated: “The Boys”

Best Actress in a TV Series: Drama

Emma Corrin as Princess Diana | Photo courtesy of Netflix


Olivia Colman, “The Crown”

Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve”

Emma Corrin, “The Crown”

Laura Linney, “Ozark”

Sarah Paulson, “Ratched”

While it would be foolish to underestimate Olivia Colman at an awards show, she won this award last year and has a better chance in the film categories for her performance in “The Father.” “Killing Eve” had a muted reception for its third season, and “Ozark” aired its last season nearly a year ago. Therefore with the Globes’ penchant for awarding new, buzzy performances, it’s between “The Crown”’s Emma Corrin and “Ratched”’s Sarah Paulson. Yet, with her incredible performance as Princess Diana, Corrin became an overnight sensation and is the clear front-runner here. 

Will Win: Emma Corrin, “The Crown”

Should Win: Emma Corrin, “The Crown”

Runner-Up: Sarah Paulson, “Ratched”

Should Have Been Nominated: Jurnee Smollett, “Lovecraft Country”

Best Actor in a TV Series: Drama 

Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin as Prince Charles and Princess Diana | Photo courtesy of Netflix


Jason Bateman, “Ozark”

Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”

Josh O’Connor, “The Crown”

Al Pacino, “Hunters”

Matthew Rhys, “Perry Mason”

Going with the HFPA’s trend of awarding new, shiny performances, this leaves Josh O’Connor, Al Pacino and Matthew Rhys as the contenders here. Rhys is “Perry Mason”’s sole nominee, which could hurt his chances, and few people watched “Hunters,” though Al Pacino’s star power definitely can’t rule him out. Therefore, Josh O’Connor is the safest bet here for his critically acclaimed performance as Prince Charles, which would create a great narrative for the night if his onscreen wife Emma Corrin won too.

Will Win: Josh O’Connor, “The Crown”

Should Win: Josh O’Connor, “The Crown”

Runner Up: Matthew Rhys, “Perry Mason”

Should Have Been Nominated: Antony Starr, “The Boys”

Best Television Series: Musical or Comedy 

The cast of “Ted Lasso” | Photo courtesy of Apple TV+


“Emily in Paris” (Netflix)

“The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max)

“The Great” (Hulu)

“Schitt’s Creek” (Pop)

“Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+)

All of these shows are first-time nominees, meaning there’s potential for any of them to win. Yet unless the Golden Globes choose violence, “Emily in Paris” is out. I wouldn’t be surprised if any of the remaining shows win, but I think “Ted Lasso” has a slight edge, being a European production that has been critically adored since its premiere. There’s certainly a case for “Schitt’s Creek,” considering this is (surprisingly) the first year the Globes have nominated the show in any category. While they won’t follow the Emmys in having “Schitt’s Creek” win in numerous categories, they could recognize the show here. 

Will Win: “Ted Lasso”

Should Win: “Ted Lasso” or “The Great”

Runner-Up: Anyone but “Emily in Paris”

Should Have Been Nominated: “What We Do in the Shadows”

Best Actor in a TV Series: Musical or Comedy 

Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso | Photo courtesy of AppleTV+


Don Cheadle, “Black Monday”

Nicholas Hoult, “The Great”

Eugene Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”

Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso”

Ramy Youssef, “Ramy”

Ramy Youssef won this award last year, meaning one of the other nominees has a better chance this year. I’d love to see Nicholas Hoult get recognized for his hilarious work on “The Great,” but the performance that stands out most here is Jason Sudeikis on “Ted Lasso.” Sudeikis makes Ted Lasso relentlessly positive, yet grounded and authentic. It’s a character that could have become cloying if it were portrayed by another actor, and Sudeikis’s openness and vulnerability make it a winning performance that the Golden Globes will find hard to ignore. 

Will Win: Jason Sudeikis

Should Win: Jason Sudeikis 

Runner-Up: Eugene Levy/Nicholas Hoult 

Should Have Been Nominated: Matt Berry, “What We Do in the Shadows

Best Actress in a TV Series: Musical or Comedy 

Kaley Cuoco is 'The Flight Attendant' in HBO Max melodrama
Kaley Cuoco as Cassie Bowden | Photo courtesy of HBO Max


Kaley Cuoco, “The Flight Attendant”

Lily Collins, “Emily in Paris”

Elle Fanning, “The Great”

Jane Levy, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”

Catherine O’Hara, “Schitt’s Creek”

This category is probably one of the most unpredictable, as all the contenders here have a chance of taking the crown.  I’d love to see Catherine O’Hara win for “Schitt’s Creek,” since it’s definitely a performance the Globes would award. Without gauging the extent of HFPA’s love for “Schitt’s Creek,” the likeliest winner is probably Kaley Cuoco for the “The Flight Attendant,” which is the newest, buzziest performance out of the pack. 

