By Colleen Flaherty

Killeen Daily Herald

Sunday marks the official start of the entertainment awards season, with the 68th annual Golden Globe Awards.

Generally considered to be less prestigious than the Academy Awards, held in late February, past Golden Globe ceremonies have nevertheless set the tone for what's ahead.

Several local arts enthusiasts took time out this week to share their predictions and picks.

Dr. Joey Tabarlet heads the Communication and Media Studies Department at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and teaches a film course there.

He doesn't take the Golden Globes too seriously, he said, but is interested in the show's outcomes.

"If you follow college football, it's like going to the Independence Bowl rather than the Sugar Bowl."

While Tabarlet believes that in 20 years "Inception" will be considered a cult classic, "The King's Speech" or "The Social Network" are more likely winners for best motion picture drama. His personal favorite is "The King's Speech," the little-known but true story of how King George VI of England overcame a stammer to lead the nation in a time of war.

"But it probably won't win," he said. "It's a little too British.

"Then again, we are talking about the (Hollywood) Foreign Press Association," he countered, referring to the 90 international journalists based in Southern California who determine the winners.

Best dramatic actor honors should also go to "The King's Speech" star Colin Firth, who makes his character much more than a stammering monarch, Tabarlet said.

"He's one of the best actors working today."

AMC's 1960s drama "Mad Men" is worthy of best dramatic TV series honors for its ability to "keep current as it moves through it historical milieu," he said. "It has done a really good job of expanding its storyline."

For best TV comedy, Tabarlet sees ABC's "Modern Family" as deserving.

It's newer and fresher than even NBC's "30 Rock," which is also nominated, he said.

Eric Shephard, Vive Les Arts Theatre's artistic director, also thinks "The King's Speech" will win top drama honors.

"It's got some sort of social and historical relevance, and not just entertaining," he said.

While Shephard agrees that actors would prefer to win an Oscar from their peers than a Golden Globe from the press, he enjoys watching the Globes ceremony for its more relaxed feel.

"I do like to watch when (nominees) get drunk," he said, referring to the dinner format of the show. "The Oscars is much more buttoned down."

He also likes that the Globes honor both TV and film accomplishments.

"Sometimes the best work is being done on TV," he said, referring to HBO's nominated "Temple Grandin" movie, parts of which were filmed in Belton, and shows such as "Mad Men."

The latter could win a top dramatic TV series Globe for its attention to detail and superbly composed shots, he said, while one if its stars, Elisabeth Moss, is deserving of best dramatic TV actress.

Her character, a young woman with her sensible shoe in the door of the all-male advertising world, is in many ways unlikable, Shephard said.

"That's already harder to play."

As for TV comedy, Fox's "Glee" is unique, but seems to struggle to maintain its charm, he said.

"30 Rock," however, keeps it fresh, he said. "I love the way they change stories all the time."

Steve Carell, nominated for his comedic acting in NBC's "The Office," is still the funniest man on TV, Shephard said, and best musical or comedic actress nominee Toni Collette should win for her work playing a woman with multiple personalities on Showtime's "United States of Tara."

"That's a really hard thing to do well," he said.

Beltonian Theater manager Kelly Moran has worked in radio and television, and hopes the mind-bending "Inception" will win best dramatic picture for its level of nuance.

He also believes Colin Firth could win for his dramatic work in "The King's Speech," but hopes Johnny Depp will in the best musical or comedic actor title for "Alice in Wonderland."

"We're big Johnny Depp fans," he said, referring to his family.

Best actress in a comedy or musical might go to Anne Hathaway for her complex performance in "Love and Other Drugs," he said.

"I think time will prove her to be a great classic actress," he said. "She's just starting out, but she seems to be making the right choices."

After five seasons, Showtime's "Dexter" is still compelling and cutting edge, and could be named best dramatic series, Moran said. The show's lead actor, Michael C. Hall, could also win best dramatic actor for his continued strong portrayal of an unconventional serial killer, he added.

For best TV comedy, "Glee" is still fresh and could win, he said, adding that Matthew Morrison could win best musical or comedy actor for his work on the show.

"The whole family can enjoy it," Moran said of "Glee," adding that he still prefers film to television, however, for its ability to entirely consumer a viewer's attention.

Local music activist and founder of W.O.J.M.+1 music education program Renae Noriega, of Killeen, doesn't pay as much attention to the Golden Globes or even the Academy Awards as she does the upcoming Grammy Awards, she said.

But she hopes "The Social Network" wins for best dramatic motion picture.

"It really made me look at Facebook in a different way," she said. "And the relationships, that's what I liked about it."

Jesse Eisenberg could win best dramatic actor for his portrayal of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in the film, she said.

"I liked him," she said of the complex character.

Best musical or comedy TV series honors could go to either "The Big C" or "Nurse Jackie," both on Showtime, she said, but Edie Falco's portrayal of a nurse with a chip on her shoulder in the latter should earn her a best musical or comedic actress nod.

"She's mean," Noriega said. "But she's serious and people have to accept her that way."

The Golden Globes, hosted by comedian Ricky Gervais, will air at 7 p.m. Sunday on NBC.

Contact Colleen Flaherty at or (254) 501-7559. Follow her on Twitter at KDHfeatures.

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