We all love the movies, but it's worth pointing out that 10 of the 25 Golden Globes Awards go to television shows. Standout episodic series introduced in summer and fall can take home trophies in January, a full six months before
In a series that streams exclusively on Amazon, the divorced patriarch (
Thumbs up/thumbs down: "The only great series of the new fall season," says Slate's Willa Paskin. "Astonishing to watch," says Los Angeles Times critic Mary McNamara, describing Tambor's performance as "a slow and quiet miracle." But the New York Daily News' David Hinckley complains that the show "too often finds neither the comedy nor the pathos in these tortured lives."
Inside look: Portraying the transition from Mort to Maura has been "life-changing," says Tambor, who is 70. "Maura requires that you move outside of yourself but also deeper into yourself." For the actor, there's a built-in fail-safe: "Maura is very early in her transition. She doesn't know how to put makeup on yet. She doesn't have the walking down. I love that aspect of the role — it's so beautifully human." Of doing the scene in which Maura comes out to her daughter Sarah (Amy Landecker), Tambor says, "I don't think I've ever been so nervous. I said to myself, 'My hands are shaking.' But that was OK, because Maura's hands were shaking too."
"The Affair" (Showtime)
The steamy liaison between a married writer (
Thumbs up/thumbs down: "A terrific idea, lyrically written and perfectly cast," says The Times' McNamara. The Washington Post's Hank Stuever calls it "compulsively intriguing." On the other hand, "Neither Noah or Alison is particularly appealing," says the Wrap's Diane Garrett, adding: "Unless things improve markedly, this is one affair I don't want to spend too much time pursuing."
Inside look: "Telling it from my side is much easier because I have a three-dimensional character to go with in my head," says Wilson, the British actress who plays the American waitress, Alison. "She's seeing everything through the prism of her grief and that numbness. In the version you get from Noah, I take away the grief [in the performance], because he doesn't know about that yet. So she seems bolder, more sexy and impulsive. It's more like his impression, the spirit of Alison as he sees her." The challenge? "You have to believe everything you're acting, so sometimes it's difficult doing the other person's point of view."
"The Knick" (Cinemax)
A riveting and grimly realistic drama set in New York City in 1900, when surgical procedures were little more than a bloody crapshoot.
Thumbs up/thumbs down: The Boston Globe's Matthew Gilbert praised the series as "an astonishing new medical drama that has the potential to be one of the year's best and most talked-about shows." But Emily Nussbaum, writing in the New Yorker, complains, "Rather than innovate, the series leans hard on cable drama's hoariest antiheroic formulas, diluting potentially powerful themes."
Inside look: Not even the blatant bigotry expressed by his character toward a gifted African American doctor perturbs Owen as he anchors his first cable series: "We have to show that this is how things were." Besides, he adds, "I like to push things. This character is not going to lead you by the hand and tell you what to think of him. He's unpredictable, and you're going to have to watch and see how things develop."
"Jane the Virgin" (
A student teacher (Gina Rodriguez) who has determinedly kept her virginity becomes pregnant when, due to a mixed-up medical procedure, she's artificially inseminated. Head-spinning complications ensue in this briskly paced Miami-set comedy, adapted from a Venezuelan telenovela and delivered with a remarkably successful mix of charm, melodrama and farce.
Thumbs up/thumbs down: "One of the best things to come out of the fall season," says Los Angeles Times critic