The Golden Globes: Best Actress - Musical or Comedy
Starting things off is the Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy category.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine
A great comic actress in solid, but unspectacular material. (Heck, I've loved her since the truly unspectacular Day by Day.) Louis-Dreyfus won the Emmy for this role, which ups her Globe chances considerably. She would, however, be a conservative choice for the savvy Foreign Press Association. Besides, she already has a Golden Globe, a bunch of SAG Awards and her father is some weird French billionaire. Time to spread the wealth.
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds
The reigning champion has returned to defend her title in the role that brought her Gold last year - Weeds' Nancy Botwin. Weeds is hands down my favorite show on television right now, and Mary-Louise Parker is a big part of why. It's all in the eyes with Parker, and when her face crumples, your heart breaks. Her performance on this show is nothing short of amazing. However, I don't think Weeds' second season was as strong as its first. Nancy's life has become more unhinged and less believable as her business spirals into holy hell. We've had more mafioso muscle and gunplay this season than quiet moments, and I think that it was the quiet moments - like Nancy reluctantly slipping off her wedding ring - that won her the Golden Globe.
America Ferrara, Ugly Betty
America Ferrara is the buoyant, revelatory linchpin to the only qualified new hit of the fall season - Ugly Betty. I'm afraid she won't win because she makes it look so damn easy. Ferrara is effortlessly charming in the role of Betty, and no matter how many layers of polyster they bury her under, she still exudes sex appeal. What amazes me, week after week, is how Ferrara manages to swing from slapstick to melodrama without appearing anything but real. This is a hybrid show - part comedy, part telenovela. The only way to keep it from sliding into some schizoid, camp universe is by keeping the show and its characters grounded in emotional truth, and Ferrara does just that.
Felicity Huffman and Marcia Cross, Desperate Housewives
I wouldn't normally stick the nominees together like this. The fairer half of Filliam H. Muffman does tend to be the accolade magnet between the two, but I'm beginning to think that these ladies only get nominated because the awards show organizers know that they'll class up the joint or start a spectacular cat fight. Honestly, there just aren't that many lead comic roles for women on television. There are plenty of supporting roles, but not so many unqualified leads. The cast of Desperate Housewives has essentially replaced the cast of Sex in the City for the Foreign Press Association - meaty comic roles for great actresses playing to an audience of gay men. Cross and Huffman are fabulous, but there just isn't a ton of competition out there. This is the third year in a row the pair has been nominated. Both are consistently good, but neither have won the Golden Globe in the past. There's no reason to think that either will win it on Monday night. They will, however, look smashing while losing.
Who will win: America Ferrara (Honestly, I have no idea. I find the Foreign Press Association to be less predictable than Academy voters, but the pool over at the LA Times is saying America.)
Who should win: America Ferrara