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Awards season is my favorite time of year. In the Midwestern winter and early spring, I like nothing more than to grab a blanket and watch the feuds, glamor and excess of Hollywood from the comfort of my couch. Awards shows are a tiny window into the spectacle of the world’s biggest stars, yet they also provide much-needed recognition for the immense work it takes for teams behind the scenes to create our most beloved on-screen stories. As someone who spends much more of their time watching TV and movies than they should — my page-long to-do list silently judges me from my desk on the other side of the room every time I turn on the TV — nothing feels better than watching my favorite shows win awards and knowing the thousands of people it took to make them happen are, in some way, getting a thank you from all us viewers. But selfishly, I have to admit, I mostly like awards shows because there is something so satisfying about watching other people admit they like the shows as much as I did. It makes me feel powerful in my correct opinion and justified in recommending it to dozens of my friends. As someone who has incredibly strong opinions on art, I like to be proven right. 

For those less familiar with the workings of the awards circuit, the Golden Globes functions as the opener to the season. It is also the only major award show to feature categories for both film and television, making for quite a lengthy broadcast. Though it may be too much of a commitment for a casual viewer, for many awards show devotees, the Golden Globes are just the tip of the iceberg. Providing a sneak peek at what the year’s standout stories will be, the Golden Globes winners may not be the same as the Oscar winners, but by this point in the game, the competitors have often been sifted away, leaving only gold remaining. 

This year’s broadcast, however, was a bit more complicated. For nearly two years, the governing body of the Golden Globes, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, has been navigating a controversy surrounding both the lack of diversity in their organization and critique regarding their voting practices due to a February 2021 LA Times article that found the HFPA had zero Black voting members. After a hiatus in 2022, and some organizational improvements, the Golden Globes returned this year, despite lingering disdain, to once again kick off the winter awards season.

Host Jerrod Carmichael thankfully did not shy away from the controversy and addressed it early into his opening monologue, stating “One minute, I’m making tea at home, the next I’m invited to be the Black face of an embattled white organization.” However, rather than using the rest of his time as host to bring people in, Carmichael lethargically talked the audience into boredom. With no sense of momentum or excitement — Carmichael literally started the show off by shushing the crowd as you would a bunch of preschoolers at nap time — the awards felt as though they were happening in a timeless abyss. A host’s job should always be to draw people in, to let viewers in homes across the country feel some kind of connection with the world of Hollywood. Hosts should make themselves relatable, and their humor often functions as a way to portray Hollywood stars as real people, not the idealized versions we see on screen. While I applaud Carmichael for addressing the HFPA’s issues so directly, I do wish that he had fostered a greater sense of connection with the audience.

Luckily, a sense of camaraderie prevailed throughout the Hollywood community present at the event, with many of the best moments of the night happening when actors and creatives celebrated each other and reflected on the artistic relationships that helped them to get where they are today. Ke Huy Quan’s (“Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”) Best Supporting Actor win for “Everything Everywhere All at Once” was the standout speech of the evening. Quan’s win was well deserved for his phenomenal performance, and his speech was one of the most heartfelt and touching to come from any awards show in recent years. As he emotionally took the microphone, he emphasized his gratitude to the people that helped him on his journey, from Steven Spielberg (the nominated director of “The Fabelmans”) who cast him in his first-ever movie role, to co-directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (“Swiss Army Man”), who trusted him with a major role 30 years later in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” If you haven’t watched or listened to Quan’s full speech, I must insist that you do so now. As the first award of the evening, he was able to set the tone of togetherness right off the bat.

The rest of the evening was full of many more awards and no major upsets. Two small surprises in the results came from “The Banshees of Inisherin,” a bit of an underdog win against “Everything Everywhere All at Once” in the category Best Picture, Musical or Comedy, and “House of the Dragon” winning Best Television Series, Drama, clearly a surprise for the showrunners with only director Miguel Sapochnik (“Game of Thrones”) and two members of the cast present to accept the award. 

With the overview of the evening covered, let’s hop into my predictions and the outcomes for some of the major television categories.

Italics = Prediction

Bold = winner

Best Television Series, Drama

  • “Better Call Saul” (AMC) 
  • “The Crown” (Netflix) 
  • “House of the Dragon” (HBO) 
  • “Ozark” (Netflix) 
  • “Severance” (Apple TV+) 

Despite the surprise of the “House of the Dragon” team, I believe this was a well-deserved win — and one that I was desperately hoping for. Coming off the tails of the much-lauded “Game of Thrones” was a daunting task and one that “House of the Dragon” met with immense success. Smarter and more nuanced than its predecessor, it is more deserving of praise than the original “Game of Thrones.”

Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy

  • “Abbott Elementary” (ABC) 
  • “The Bear” (FX)
  • “Hacks” (HBO Max)
  • “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu) 
  • “Wednesday” (Netflix) 

While “Wednesday” has garnered mass popularity in recent months, “Abbott Elementary” was the clear front-runner here. Smart, topical and hilarious, Quinta Brunson’s series about teachers in Philadelphia was the only real contender in my mind.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Drama

  • Jeff Bridges (“The Old Man”) 
  • Kevin Costner (“Yellowstone”)
  • Diego Luna (“Andor”)
  • Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”)
  • Adam Scott (“Severance”)

I was really hoping for an “Andor” win here. Diego Luna was captivating in the title role, and as the first live-action Star Wars content to try something new in recent memory, it deserves more recognition than it has received so far. While I was hoping “Andor” would garner some awards recognition, I’m sure Kevin Costner was fine in “Yellowstone.”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Drama

  • Emma D’Arcy (“House of the Dragon”) 
  • Laura Linney (“Ozark”) 
  • Imelda Staunton (“The Crown”)
  • Hilary Swank (“Alaska Daily”)
  • Zendaya (“Euphoria”)

As I hopefully made clear earlier, I am a major fan of “House of the Dragon.” Emma D’Arcy gives one of the best performances I’ve seen in recent years on the show, so yet again I was hoping for them to get a win in this category. Zendaya was great in the second season of “Euphoria” from what I have heard (“Euphoria” is a bit too dark for me to be able to sit through myself, so I hear about it from friends), but she has also won awards for her role before. I tend to dislike when the same performer wins for a role year after year and wish the attention could be spread to other great performers, such as D’Arcy. However, if it had to go to someone other than D’Arcy, I would have wanted it to be Zendaya.

Best Actress in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy

  • Quinta Brunson (“Abbott Elementary”) 
  • Kaley Cuoco (“The Flight Attendant”) 
  • Selena Gomez (“Only Murders in the Building”) 
  • Jenna Ortega (“Wednesday”) 
  • Jean Smart (“Hacks”) 

What Quinta Brunson has created with “Abbott Elementary” is something special, so this is a very deserving win.

Best Limited Series, Anthology Series or a Motion Picture made for Television

  • “Black Bird” (Apple TV+) 
  • “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” (Netflix) 
  • “The Dropout” (Hulu) 
  • “Pam & Tommy” (Hulu) 
  • “The White Lotus” (HBO) 

While I haven’t yet had the chance to watch “The White Lotus,” I’m just grateful that “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” did not win. “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” is a series that, in my opinion, should have never been created, as it led to people glorifying the serial killer and even dressing up as him for Halloween. Plus, there is the fact that the showrunners did not ask many of the victim’s relatives for consent to include their stories. Suffice to say, I am quite glad that it did not win in this category.

Best Performance by an Actor, Limited Series, Anthology Series or Motion Picture made for Television

  • Taron Egerton (“Black Bird”) 
  • Colin Firth (“The Staircase”) 
  • Andrew Garfield (“Under the Banner of Heaven”) 
  • Evan Peters (“Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story”) 
  • Sebastian Stan (“Pam & Tommy”) 

Like I just stated, I wish that “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” did not exist. So while I think Evan Peters is very talented, I sadly can’t in good conscience fully support this win.

Best Performance by an Actress, Limited Series, Anthology Series or a Motion Picture made for Television

  • Jessica Chastain (“George and Tammy”) 
  • Julia Garner (“Inventing Anna”) 
  • Lily James (“Pam & Tommy”) 
  • Julia Roberts (“Gaslit”) 
  • Amanda Seyfried (“The Dropout”) 

Amanda Seyfried was great in this role, so this was not a surprise.

All in all, the 2023 Golden Globes were enjoyable. From great fashion choices to heartfelt speeches and seeing people come together in support of various projects, the broadcast checked many of the necessary awards show boxes. However, with not much change in the HFPA being visible on screen and without much excitement in the audience this broadcast did not quite serve as a memorable return for the Golden Globes. With this year’s broadcast reaping the lowest viewership in the Golden Globes history, it begs the question of how much longer smaller awards shows can continue to live on as national events. So, while the 2023 Golden Globes were enjoyable, they were also forgettable. 

Daily Arts Writer Mallory Edgell can be reached at