The Golden Globes have always seemed to be a loopier, loose tie event that plays by its own rules. And even when they play it safe, the Globes seem to throw some major curve balls that shake things up. While the Golden Globes and the Oscars have not seen eye to eye in last few years, it still remains as a major Oscar precursor and influence. So what happened early Thursday morning?

The Movies

No Surprises

The Artist and Descendants have added a little more gloating room as the clear front runners to win in their respective categories. With their nominations, these two movies have cemented themselves as the ones to beat. The Artist scored the most nominations with six while Descendants was close behind with five.

Then there was The Help with some good news and bad news. The good news- The Help picked up five nominations, the second most tied with Descendants. The bad news- director, Tate Taylor, and screenplay were left out of their categories. This may perform better as an acting ensemble rather than a picture as a whole. It definitely gives Viola Davis the edge over award magnet Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady which only received one nomination.

Midnight in Paris was also a big nominee this morning garnering four nominations, including best director and screenplay. Midnight in Paris has not slowed down this award season and might be a dark horse to take on The Artist.

Shaky Ground and Steady Holds

The nominations have also given some movies a much needed boost while it hurt some other movies’ chances.

The Ides of March came roaring back with four nominations, including best picture and, surprisingly, Best Director for George Clooney. This is a much needed booster rocket for the film since being mostly absent this award season. With the Descendants’ nominations, the Golden Globes seem to love Clooney.

Hugo looks to be the biggest ‘will it or wont it get nominated’ film. After winning the coveted National Board of Review award, the movie failed to get any SAG nominations (much needed to garner any serious attention at the Oscars.) But Hugo is still performing relatively strong, racking up three nominations including Best Picture and Director.

Moneyball is also consistently strong. While its director was shut out, it received four nominations, including one for Jonah Hill in the Supporting Actor category. With a recent SAG nomination under his belt, Jonah Hill may soon become ‘Academy Award nominee Jonah Hill.’ Yeah, never thought I would see that either.

War Horse seems to be on shaky ground. This has not played as consistently as many award pundits predicted. While War Horse did manage to get a Best Drama Picture nomination, it failed to get any other nominations except for John Williams’ score. This is a bit of a surprise since the Globes usually love Spielberg and his sweeping period pieces.

Shockers & Snubs

After garnering a supporting actress nomination at the SAG awards, including constantly showing up at other awards, Melissa McCarthy was completely shut out in both the movie and TV section. This Emmy winner seemed like a sure fire odd ball nominee of Tropic Thunder (Robert Downey Jr.) proportions for her work in Bridesmaids. However her costar Kristen Wiig and the film were nominated in the comedy categories. Honestly, Bridesmaids has made a bigger splash than one would have expected, including AFI’s top ten list and a SAG nomination for best ensemble. It might be a dark horse just as The Hangover surprisingly won Best Comedy a couple years back.

Even in comedy only categories, Young Adult failed to make any nominations other than Charlize Theron’s performance.  The film being beat out by other ‘dramadies’, 50/50 and My Weekend with Marilyn.

Speaking of comedy categories, Roman Polanski’s Carnage received two nominations for its lead actresses Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet. We haven’t really seen Carnage in any of the award circles, but adding the two nominations surely does not hurt it.

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo made a slight comeback. Rooney Mara and the movie’s score got nominations. Although the movie didn’t get nominated this was a much needed boost for underdog Rooney Mara in the best actress category.

And completely shut out was Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. This movie needed a strong performance at the Globes to stay alive and I believe it’s officially out of any serious contention.

Television

The Globes seem to love the new TV. Seven of the ten best series nominees came from brand new shows. Let’s see a quick recap.

Drama 

Last year’s winner, Boardwalk Empire, was not forgotten with a nomination for Best Drama and lead actor, Steve Buscemi. While the Emmy’s didn’t award the series, the Globes obviously favor this big time HBO drama.

Game of Thrones is defiantly one to watch out for. After Peter Dinklage’s surprise Emmy win in the supporting category, the show is only picking up steam. It seems fan boys are not the only ones loving this series.

The critically acclaimed but ratings troubled, Boss, made a much needed appearance with nominations for its lead actor Kelsey Grammer and Best Drama.

American Horror Story performed strongly, nominated for Best Drama and Best Supporting Actress, Jessica Lange. The Globes seem to recognize some of the more supernatural or fantasy shows the Emmys leave out, including True Blood a couple years back.

