The US awards’ season kicks off late this Sunday night with the Golden Globes, when the Hollywood Foreign Press Association honour the best of the Film and Television worlds.

Here, John Byrne takes a look through his TV crystal ball and makes some calls on the likely winners. You can read Harry Guerin’s Movie guide from tomorrow (Friday).

Best Television Series - Drama

Nominations: Game of Thrones; The Handmaid's Tale; Stranger Things; This Is Us; The Crown

Who Should Win

This is Us

Who Will Win

The Handmaid’s Tale

Oddly enough, Game of Thrones has never won this category – while The Crown is the only previous winner. That should pretty much rule them both out this time around (or at least make things easier to predict).

Of the rest, Stranger Things will probably battle it out with likely winner The Handmaid’s Tale. But I’d argue that what we really need now is the life-affirming empathy that oozes from This is Us rather than the dystopian nightmare of Gilead.

Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy

Nominations: Black-ish; The Marvelous Mrs Maisel; Master of None; SMILF; Will & Grace

Who Should Win

The Marvelous Mrs Maisel

Who Will Win

The Marvelous Mrs Maisel

A far from vintage year for American comedy and musical shows, and the fact that neither Veep nor Julia Louis-Dreyfus made the cut in their relevant category is simply staggering.

The likely winner this year is period comedy-drama The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, starring Rachel Brosnahan as the eponymous New York housewife who follows an unlikely path as a female comedian in the late 1950s.

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Nominations: Big Little Lies; Fargo; Feud: Bette And Joan; The Sinner; Top of The Lake: China Girl

Who Should Win

Feud: Bette And Joan

Who Will Win

Big Little Lies

There’s a touch of ‘poh-tay-toe, poh-tah-toe’ about this category as Feud: Bette And Joan and Big Little Lies are the true standouts here and both are loaded with Tinseltown royalty.

The former is a lush period drama with Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon outstanding as Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, while the latter is an excellent ensemble murder mystery that managed to be both dark and soapy.

Toss a coin.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television

Nominations: Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies; Jessica Lange, Feud: Bette and Joan; Susan Sarandon, Feud: Bette and Joan; Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies; Jessica Biel, The Sinner

Who Should Win

Jessica Lange

Who Will Win

Nicole Kidman

This is the most competitive category of them all, but Nicole Kidman may well follow on from her Emmy win for Big Little Lies with another one here.

Certainly, both Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon were outstanding as battling actresses Joan Crawford and Better Davis, with Lange - who’s had an extraordinary run in recent years - just edging it on points.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television

Nominations: Robert De Niro, The Wizard of Lies ; Jude Law, The Young Pope; Kyle MacLachlan, Twin Peaks; Ewan McGregor, Fargo; Geoffrey Rush, Genius

Who Should Win

Jude Law, The Young Pope

Who Will Win

Kyle MacLachlan, Twin Peaks

The girls clearly out-performed the boys in this end of things, as there’s no comparison between the performances of the two sets of nominees.

Jude Law was impressively OTT in an otherwise daft tale of a profane Pontif, but returning to play Dale Cooper in the revived and still adored Twin Peaks may just give Kyle MacLachlan the edge.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama

Nominations: Caitriona Balfe, Outlander; Claire Foy, The Crown; Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Deuce; Katherine Langford, 13 Reasons Why; Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid's Tale

Who Should Win

Elisabeth Moss

Who Will Win

Elisabeth Moss

Another strong line-up of ladies - including Ireland’s Caitriona Balfe - but really this is a straight battle between Maggie Gyllenhaal and Elisabeth Moss. I can’t see the gong going anywhere else.

But while Gyllenhaal put in a typically fearless and pretty flawless performance over the course of The Deuce’s run, Moss was simply majestic and unmatched as Offred in The Handmaid’s Tale.

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series – Drama

Nominations: Jason Bateman, Ozark; Sterling K Brown, This Is Us; Freddie Highmore, The Good Doctor; Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul; Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan

Who Should Win

Sterling K Brown

Who Will Win

Sterling K Brown

That last season of Ray Donovan was pretty nuts and perilously close to apocalyptic for its lead character, with Liev Schreiber and his lively eyebrows working overtime as calamity almost consumed poor oul' Ray.

Freddie Highmore did an impression of Freddie Highmore in Bates Motel – which should rule him out – but ultimately it’s just impossible to see beyond Sterling K Brown’s performances in the Kapra-esque This Is Us.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy

Nominations: Pamela Adlon, Better Things; Alison Brie, GLOW; Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel; Issa Rae, Insecure; Frankie Shaw, SMILF

Who Should Win

Alison Brie

Who Will Win

Rachel Brosnahan

I’m hopelessly biased in favour of Alison Brie, and even non-Community fans have to acknowledge that she’s been brilliant as GLOW lead, female wrestler Ruth Wilder. But. But. But.

I haven’t yet had the chance to see The Marvelous Mrs Maisel – I don’t even have an Amazon Prime account - but the rave notices for Rachel Brosnahan as housewife-turning-comedian Miriam Maisel are piled high.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy

Nominations: Aziz Ansari, Master of None; Kevin Bacon, I Love Dick; William H Macy, Shameless; Eric McCormack, Will & Grace; Anthony Anderson, Black-ish

Who Should Win

Aziz Ansari

Who Will Win

Eric McCormack

Like a lot of people, I find Aziz Ansari irresistible in the refreshing and smart Master of None. He’s not a bit like Tom in Parks and Recreation, is he?

But Eric McCormack is back in Will & Grace, and despite six Golden Globe nominations when the show was originally run, he never won. I’d put your house on him making up for that this time around. This is Hollywood, after all.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made

Nominations: Laura Dern, Big Little Lies; Ann Dowd, The Handmaid's Tale;  Chrissy Metz, This Is Us; Michelle Pfeiffer, The Wizard of Lies; Shailene Woodley, Big Little Lies

Who Should Win

Ann Dowd

Who Will Win

Laura Dern

Another tough one here as the field is as good as it gets. Personally I’d give to Ann Dowd, who won an Emmy last autumn for her role in The Handmaid’s Tale and was also brilliant in The Leftovers.

Chrissy Metz also shone brightly in the wonderful This Is Us as the vulnerable Kate, but Laura Dern’s higher profile and mixed background of movies and TV may swing things here in her favour.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Nominations: David Harbour, Stranger Things; Alfred Molina, Feud: Bette And Joan; Christian Slater, Mr Robot; Alexander Skarsgård, Big Little Lies; David Thewlis, Fargo

Who Should Win

Alexander Skarsgård

Who Will Win

Alfred Molina

There’s nothing anyone likes more than a nasty British villain, and David Thewlis was both hammy and spooky as the devious and dentally-challenged VM Varga. The ham might rule him out.

Alexander Skarsgård would probably run away with it in another year, but a win for his wife-beating character would be surprising in the wake of Weinsten and all of that, so Albert Molina’s hugely enjoyable turn as movie director Robert Aldrich gets the nod.

Want more Golden Globes? Click here to take a look back at some of the most memorable style moments on the red carpet over the last 75 years. 

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