ANALYSIS: Golden Globes show no love to ‘The Killing’ or ‘The Walking Dead’ … why?

Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman in "The Killing" -- Photo courtesy of AMC

Any television fan must have looked at the Golden Globe nominations this year with a ho-hum attitude. All of the usuals are there with little room for newcomers.


American Horror Story and Game of Thrones are the only rookies; just about everything and everyone else are distinguished alumni. This was such a boring list that I was half-expecting Frasier to pop up again for nostalgia’s sake.

So there’s one logical question: The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which hands out the awards, has showered love on AMC’s Breaking Bad and Mad Men (at least, in previous years). But why did they forget about The Killing, arguably the best new drama from last season, and The Walking Dead, which continues to bring in record crowds?

One could make the point that zombies and murder investigations are tough sells for awards shows. And, yes, The Walking Dead is the most gruesome show to ever hit the boob tube. But why is American Horror Story’s dark plot applauded, while these two fine shows are completely left in the dust?

Also, HBO’s Game of Thrones has graphic displays of sexuality and violence. Ditto for Boardwalk Empire.

As far as The Walking Dead is concerned, the HFPA has fallen into the “genre trap.” To put it simply, horror is typically seen as a lesser genre, especially compared to the high-minded drama of Homeland, Boardwalk Empire and the like. Something like Breaking Bad, which was only nominated for Best Leading Actor in a Drama, is seen as “real” television, while The Walking Dead is seen as cooky, creepy fare for teenagers and comic-loving older men.

The show needs to be respected. It has received decent critical marks and the audience is loyal. Now the awards ceremonies need to start showing the love. This is not a case of a die-hard fan run amok. Yes, I do enjoy The Walking Dead, but I’m not such a Kool-Aid drinker to believe that the show should win. It’s not perfect, but it certainly deserves some nomination recognition.

I also understand that enjoying a show doesn’t necessarily mean it’s award-worthy. I enjoy True Blood, but there is no way the HBO show deserves a Golden Globe. I enjoy Dexter, but it’s award days should be a thing of the past.

I’m all for new shows taking the spotlight: Bring on Homeland, Game of Thrones, American Horror Story. It’s just funny why The Walking Dead can never enter those ranks.

For The Killing, there is no logical explanation why it’s missing from the Best Drama category (at least Mireille Enos was nominated for Best Leading Actress in a Drama).

Many people were upset by the unexpected cliffhanger in the season finale. Viewership started out strong and then dwindled. Still, reviews were ecstatic and compared to the typical police-procedural garbage on TV, the show was a revelation.

Granted, the field for Best Drama is crowded, but room should have been made for this gem.

What are your thoughts? Has AMC been dissed? What about Andrew Lincoln? What about Joel Kinnaman?

Leave your thoughts in the comment field below.

By John Soltes / Publisher /

John Soltes

John Soltes is an award-winning journalist. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Earth Island Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, New Jersey Monthly and at, among other publications. E-mail him at

3 thoughts on “ANALYSIS: Golden Globes show no love to ‘The Killing’ or ‘The Walking Dead’ … why?

  • December 16, 2011 at 7:09 am

    It’s obvious in daily reading that AMC is on the hate lists with the entertainment press since the Madmen negotiations and loss of Walking Dead producer–and that all the press spend their days reading each other far more than they ever bother watching the shows. That American Horror Story is nominated over so many other shows makes it obvious that the press gourpthink is far more into in promoting a new creation by Mr. Media-Popular Glee Creator–even if AHS is just a mess. True Blood isn’t great but even it is far better made.

    Of course Kinnaman has been repeatedly cheated for awards, he gave the one of the two or three best TV performances of the year. He was better than Enos. But he’s young and new to Hollywood, no surprise. He’s too good to not eventually get recognized somewhere.

    The Killing was good but its media popularity failed when the media got into group hate about AMC. The endless pettiness picking apart that good show has been amazing. That AHS can be loved and The Killing season ending show (how is is a surprise that a show would have a season-ending cliffhanger???) is still reviled just shows how unoriginal, unintelligent and petty the constantly blogging each other entertainment press has become. I’ve seen far more intelligent responses out of any average viewer.

  • December 16, 2011 at 7:27 am

    UM, what about Norman Reedus or Jon Bernthal?

    • December 17, 2011 at 9:05 am

      I agree. Norman Reedus should have been nominated.


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