Here Are Our Picks For Who Will Win, And (More Importantly) Who Should Win The Major Golden Globes' Television Awards This Year:
Best Actor DramaBryan Cranston, Breaking BadMichael Sheen, Masters of SexKevin Spacey, House of CardsJames Spader, The BlacklistLiev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Will Win: Bryan CranstonShould Win: Bryan CranstonBryan Cranston punctuated his run on Breaking Bad with an astounding mix of vulnerability and ferocity, and more than deserves the Globe for his final ten performances as Walter White. It would almost be a sin to give the award to anyone else this year.
Best Actress DramaJulianne Margulies, The Good WifeKerry Washington, ScandalTatiana Maslany, Orphan BlackRobin Wright, House of CardsTaylor Schilling, Orange Is the New Black
Will Win: Julianna MarguliesShould Win: Tatiana MaslanyIf the Golden Globes were purely a numbers game, then Tatinana Maslany would win the Globe without contest for playing multiple of clones on Orphan Black, but what's really special about her performance is the craft and care she put into each character as she imbues each clone with different characteristics, accents and mannerisms that almost magically make them feel like separate characters.
Best Actor ComedyJason Bateman, Arrested DevelopmentDon Cheadle, House of LiesMichael J. Fox, The Michael J. Fox ShowJim Parsons, The Big Bang TheoryAndy Samberg, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Will Win: Jim ParsonsShould Win: Jason BatemnanBateman has long played the straight man in his family of dysfunctional nit-wits on Arrested Development, and when Netflix revived the series for a long-awaited fourth season, the actor deftly slipped into this role again with ease. It's unfortunate, then, that The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons will probably come away with the award.
Best Actress ComedyZooey Deschanel, New Girl Lena Dunham, Girls Julia Louis-Dreyfus, VeepAmy Poehler, Parks and Recreation Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Will Win: Lena DunhamShould Win: Amy PoehlerLena Dunham is fantastic as the dippy and dream seeking Brooklynite Hannah Horvath, but Amy Pohler's Leslie Knope is even better as the sheer force of joy that lies at the center of the hilarious Parks and Recreation. Plus, the fact that Amy has never won the award which should be considered a war crime.
Best Supporting ActressHayden Panetierre, NashvilleJacqueline Bisset, Dancing on the EdgeJanet McTeer, White QueenMonica Potter, ParenthoodSofia Vergara, Modern Family
Will Win: Sofia VergaraShould Win: Monica PotterParenthood, NBC's little drama that could, has long deserved some attention from the award's circuit, but last season saw the show take on the topic of breast cancer with an incredible amount of weight and sincerity. It would be unforgivable not to award the show some recognition, and Monica Potter's Kristina Braverman carried the aformentioned storyline with grace and soul-shattering pathos.
Best Mini-Series or TV MovieAmerican Horror Story: CovenBehind the CandelabraDancing on the EdgeTop of LakeWhite Queen
Will Win: Behind the CandelabraShould Win: Top of the LakeTop of the Lake took the small town murder mystery in strange and darkly beautiful directions, and should take home the golden trophy, but Behind the Candelabra is certainly the more high profile nominee, and will probably take home the prize.
Best Comedy SeriesThe Big Bang TheoryModern FamilyGirlsBrooklyn Nine-NineParks and Recreation
Will Win: Parks and RecreationShould Win: Parks and RecreationThe prospect for a sixth season of Parks and Recreation are looking grimmer than ever, so if there were ever a time to award the drama, now is definitely it. We're thinking the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will be feeling a little guilty for overlooking this wonderful comedy series for all these years. It doesn't hurt that Parks and Rec is the funniest, and most consistent comedy on the list.
Best DramaBreaking BadDownton AbbeyHouse CardsMasters of SexThe Good Wife
Will Win: Breaking BadShould Win: Breaking BadBreaking Bad ended its fifth season with a swaggering confidence, and delivered one of the most exciting and sure-footed finales in recent television history. It will win this category with ease, and duly deserves the honor without question.
On the screen (big or small), the airwaves, and in the bookstore, we were captivated by new talent in 2012. From fresh faces with fresh voices, like Lena Dunham and Rebel Wilson, to veterans who were really given the chance to shine this year, like Channing Tatum and Jonathan Banks, here are the 20 stars that grabbed hold of our attention in 2012 — and we hope won't let go any time soon.
