Roush Review: The Glittery, But Hardly Golden, Globes

Matt Roush
Ricky Gervais, Golden Globes 2016
Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Golden Globes - key artThe best thing about any year's Golden Globes show is that it doesn't take itself all that seriously. And honestly, how can you not laugh at an awards show that honors The Martian as a comedy—twice!

On the other hand, maybe the worst thing about Sunday's Golden Globes show was watching celebs try too hard to be funny, a mostly sorry spectacle that hit bottom early with Jonah Hill's feeble masquerade as the Revenant bear. Or in the case of host Ricky Gervais, not trying hard enough. Feigning a kill-me-now attitude of utter disdain and bleary-with-beer boredom, which was all too easy to share as the night dragged on, he was at his funniest when aiming his contempt at the Globes themselves: "If you do win tonight, remember that no one cares as much about that award as you do. Don't get emotional. It's embarrassing, OK? That award is, no offense, worthless."

Jonah Hill, Golden Globes 2016

Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Oh, Jonah.

A joke that took on a bitter sting of truth as the glamorous Lady Gaga was rewarded (over Bessie's Queen Latifah and Fargo's Kirsten Dunst, to name a brilliant few) for her hollow performance in American Horror Story: Hotel. She said she felt like Cher the night she (deservedly) won the Oscar for Moonstruck, but the real ghost in the room was that of Pia Zadora, who made the Globes a laughing stock some three decades ago when she was heralded "best new star of the year."

The other TV winners were more satisfying, many for their defiant idiosyncrasy: USA's dazzlingly surreal Mr. Robot taking the top drama prize, a breathless Rachel Bloom accepting for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (another underdog win for the CW) and Amazon's Mozart in the Jungle trumping that same streaming service's Transparent. And who would deny Jon Hamm a victory lap for Mad Men or Taraji P. Henson an opportunity to celebrate her Empire breakthrough?

Still, on a night when the network censors were kept excessively busy—you had to consult Twitter to find out just what Gervais said to his nemesis Mel Gibson—the Golden Globes came off like the ultimate you-had-to-be-there TV event. Presenters kept shushing the rowdy back of the Beverly Hilton ballroom, where stars must have been having a good time. NBC might consider putting cameras back there in the future, because it had to be more fun than the tedious-to-ridiculous antics being shown on stage.


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