Golden Globe nominations manage to be more or less respectable

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Call it a strategy of surpassing low expectations: the Hollywood Foreign Press announced the nominations for this year's Golden Globe Awards, and they're not as mystifyingly odd as they were last year! (There's no absurd standout like last year's nomination of Burlesque, at least.) After the totally acceptable-except-when-it-comes-to-comedy SAG Award nominations yesterday, could we be heading for an award season full of totally sane choices? God, I hope not.

Here's a sampling of the HFP's choices:

Best Picture, Drama:
The Help
The Descendants
The Ides of March

Best Picture, Comedy/Musical:
The Artist
Midnight in Paris

My Week with Marilyn

Best Actress, Drama:
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Best Actor, Drama:
George Clooney, The Descendants
Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar
Brad Pitt, Moneyball
Ryan Gosling, The Ides of March
Michael Fassbender, Shame

Best Actress, Comedy:
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
Charlize Theron, Young Adult
Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids
Kate Winslet, Carnage
Jodie Foster, Carnage

Best Actor, Comedy
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Owen Wilson, Midnight in Paris
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 50/50
Brendan Gleeson, The Guard
Ryan Gosling, Crazy, Stupid, Love

Best Director:
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
George Clooney, Ides of March
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

Best Supporting Actress:
Octavia Spencer, The Help
Bérénice Bejo, The Artist
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs

Best Supporting Actor:
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Albert Brooks, Drive
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method

TV Series, Drama:
American Horror Story
Boardwalk Empire
Game of Thrones

TV Series, Comedy:
Modern Family
New Girl

TV Actress, Comedy:
Laura Dern, Enlightenment
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Laura Linney, The Big C
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

TV Actress, Drama:
Claire Danes, Homeland
Mireille Enos, The Killing
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Madeleine Stowe, Revenge
Callie Thorne, Necessary Roughness

TV Actor, Drama:
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Kelsey Grammar, Boss
Jeremy Irons, The Borgias
Damian Lewis, Homeland

TV Actor, Comedy
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
David Duchovny, Californication
Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory
Thomas Jane, Hung
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes

Best Supporting Actor, TV
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Paul Giamatti, Too Big to Fail
Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce
Tim Robbins, Cinema Verite
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

Best Supporting Actress, TV
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Evan Rachel Wood, Mildred Pierce

Rest here. I will say that TV, once again, seems to be the place where we run into a bit of trouble. There are some mild oddballs — it's soapy fun but I don't think Revenge can really claim it has one of the best dramatic actresses on TV; I'd also completely forgotten that Californication wasn't canceled years ago. And I'm going to need to ask everyone to please stop pretending that Glee is a good show right now, thank you very much. But overall? Respectable, justifiable, and sensible.

I'm not sure how I'll amuse myself this awards season without a bit more insanity. Step up to the plate, Academy Awards! (Either that or be actually good. But I know that's asking a lot.)