TV's Breakout Stars
She may be a polarizing figure, but even naysayers can’t deny that this was the year of Lena Dunham. The writer/director/producer/author/actress barreled right into the upper echelon of entertainers with her stripped down, brutally honest HBO series Girls and rolled right into a $3.6 million dollar book deal. And all this at the age of 26. As her Girls character Hannah Horvath mumbles while high on opium tea: Dunham’s not necessarily the voice of her generation, but she’s certainly a voice of a generation. Plus, Louis C.K. agrees that what she’s doing is “important,” and he’s pretty tough to argue with.
In just one season, Max Greenfield's wonderfully douchey character Schmidt joined the ranks of classic singularly named sitcom sidekicks like Kramer and Fez. Greenfield's nuanced performance as the (actually quite insecure deep down inside) Schmidt helped make New Girl into one of the best comedies on television, and forever changed the way we said "chutney."
After years of toiling away behind a desk on The Office, Mindy Kaling is finally front and center in her Fox comedy The Mindy Project. Don't let the crappy name fool you, the comedy about a ditzy doctor looking for love in a crazy office is more original and off-kilter than it would suggest.
It would be impossible to sing the praises of the brilliant Season 5 of Mad Men without singing the praises of the sexy, talented woman who sang 2012's most unexpected viral sensation: "Zou Bisou Bisou." Whether you loved or hated Paré's Megan, her impact on the show this season was undeniable.
Every girl needs a guy to drool over, right? For Mindy Kaling, it's the somewhat jerky macho man played by Chris Messina on The Mindy Project. With character turns in Argo, Celeste and Jesse Forever, and recurring spots on Damages and (ugh) The Newsroom, this dreamboat hasn't had any time to rest.
As war hero turned terrorist turned (maybe?) CIA ally Sergeant Nicolas Brody on Showtime's acclaimed series Homeland, Damian Lewis kept us on the edge of our seats Sunday after Sunday. Despite Claire Danes' quivering chin's attempt to steal every scene, Lewis' Brody acted as the show's emotional heart. In 2012, Lewis took home the Best Actor in a Drama Series Emmy he so deserved.
When an actor has been in the game as long as Jonathan Banks has, making a career on dozens of supporting and guest roles, it’d take a superhuman performance to launch him to the forefront of the pop culture conversation. After two years as Breaking Bad’s no-nonsense backup player Mike Ehrmantraut, Banks earned colossal notoriety with his turn in the AMC series’ fifth season. Mike, always a well liked character, became the show’s central pull when Banks instilled in him the strength, frustration, and pain that award-caliber performances are made of. His rise and fall as a prominent player in the business dealings of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman and in his own relationship with his beloved granddaughter exhibited everything the crime drama mainstay Banks had at his disposal, about which we might never have known. Thankfully, Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan gave this once nameless character the spotlight this year, placing in Banks' capable hands the show’s pulsing humanity.
Up Next: The Biggest Breakouts on the Silver ScreenMovies' Biggest Breakouts
It always sparks chatter when a newcomer to the acting game gives a breathtaking performance — but Quvenzhane Wallis is the extreme. A five-year-old first-time actor at the time of her role in the magnificent tearjerker Beasts of the Southern Wild, Wallis doesn’t just take your breath away, she lays claim to your entire respiratory system. No performance in all of 2012 was bigger than young Wallis’. Despise her age, she managed to not only to keep up with director Benh Zeitlin’s Earth-shattering parable for the tragedies of Hurricane Katrina, but she launched the story to otherworldly levels of emotional resonance. Wallis’ role in the feature has attracted her to great auteur Steven McQueen, which means that she’ll be enjoying a long, steady career of quality projects as long as she might wish to.
Considering readers’ devotion to Stephen Chbosky’s classic, life-affirming novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the celebration of the book’s big screen adaptation is all the more impressive. One of the most important elements in the construction of such a perfect adaptation is the casting, one of the many areas in which writer/director Chbosky triumphed: Logan Lerman was a terrific Charlie and Emma Watson a stellar Sam. But standing out among them was Ezra Miller, who brought so much life and humor, so much pain and turmoil into the character of Patrick that you’ll forget you ever imagined him in another light. Earlier in the year, Miller dazzled and horrified as the tormented teenage star of We Need to Talk About Kevin, inspiring shivers and tears with his incarnation of the dark, disturbed main character driven to horrible violence. As such, we can call Miller’s range boundless.
