Conclusion: I Still Don’t Have An Answer
Bottom line: do I want to bury the Golden Globes or praise it? Honestly, having learned some new info, my opinion has changed a little. As if I heard wasn’t bad enough, there’s the fact that the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press have spent much of their careers demanding tributes from so many of the people who work in the industry. Many publicists have gotten exhausted giving the same speech excusing so many of the practices the HFPA members have made. And that’s before you get in to some of the more bluntly racist attitudes that many of the members have made to African-American actors.
Despite all of that, however, I have a very hard time rejecting the Golden Globes as irrelevant. They may not mean to do it, but the fact is they still do recognize a lot of great television that the Emmys have decided to ignore for more than twenty years. Maybe it’s something as simple as their acknowledgment of the WB and the five nominations in major categories they gave to it during its existence — nominations that Sarah Michelle Gellar and Lauren Graham never got from the Emmys and an award for Keri Russell for Best Actress for Felicity way back in 1999. Could they have done more? Maybe, but that’s still five more nominations than the Emmys were ever willing to give it.
I don’t know if the Golden Globes can survives the blows they have taken in the next year. But Hollywood, which as we know is all about the here and now, is more concerned about what award show to put in the gap that they well be facing this coming January.
The obvious answer is the Broadcast Critics which do everything the Golden Globes do, tend to make just as many interesting nominations and award, and have the possibility for genuine surprises. (You can’t get more shocking than a tie, which the average Critics Choice manages at least once a broadcast.) Now there are good reasons why this might not work — it’s always struggled for ratings on smaller network, but the major problem, according to Hollywood, seems to be no one will watch an awards show with ‘critic’ in the title.
OK, I’ve been calm this entire project, but now I think I do have to vent, because I do view this as an attack on my profession. Deep Breath:
WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?
The Broadcast Critics and the Golden Globes are basically the same show. They give out the same awards — hell, the Broadcast Critics actually have resolved the very problems I have with the supporting awards. They take place in a banquet hall where drinks are served. The Broadcast Critics have a bigger and probably (I won’t say for sure) more diverse membership than the Hollywood Foreign Press. They have a better record with diversity in all the definitions of that term than the Golden Globes does. And honestly, the last several years, they’ve been much more entertaining. And you’re hung up on the fact CRITICS give the awards?
At least you know up front what critics do. You may not like it, but they’re honest about it, and frankly, many of the recipients of the prizes are grateful to them. I’ve been watching the Golden Globes for more than a quarter of a century and I’m still not sure who the Hollywood Foreign Press is and what they do. And not for nothing, the Hollywood Foreign Press is made of journalists choosing winners. How is that any different from what Broadcast Critics do? Why are critics doing the same job and not causing any trouble somehow worse than journalists who are?
It’s bad enough that so much of what movies and TV has become over the last couple of decades has rendered criticism harder and harder to make relevant. How can anyone hope to say film criticism matters when all that matters is box office? And not for nothing, the Golden Globes took a lot of abuse over the films it’s nominated over the years even though they tend to recognize the same films that critics associations do. Don’t pretend that critics are a dirty word; just beside you’ve decided it is.
Now I know there will be ramifications throughout Hollywood the next several months without the Golden Globes which may end up doing a lot of damage to both the institution and the business that may be hard to repair after everything else that has hit the movie and TV business hard this pat year. But despite all of this — maybe I am being a cock-eyed optimist — I still think the Globes, at least when it comes to TV, are worth saving. It may take a lot of hard work — something I know the world and the HFPA in particular has been loathe to do — but I think its worth trying. The only thing about the ceremony I wouldn’t miss is Ricky Gervais. Otherwise, try and fix it. The TV part of it does need, at least a little, the Golden Globes.