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The Golden Globe Nominations: As Marvelously Weird As Ever

The best and worst thing about the Golden Globe nominations every year is that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association swerves wildly from what people might expect from awards season. Don't get me wrong: In this sense, "weird" isn't a bad thing. It can be a great thing. (And when I say this reaction to the nominees is pretty common, please keep in mind: This really is pretty common.)

For instance, it was a delightful surprise to see Rachel Bloom, the star of the CW's offbeat musical comedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, nominated for lead actress in a TV comedy. She's doing something legitimately different, she's doing it really well, and the show can use any bump it might get. Similarly, I loved Hulu's dark family comedy Casual, but would I have expected to see it alongside Silicon Valley and Veep on HBO, Transparent and Mozart In The Jungle (!!) on Amazon, and Orange Is The New Black on Netflix in the comedy series category? I would honestly not have, nor would I have expected four of the six comedy nominations to be from streaming services. The Globes can be mighty hard to take seriously, but at least you don't feel like you're getting a rote recitation of the list of Award-Worthy Things everybody's been talking about for the last six months. (You can see the full list here.)

The drama side of television was unexpected, too: Narcos on Netflix, Outlander on Starz, Empire on Fox, Mr. Robot on USA, and Game of Thrones on HBO. Of those, two are new shows. Only Game of Thrones is a perpetual Emmy nominee. Not only that, but only Game of Thrones got a Globe nomination last year, despite the fact that the other four shows that did — The Good Wife, House of Cards, The Affair and Downton Abbey — are all still on. Yes, the Golden Globes have earned a rather goofy reputation, but you can't accuse them of just copying last year's list with a tweak here and there, the way it often feels like the Emmys do.

The Globes divide their film nominations between dramas and comedy/musicals too, which the Oscars don't. And while their drama choices — Room, Spotlight, The Revenant, Carol and Mad Max: Fury Road — are all films with plenty of Oscar talk around them, their comedies — Trainwreck, Spy, The Big Short, Joy and The Martian -- include a couple of popular but not necessarily award-seeking films.

Ultimately, the Globes are the Globes, and they mean very little in your life of award prognostication. If I may call upon a description I once wrote and still stand by, "The Golden Globes are a fundamentally goofy proposition, given out by a tiny club of journalists at a ceremony that's famous for the fact that everyone gets hammered."

Still, this is Rachel Bloom. Good for her.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.