It’s no small feat to steal the spotlight from comedy bigwigs like Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, especially when you only have a few short lines in the entire movie – but that’s exactly what Rebel Wilson did in Bridesmaids. This hilarious Aussie comedian became a household name after that, going on to star in another raunchy wedding-themed film Bachelorette, and becoming the first person cast in the collegiate a capella comedy Pitch Perfect.
DeHaan looks like a young Leonardo DiCaprio — meaning he would have been fine taking easy parts that capitalized on his good looks. Luckily, in 2012 the actor did so much more than that, parlaying his time on In Treatment into a string of roles in risky works like Chronicle, Lawless, and Lincoln. 2013 is also looking bright, with The Place Beyond the Pines, a sprawling family drama that debuted to raves at this year's Toronto Film Festival, arriving in the Spring, and Sundance 2013 premiere Kill Your Darlings, which DeHaan costars in alongside Daniel Radcliffe. Oh, and he just landed a juicy part in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, in case all that heavy material was starting to scare you.
“An hour [to sum up] the year? Am I supposed to just scratch the surface of Channing Tatum's meteoric rise?" We feel your pain, Liz Lemon. There's no way this entry would do justice to the year Tatum had, what with his People's Sexiest Man Alive title and eclectic, surprising performances on the big screen (Magic Mike, 21 Jump Street, The Vow). It's his world now, we're all just just happily living in it.
After his impressive turn in the 2010 sci-fi indie film Monsters, it was only a matter of time before Hollywood picked up on McNairy and wrangled him for bigger features. Going quiet for more than a year, McNairy dominated the Fall award season with eclectic roles in Argo, Killing Them Softly, and Promised Land. The actor held his own against big names like Ben Affleck and Brad Pitt, a nearly impossible task made easy by McNairy's ability to slip into any shoes, from criminal junkie to farmhand to Iranian embassy worker.
Up Next: Music and MoreThe Biggest Breakouts of Music, Sports, and Literature
Though he may now be the world’s most famous “Sex Idiot” per 30 Rock, Ryan Lochte broke out in 2012 thanks to his skills in the pool. At least initially. After winning five medals in London during the Summer Olympics, Lochte’s fame grew thanks to his go-to exclamation ("Jeah!"), his economy of words (“I like swimming because racing”), and of course, that grill. Oh, and he’s pretty hot too.
Despite his extensive health problems (which plagued him through his run on American Idol), Phillips has managed to carve out a nice little fan base with his ubiquitous hit “Home.” After winning the Fox singing competition, Phillips recorded his first and only Mumford and Sons-ish single, sending it straight to NBC as the theme of this year’s Summer Olympics in London. Now, the familiar trotting and cooing of Phillips’ musical equivalent of comfort food can be heard just about everywhere. If only that album of his would come our way a little faster!
If you turned on the radio at some point this year, you know who Ed Sheeran is. This English singer-songwriter is best known for his hit, “The A Team,” and for co-writing “Little Things,” “Over Again,” and “Moments” for super group boy band One Direction. He also played at the Olympics' closing ceremony and co-wrote (and is heard on) Taylor Swift’s track “Everything Has Changed.”
This year, Ocean broke out of his role as a ghost writer for big acts like Justin Bieber and John Legend and released one of the most beloved albums of 2012, Channel Orange, which features singles like “Pyramids” and “Sweet Life” characterized by subdued rhythms, experimental elements, and haunting melodies that music-lovers quickly embraced. But it wasn’t simply his talent and flair for innovation that shined in 2012, it was his bravery. Ocean became one of the first openly gay hip-hop artists in mainstream music, and was quickly embraced for his openness in a world often characterized as homophobic.
With six novels and a prestigious journalism career under his belt, Jess Walter is in no way a newcomer. However, his extraordinary novel Beautiful Ruins not only snagged a spot on the New York Times's 100 Notable Books of 2012, but also made him a household name. Walter's sweeping tale of love, which spans five decades and takes us from the Italian countryside in the 1960s to Hollywood pitch meetings in the present day, is the kind of story that stays with you. Walter is similarly a talent who is sure to weather the ages.
Gillian Flynn's first two novels (Sharp Objects and Dark Places) earned critical acclaim and book awards buzz, but no book made more of a splash this year than Flynn's tightly written thriller Gone Girl. The eye-catching black and neon cover was a subway staple, and book clubs all over the country discussed the novel's big twist at length. Now, Flynn is in talks to adapt her suspenseful tale of betrayal and murder to the big screen, ensuring we'll see much more of her, as well as her unforgettable characters, Nick and Amy, in the years to come.