Homeland getting a best Drama Series nomination but nothing for Mandy Patinkin was one of the big snubs.

And lastly, the biggest shocker, Breaking Bad’s omission from the Best Drama category. Bryan Cranston was nominated (as always) but the show was left out.

As for the miniseries categories, it looks like an Emmy repeat with multiple nominations for Mildred Pierce and Downtown Abby.

Comedy

At only their third season, comedy series Glee and Modern Family are the veterans in this category. While Glee has won twice in the past, it seems to be running out of steam with its Best Comedy Series nomination being its only one. Modern Family has yet to pick up any Golden Globes but this might finally be its year. It finally picked up some supporting acting nominations for cast members Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara as well as Best Comedy Series. Surprisingly, recent Emmy winners and Modern Family co-stars Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen were not nominated.

The biggest surprise was the TV show Enlightened which has been flying under the radar. It beat out critically loved 30 Rock for a nomination. Although 30 Rock did receive acting nominations for leads Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey.

FOX’s the New Girl made a grand debut with nominations for its lead Zooey Deschanel and Best Comedy Series. This show has been rating gold for FOX and it seems to be here to stay.

Some surprising omissions (or maybe not) were no nominations for Two Broke Girls or the newly revamped Two and a Half Men.  These shows may not be critical darlings, but they get some really big ratings. The Globes like to recognize shows that have big stars or are making headlines, but these CBS shows walked away with nothing.

Another omission was The Office. But more importantly was Steve Carell’s final Office performance being overlooked, just as he lost the Emmy to Jim Parsons.

On that note Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons was surprisingly not nominated. Instead, his co-star Johnny Galecki got the nod.

And as mentioned before, Melissa McCarthy was not nominated for Mike and Molly. Complete shut out.

The Golden Globes will be hosted by Ricky Gervais, Sunday January 15th, 2012.

Full List of Nominees

Best Drama
The Descendants
The Help
Hugo
The Ides of March
Moneyball
War Horse

Best Comedy/Musical
50/50
The Artist
Bridesmaids
Carnage
Midnight in Paris
My Week With Marilyn

Best Animated Film
Arthur Christmas
Cars 2
Rango
Puss in Boots
The Adventures of Tintin

Best Foreign Language Film
The Flowers of War
In the Land of Blood and Honey
The Kid With a Bike
A Separation
The Skin I Live In

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

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

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

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

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

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants
Octavia Spencer, The Help
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help

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

Best Screenplay for a Motion Picture
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, Kaui Hart Hemmings, The Descendants
Steve Zallian, Aaron Sorkin, Stan Chervin, Michael Lewis, Moneyball
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon, The Ides of March

Best Original Score in a Motion Picture
Ludovic Bource, The Artist
Abel Korzeniowski, W.E.
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Howard Shore, Hugo
John Williams, War Horse

Best Original Song in a Motion Picture
“Hello Hello,” Gnomeo & Juliet
“The Keeper,” Machine Gun Preacher
“Lay Your Head Down,” Albert Nobbs
“The Living Proof,” The Help
“Masterpiece,” W.E.

Best TV Drama
American Horror Story
Boardwalk Empire
Boss
Game of Thrones
Homeland

Best TV Comedy or Musical
Enlightened
Episodes
Glee
Modern Family
New Girl

Best Miniseries or Motion Picture
Cinema Verite
Downton Abbey
The Hour
Mildred Pierce
Too Big to Fail

Best Actor in a TV Drama
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Damian Lewis, Homeland
Jeremy Irons, The Borgias
Kelsey Grammer, Boss

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

Best Actor in a Miniseries or Made-for-TV Movie
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Idris Elba, Luther
William Hurt, Too Big to Fail
Bill Nighy, Page Eight
Dominic West, The Hour

Best Supporting Actor in TV Series, Miniseries, or Made-for-TV Movie
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Paul Giamatti, Too Big to Fail
Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce
Tim Robbins, Cinema Verite
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

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

Best Actress in a TV Musical or Comedy
Laura Dern, Enlightened
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Laura Linney, The Big C
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Best Actress in a Miniseries or Made-for-TV Movie
Romola Garai, The Hour
Diane Lane, Cinema Verite
Elizabeth McGovern, Downton Abbey
Emily Watson, Appropriate Adult
Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce

Best Supporting Actress in TV Series, Miniseries, or Made-for-TV Movie
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Evan Rachel Wood, Mildred Pierce