In 1956, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association began recognizing television shows alongside some of the best films of the year at the Golden Globe awards, which had been launched just over a decade prior. Once comprised of a coterie of journalists writing for international publications, the Hollywood Foreign Press began looking a whole lot more fabulous when the Golden Globes ceremony—with the assistance of Ms. or Mr. Golden Globe, a Hollywood scion selected each year to present the awards—took off as one of the most watched awards shows around. The HFPA is now made up of actors, directors, writers, and producers, and up to five new journalists are added to the mix each year.
These days, the ceremony awards 11 different TV categories, and it’s one of the best, most unique parts about watching the Golden Globes, which has succeeded partly because it presents itself as a sort of anti-Oscars. Each year, it seems like every other attendee is soused—unlike the Academy Awards, where everyone sits anxiously, food and alcohol are served at tables—and there will be at least two or three rambling, loosely coherent, off-the-cuff acceptance speeches (Jodie Foster’s “coming out,” Jacqueline Bisset’s censored speech, Emma Thompson drunkenly tossing her shoes away on stage, or even Elisabeth Moss cheekily flipping off the mani cam on the red carpet all come to mind). Meanwhile, we can sit at home, also tipsy, and watch our favorite TV actors hobnob with Hollywood movie stars during the commercial breaks. These days, of course, they are the same stars—some movie stars parachute into TV for a limited engagement (Matthew McConaughey) while others have crossed over in the other direction, from TV to movie stardom (Chris Pratt).
The other thing that separates the HFPA is its progressive approach to TV. While it runs fairly close to the Oscars in terms of the film categories, it has consistently rewarded the most deserving series, actors and writers in TV, in a way that feels delightfully surprising. While the Emmys tend to snub even the most beloved shows, the Globes tends to reflect the tastes of both the viewers and the critics alike, which, when graded on the curve of awards shows, makes it an outlier.
Miss Golden Globe: 5 Favorites from the W Magazine Archives
Dakota Johnson was Miss Golden Globe in 2006, and most recently starred in “50 Shades of Grey.”
Photograph by Sam Taylor-Johnson.
Laura Dern was Miss Golden Globe in 1982 and has most recently starred in the television show, “F Is For Family.”
“Fashion Party” photographed by Juergen Teller, styled by Camilla Nickerson; W magazine October 2007.
Read about what Corinne Foxx, this year’s Miss Golden Globe, is up to here.
Rumer Willis was Miss Golden Globe in 2009, and most recently won “Dancing With the Stars” and performed in “Chicago.” Photo by Boneau/Bryan-Brown.
Francesca Eastwood was Miss Golden Globe in 2013, and most recently starred in “Heroes Reborn.”
Photo by Photography by Caitlin Cronenberg.
The Globes are also predisposed to honoring new shows in their infancy, and often ones that are a little unsung but with a cult following. In recent Globes history, two leading ladies of The CW—a network previously known for sentimental dramas like Gossip Girl and Smallville, rather than the whip-smart comedy you’ll find there today—unexpectedly prevailed and even delivered two of the most inspiring acceptance speeches at the Globes. In 2015, Gina Rodriguez won for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Series for her performance in the first season of Jane the Virgin, and Rachel Bloom won the same award the following year for her dazzling performance in the musical comedy, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which was also in its first season and bore ratings that were not as high as the likes of Veep. Is it a better comedy than Veep, and was Bloom’s performance better than that of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, her illustrious fellow nominee? No and no, but we were surprised and a little thrilled by Bloom’s win, and it brought a lot of attention to a show that deserved it. And really, should we have been shocked when the Globes have consistently celebrated shows that have an ardent, if narrow, following?
