Best TV Series – Drama
[X] Mad Men
By critical assent, this is the classiest quality basic-cable series, and thus a sure shot to win its third consecutive Globe in this category. The dramatic dismantling of the Sterling Cooper ad agency led to an exciting season finale that left viewers lusting with curiosity about next season, another good sign. But what should win? Dexter, which had its best season ever and its finest villain in guest star John Lithgow. A Dexter beset by a canny foe, plus marriage and parenthood? And a shocking season ending? This was superb stuff.
Also nominated: Big Love, Dexter, House, and True Blood
Best TV Series – Comedy or Musical
This was the season’s most innovative show, merging American Idol tunefulness with heightened-drama High School Musical plotting. The level of invention every week was sky-high. Picking Glee as a winner would be a rare instance of a show fitting the Globe category title completely: It’s a comedy and a musical. Ah, but what should win? Modern Family, the year’s best new sitcom. The interlocking tales of three disparate families featured every kind of comedy style — from verbal wit to slapstick — with a great ensemble cast.
Also nominated: 30 Rock, Entourage, Modern Family, The Office
Best Actor – Drama
[X] Hugh Laurie (House)
Laurie had a standout season, with his Gregory House coming back after an intense rehab session: solo anguish that’s catnip to voters. In my should-win dreams, though, Big Love‘s Paxton takes the prize as the harried polygamist with heart and brains.
Also nominated: Simon Baker (The Mentalist), Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), and Bill Paxton (Big Love)
Best Actress – Drama
[X] January Jones (Mad Men)
Jones had a real challenge this year: to portray chilly Betty as a wife, mother, and cheating spouse without becoming unsympathetic. She pulled it off with grace. My should-win pick? Margulies, who lifted The Good Wife into a terrific freshman hit.
Also nominated: Glenn Close (Damages), Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), Anna Paquin (True Blood), and Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer)
Best Actor – Comedy or Musical
[X] Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
Baldwin is peerless at comic ruthlessness in 30 Rock, and his Jack Donaghy is probably America’s most beloved corporate suit. He deserves another Globe. But I’d say Glee‘s Morrison should win instead. As Glee‘s earnest teacher, he’s aces.
Also nominated: Steve Carell (The Office), David Duchovny (Californication), Thomas Jane (Hung), and Matthew Morrison (Glee)
Best Actress ? Comedy or Musical
[X] Courteney Cox (Cougar Town)
Everybody likes a Friend, so Cox’s comic comeback could charm voters into giving her a deserved Globe. She’s found a fine broad-comedy role here. If the stars were aligned properly, Falco’s hard-bitten caregiver in Nurse Jackie would win.
Also nominated: Tony Collette (United States of Tara), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Tina Fey (30 Rock), and Lea Michele (Glee)