Eccentric and offbeat, the Golden Globes' TV category can be both interesting and infuriating (they picked THAT show? But didn't pick this or this one or THIS one?) But that's the strange charm of the Globes (WNBC/4, Sunday, 8) -- you never know quite what they'll do. But you do know they will zig when the Emmys zag. Globe voters this year are clearly in a zagging mood -- nominating "Mozart in the Jungle," or "Casual," or "Narcos," the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is clearly out to prove that it isn't run by Emmy copycats or doddering old-timers (a reliable Ricky Gervais joke) but by hip futurists who actually have an Amazon Prime account.
With that in mind, the advantage for Sunday's 73rd annual awards goes to streaming series. But -- fair warning -- this is the Golden Globes. Do not bet your lunch money on my picks; one or two or maybe all are bound to be wrong. The Globes are contrarian; they would have it no other way.
Expect to read that word "maybe" reasonably often below.
Best drama: "Outlanders"
Surprise! Well, maybe. The Starz hit has a hot lead, stunning locale, and at least frisson of high quality. "Empire" seems to be on the decline; "Game of Thrones" -- TV's best series -- was consecrated by the Emmys last year, so that's a no-go. "Mr. Robot?" Admit it, voters -- none of you have a clue what this show is about. "Narcos?" OK, maybe...
Best comedy or musical: "Transparent"
The Globes don't normally get in the Emmy rut of handing the shiny statue to the same show year after year (the "Modern Family" rut, if you will) but I think they'll make an exception here. The critical acclaim for the second season has been deafening and while my acclaim was a decibel or two lower, this is clearly an easy winner. ("Veep" is terrific, but the Emmys OWN "Veep" and its glorious lead so I think not.)
Best actor/drama: Wagner Moura, "Narcos"
That's right friends. Moura. He was stunning here (do you recall his first entrance on this under-the-radar Netflix series as Pablo Escobar?) and no one will scream if he wins, or should scream. Brazilian-born Moura was in some ways the Globes' most inspired choice this year. First of all, no one knows who he is -- or at least most Americans don't, or Emmy voters don't. But the HFPA -- comprised of a few people who actually speak Portuguese --certainly know who this guy is, and know his considerable body of work. Jon Hamm? Sorry but the Globes know he already got his curtain call at the Emmys (plus he's already won, back in '08). Bob Odenkirk? Great -- of course -- but I still think Moura. Liev Schreiber? Rami Malek? Great and great. Still: Moura.
Best actress/drama: Taraji P. Henson, "Empire"
Sure, Caitriona Balfe of "Outlander" is in the hunt here, but I tend to think that the Globes want to honor a prominent African-American actress this year, and why not Cookie? Viola Davis already made history at the Emmys, Henson's turn this Sunday.
Best actor/comedy: Aziz Ansari, "Master of None"
This is a tough category or tough-ISH (sorry, but don't think Rob Lowe belongs here) Jeffrey Tambor has a slightly diminished presence on the second season of "Transparent," and too many people in the Beverly Hilton audience would audibly say "who?" at the same time if Gael Garcia Bernal ("Mozart in the Jungle") wins. So Ansari it is -- and it is deserved.
Best actress/comedy: Rachel Bloom, "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"
This is a crazy hunch, but I think the Globes like this kind of oddball show -- neither fish nor fowl nor, for that matter hit, starring a talented actress who does it all (write, dance, sing and in fact act). She's up against some legends, so who knows. But I'm going with Bloom.
Best miniseries or TV film: "American Crime"
"AC's" second season is better than the first, but the first was very good indeed. John Ridley's anthology is the kind of show the Globeheads like to get behind -- something that's intelligence, well-acted, socially relevant. Plus it's on something called a "broadcast television network," ABC. What's a broadcast television network? The Globeheads are not sure, but it sounds important, and the executives and stars from this place have paid for a few prominent tables in the ballroom. Better make sure they leave happy.