E. L. James
After the year she's had, E. L. James hardly needs an introduction. In 2012, James transformed from a British housewife writing Twilight fan fiction in her spare time to the year's best-selling author (for her erotic Fifty Shades trilogy). She was named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World, and one of Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People. Not too shabby.
[Photo Credit: WENN (2); INF Photo]
Staff Picks: The 15 Best TV Shows of 2012 (And the 5 Worst)
Play it Again: The 12 Best Albums of 2012
The 20 Best Movies of 2012 (and the 5 Worst)
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Lena Dunham is a bit of a conundrum. Just when it seems she's a normal, ridiculously successful 26-year-old who just happens to be absurdly honest, we find her eating cake, naked, in a bathroom stall at the Emmys. Of course, between stunts like that and her often controversial HBO series Girls, it's no wonder Dunham is a magnet for assumptions, criticisms, and downright harsh words. And though she has a steady Twitter presence, the young actress/writer/director stays out of the critical fray for the most part. And that is why, when she sat down to discuss all things Lena during an event at the New Yorker Festival in Manhattan, the audience waited with bated breath for her bare, honest answers to questions we've all asked ourselves since we saw our first episode of Girls. And for fans of the often pants-less filmmaker and showrunner, the afternoon was one full of delight, delivering a host of reasons to love Dunham even more (13 reasons, to be exact). 1. Louis C.K. Seems to Think She's Pretty GreatDunham met the comedian's comedian, who she described as having "a f**k-this-scene vibe," at this year's Emmys, where they were both nominated for their fringe comedies. Gushing over the funnyman the way most 15-year-olds might gush over meeting a moppy-haired One Direction singer, Dunham described her guru-esque meeting with Louie. During a commercial break, he walked over to her, gave her a hug and told her, "What you're doing is important." This moment is not only moving (Dunham has played it over and over again a million times in her head), but it's just about the most perfect interaction between two people whose work on television occupies a similar, mass-audience-confounding plane. 2. She goes to Justin Bieber concerts. Seriously. She even shared her knowledge of how much he praises his fans in between songs as proof. Stars: they're just like us! 3. She's Not Going to Stop Going Without Pants, So Please Stop Talking About ItDunham wore a silky tunic in late September that seemed to grab her lots of attention. The girl who's frequently naked on television (and in movies) apparently sent waves through the fashion world when she decided to show off her legs, but it seems her only crime is not having the thighs of a model. "I don't think a girl with tiny thighs would get so much no-pants attention," she said to thunderous applause. And as if we weren't already eating out of her hand like a flock of baby birds, Dunham added the rebellious (and let's face it, probably true) kicker: "Get used to it, because I'm going to live to be 105 and I'm going to show my thighs every day until I die." 4. Her Favorite Spice Girl is Sporty Spice.She likes her "casual style," okay? 5. She's No Mean GirlWhen confronted with the issue of the deficiency of women showrunners on television and the fact that she seems to be fans of or friends with many of the more prominent lady showrunners, Dunham said she has one rule to live by: "This isn't easy. There aren't enough of us. We should be taking care of each other." That's girl power if there ever was any. 6. She's Writing a Self Help Book Because People Who Write Self Help Books Fascinate Her"I love self help," she says. And without really explaining what her own book will be about, she adds her reasoning for the obsession. She's mystified by "the idea that you could master the most mysterious emotion" (and by that she means love) and then start telling others how to handle it. 7. Hannah Isn't Going to Become the TV LenaWhile Hannah Horvath is clearly derived from Dunham's real life, the writer swears she isn't just telling her own life story on TV. "I don't think Hannah wants the life I have," she says. In fact, "we" don't even know if Hannah has the capability to be an artist on that level. "Maybe that's the big Lost-style mystery [of Girls]," says Dunham. 8. She Apparently Has a Crush on Donald Glover Too, LadiesThe Community star, who also raps under the stage name Childish Gambino, will guest on Season 2 of Girls, and has apparently stolen Dunham's heart. "He's just so adorable," she giggles. She saved his character for late in Season 2 because Hannah has a "specific" romantic issue at the start of the season and Dunham "didn't want to share him with anyone." 