The nominations are out for the 2017 Golden Globe Awards and, as with any awards shows, there are more than a handful of surprising nods and some overlooked fan favorites.
Seeing three nominations for "Westworld" was not a surprise, because traditionally the Hollywood Foreign Press Association loves to recognize the hot, buzzy new show on the block. But what is a surprise is how much the Globes showed some love for a plethora of other new shows.
FX's "Atlanta" and HBO's "Divorce" and "Insecure" all received comedy acting noms, with "Atlanta" also receiving a best comedy series nod. All three series are serving up excellent work, so it's great to see the Globes recognizing each of them -- but definitely a pleasant surprise to see some new faces, as opposed to honoring the same shows year after year.
On the new drama series side, in addition to "Westworld's" noms, the Globes also nominated Netflix's "The Crown" and "Stranger Things" and NBC's "This Is Us."
"The Crown" is the least surprising of the three, because it's a lavishly done period drama -- awards show catnip. But "Stranger Things" is a straight-up genre show, which can have trouble receiving award show recognition (though the Globes are traditionally better about it than the Emmys).
"This Is Us," meanwhile, is a surprise in that a lot of broadcast network shows get left out in the cold nowadays. For the 2017 Globes, only five network shows received a nomination of any kind, but "This Is Us" garnered three, which is an impressive haul for any show in the crowded landscape.
It's also surprising because, in the past, shows that were thematically similar to "This Is Us" -- the "slice of life" family dramas like "Friday Night Lights" and "Parenthood" -- have struggled to earn Globe nominations.
In the acting categories, there was only one big surprise -- Nick Nolte for "Graves." Because we suspect most people watching the Globes are going to be saying, "What's 'Graves'?"
"Graves" airs on Epix (again, "What's Epix?") where Nolte plays a former president of the United States who is admitting to and trying to fix the mistakes he made while in office. Now, on the one hand, awards shows love to recognize actors in the twilight of their careers who have been off the map for a while, so maybe this isn't that big of a surprise. On the other hand, this is a comedy on Epix that received wildly mixed reviews, so it's not even an under-the-radar critical darling. Verdict: We're still going to call this one a surprise.
Finally, there were two established shows that managed to break into the Globes nominations, which is fairly rare. The ABC comedy "Black-ish" received a series nom and acting noms for stars Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, while FX drama "The Americans" received acting noms for its two leads, Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell.
Both shows are very deserving, but like we said, it's unusual for a show to be on for a couple of seasons -- or in "The Americans" case, four seasons -- and then manage to receive some awards show love. Thankfully, critics and fans have been beating the drums for these two shows long enough that the awards shows are starting to listen -- plus, they have both recently been putting forth some of their best work, so it's terrific that it is being acknowledged.
You can't honor every show and every actor who puts forth a worthy performance, but there are always a few exclusions which elicit grand displays of silent TV protest and fan outrage.
Interestingly, in 2017 there are a handful of shows that are perennial nominees that came up with nada.
In the drama categories, PBS' "Downton Abbey," CBS' "The Good Wife" and Netflix's "House of Cards" have all received at least one nomination every year they've been on the air -- until now. Similarly, comedies "Orange Is the New Black" (Netflix) and "Silicon Valley" (HBO) and anthology series "American Horror Story" also came up with zero noms this year after receiving at least one for every previous season.
Along those same lines, "The Americans" was snubbed in the drama series category even though both its leads received individual noms.
The same could be said for "Mr. Robot" or "Outlander," both of which were left out of the drama series category after being nominated a year ago and both of which received individual acting noms this year, but we're giving the "snub" edge to "The Americans." Neither "Mr. Robot" nor "Outlander's" second seasons were as good as their first outings, whereas "The Americans" fourth season is arguably its strongest season to date.
In the comedy category, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" is a bit of a snub -- again. This quirky Netflix comedy just can't seem to get any HFPA love, despite receiving quite a few Emmy noms for both its first two seasons.
Turning to acting, while "Game of Thrones" fans will spit wildfire claiming their HBO darling was snubbed in these categories (the only nomination it received outside of best drama series was a supporting actress nom for Lena Headey), it's important to note "GoT's" Globes acting snubs have become an annual ritual for the HFPA.
The series hasn't received an individual acting nom since Season 1, when Peter Dinklage won best supporting actor. The problem here is that all TV supporting roles are lumped into one Globes category that encompasses regular series, limited series and TV movie. So, compared to the Emmys, there is even less room on the nomination slate.
Add in the fact that "Game of Thrones" puts forth everyone in the supporting category and you can see why it's tough for any of them to get nominated -- especially in 2017, when hot new shows "The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story," "This Is Us" and "Westworld" accounted for half the supporting nominations.
With "This Is Us" and "Westworld," while the shows earned HFPA love, the men of both shows were left empty handed. Also left on the cutting room floor of this year's Globes noms -- "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life." Sorry, lovers of all things Stars Hollow.
Perhaps the most egregious snub, since the Globes shows itself willing to nominate "Stranger Things," is the fact that Millie Bobby Brown wasn't recognized. She was every bit as good as Winona Ryder on the Netflix horror series, and more than deserved to be in the company of this year's nominees.
The 74th annual Golden Globe Awards airs live Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017 on NBC, hosted by Jimmy Fallon.