Airtime: January 10, 2016 at 7 p.m. on NBC
The Golden Globes isn’t an “awards show” like the Academy Awards is an “awards show.” The Golden Globes is a celebration of movies and television that the masses wish they could attend. It’s essentially a party where actors, filmmakers and others in the business mingle amongst each other, enjoy some booze and occasionally look to the stage to see what’s going on. In the case of this year’s event, celebrities remained on high alert to whether or not they will be the butt of one of host Ricky Gervais’s jokes — and this is exactly what this year’s ceremony was about: the jokes.
From 2010 to 2012, Gervais served as host until Tina Fey and Amy Poehler took over from 2013-2015. During the 2013 ceremony Fey jokingly said, “Ricky Gervais could not be here tonight because he is no longer technically in show business” — which may not be too far from the truth. Gervais has a way of bluntly railing on the industry and some jokes may have not sat well with many — but he hosted for three years, so the Globes may be a glutton for punishment.
It’s no surprise that Gervais, coming out each time with a glass of beer, picked up where he left off when he hosted in 2012. He continued his roasting of the industry, injecting a hearty dose of humility. Granted, it was filled with insults, but it was humility nonetheless. His biggest running joke was his complaints about how long the three-hour run time of the ceremony. At one point he said, “This show is way too long, isn’t it?” He continued, “This could be half an hour. The best one was during the writer’s strike when they just read the winners.”
Funny he would say that, because the Globes is probably the most punctual of the major awards ceremonies. They tend to keep things running on a tight schedule and this telecast didn’t seem any different. Winners try to keep their speeches contained in the allotted time, but occasionally some winners will draw it out. Taraji P. Henson beckoned her inner Cookie Lyon when she won her Globe saying, “I waited 20 years for this, you’re gonna wait!” when the send-off music started to play, while Ridley Scott refused to stop his thank you’s when the music tried to push him off. When Leonardo DiCaprio won for Best Actor for The Revenant he ignored the music and took the opportunity to wax poetic about preserving indigenous cultures and territories.
That said, it was funny watching Gervais harp on the ceremony like a child who incessantly says, “Are we there yet?”
Of course, no topic or person was safe from Gervais’s snark. He threw around jokes about Ben Affleck being unfaithful, calling Sean Penn a “snitch”, NBC having zero nominations, Caitlyn Jenner, Angelina and Brad adopting the “adorable Ken Jeong and Kevin Hart,” J. Law’s pay gap essay, Bill Cosby, and called the part of the show where the HFPA President saying a few words more depressing than an “In Memoriam” segment. He even dug into the award and the award winners. “Remember that no one cares about that award as much as you do,” he said. “Don’t get emotional. It’s embarrassing.”
It all came to a head when he came face to face when Gibson came out to introduce a clip to Mad Max: Fury Road. In the 2010 Gervais joked about him saying, “I like a drink as much as the next man… unless the next man is Mel Gibson.” He followed up with that during the 2011 telecast saying, “Our first presenter is beautiful, talented … and Jewish, apparently. Mel Gibson told me that. He’s obsessed.”
When they met, they had a very joking, albeit very awkward (and censored) exchange about a “sugary” term Gibson gave a female body part. It just made everyone in the room and viewers at home uncomfortable.
This is exactly what the Globes are supposed to be. It’s an awards show where the “unexpected” and “unscripted” happens. This year, there were a few other moments comedy that didn’t involve Gervais that attempted to cut through all the ceremonious pomp and circumstance that ordinary awards shows have. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.
America Ferrera and Eva Longoria came out on stage and cleverly took jabs at recent news stories that confused them for Gina Rodriguez and Eva Mendes (that worked very well). Jamie Foxx’s bit where he jokingly announced the wrong winner for Best Score like Steve Harvey announced the wrong winner to Miss Universe (that was funny). Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill had a whole bit where Hill was acting like the bear from The Revenant (that was kind of funny). Then there was that whole thing with Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell which was supposed to be funny.
With all this comedy and “performance” by the presenters, you might forget that this is an actually ceremony where people win awards — and that was probably the most surprising thing about the Golden Globes: the winners. Under-the-radar series and TV shows like Wolf Hall and Mozart in the Jungle took home trophies, while winners like Rachel Bloom from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Brie Larson from Room provided pleasant surprises. Shows and movies like Fargo, The Big Short, and Game of Thrones surprisingly went home empty-handed. The Martian winning for Best Comedy Movie furrowed many eyebrows, while Jon Hamm took one final bow by winning a Globe for Mad Men‘s Don Draper. If anything, the Golden Globes set up a very interesting stage for who will win at the Academy Awards. (For a complete list of winners click here.)
It was the Gervais show, obviously. He moved things along as best as he could — but there wasn’t anything exciting or phenomenal about this telecast. Gervais did what he came on to do with no bells or whistles. The only difference is that he had a whole new batch of celebrities and current events to make fun of. He was the snarky cruise director and it was very hard to tell if he was joking about whether or not he wanted to be there — which means he was doing his job right.
Sitting through the telecast wasn’t a bore, but if you didn’t watch it, you weren’t really missing out on anything spectacular… aside from some hilariously cruel jabs from Mr. Gervais.
Dino-Ray Ramos watches too much TV and laughs inappropriately during dramatic films. He’s a fan of comedy, podcasts, and comedy podcasts. He’s a reformed comic book geek and thinks “The Goonies” is the best movie of all time. When he isn’t stuffing his face with a burrito, he’s thinking about his next trip to Disneyland.
Dino-Ray Ramos | Staff Writer