6 Golden Globe Nomination Surprises—From ‘Emily in Paris’ to ‘I May Destroy You’

We're still scratching our heads...

As with every award show, there are the darlings you know will be nominated no matter what happens, but on the flip side, you also know there are bound to be some surprises. This morning, February 3rd, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced the nominees for the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards, and there were just a few things that left us surprised—both in a good way and a not so good way.

Emily in Paris

Right off the bat, Emily in Paris‘s nomination surprised everyone. The Netflix show starring Lily Collins (who was also nominated) dropped on the streaming platform smack in the middle of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic last year, drawing huge numbers. Much of that success can be credited to the fact that everyone was home more than usual because of the pandemic, and thus, watching more TV. Though the show was enjoyable and an easy marathon session of TV watching, to earn a Golden Globe nomination is definitely surprising. The internet is especially vocal about this one, and we can definitely see why.


It’s worth noting that it is actually a bit of a surprise that Netflix’s latest steamy drama didn’t garner any nominations. If we’re considering the fact that Emily in Paris drew huge numbers and did get a nomination, and Bridgerton brought in even bigger numbers, where are its nominations? Obviously there is a lot more at play than just streaming numbers, but with a powerhouse company like Shondaland behind the show and quite a bit of praise for its stars, this one also felt surprising.

Three female directors getting nominated

This is a surprise in a very, very good way. For the first time ever (which is painful to even write), three out of the five nominees for Best Director are women: Emerald Fennell, Regina King, and Chloé Zhao. Hollywood has historically been unkind to women, and we were very prepared to see a massive snub in this category as usual, but seeing not only three women, but two women of color get those nominations is beautiful, and we very strongly hope one of them takes home the award.

Lin-Manuel Miranda nominated over Leslie Odom Jr. for Hamilton

Hamilton has been a phenomenon since it landed on Broadway in 2015. In 2020, the musical got the Disney+ treatment while we were all in lockdown. The Broadway cast reprised their roles in the live-action recording of the show (written by Lin-Manuel Miranda), and it was, of course, a hit with at-home audiences. While it’s not surprising for the film to have earned any Golden Globes nominations, it was a bit of a surprise for Miranda to get the nom for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, rather than Leslie Odom Jr.

Though Miranda plays the title role of Alexander Hamilton, Odom Jr. was the one who took home the Tony Award in 2015 for Best Actor for his role as Aaron Burr in the show. Both he and Miranda were nominated for the award that Odom Jr. ultimately won. While the Golden Globes nominations are definitely a tighter race with more films to choose from, it was a bit surprising to see this nomination. However, we’re fans of Miranda and his work, so we’re not too torn up about him snatching this nomination.

First-time nominees

It’s always heartwarming to see first-time nominees’ excitement at a dream realized. This year we’re especially surprised and excited to see Kaley Cuoco‘s nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy for her turn in HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant. It was a show that kinda flew under the radar, but Cuoco’s portrayal of a drunk flight attendant who’s slowly losing it while trying to solve a murder mystery was extremely compelling.

Elle Fanning also grabbed her first nomination this year, for her portrayal of Catherine The Great in The Great. The actress has been nominated for a number of awards throughout her career, but this one is a big one for her as it’s her first Golden Globe. She’s nominated alongside Cuoco for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy.

The snubs, of course

No award show is complete without snubs, so this is no different. The one we’re most blown away by is the complete shutout of I May Destroy You. The British series that aired on HBO Max stars Michaela Coel in what is easily the most stunning role of her life. She also created and wrote the show and has been highly lauded for her work. To see the HFPA completely ignore the entire project is, in a word, baffling.

Many people are also pointing out the lack of nominations in general for Black-led shows and movies, which is frustrating to see, especially when Hollywood keeps claiming that diversity is important.

While the well-deserving projects did earn a few noms here and there, it’s still painfully unbalanced yet again.

Filed Under