During this make-or-break year for the Golden Globes — with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association returning from exile after weathering a number of scandals of its own making — the ceremony actually managed to be fun, with host Jerrod Carmichael dragging the HFPA to hell and back in his opening monologue.

As for the awards themselves, the HFPA appeared to play it pretty safely on Tuesday night. For award after award, logic prevailed: Colin Farrell won for “The Banshees of Inisherin,” Jennifer Coolidge won for “The White Lotus,” Steven Spielberg won best director — and Cate Blanchett won for “Tár,” though she wasn’t even there to collect the award. Gone are the days, perhaps forever, when an Aaron Taylor-Johnson (for his role in “Nocturnal Animals”) might win over future Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali (for “Moonlight”). (Are we a bit sad about the prospect of a no-batshit Globes going forward? Yes. Yes, we are.)

The clear highlights of the night were Carmichael’s fearless hosting and stunning outfits, and Jennifer Coolidge’s tearful, hilarious and heartfelt speech.

Among the winners, some well-earned honors were handed out, with Michelle Yeoh, Angela Bassett, Ke Huy Quan and Zendaya taking home much-deserved awards. And yet there were some surprise winners as well — and some unexpected omissions! Which we delve into below. (For the full list of winners, click here.)

“The Fabelmans” wins best movie drama

On Monday, Variety’s esteemed awards editor Clayton Davis predicted that Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” would win best drama, which seemed surprising! So we asked him about it, and he explained that the conventional wisdom was that Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans” was the small favorite to win here, but he saw “Elvis” as a “Bohemian Rhapsody”-style surprise win, with the HFPA going for gaudy musical spectacle over gentle family drama. 

Beyond Clayton trying to read the HFPA tea leaves, “Top Gun: Maverick,” the theatrical hero of the year, has been an industry favorite all awards season. But star and producer Tom Cruise helped push the Globes to the brink of oblivion when he returned his three trophies in 2021, and Cruise declined to attend the ceremony. Carmichael even used a comedy bit about those trophies to make a shocking joke about Scientology figure Shelly Miscavige.

And so, having already won for director, Spielberg’s winning night continued — and the HFPA has perhaps put “The Fabelmans” back in the Academy Awards race!

Bob Odenkirk missed his final chance to win a Globe for “Better Call Saul”

Best actor in a TV drama was originally scheduled to be one of the first awards of the evening, but instead it was pushed to be the final acting award of the night, which meant five-time Globe nominee Bob Odenkirk had to wait that much longer to finally be recognized for his all-timer performance in AMC’s “Better Call Saul.” And then he lost to “Yellowstone” star Kevin Costner, who wasn’t even there to accept! As presenter Regina Hall said (through laughter) about Costner, “Because of the unprecedented weather and flooding, he has to shelter in place in Santa Barbara.” Meanwhile, Odenkirk survived a massive heart attack! What more must he do for you? Are you not entertained?!

“House of the Dragon” wins in the tightly contested TV drama category

Two of the HFPA’s nominees — HBO’s “House of the Dragon” and Apple TV+’s “Severance”— are freshman shows that launched to widespread acclaim, and the Globes looove to award buzzy rookies (“The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Mr. Robot,” “The Affair”). Two other nominees — AMC’s ”Better Call Saul” and Netflix’s “Ozark” — ended their runs this year with some of their strongest and most celebrated episodes; similar circumstances led to “The Americans” winning in this category for its final season. And the fifth nominee, Netflix’s “The Crown,” has been nominated for all five of its seasons so far, and won twice.

All of which is to say that any of these shows could have won here and it would have felt like a surprise, but “House of the Dragon’s” win felt especially unexpected given that its predecessor, “Game of Thrones,” was nominated five times in this category and never won. Executive producer Miguel Sapochnik — who’s actually departed since Season 1, and left showrunning duties to Ryan Condal, who wasn’t even in attendance — was so certain the show wouldn’t win that he’d already taken off his tie for the evening. Not a crazy shock, but still, huh!

