Meryl Streep aside, the 2017 Golden Globes was Textbook 101 in why award shows without live performances shouldn’t be on television at all.
(TL;DR: Being a public figure calls for a modicum of self-awareness, a trait these award shows and their attendees lack in shovels and spades.)
Why do we watch ceremonies like the Golden Globes in the first place? The 3 G’s: The glitz, the glamor, the gossip.
What don’t we watch for?
These broadcasts, year and year again, repeatedly show a willful ignorance of this fact. Instead, they opt for self-indulgence, not unlike our buddy King Lion here:
3 Compelling Reasons Why the “Award” Part of Award Shows Need Not Be on TV:
1. The lack of entertainment on a show celebrating entertainment:
We love Jimmy Fallon, but boy, did he fail Sunday at this whole hosting thing. Keeping with the theme of self-indulgence, Fallon opened with, in lieu of a raunchy, satirical monologue like his predecessors, a cutesy cold open that only those who have seen the film La La Land (which is 2% of Golden Globes viewers) will appreciate. The rest of the night was spent with him doing the intermittent ’80s hip-hop parody… because.
As someone who has watched the Oscars, Grammys, Golden Globes, etc. with glee from a very young age, I have only noticed this pattern in adulthood: The shows that invite cynicism from the viewers (mainly due to boredom) are ones that provide little in the way of comedy and/or live performances.
The Oscars, while still managing to be way too long each year, at least sprinkle musical performances throughout the evening. The Tonys are very much a show in that their theatrical skits encapsulate the magic of what the night was meant to celebrate in the first place. Same can be said for the Grammys; each year, people tune in for their favorite artists’ performances of their latest and greatest, capitalizing on the Grammys’ huge production budget.
Then there are “shows” like the Golden Globes and Emmys, which rely entirely on the talents of the host to eke by, praying for controversial moments that will end up talking points the following week. In the past, Ricky Gervais and the dynamic duo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have buoyed the Globes with politically incorrect jokes taking direct aim at Hollywood inhabitants in the room, assuming the point of view of those at home. When we the viewers hear Tina and Amy joke about where Leonardo DiCaprio likes his supermodels or a tipsy Ricky Gervais demand Mel Gibson explain what sugar t*ts are, we feel included in the night. A part of the glamor and self-celebration.
2. The insufferably self-important speeches relevant to no one not in the industry:
Ok, Meryl, try to “empathize” with this:
On a show in which every movie star is decked out like a show pony and liquored up to the nines, someone suddenly taking a moment to preach their political views to the masses is not only being tone-deaf, but appearing to hijack the entire night’s spotlight for themselves.
Besides Meryl Streep, Tom Hiddleston also failed to get this memo (or just ignored it in true lack of self-awareness). Accepting his trophy for his role in AMC’s The Night Manager, Hiddleston also took home the win for Biggest Humblebrag of the Night. He told a long story about how, on a trip to South Sudan, a bunch of Doctors Without Borders had approached him and claimed they binge-watched his miniseries while working to lend help to the war-torn region. Hiddleston declared how moved he was by “the idea that we could provide some relief and entertainment for people who are fixing the world in the places where it is broken.”
Essentially, he patted himself on the back for lending entertainment to the people risking their lives helping the less fortunate in Sudan. Scandal star Joshua Malina summed it best when he tweeted:
“Thank you to Tom Hiddleston and all actors who dare to perform in projects that are shown in some of the most dangerous parts of the world.”
3. The Inevitable Technical Malfunctions:
Not all actors are blessed with the gift of improv, which is fine, except when the Teleprompter fails and they have nothing to read.
Every goddamn year, without fail, the Golden Globes has at least one instance of this. This year, it happened as soon as Jimmy Fallon made his way to the stage. What we, the entertain-ees, are left with, is a steaming pile of blushed cheeks and Fallon hemming and hawing. What is it with Dick Clark Productions and uncoordinated tech? Maybe Mariah Carey is onto something. Maybe DC Productions is not trying to purposely sabotage the poor souls on stage, and ruin the viewing experience for all, but one does wonder: Are they comfortably incompetent because they are passively chasing that “moment” in this age of instant viral social media?
The 3 positives from this year’s Globes?
People who still wanted to entertain… and Me:
Steve Carrell and Kristen Wiig:
Blake Lively? She’s Been Slacking since Gossip Girl!
We watch the Golden Globes because it’s a guilty pleasure, much like the Real Housewives of [insert city]… Not one of us watches in hopes that Meryl Streep will share her stunning sociopolitical belief that Hollywood actors are in the marginalized segments of society… or that Clint Eastwood will start stumping for Trump.