9. She Doesn't Get in Twitter Fights, But She's Got a Bone to Pick With Those of You Who Think She's "Racist" or "Privileged"When Girls first aired on HBO, and in the weeks preceding its premiere, Dunham became the subject of a hailstorm of criticism claiming her early success was simply a product of nepotism (her parents are famous artists) and that her show's depiction of 20-something life in New York was exclusionary and therefore racist. Dunham says "it's not a cool move" to respond to that on Twitter, despite the defense she has at the ready courtesy of numerous summer jobs she's held since the age of 12 to earn her keep at home (not to mention the fact that she's not taking their gallery world by storm) and the fact that she never intended for Girls to be the end-all, beat-all record of 20-somethings living in Brooklyn. Still, "That is a real criticism," says Dunham, comparing the diversity issue to the nepotism claim. "If I in any way accidentally made that promise [to represent all New York 20-somethings], mea culpa," she says. Of course, she's never one to end a topic on a somber note, so she made sure to top off the whole discussion with one major complaint for her attackers: "Isn't it enough that I'm kind of fat and naked on TV?" This is where you say "Touche," guys. 10. The Girl Sticks to Her Guns, Even When That Doesn't Always Win Her Brownie PointsWhen a former writer for Girls to took to Twitter to defend the show for its supposed racism, she actually offended people all over again, causing her to delete the tweets and later apologize. Many people called for Dunham to apologize on behalf of the writer, and worse, fire her. But not only was Dunham "not interested in public firings," the woman didn't even work on Girls at that time. "I won't issue a public statement to apologize for someone's defense of work they didn't create ... For me to add fuel to that fire could add weeks to the conversation," she says. 11. She Doesn't Take S**t From Anyone. And She's Serious About ItDespite her youth, Dunham says the one thing she's learned while working on Girls is that she needs to trust herself. Often (and likely because she's so young) she gets criticism and notes from all directions, but she says she knows she's got the authority and the vision to do things her way, or as she remarked with so much inoffensive snark, she encountered this issue with an actress on the show and thought, "I don't need to be open to the whims of someone who hasn't eaten in four and a half weeks." I'd say she's sassy, but Dunham whipped out that commentary with such complete sincerity, it'd be a disservice to bring it down to the level of a Honey Boo Boo head wag. 12. She Actually Loves the Character of Adam, And No, Guy-She-Made-Out-With-Once-In-College, That Character is Not Based on YouIt's no secret that Dunham pulls much of her material for Girls from her own life, especially for Hannah's friendship with Marni (Alison Williams), which is based on Dunham's relationship with her best friend. But guess what? The guys come from real life too. Even Adam. But apparently everyone she's ever flirted with seems to think her male characters are derived from themselves. "It's amazing how many guys want to take credit for the dicks I write about," she laughs. Of course, while many of us might put Hannah's boyfriend (or something) Adam on that list, Dunham insists he's no villain. "There's a lot of love in that character. I adore that character," she says. And while it may be hard for many of us to get past Adam's strange dirty talk about Hannah being a young girl, Dunham's defense begs a closer reading of a character many of us simply wrote off. 12b. One Of Those Male Characters Will Pull His Experience from Judd ApatowThe episode hasn't aired yet, but Dunham says she'll use an instance from Apatow's past: He told a girl he loved her and she snapped back with "See, it's always about you!" It's okay, Judd. Your life clearly turned out okay. 13. There's Good Reason Behind The Plentiful Sex Scenes In Her WorkFor starters, she's always been that way. "I've been writing about sex since the first second I learned was sex was," she says. But it wasn't just some perverted or carnal fascination with the horizontal mambo, she says she saw a hole in the cinematic depiction of sex. "The missing link for me was the presence of bodies I understood," says Dunham. And being that she's been singled out for her very un-Hollywood body, that makes sense. She says she grew tired of films that seemed to be so aware of the presence of the audience when filming sex scenes, citing the example of Reese Witherspoon waking up after a one-night-stand in a James L. Brooks movie wearing a cute little nighty. She says she thought, "I can't handle you Hollywood." And anyone who's seen her sex scenes on Girls knows she's doing everything she can to combat that picture-perfect movie sex none of us will ever have. If you're not a Lena Dunham fangirl (or fanboy) by now, you probably never will be. Just don't tweet your distaste at her and expect an answer. Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler [Photo Credit: HBO, Instagram] More: Lena Dunham is Writing a Book: Vying to Be the 'Voice of a Generation' 13 Amazon Reviews Reveal That J.K. Rowling's New Book Is Tearing Us Apart The Inelegant Emmys