Golden Globes 2013: Why Were 'Game of Thrones' and 'The Walking Dead' Snubbed? (INSIDE STORY)
Do awards voters disdain genre storytelling, or are there other reasons?
Sharpen your swords, genre fans.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced the Golden Globe nominations this morning, and two of your favorite shows -- HBO's Game of Thrones and AMC's The Walking Dead -- are nowhere to be found among the nominees.
How is that possible? Critics and fans alike consider these to be two of the best dramas on TV. Last year, Thrones' Peter Dinklage even won a Best Supporting Actor trophy from the same HFPA that passed him over this year. Critics and fans tend to agree that the current seasons of both shows were even better than last year's, so what gives?
Here are some theories:
1. The HFPA doesn't like genre shows. It's true, fantasy and horror and sci-fi haven't always earned their due. Landmark shows like Lost and Battlestar Galactica were under-rewarded, so Dead and Thrones are in good company. On the other hand, both Dead and Thrones were nominated last year, as was American Horror Story. AHS: Asylum got a nod again this year (for Jessica Lange), so the snubs for Dead and Thrones have to have more than genre animus behind them.
2. Hollywood awards groups in general don't like genre shows. A day ago, the Screen Actors Guild also snubbed Thrones and Dead. "They don't get much love from the HFPA for the same reason that they don't get much love from the Emmys, or why genre movies rarely get much love from the Oscars: Sci-fi or fantasy or horror are seen as childish things," Marc Bernardin, an editor at The Hollywood Reporter and a genre-fare expert, told Celebuzz. "And, unless they're rewarding a performance that 'elevates' the material, they'd just as soon keep 'high-art' on the pedestal. Which is, as anyone who watches these shows can attest, a short-sighted shame." So maybe the Globe voters are just following the prevailing trend, even though...
3. The Globes prefer to be ahead of the curve. Globe voters like to be the first to recognize new TV shows and stars, and usually, they can because they're handed out in January, just three months after the beginning of fall TV season, while the Emmys are given in September and don't get to recognize network newcomers until a year after they debut. But cable shows, which may start at any time of year, have robbed the Globes of this advantage. The springtime premiere of Game of Thrones in 2011 allowed the Emmys to give a trophy to Dinklage before the Globes could. Now that they can't be ahead of the curve with Thrones, maybe Globe voters have lost interest. Of course, they could still be the first to give a major prize to Dead, so why don't they? Besides, the Globes finally nominated Breaking Bad for best drama this year, breaking their streak of years of Walt White snubs. They're hoeplessly besotted with Homeland and Downton Abbey, like everyone else. So, the ahead-of-the-curve ship has definitely sailed.
5. The shows are too gory for Globe voters. Yeah, well, there's that.
6. The Globes are more of a party than an awards ceremony. The cocktail party atmosphere, complete with free-flowing booze and a mix of TV and movie stars, makes the Globes unique among awards shows. In fact, the HFPA has been accused for decades of choosing nominees who will make for a more glittering guest list of boldface names than a credible roster of merit-worthy artists. And who would you rather invite to your party, Dead's Andrew Lincoln (who?) or Mad Men's Jon Hamm? And aside from Dinklage, there are no big names in the Thrones cast. (
Insert joke here. No, don't go there.) Now, mind you, there's no evidence that the HFPA voters were thinking this way, but it wouldn't be the first time Globe voters seem to have given more thought to the red carpet than to what follows.
7. There was an embarrassment of riches this year, dramatically speaking. There were a lot of great dramas this year, so many that even Mad Men failed to make the cut. So did perennial faves The Good Wife and Damages. So did Sons of Anarchy, whose long history of Emmy and Globe snubs is worse than anything Dead and Thrones fans have had to endure. Yes, watching either of these genre shows trains you to look for connections and conspiracies, but that doesn't mean there's malice afoot this time around.
Why do you suppose Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead were shut out of the Golden Globe nominations? Weigh in below in the comments.