Will Win: Kaley Cuco

Should Win: Elle Fanning 

Runner-Up: Catherine O’Hara

Should Have Been Nominated: Issa Rae, “Insecure”

Best TV Movie or Limited Series

Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon | Photo courtesy of Netflix


“Normal People” (Hulu)

“The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix)

“Small Axe” (Amazon)

“The Undoing” (HBO)

“Unorthodox” (Netflix)

Of course, it’s impossible to talk about this category without highlighting the unforgivable snub of HBO’s “I May Destroy You,” which should have swept this category. In its absence, there’s two frontrunners here: Amazon/BBC’s “Small Axe” anthology series and “The Queen’s Gambit.” “Small Axe” was critically acclaimed, but “The Queen’s Gambit” received incredible popularity, which makes it the most likely winner of the pair. 

Will Win: “The Queen’s Gambit”

Should Win: “Small Axe”

Runner-Up: “Small Axe”

Should Have Been Nominated: “I May Destroy You”

Best Actor in a TV Movie or Limited Series

The Undoing star Hugh Grant is done being the charming leading man | EW.com
Hugh Grant as Jonathan Fraser | Photo courtesy of HBO


Bryan Cranston, “Your Honor”

Jeff Daniels, “The Comey Rule”

Ethan Hawke, “The Good Lord Bird”

Hugh Grant, “The Undoing”

Mark Ruffalo, “I Know This Much Is True”

The Golden Globes love star power, and this category is packed with it, meaning it’s anyone’s game. The buzziest show here is “The Undoing,” with Hugh Grant’s performance, in particular, receiving the most praise. Grant has been having quite the comeback these past few years, so he is the frontrunner here. Though I can equally see the Globes awarding Ethan Hawke for his acclaimed performance in “The Good Lord Bird,” so who takes this category is a tough call. 

Will Win: Hugh Grant

Should Win: Ethan Hawke 

Runner-Up: Ethan Hawke

Should Have Been Nominated: Paul Mescal, “Normal People”

Best Actress in a TV Movie or Limited Series

The Queen's Gambit: Anya Taylor-Joy could be Golden Globes contender -  GoldDerby
Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon | Photo courtesy of Netflix


Cate Blanchett, “Mrs. America”

Daisy Edgar-Jones, “Normal People”

Shira Haas, “Unorthodox”

Nicole Kidman, “The Undoing”

Anya Taylor-Joy, “The Queen’s Gambit”

 With the success of “The Queen’s Gambit,” Anya Taylor-Joy is a sure thing here. Deservedly so too, with her performance as Beth Harmon in the Netflix miniseries being utterly brilliant and captivating throughout. The Golden Globes love to be the first to award new, popular shows, and you couldn’t get more popular than “The Queen’s Gambit” this year.

Will Win: Anya Taylor-Joy

Should Win: Anya Taylor-Joy

Runner-Up: Shira Haas

Should Have Been Nominated: Michaela Coel, “I May Destroy You”

Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series 

Red, White and Blue Review: John Boyega Gives Career-Best Performance |  IndieWire
John Boyega as Leroy Logan | Photo courtesy of Amazon


John Boyega, “Small Axe”

Brendan Gleeson, “The Comey Rule”

Dan Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”

Jim Parsons, “Hollywood”

Donald Sutherland, “The Undoing”

The mixture of the Drama, Comedy and Limited Series shows in the supporting categories makes for some strange nominations. I can see Dan Levy winning, though being the sole comedy nominee amid dramatic, powerful performances could hurt his chances. The strongest bet here is John Boyega, who leads an incredible episode of “Small Axe” that will be hard for HFPA voters to ignore. Though I can see the Golden Globes veering toward star power turns for Donald Sutherland and Brendan Gleeson.(Voters love a Showtime miniseries.) 

Will Win: John Boyega

Should Win: John Boyega

Runner-Up: Anyone else

Should Have Been Nominated: Tom Pelphrey, “Ozark”

Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series 

Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher | Photo courtesy of Netflix


Gillian Anderson, “The Crown”

Helena Bonham Carter, “The Crown”

Julia Garner, “Ozark”

Annie Murphy, “Schitt’s Creek”

Cynthia Nixon, “Ratched”

These supporting categories are definitely the toughest to predict. Gillian Anderson holds the edge over her “The Crown” co-star here, with her performance as Margaret Thatcher being catnip to Golden Globe voters.  Though it’s rare that the HFPA hands out multiple awards to the same show, meaning “The Crown” could lose here. That said, I’d love to see “Schitt’s Creek” get recognized here, with Annie Murphy being the show’s secret weapon (and best character) throughout its run. Though I can see a scenario where they award Cynthia Nixon here, as a Ryan Murphy production will probably have to win something. It wouldn’t make sense, but it’s also something the Globes would definitely do. 

Will Win: Gillian Anderson/Annie Murphy 

Should Win: Annie Murphy 

Should Have Been Nominated: Marielle Heller, “The Queen’s Gambit”

The 78th Golden Globes Awards air Sunday, February 28 at 7 p.m. EST.

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