‘House of the Dragon’ noms show that Golden Globes is a joke


The Golden Globes has gotten a lot of deserved negative press, but this year it at least made some apt nominations — with one major glaring error. 

HBO’s “Game of Thrones” prequel series, “House of the Dragon,” is up in the “best drama” category, alongside the likes of “Severance,” “Better Call Saul,” “The Crown” and “Ozark.” 

Was House of the Dragon fun? Yes. Following the political schemes of Daenerys Targaryen’s (Emilia Clarke) ancestors roughly 200 years before the events of “GoT,” the fantasy show was filled with wild drama that made for social media buzz, viral memes and watercooler conversations (such as an uncle and a niece getting romantically involved, or a boy getting chomped by a dragon). 

But was it excellent television? Decidedly not. The writing ranged from clunky to dreadful, zipping forward into nonsensical time jumps, cycling through different actors playing incarnations of the same characters so fast, it was head-spinning just to track “who’s who.”

This had the effect of making everyone feel like pieces on a game board, rather than well-developed characters. In the show’s sixth episode, the audience was introduced to Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) and Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) each having new love interests after a time jump — and just when the audience acclimated to these new circumstances, their new lovers died with no emotional impact, since the audience barely knew them.

Paddy Considine as Viserys in “House of the Dragon.”
Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO
Paddy Considine and Matt Smith in "House of the Dragon" facing each other in a throne room.
Paddy Considine and Matt Smith in “House of the Dragon.”
Ollie Upton / HBO

There was a random foot fetish scene. Not to mention, series star Olivia Cooke (who plays Alicent) is 29, and the two actors playing her sons Aemond and Aegon (Ewan Mitchell and Tom Glynn-Carney) are 25 and 27. Sure, Hollywood likes to have unrealistically young parents on-screen, but usually the age gap between parent and child is larger than two to three years.

This is all soap opera level absurdity. “HOTD” was entertaining, but unserious. And yet, this show is being evaluated in the best drama category alongside quality works.

Olivia Cooke, 29, in "House of the Dragon" looking shifty.
Olivia Cooke, 29, as Alicent in “House of the Dragon.”
Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO
Ewan Mitchell, 25, and Tom, Glynn-Carney, 27, as Alicent's sons Aemond and Aegon on "House of the Dragon" with their arms around each other snarling.
Ewan Mitchell, 25, and Tom Glynn-Carney, 27, as Alicent’s sons Aemond and Aegon on “House of the Dragon.”

“HOTD” is not undeserving, but it’s not even nominated for the right thing, which should be Paddy Considine in the acting category — he did a great job bringing gravitas to the role of King Viserys, and this is his only year to qualify (since Viserys kicked the bucket). 

If this baffling choice is because the Globes wanted to include a genre show, there were plenty of others. “Rings of Power” wasn’t perfect, but it was more artfully made. So was “Interview with the Vampire” or “The Sandman.”  All of them have a level of craft that sloppy “House of the Dragon” lacks.

But the Golden Globes have a history of head-scratching choices. Just look at 2021, when the frothy, substance-less “hate watch” phenomenon “Emily in Paris” was up for best comedy series, alongside more thoughtful works (“Ted Lasso,” “The Flight Attendant,” “Schitt’s Creek,” “The Great).

Or look at that memorable upset in 2015 when Showtime’s freshman domestic drama series “The Affair” snagged the “Best Drama” trophy (when it was up against established juggernauts “Game of Thrones,” Downton Abbey,” “The Good Wife” and “House of Cards”).

So essentially, “House of the Dragon” is this year’s “Emily in Paris” and “The Affair.”

"The Affair" cast standing onstage at the Golden Globes.
“The Affair” winning its Golden Globe in a 2015 upset.
Getty Images
Ruth Wilson and Dominic West in "The Affair," eating at a table toasting drinks.
Ruth Wilson and Dominic West in “The Affair,” a show the Golden Globes inexplicably loved.
©Showtime Networks Inc./Courtes

And that’s not to mention the more urgent concerns about the organization that’s in need of such reform, the telecast didn’t even air last year.

Even though many of the choices this year weren’t bad, the Golden Globes love that “House of the Dragon” is getting shows that the Globes still needs to clean up its act, even on the level of what gets nominated. The Hollywood Foreign Press still just goes for what seems buzzy, even when it’s a goofy, unserious choice.

The Golden Globes airs Tuesday, Jan 10 at 8 p.m. on NBC.


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