The 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards (Sunday, NBC, CTV, 8 p.m.) is not supposed to be a venue where race, class and power collide, but that is the context this year.
In the pandemic-period pattern, the awards show will be curtailed, with Tina Fey hosting from the Rainbow Room in New York and Amy Poehler co-hosting from The Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. Many of the nominees will be at home, some looking as glam as possible on Zoom and others not. There are sylists with nothing to do these days, bless them.
But never mind the non-fashion, it’s the fuss about the nominees, especially in the TV categories that matter this year. At issue is a dubious nomination for Netflix’s Emily in Paris and the complete absence of the critically acclaimed I May Destroy You. This issue makes the Globes look more shady and unpredictable than ever.
Here are some guesses. In best television series, drama, the nominees are: The Crown (Netflix), Lovecraft Country (HBO), The Mandalorian (Disney+), Ozark (Netflix) and Ratched (Netflix). Winner: The Crown. Should win: Lovecraft Country.
In best limited series or TV movie: Normal People (Hulu/BBC), The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix), Small Axe (Amazon Studios/BBC), The Undoing (HBO), Unorthodox (Netflix). A very strong category. Will win: The Queen’s Gambit, as it should.
In the acting categories, the award for best actress in a TV series, musical or comedy, will go to Catherine O’Hara for Schitt’s Creek but should go to Elle Fanning for her sizzling performance in The Great. For best actor in a limited series or TV movie, the likely winner is Hugh Grant for The Undoing because it’s the Golden Globes and stiflingly limited in perspective, but it should go to Ethan Hawke for The Good Lord Bird. Do not take any of this seriously – the predictions or actual awards.
Usually, the Globes are such a huge draw that other channels back away on the night. Not so with The Walking Dead (Sunday, AMC, 9 p.m.). Such is the continuing popularity of the post-apocalypse zombie epic that AMC knows followers will flock to it like zombies to human flesh.
Six new episodes are arriving. The 11th and final – and extended – season will air next year. Right now, the series is in revival mode, especially with the return of the key character Maggie (Lauren Cohan). A warrior, she is not pleased to discover that the previously heinous Negan, who murdered her husband Glenn, is now treated as a nicely reformed maniac.
It’s been almost a year since there was a new episode of the series, and a certain frisson is added since this post-apocalypse world is now viewed from the perspective of a terrifying pandemic. A few years ago, the series was getting around 23 million total viewers in the United States for a season premiere, way more than the Globes will likely attract on Sunday. While the numbers have dipped, the show remains on solid ground – relevant, gripping and tonally compelling. Why? The overall theme is this: Humanity is doomed unless people learn to get along, and if we don’t get along, we’re just zombies feeding on each other.
Also airing this weekend
Charley Pride: I’m Just Me, (Sunday, Documentary Channel 9 p.m.) first aired on PBS as an American Master episode in 2019. Pride, who died recently, is a remarkable figure, both as a country music legend and a representative historical figure. Born a sharecropper’s son in Mississippi, later a Negro League baseball player and then a country-music superstar, he led an astonishing life. Best known now for hits such as Kiss an Angel and Good Mornin’, he doesn’t seem to have had any enemies, except the racists who verbally abused him in his early career. He talks at length here and is more comfortable talking about music than race. Admirers and sometime-collaborators Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson and Garth Brooks talk about his songwriting skills and his voice. But the program, narrated by Tanya Tucker, is really about his strength of character and his striking serenity.
The Nature of Things: Kingdom of the Polar Bears (Saturday, CBC NN, 8 p.m. and CBC Gem) is a two-parter that was four years in the making. A lovely piece, it has rarely seen footage of wild polar bears birthing in isolation and teaching their young to survive.
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