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The 67th Annual Golden Globes, More Weird Than Wonderful

January 18th, 2010 | Posted by Melanie McFarland in Commentary | TV News

gervaisIf the various awards telecasts were guests at a party, the Golden Globes would be the life of it.  You know what we mean…over the course of the annual awards cycle, we expect Oscar to bring the glamour, the VMAs to bring the scandal, and the BET Hip-Hop Awards to bring the cops. But the Globes telecast is freewheeling, unfettered, well-lubricated. It threatens to catch us off guard by dancing on a table with a lampshade on its head, perhaps while saying something that makes revered Oscar frown and seethe as he swirls the cubes in his tumbler of scotch. It’s a riot because it keeps everyone’s wine glasses full.

Last night, however, our old pal Golden seemed hung over before he even hit the door.  The telecast felt like the longest three hours in the history of broadcasting and – here’s saying something – may actually have been outdone by the most recent Emmys telecast. There’s something very wrong when an Emmys show, even one hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, outshines a Globes telecast hosted by Ricky Gervais.

Indeed, Gervais is bound to take some of the blame here, which is what happens when an awards show that has been host-less for many years decides to make a ringmaster out of a guy whose claim to fame is an especially  uncomfortable brand of humor. We still love Gervais to bits, and we’re definitely going to check out his new HBO series.  Even so, Gervais may not have been the best fit for Hollywood’s annual orgy of high-spirited self-congratulation and drunkenness.  Mind you,  he didn’t detract horribly from the night, but he didn’t add a whole lot to it either.

The acerbic Brit got in a few great jabs after a shaky opening monologue, no question — and the pint of beer he half-heartedly tried to hide behind the podium only emboldened him. The high point came when he stopped pretending to hide his booze and introduced a presenter by observing,   “I like a drink as much as the next man. Unless the next man is Mel Gibson.”

But even those of us who have matters more pressing than worrying about Paul McCartney’s divorce settlement cringed mightily when Gervais made that joke about the Beatle spending a lot of money last year.  And introducing Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler as “Rachel from ‘Friends’ and that bloke from ‘300,’” came off as a little arrogant and lazy.

Then again, what could we expect from The 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards telecast other than a good share of discomfort? It appeared on a network in the midst of a PR quagmire, and was hosted by a guy who a) clearly doesn’t care about being hired for the job again, and b) recently came down decisively on the side of Conan O’Brien, NBC’s problematic red-headed stepchild. The evening was destined to be beset by weirdness even if everything came off without a hitch, and even if “Avatar’s”  Best Picture win in the Drama category hadn’t caused a small uprising on Facebook .

30 Rock’s” Tina Fey acknowledged that on the red carpet moments before the show kicked off when she explained away the drizzle by quipping,  “It’s not rain, it’s just God crying for NBC.”

Having said all of that, the Globes telecast had its share of golden moments, including a few of our favorites listed below. (The complete list of winners can be found here. )

moniqueSay what you will about the telecast, but there’s just no taking away from the evening’s best acceptance speeches.  Listening to “Up” director Pete Docter cite his family as inspiration for the soul-stirring elements of the storyline was simply beautiful, as was “Up in the Air” director Jason Reitman calling his wife  “the fuel to my creative fire.” Mo’Nique, however, set the bar high with an acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama for “Precious,”  that simultaneously touched our hearts and enabled us to forgive her for agreeing to star in “Phat Girlz.”

sevignyWe cannot decide if Chloe Sevigny decided to gather anemones from a reef to make her dress, or if the Juniper Creek Quilting Circle fashioned her something out of their finest Sunday napkins.

–We also appreciated the lesson in Hollywood hierarchy. The orchestra allowed the great Meryl Streep to go on and on (at least she used the time to say loving words about her mother and favorite charity), but being Ivan Reitman’s son will get you nowhere; Jason’s speech was cut short.  The executive producers of “Grey Gardens” deserve credit for talking over the playing-off strains long enough for their “thank you” speech to be deemed a musical number.

George Clooney can pull off a beard at black tie functions. Jon Hamm cannot. Shave, Mr. Hamm…please shave.

barrymoreDrew Barrymore has an underdog complex.  Clearly she didn’t expect to win for “Grey Gardens” although anyone who saw her performance  would tell you that she completely deserved that award. But her long, rambling stammerfest became as odd (sweet too,  but stilll…) as it was inscrutable after about 10 seconds.

–And, can we talk about that dress? What was it with that spiked growth on her shoulder? On Twitter the fabulous Lizz Winstead theorized that it was just evidence of Drew being sensible: “It’s awesome that Drew can go home, take off the dress and scrub the tub with it,” she tweeted.

Julianna Margulies, who won for her performance on “The Good Wife,  thanked CBS, Les Moonves and Nina Tassler for believing in the 10 o’clock drama. That’s what you get for launching her career on a 10 o’clock drama on your network, NBC.

cherCould someone please tell me if Cher’s dress sparkles unnaturally in the sunlight and has an obsessive attraction to Kristen Stewart?

jaymaThree cheers for “Glee” breaking the apparent stranglehold that “30 Rock” was assumed to have had on the Best Comedy category.  To drive home creator Ryan Murphy’s dedication of the award to “anybody and everybody who  got a wedgie in high school,” every single member of the cast wore flawless gowns and suits.  Nicely done, Gleeks!

–Yours truly is not a Beatles fan (I know…don’t kill me….) but even I wanted to spend time with Paul McCartney, who became the de facto elder statesman of the telecast after Harrison Ford did his best to force America into a coma while presenting.  McCartney was darn charming in the audience, and he genuinely made us laugh when he reminded us that “animation is not just for children. It is also for adults who take drugs. ”

If only the Globes were animated.  Oh well…on to the Oscars!

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