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The Golden Globes TV Nominations Are Out. Don’t Get Too Excited.

For a TV award that means even less than most, it helped to be new and it helped to be famous.

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Craig Blankenhorn / Showtime

The Golden Globes TV nominations are out this morning. Some were surprisingly welcome and some were surprisingly off. They represent the opinions of a relative handful of foreign-press journalists who cover Hollywood. They are awarded on a different cycle than the Emmys and have essentially no predictive value for them. If you got one, that is very nice for you.

Those are essentially, the only necessary reactions to have to the Golden Globes in any given year. But because awards always get attention–because they’re awards—here are a few more. A very few.

The best and worst thing about the Globes is that they’re idiosyncratic and mercurial. That means that they’re often susceptible to buzz and big names in new roles; but they’re also more often open to new talent than other awards. So this year, Tatiana Maslany got a deserved nomination for her tour de force performance(s) in Orphan Black, as did Taylor Schilling in Orange Is the New Black. Michael Sheen, likewise, was rightly recognized for playing the cold, quietly suffering sex researcher in Masters of Sex (pictured)—though it also likely means he got the nod because he was already a known name from the movies, as evidenced by the non-nomination for the equally deserving Lizzy Caplan. Breaking Bad and Bryan Cranston were rightly recognized, but neither inertia nor familiarity produced a nomination blitz for Mad Men, a still-great show that had a less-great season.

In other cases, the Globes recognized new titles, but not the best ones. The nominations were admirably open to this year’s Netflix talent onslaught, but House of Cards—which looked more like a marquee cable show and cast famous movie names—did better than the more original and lingeringly powerful Orange Is the New Black. And while I hate to knock any awards for being too receptive to new titles, the derivative Ray Donovan had no business here (but Liev Schreiber is Liev Schreiber). It’s also probably a little early for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, a solidly enjoyable half-hour which is not yet among TV’s best. But it stars famous person Andy Samberg. (And the Globes could have done much worse—say, nominating The Michael J. Fox Show; instead, they just nominated its well-loved star.) Whereas Rectify, for instance, deserved a nomination, and was never going to get it, and I accept that.

You can find the full list here, and more to praise or boo, but I wouldn’t do either one too loud. It’s the Golden Globes, and that means a fun, none-too-serious excuse for the home audience to drink along with the celebrity crowd in January. It signifies little and means less, and not only is that fine, it’s the main thing to celebrate.

(MORE: What You Need to Know: 2013 Golden Globe Nominations)