In 2002, Six Feet Under took home the Golden Globe for Best Drama TV Series in its first season. The newcomer was up against heavyweights The West Wing and The Sopranos, but the HFPA saw the quality of the underdog contender, and Six Feet Under only got better after. (The show’s cast would continue to get snubbed repeatedly by the Emmys, naturally.) Before it was lauded as The Best Show of Our Time, Mad Men took home the Golden Globe for Best Drama Series in each of its first three seasons. Elisabeth Moss won her Golden Globe in 2014 for her riveting performance in Top of the Lake. Gael Garcia Bernal and Mozart in the Jungle won awards last year, and Transparent took home two Globes the year before, lifting up the streaming services early on as a platform to be taken seriously. And look where we are now.
This year, Sarah Paulson (who’s never won a Golden Globe, can you believe it?) will most likely take home an award for The People v. O.J. Simpson, and it would be an affront if both Donald Glover and Atlanta didn’t get their due respect. It would be monumental if either Issa Rae or Tracee Ellis-Ross take home the Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy, since the last time a black woman won in that TV category was in 1983, when Debbie Allen won a Golden Globe for her performance in Fame. And even though Game of Thrones is highly regarded by many, it’s been around for six full seasons at this point, so don’t be surprised if a newcomer you figured was on the back burner takes home the Globe for Best Drama Series (looking at you, Stranger Things). The spectator sport isn’t only what’s happening at those tables when the wine flows; there’s unexpected delight in those envelopes, too.
The 45 Best Golden Globes Dresses of All Time
Julia Roberts wears a grey suit and tie to attend the 1990 Golden Globe Awards held in Beverly Hills, California.
Winona Ryder wears a plunging black dress as she attends the 1991 Golden Globe Awards with Johnny Depp in Beverly Hills, California..
Michelle Pfeiffer wears a black halter neck dress as she attends the 1992 Golden Globe Awards with Fisher Stevens in Beverly Hills, California.
Helen Hunt wears a lace gown to the 1994 Golden Globe Awards held in Beverly Hills, California.
Sharon Stone wears a silk dress to the 1995 Golden Globe Awards help in Beverly Hills, California.
Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Pitt attend the Golden Globe Awards, 1996.
Angelina Jolie arrives at the 1999 Golden Globe Awards.
Cameron Diaz arrives at the 1999 Golden Globe Awards.
Calista Flockhart during 57th Annual Golden Globe Awards, 2000.
Halle Berry arrives at the 2000 Golden Globe Awards held in Beverly Hills, California.
Sarah Jessica Parker at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, 2001.
Kate Hudson arrives for the Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, 2002.
A year later, and stunning as ever, Kate Hudson arrives at The 60th Annual Golden Globe Awards, 2003.
Uma Thurman at the 2003 Golden Globe Awards.
Charlize Theron attending the 2004 Golden Globe Awards.
Sarah Jessica Parker attends the 2004 Golden Globe Awards held in Beverly Hills, California.
Cate Blanchett in Jean Paul Gaultier attends the Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California.
Renee Zellweger in Carolina Herrera attends the Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California.
Scarlett Johansson attends the 2006 Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California.
Reese Witherspoon in Nina Ricci attends the Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California.
Sienna Miller in Marchesa attends the Golden Globe Awards.
Eva Mendes in Dior with vintage Van Cleef & Arpels necklace attends the Golden Globe Awards
Megan Fox arrives at The Golden Globe Awards, 2009, wearing Ralph Lauren.
Actress Cameron Diaz in Alexander McQueen at the 2010 Golden Globe Awards.
Nicole Kidman wearing Nina Ricci on the red carpet at the 2010 Golden Globe Awards.
Mila Kunis in Vera Wang attends the 2011 Golden Globe Awards.
Anne Hathaway in Armani Prive attends the 2011 Golden Globe Awards.
Emma Stone in Calvin Klein Collection attends the 2011 Golden Globe Awards.
Natalie Portman, at the 2011 Golden Globe Awards, wearing Viktor & Rolf.
Angelina Jolie wearing Versace at the 2012 Golden Globe awards.
Watch video interviews with the 2017 Golden Globes nominees here: