The Golden Globes Should Never Have Happened This Year. So Why Do I Feel Upset I Didn’t See Them?
As I said when the Golden Globe nominations came out last month, I really didn’t have any plan to cover the results. Despite my belief that the selections that they have made for television during the era of Peak TV is far often superior to the Emmys, I was upset that they decided that even after being banished from NBC this past year and put in disgrace by Hollywood in general, they were going to go through an awards ceremony anyway.
Even after the Critics Choice nominations were postponed from last night to some time in Late February (I hope), I still had no intention of having anything to do with the Golden Globes. They may have decided to perform what amounted to an awards show in exile (there were no stars or audience presence last night which still may not be the weirdest ceremony they’ve ever given) but that didn’t mean I had to pay any attention to them.
Then I saw the list of winners. And I became depressed all over again.
Because here’s the thing: despite all the controversy they’ve endured the last year, all of the nasty discussion that’s come up over the history of Hollywood Foreign Press, the associations vow to change their practices and then the arrogant to go along with business as usual, the absolutely crappy decision to schedule their awards the same night as the Broadcast Critics, their ultimate decision to go through with an awards ceremony in the middle of a pandemic — the quality of the winners on the television side of the Golden Globes was still of the relatively high level they have maintained over the past two decades. If I had observed these awards last night at a ‘normal’ ceremony, I’d be relatively impressed with the caliber of the choices.
I’ve already admitted I don’t like Succession and I’m not going to pretend I’m thrilled that it was chosen for Best Drama, but I’d be pissed if any awards show did so. I can understand why the HFPA decided to pick it. I am glad they chose Jeremy Strong over Brian Cox (who they picked back in the distant era of 2020) because it shows they don’t do as many repeats. And I’ll admit despite my problems with the series, none of them are with Sarah Snook, who took Best Supporting Actress. Would I have preferred Billy Porter or Jennifer Coolidge? Sure. But the Supporting Actress category was a mess long before the Globes got together. And to say I was thrilled when MJ Rodriguez took the Best Actress prize is a genuine triumph for basically the transgender community in particular and for all fans of great television. I imagine there are some people who are probably thrilled that O Yeong-Su won for Squid Game which I now have to get around too.
The Best Comedy choices were generally very good ones as well. Even without having seen Season 2 of Ted Lasso, I would still have likely picked Hacks for Best Comedy (see my previous years top ten list). I have no problem with Jean Smart taking another trophy and as much as I love Only Murders in the Building, I have no problem with Jason Sudeikis repeating.
And the Movie/Limited Series were also a good mix of last year and this one. The Underground Railroad is one of those series that so many people wished had done better at the Emmys then it did. If its fans want to see as a blatant pandering to the problems the HFPA has had with minority picks, they can do so but the fact remains, it was still a good choice. No one would fault the pick of Kate Winslet for Best Actress; if anything the level of competition here was as good, if not better than the Emmys picks. And Michael Keaton’s win for Dopesick does give a sign that he is going to be a prominent contender for this year’s Emmys.
Indeed now that the awards have been given, I’m feeling the first shades of genuine regret that they didn’t hold a ceremony. I would have loved to hear MJ Rodriguez’s acceptance speech and see if it was as good as the HCA’s. I would’ve been delighted to see another standing ovation for Jean Smart and the cheers for Hacks in general. I’d have loved to try and see just how Yeong-Su reacted to his surprise win and what he’d say. And as a fan of everything Michael Keaton does in general, I would have given anything to hear what he said about Dopesick and the opoid crisis in particular. Before the awards were given, I could’ve cared less. Now they seem like a genuine wasted opportunity.
I don’t know what kind of future the Golden Globes has. I don’t know if this ceremony frittered away any potential goodwill they might have earned, and given the charges against them, I’d be stunned if anybody would have thought they had. I don’t know if NBC will genuinely put some conditions before they allow them to broadcast again, or (more likely) if they’ll just shrug their shoulders, say ‘all is forgiven’ and let them back in. Hollywood has a short memory after all. The question is will anyone give a damn one way or another about winning a Golden Globe this year? Will any of the winners, in TV or Movies, actually accept the prize? Will it have the same resonance one way or the other with television or movie awards going forward in 2022? (it was accused fairly heavily of being a bias for the former last year). I don’t have any answer to these questions. All I know for sure is that Golden Globes choices for television this year were as good as I could have hoped for in a normal year and that I would have like to see the winners. (Of course, as long as Ricky Gervais isn’t let anywhere near it.)
As for me, I’ll just keep on following the track. Later this week, I’ll take a look at the SAG nominations for TV which come out tomorrow. I have to say that in the past few years, the nominees and winners have been getting quite a bit more interesting. Let’s just hope the ceremony actually takes place.