The theme of empowerment for women, visible in the sea of black outfits among Golden Globe attendees on Sunday, also played out in the themes, characters and actors honoured by voters in the television category.
The Globes also took on a new role — home of reruns. Seven of the 11 television awards went to actors or programs that were honoured with Emmys four months ago. An eighth winner, Aziz Ansari, won an Emmy in 2016.
HBO’s Big Little Lies led the way with four television Golden Globes, just like the show did at the Emmys. Five Globes went to cable networks, five went to streaming services while NBC earned the lone honour for broadcast television.
The Globes set the tone immediately for its television awards, giving out its first three honours to actresses. All of them talked about Hollywood’s responsibility to tell stories about strong women.
Elisabeth Moss, honoured as best actress in a drama for her role in The Handmaid’s Tale, typified that response. Amazon’s dystopian tale of a society where the few fertile women are put in service of powerful men also won the Globe for best drama. Moss, in her acceptance speech, quoted novelist Margaret Atwood, whose book provides the basis for the series.
“Margaret Atwood, this is for you, and for all of the women who came before you and after you who were brave enough to speak out about tolerance and injustice,” she said.
Nicole Kidman beat out her co-star, Reese Witherspoon, as the winner for best actress in a limited series for Big Little Lies, HBO’s disturbing tale of suburban life in California. Witherspoon, one of the show’s producers, spoke about women who had been silenced by harassment and abuse when Big Little Lies was honoured as best limited series.
“Time is up,” Witherspoon said. “We see you, we hear you and we will tell your stories.”
Kidman plays Celeste Wright, a woman who is beaten by her husband. The actor who portrays her husband, Alexander Skarsgard, also won a Globe for supporting actor. Laura Dern won for supporting actress, and she referenced her role in dealing with an abused child.
“May we teach our children that speaking out without the fear of retribution is our culture’s new North Star,” Dern said.
The Globes have developed a reputation for often championing work before other awards shows or before it is widely known among the public. That’s what made all of Sunday’s repeats so unusual. Besides the awards for Big Little Lies and The Handmaid’s Tale, Sterling K. Brown of NBC’s This is Us was a repeat winner from the Emmys.
Honours given to Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel bucked that trend. Rachel Brosnahan won best comic actress for portraying a 1950s housewife who pursues a career in comedy, and the series won the Globe for best comedy.
One of Hollywood’s quirkiest and most powerful female creators, Amy Sherman-Palladino, is behind the series. She thanked Amazon for its support.
“Every check cleared,” she said. “We couldn’t ask for a better partner.”
Holding the flag for network television, Brown of NBC’s This is Us won best actor in a drama. He said he was grateful to the series’ creator for making a character specifically written for a black man.
“It makes it that much more difficult to dismiss me, or dismiss anybody who looks like me,” Brown said.
Ewan McGregor of Fargo won the best supporting actor award for a limited series. He won a category stocked with heavyweight actors — Robert DeNiro, Jude Law, Geoffrey Rush and Kyle MacLachlan.
Despite his 2016 Emmy, Ansari seemed surprised to pick up the Globe for his role in Netflix’s Master of None — or maybe that’s further evidence that he’s a good actor.
“I genuinely didn’t think I was going to win because all of the web sites said I was going to lose,” he said.