Quinta Brunson wins for TV comedy actress, and “Abbott Elementary” wins for TV comedy

Last year, “Hacks” and star Jean Smart won the Golden Globes for best TV musical or comedy and actress in a TV musical or comedy in a non-televised ceremony, but of course, the show’s creators nor Smart were not around to accept it. One may have expected the Hollywood Foreign Press to give the Globe to “Hacks” and Smart again so they’d get their moments at the podium, but first-time nominee Quinta Brunson was waiting in the wings for her first win for playing elementary school teacher Janine Teagues in “Abbott Elementary,” which she, of course, also created. She’s only the fourth — the fourth! — Black woman to win in this category, after Tracee Ellis Ross (for “Black-ish,” in 2015), Debbie Allen (for “Fame,” in 1982) and Diahann Carroll (for “Julia,” in 1968).

Brunson was back on stage again when “Abbott” won for TV comedy, which also beat out buzzy shows “Wednesday,” “The Bear,” and “Only Murders in the Building.” A rare triumph for network TV.

Jeremy Allen White wins for TV comedy actor 

When FX dropped all eight episodes of “The Bear” on Hulu on June 23, less than a month after the Emmys’ May 31 deadline, pundits wondered whether the network had underestimated how much audiences would become obsessed with this show, in which Jeremy Allen White plays Carmy, a high-end chef who returns to Chicago to take over his late brother’s restaurant. 

And maybe they did! But it doesn’t matter now, because White’s win underlines that “The Bear” is a major awards contender from here on out, no matter when the show premiered.

Julia Garner wasn’t done winning for “Ozark” yet!

Ruth Langmore might not have made it out of “Ozark” alive, but Julia Garner sure did! In the supporting actress in a drama or comedy category, in which the consensus picks were either Elizabeth Debicki for her portrayal of Princess Diana on “The Crown” or Sheryl Lee Ralph of “Abbott Elementary” (who already won the Emmy for this role), Garner’s win here was genuinely unexpected. Though she’d dominated the drama supporting actress Emmy — yes, she won three times — she’d been nominated by the HFPA only once before (and lost). The massively popular “Ozark” came to an end last year, and Garner’s win showed we shouldn’t have counted it out. Whatever the reason, we all got it wrong, proving, as Ruth might have said, we “don’t know shit about fuck.”

Tyler James Williams wins TV supporting actor in a comedy or drama

First of all, hell yes! What a lovely surprise. The “Abbott Elementary” star — who plays former substitute, now full-time, teacher Gregory Eddie — won in a category that in recent years has nearly always gone to actors in a drama. (The consensus pick among pundits this year was John Turturro for his role on Apple TV+’s twisty “Severance.”) 

In fact, the last time a male actor won for a comedy was for the 2010 Golden Globes, when Chris Colfer won for “Glee.” Williams delivered a lovely speech, saying of his character Gregory that he hopes that the story of a Philadelphia public school teacher is seen as “just as important as all of the other stories” out there. Also that Williams, who starred in “Everybody Hates Chris,” was the second ex-child actor of the night to win — the first being Ke Huy Quan of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” — made this surprise extra delightful.

“Argentina, 1985” wins non-English language film over “RRR,” “All Quiet on the Western Front” and “Decision to Leave” 

On a night that was otherwise mostly conventional, the Hollywood Foreign Press zigged hard with the film it awarded in this category. Instead of global sensation “RRR” (which did win for original song), or critics’ darling “Decision to Leave,” or the stunning war epic “All Quiet on the Western Front,” the HFPA went with “Argentina, 1985,” a slow burn courtroom drama about the trial of Argentina’s civil-military dictatorship from 1976 to 1983. And then the telecast rudely played music over producer and star Ricardo Darín as he tried to speak to the people of Argentina. A moment of old school Globes chaos!

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