Photo by Jenn Murphy

Last night, the 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards Ceremony aired on NBC. Hosted by Ricky Gervais, the show celebrated the best (or at least, the best according to the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association) in television and film. The Globes are known for their more fun and laid-back nature in comparison to the generally more stuffy and serious Oscars, but last night’s ceremony didn’t feel very fun. Sure, there were some exciting and surprising wins (and a few that were very, very predictable), but the night overall felt a little flat.


Gervais, returning to the host position after two years hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, seemed a bit out of place and behind the times. In his monologue he joked about Charlie Sheen and Caitlyn Jenner, two stories that might have been topical a few months ago, but not now. Later on in the night, he also had a strange encounter with Mel Gibson that came off as more uncomfortable than funny. Throughout the night there were shots of celebrities in the audience, clearly unsure of whether or not they should laugh. Tina and Amy made it so easy with their jokes that were equal parts biting and fun. Gervais, on the other hand, comes off as way too antagonizing, and it really brought the night down.


On the TV side of things, the winners could basically be summed up in three one-word questions: “Who?”, “What?”, and “How?” The “Who?” would go to Rachel Bloom, who won “Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy” for her starring role on The CW series “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” Don’t get me wrong, I actually love “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (you can read more about my love of it here), but it’s not exactly a ratings bonanza, and up against previous winners like “Jane the Virgin‘s” Gina Rodriguez, she seemed like a long-shot. But the Globes have a history of awarding newbies, and so last night was Bloom’s time to shine. A surprise, yes, but a delightful one.


Another delightful happening on the TV end, though not entirely surprising, were the two wins for the excellent new USA series, “Mr. Robot.” I’ve already talked about my love of “Mr. Robot” on this blog (seriously, if you haven’t watched it yet you’re insane) and the Globes clearly agreed, awarding the show “Best TV Series, Drama” and “Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television” for Christian Slater‘s performance as the titular Mr. Robot. This wonderful series of events could have only been made better if Rami Malek, “Mr. Robot’s” mysterious yet endearing lead, had won “Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Drama.” That predictably went to “Mad Men‘s” Jon Hamm. Oh well. There’s always next year!


The “What?” that I mentioned earlier applies to the other very surprising wins in the TV Comedy categories. “Mozart in the Jungle,” a little-known Amazon Prime series, won both “Best TV Series, Comedy” and “Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Comedy” for its star, Gael Garcia Bernal. Based on the reactions in the audience (and the reaction online), it’s clear that like “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”, “Mozart in the Jungle” isn’t exactly on everyone’s radar. I had only heard about it in passing before last night. But I can imagine that won’t last for too long now that it has this awards season attention. It’ll be interesting to see if the Emmys choose to recognize it in the fall.


And now onto the “How?” This referred to Lady Gaga‘s completely surprising (and a little bit ridiculous) win in the “Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television” category for her performance on the current season of “American Horror Story.” As a viewer of “AHS,” I can tell you that it has seriously declined in quality since season one and the current season has taken the show’s campy absurdity to a really unpleasant level. Gaga’s performance isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just not very memorable, which makes it all the more surprising that she won against people from quality shows like “Fargo” and “American Crime.” Gaga seemed genuinely surprised and happy by her win though, so I guess I shouldn’t complain too much.


Other, less surprising wins in the TV realm included “Wolf Hall” for “Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television,” “Show Me a Hero‘s” Oscar Isaac for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television,” “The Affair‘s” Maura Tierney for “Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television” and “Empire‘s” Taraji P. Henson for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Drama.” That last one was fun; Henson handed out cookies (her character on “Empire” is named Cookie Lyon) to people in the audience as she walked up to accept the award, and called out the TelePrompTer when it told her to “wrap it up.”


The movie side of things wasn’t nearly as exciting. “The Revenant” took home “Best Motion Picture, Drama”, “Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama” for Leonardo DiCaprio and “Best Director” for Alejandro G. Inarritu. That movie truly looks exhausting, but it also looks like it’s going to be the one that finally gets Leo that Oscar. It’ll definitely be interesting to see how all of that shakes out. Other wins on the Drama side included the wonderful Brie Larson winning “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama” for “Room,” Kate Winslet winning “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture for “Steve Jobs” and Sylvester Stallone winning “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture” for “Creed.” Stallone, who had never won a Globe for any of his previous turns as Rocky Balboa, received what looked like a standing ovation. Even though I had hopes that Paul Dano would win for his amazing turn in the fantastic “Love and Mercy,” it was nice to see Stallone finally get a win.


“Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy” went to “The Martian,” and “Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy” went to its star, Matt Damon, which is interesting because “The Martian” is definitely not a musical or a comedy. Neither is “Joy,” which won Jennifer Lawrence her third Golden Globe, in this case for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy.” It would be lovely if the Globes would recognize actual comedies in the comedy category, like the hilarious “Trainwreck” or “Spy” (both nominated), but that’ll never happen. The comedy category at the Globes seems to solely be for the purpose of giving films that are good (or in the case of “Joy”…decent?) but have no chance of winning in the packed drama category a moment in the sun. It’s nice I guess, but a little disappointing.


Other wins in the film categories included “Inside Out” for “Best Animated Film” (duh), “Son of Saul” for “Best Foreign Language Film,” Ennio Morricone‘s “The Hateful Eight” score for “Best Original Score, Motion Picture” and “Spectre‘s” “Writing’s on the Wall” for Best Original Song, Motion Picture.” The great Denzel Washington won the Cecil B. DeMille Award, and brought his family up onstage with him. He also forgot his speech and his glasses, which was charming in a “silly dad” kind of way.


So that was the Golden Globes, not as good as previous years, but at least in terms of winners it wasn’t a complete disaster. What did you think? Did you like it? Happy with the winners? Have any ideas for a host to replace Ricky Gervais next year? My vote is on Andy Samberg, who nailed it as the Emmys host last year and was more charming in his brief moment as a presenter last night than Gervais was all evening. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. And, before I forget…


Stay classy.