Monica Potter Parenthood GOlden Globe
On the heels of an Emmy snub, Monica Potter earned a Golden Globe Nomination for her work on "Parenthood." Justin Lubin for NBC

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced the 2014 Golden Globe Nominations on Thursday, with a mix of likely candidates and some welcome surprises among the honorees. See our full list here.

Steve McQueen’s “12 Years A Slave” and David O. Russell’s “American Hustle” led the film pack with seven nominations each, cementing “12 Years” as an Oscar front-runner and “American Hustle” as a formidable challenger. Unlike the Oscars, the Golden Globe Awards have two separate categories for film nominations - Drama and Musical or Comedy, and the latter is often accused of being abused. This year is no different: While “American Hustle” certainly qualifies as a dark comedy, “Nebraska,” “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Her” feel like a bit of a stretch – though it was nice to see Spike Jonze’s near-futuristic movie get some recognition, along with a nomination for lead actor Joaquin Phoenix.

Without the controversial second category, Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Enough Said”) and Greta Gerwig (“Frances Ha”) might have been shut out altogether, which would be a crime – particularly in Louis-Dreyfus' case (as we discussed in an early Oscar predictions story, we thought “Enough Said” was one of the best films of the year, and tremendous performances from Louis-Dreyfus and the late James Gandolfini are largely responsible). Julie Delpy also got a nod here for “Before Midnight,” something we don’t expect to see repeated when the Oscar nominations are announced in January.

Robert Redford redeemed his SAG Awards snub with a nomination for his lead performance in the drama “All is Lost,” but “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” which had a strong SAG nomination showing, was shut out of the Golden Globe Awards nominations altogether.

We were thrilled to see Sally Hawkins get a Supporting Actress nomination for “Blue Jasmine,” and a nod for Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club”) was an equally pleasant semi-surprise. Since I can’t talk about this year in movies without talking about “Short Term 12,” I will note again that Brie Larson more than deserved a Golden Globe and a SAG nomination. When “Short Term 12” was shut out of the SAG nominations altogether, it dashed my hopes for a Golden Globe or Oscar nod. But remember: last year, people had just about given up on “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” which too was shut out of the Golden Globe Nominations, and didn’t qualify for a SAG nomination, by the time Oscar season rolled around. But “Beasts” came back with three major Oscar nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress.

As we noted last year, the 2013 Golden Globe and Academy Award winners list overlapped significantly: In seven categories – including Best Picture and Best Actor – the Golden Globe and the Oscars crowned the same winners. And it was Ben Affleck and “Argo"’s Golden Globe success that seemed to have turned the tide in favor of the CIA caper – before the 2013 Golden Globe Awards in January, Stephen Spielberg’s “Lincoln” was considered the front-runner, and “Argo” was barely a dark horse. With this in mind I think it’s too soon to say it’s a lock for any one film, though “12 Years A Slave” sure seems like the current front-runner in the Best Picture category. But as 2013 was close to an embarrassment of riches in the theaters, the only thing we’d be willing to bet on are nominations.

And the only thing we really care about as far as the Golden Globe Awards TV nominations go is that Monica Potter finally got a nomination for “Parenthood” (!!!) -- our absolute favorite network television show. It’s about damn time. Still, I wouldn’t exactly call Potter a Supporting Actress – Kristina and Adam (Peter Kraus) have always felt like the center of the show. But we’ll take what we can get – we’re just sorry a nomination for “Nurse Jackie”’s fantastic Merrit Wever, who won the Supporting Actress Emmy, was sacrificed along the way. And "Homeland," which is at the tail end of a poorly received third season, received not one nomination -- an absence filled with nods for the Showtime drama “Masters of Sex." Other than that and a merciful dearth of nominations for “The Newsroom," the Golden Globe TV nominations and the Emmy nominations look pretty similar. It would be nice if “House of Cards” took a few trophies home this time.

The 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony will air Jan. 12 on NBC.