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Commentary: The 5 biggest head-scratchers of the Golden Globes TV nominations

Zoey Deutch and Ben Platt in a scene from Netflix’s “The Politician.”
Zoey Deutch and Ben Platt in a scene from Netflix’s “The Politician.”
(Netflix)
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When it comes to Golden Globe nominations, voters in the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. can always be counted on to make a few, well, puzzling choices, and this year’s slate was no exception. Here are a few nominees that have us scratching our heads.

Kit Harington in ‘Game of Thrones’
For many a devoted fan, the conclusion of the blockbuster series was less than satisfying. But for the drama’s only Golden Globe nod to be given to Harington is baffling. Though he continued to look ravishing in his fur-covered clothing, Harington’s range in the final season went from looking pained to looking more pained. True, Jon Snow never had it easy, and killing your girlfriend — who also happens to be your aunt — is bound to cause at least a few sleepless nights. But Harington’s portrayal of angst was less worthy of recognition than others in the massive cast. Peter Dinklage, anyone?

Kit Harington portrays Jon Snow
Kit Harington as Jon Snow in the final season of “Game of Thrones.”
(Helen Sloane / HBO)

‘The Politician’
Yes, Golden Globes voters seem to love everything that producer Ryan Murphy touches. But the critical reception for his first Netflix series positioned “The Politician” as minor Murphy, and few would have placed the comedy series nominee in the top echelon of this year’s comedies or dramas. Echoes of Pete Buttigieg or not, the series, about a high schooler (best actor nominee Ben Platt) who feels that running for student body president will help him fulfill his destiny to be president of the United States, never seemed to attract the kind of attention that has elevated Murphy awards nominees such as “Pose” or “American Horror Story.”

Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Platt in a scene from “The Politician.”
Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Platt in a scene from “The Politician.”
(Netflix)

‘The Kominsky Method’
The affection that the HFPA has for this Netflix comedy about the friendship between an aging acting coach and his longtime agent far outweighs its place in the zeitgeist. The series and star Michael Douglas both took home Golden Globes last year, and they’re nominated again this year, along with supporting actor Alan Arkin. Does this show really belong in a category alongside such innovative fare as “Barry” and “Fleabag”?

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Alan Arkin, left, and Michael Douglas in “The Kominsky Method.”
Alan Arkin, left, and Michael Douglas in “The Kominsky Method.”
(Mike Yarish / Netflix)


‘The Loudest Voice’
True, Russell Crowe did gain a lot of weight for this Showtime limited series about late Fox News head Roger Ailes. But there is a lot more excitement surrounding “Bombshell,” the upcoming film about the female journalists who helped take down Ailes. After the series’ relatively quiet rollout this summer, it feels like Crowe’s star power pushed this one over the Golden Globes finish line over competitors like the acclaimed “When They See Us.”

“The Loudest Voice”
Naomi Watts as Gretchen Carlson and Russell Crowe as Roger Ailes in the Showtime series “The Loudest Voice.”
(JoJo Whilden / Showtime)

‘Catch-22'
The Golden Globes folks really must want George Clooney to attend the ceremony. There’s no other obvious reason for this series, which lists Clooney as one of its executive producers and directors, to be considered awards-worthy. The Hulu adaptation of the classic Joseph Heller novel, which also earned a nomination for lead actor Christopher Abbott, drew a tepid response from both critics and viewers when it launched earlier this year.

‘Catch-22'
George Clooney, left, Christopher Abbott and Pico Alexander in Hulu’s “Catch-22.”
(Philipe Antonello / Hulu)


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A lifelong Los Angeles resident, Greg Braxton has written for the Los Angeles Times for more than three decades. He currently is a staff writer covering television for the Calendar section, and has also written extensively about trends and cultural issues in the entertainment field.