Golden Globes 2017: ‘Outlander,’ ‘Halt and Catch Fire,’ ‘Happy Valley,’ ‘Vikings’ top Drama Series picks

Globes -Can you believe that we’re just about into the next chapter of awards season? It doesn’t feel like the Emmys were that long ago, but today, we’re kicking off our annual Golden Globes Preview Series. We’ll be going through all of the TV categories analyzing the field, and determining both what some of the likely nominees are along with sharing our personal picks in the event we were voting as a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press.

To go along with this, we’ll of course be allowing you to vote for some of your own favorites, as well! You can vote however often you’d like between now and November 30 at 12:00 p.m. Pacific time. We’ll announce all of the reader picks come December 1 at 12:00 p.m. Pacific. Happy voting! Above all, remember that this is a celebration of some of the greatest that TV has to offer. These are meant to be fun and engaging; regardless of if you agree or disagree with our choices, we hope you let us know and enjoy!

For the record, the Globes nomination announcement will come on December 12; the awards show itself airs on NBC January 8 from the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.

Drama Series Picks

Game of Thrones” (HBO) – Out of the ones on our list, easily the biggest slam-dunk. It’s a critical favorite, and it’s coming off of arguably its best season to date. The final two episodes “The Battle of the Bastards” and “The Winds of Winter” were masterpieces in terms of performances, artistry, writing, directing, and almost everything in between. It’s one of the few series out there that still feels like event television, where you have to watch it live out of fear someone will ruin it for you.

Halt and Catch Fire” (AMC) – One of television’s best series, and unfortunately one that fails to get the viewership it deserves. Anchored by a small-but-outstanding cast, you really see her an exploration into innovation and the lengths of ambition during what was still the advent of personal computing on a commercial scale. Season 3 touched on expanding into local-network commerce and eventually the early internet, and all of this was fascinating; even more than that, though, we had the stories of the people. “NIM,” the penultimate episode of the season, is one we’d put right up there with “The Winds of Winter” as one of the year’s finest.

Happy Valley” (Netflix) – A gut-wrenching British drama that takes you within the world of the police in a way that few American dramas in this genre have since potentially “The Killing.” Yet, we feel like what “Happy Valley” does is even more gripping and real, bringing you into the world of characters who are struggling to keep it together in the face of near-constant unspeakable tragedy. It’s a show that allows its story, and a breathtaking performance from its lead Sarah Lancashire, speak for themselves.

Outlander” (Starz) – Admittedly, we entered season 2 with some trepidation, if only because season 1 was a visual and emotional masterpiece. Trying to match that is incredibly difficult, especially in the midst of notions that so many shows have sophomore slumps. “Outlander” avoided that, and brought you a second season that was equally amazing without being a regurgitation of what made season 1 great. This time there was more of an emphasis on sly politics and an expansion of the universe; granted, there were still plenty of emotional episodes and character pieces as well. “Faith” should give Caitriona Balfe a nomination in everything, and we loved how “Dragonfly in Amber” was so strong, it could’ve functioned as its own separate film.

Vikings” (History) – There are times when history can be rather dull and uneventful, and even some of the better historical dramas out there do at times suffer from trying to focus so much of the events without also making the characters personal and relatable. “Vikings” does everything. It executes brutality in a way equal to “Game of Thrones,” gives you the personal drama of an “Outlander,” and captures an era as much as “Mad Men,” “Poldark,” or any other show out there. Katheryn Winnick arguably remains the most-underrated actress currently working in TV.

Honorable mentions – “Westworld” (HBO), “Better Call Saul” (AMC), “Mr. Robot” (USA), “This Is Us” (NBC), “The Good Wife” (CBS).

Now, let’s turn this over to you for voting! We’ll be back daily at around this time with more categories; tomorrow, we’ll be talking about Actor in a Drama Series.  Get your predictions ready! (Photo: Golden Globes.)

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