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5 ways the Golden Globes nailed it big with its nominees this year.

Here are five reasons to watch the Golden Globes 2016.

5 ways the Golden Globes nailed it big with its nominees this year.

The Golden Globes are Jan. 10, 2016. Get excited!

Why? Well, first of all, that means award show season is officially upon us. Secondly, alcoholic beverages are served during the ceremony (a rarity for televised award shows), which guarantees no shortage of interesting watercooler conversations the following day.

And thirdly, just look at this year's nominees! You'll see the Golden Globes really has its pulse on today's issues more than ever before, as reflected by who's getting recognized for what (although based on who wins, I may have to eat my words here). Here are five ways that's evident this year.


1. People of color are actually well-represented in TV categories.

Thanks to series like "Empire," "How to Get Away With Murder," and "Orange Is the New Black," performances by people of color are getting noticed — something that's not always (read: almost never) been the case. Actors Aziz Ansari, Taraji P. Henson, Gina Rodriguez, Viola Davis, Idris Elba, and Uzo Aduba are among the many people of color being honored for their praise-worthy performances in 2015.

Gina Rodriguez is nominated for her role in "Jane the Virgin." Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for iHeartMedia.

Nominees in the film categories, however, paint a slightly different (monochromatic) picture — one that, in many ways, mirrors the overwhelmingly white Oscar nods of 2015. And there's certainly a need for improvement when it comes to diversity among this year's presenters as well.

2. Thanks in part to "Concussion," chatter around football's traumatic brain injury problem is going mainstream.

"Concussion," starring Will Smith (who is up for best actor in a drama for the role), tells the true story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist whose research suggested a link in brain injuries to playing football. His efforts to shed light on the issue were ... let's just say ... not welcomed by the NFL.

Will Smith is nominated for his role in "Concussion." Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images.

The film, released on Christmas, got some important facts wrong about the real story (and then possibly took it easy on the NFL out of fear of ruffling feathers), so it faced its fair share of criticism. But it came on the heels of more recent research from the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University that found a whopping 87 out of 91 deceased former NFL players examined by analysts tested positive for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative disease of the brain, The Atlantic reported. So it seems like Omalu was onto something important (and I'm glad Will Smith is helping move the discussion forward).

3. Feminist storylines are dominating this year's categories.

Feminism: Yes, it may have been one the clickiest, trendiest buzzwords of 2015, but that doesn't mean it didn't push gender equality forward offline as well.

Melissa McCarthy is nominated for her role in "Spy." Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images.

There are plenty of nominees to choose from in both TV and film categories that feature feminist characters and themes. "Mad Max: Fury Road," "Inside Out," "Spy," "Trainwreck," "Orange Is the New Black," "Transparent," and so many others — all empowering, thought-provoking, complex, depictions of women that, in ways both big and small, throw outdated gender norms out the window.

Also, can we take a moment and appreciate the amount of feminism squeezed into the Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy category this year? Lily Tomlin? Amy Schumer? Jennifer Lawrence? Yes, please.

4. And speaking of women killin' it, take a look at the nods for best film.

One quick scan over the Golden Globes' top film nods proves 2015 was a stellar year for leading ladies and the films they starred in.

Jennifer Lawrence is nominated for her role in "Joy." Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images.

Three of the five films up for Best Comedy or Musical feature women in lead roles (shout out to "Joy," "Spy," and "Trainwreck") — an impressive feat considering that — yes, even in 2016 — we're still arguing whether woman are as funny as men. And films featuring female leads aren't just snagging nominations, by the way — they're cleaning up at the box office, too.

What's more, in the Best Drama category, female-led "Carol" and "Room" are nominated, along with "Mad Max: Fury Road," which featured a helluva badass (and feminist) performance from Charlize Theron.

5. For the second year in a row, LGBTQ characters and their stories are sharing the spotlight in powerful ways.

This year's awards will continue 2015's groundbreaking year of content giving a voice to LGBTQ characters and their stories.

Jeffrey Tambor is nominated for his role in "Transparent." Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Movies like "Carol" (which tells the story of a lesbian love affair) and "The Danish Girl" (a biopic about Lili Elbe, one of the first-known recipients of gender confirmation surgery) are up for big nods. And in the TV realm, trailblazing series like "Transparent" and "Orange Is the New Black" continue being recognized for their thoughtful, eye-opening storytelling and characters.

Although some have criticized "Transparent" and "The Danish Girl" for casting cisgender actors in roles that should be reserved for trans folks (who face enough casting discrimination as is), it's difficult to argue projects like these haven't expanded visibility and promoted inclusion in big ways.

So there you go. If you didn't have a reason to watch the Golden Globes 2016, now you have five.

From opening doors for marginalized communities to shining a light on public health concerns, the Golden Globes are proving themselves relevant in 2016. Bravo! (And, if for no other reason, you can always tune in to see if anyone goes overboard at the open bar.)

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

via @Todd_Spence / Twitter

Seven years ago, Bill Murray shared a powerful story about the importance of art. The revelation came during a discussion at the National Gallery in London for the release of 2014's "The Monuments Men." The film is about a troop of soldiers on a mission to recover art stolen by the Nazis.

After his first time performing on stage in Chicago, Murray was so upset with himself that he contemplated taking his own life.

"I wasn't very good, and I remember my first experience, I was so bad I just walked out — out onto the street and just started walking," he said.

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