The Best and Worst of the Golden Globes | Modern Society of USA

The Best and Worst of the Golden Globes

The Best and Worst of the Golden Globes

The Golden Globes on Sunday featured a number of upsets and rousing thank-yous as well as flubbed intros and snoozy speeches. Here are the highlights and lowlights as we saw them:

After the Golden Globes hosts Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg delivered a largely safe opening, going out of their way to praise the work of Hollywood, Oh hit a surprisingly emotional note about representation in the film and television industry and gains in diversity onscreen and off. She was referring to several films this awards season that feature people of color, and her hosting gig was itself a barrier breaker: she was the first Asian woman to front a major American awards show. Oh told the crowd that she had signed on as host because “I wanted to be here to look out into this audience and witness this moment of change.” She acknowledged that the progress could be temporary, saying, “I’m not fooling myself. Next year could be different.” But, she concluded, “right now, this moment is real.” As if to prove her point, the Globes rewarded a notably diverse group of actors, directors and stories. — Sopan Deb

[Read a transcript of Sandra Oh’s comments.]

But Oh’s comments followed one of Samberg’s continuing niceness roast segments. It’s a fun enough idea, but it never quite landed, and segueing from that ironic niceness to Oh’s genuine earnestness just set everything off on a confusing, slippery start. The pacing never quite recovered. Presenters flubbed their intros, and commercials came at the wrong spots. The sound mix made it seem like the house was talking over the show, and even Carol Burnett couldn’t right the ship. — Margaret Lyons

[Read our review of the Globes telecast.]

Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph brought a welcome silliness to the stage, first by joking around about supporting actors as a category and then with a faux proposal from a hyper-jittery Rudolph. It was short and goofy and most of all it looked like fun, in contrast to the largely joyless and desultory intros that preceded it. — Margaret Lyons

“The Americans,” which ended its six-season run last year, had been a critical darling since its debut, but it never seemed to get much award-show love — a shame, and a dumb shame at that. This was its last chance and thus a real relief when it won for best drama. Oddly, that award was handed out early in the telecast and without any buildup, so it seemed abrupt and hurried, but a win’s a win. — Margaret Lyons

[Read about the finale of “The Americans.”]

Television has always felt like an afterthought at the Golden Globes. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association didn’t start giving out prizes for TV until 19 years into the awards’ existence. So it seems apt that it took more than half a century to get around to inventing a lifetime achievement award for TV. And yet it also seems right that the award be named after its first winner, Carol Burnett, who took the stage and ruminated on her good fortune to have been able to make a weekly variety show with a lot of moving parts.

Burnett was poignant and touched. But she was also funny, bluish in fact. And her humor had a kind of vestigial power. She knew she represented a kind of rear-guard entertainment that is disappearing from television, despite there being more television than ever, and has vacated the movies. On “The Carol Burnett Show,” Burnett was a zillion different people and yet somehow always herself — this vivid, voluble weirdo technician. Two of the night’s big movie nominees — “Vice” and “Green Book” — were made by the writers and directors of “Dumb and Dumber,” “Shallow Hal,” “Anchorman” and “Talladega Nights.” They’d gotten serious of late — or at least less funny. Farce has given way to greeting card and jeremiad. Burnett, too, went dark for a spell — in movies. But seeing her accept her own achievement award was a reminder that it’s not just TV that’s an afterthought but maybe laughter, too. — Wesley Morris

[Read more of Carol Burnett’s speech.]

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