The awards fail to rise from the ashes| Trending Viral hub

He golden balloons It used to involve a predictable kind of chaos. The awards were voted on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a small and notoriously corrupt organization with a clear set of biases. (In short: the more famous, the better.) Perhaps as a result, the televised broadcast has always been more relaxed, boozier and less serious than more prestigious events like the Oscars. What lacks authority also lacks pretension, and the Globes at their best (see: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s three-year hosting reign in the mid-2010s) have made the most of their relative lack of stakes. .

But after years of scandalsto pandemic, strikes and pivotsincluding a forced pause From television and after a break with NBC, the Globes spent the run-up to this Sunday’s ceremony (now on CBS) indicating that the institution had changed. For one thing, the HFPA itself no longer exists, replaced by a for-profit company with an expanded and diversified voting body. Some of these adjustments were welcome, even overdue; Hollywood has enough opportunity for nepotism without the title formerly known as Miss Golden Globe. However, the Globes also risked throwing the baby out with the bathwater, or rather, Jennifer Lawrence’s lukewarm chardonnay. If the Golden Globes, the organization, got its act together, could the Golden Globes, the annual celebrity show, still be fun?

Turns out this year’s Globes were still a disaster, but not the kind you like to see. At just three hours, the ceremony was efficient on paper, but seemed endless in practice. With forced jokes, ill-conceived staging, and a woefully unqualified MC, this year’s show was hardly a triumphant return, much less a showcase for a new and improved Golden Globes.

Host Jo Koy He accepted the job less than two weeks ago, after bigger names like eventual winner Ali Wong publicly resigned from the position. Koy’s performance failed to capture attention, but was an inauspicious start to the Globes’ attempted rebrand. Instead of making stand-up appeal to a new audience, Koy’s monologue was filled with embarrassing jokes about “Barbie” breasts and bitter jabs at a crowd that audibly wasn’t on his wavelength. Past hosts like Jerrod Carmichael and Ricky Gervais have gleefully pointed their satirical swords at the Globes. (Unfortunately for Koy, Gervais’ shadow only grew more prominent when his comedic partner won an award in absentia.) The kindest compliment one could pay Koy’s performance, at least from the show’s point of view, is that he was enough of a boondoggle to distract from his employer’s own struggles. Unlike previous years, the Globes’ problems went virtually unmentioned until Robert Downey Jr.’s tongue-in-cheek acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor.

The former Marvel star brought the same sarcastic charm that animated his former character Tony Stark. (“It’s so much fun proving the agents are right!”) But the evening was dominated by hurried, perfunctory speeches from honorees who hardly seemed happy to be there. Highlights, like Ayo Edebiri’s greeting to her representatives’ assistants or Greta Gerwig’s greeting to Noah Baumbach’s inner Barbie girl, came and went quickly, a pace encouraged by an invisible, yet frequently commented upon, countdown clock. . The presenters didn’t seem any more enthusiastic either, with the notable exception of Jon Batiste and Andra Day. Viewers inside and outside the room seemed to take advantage of the couple’s easy chemistry as an oasis in a desert of charisma, a testament to both their own appeal and the lack of standout moments before and after their appearance.

The Globes pulled off the coup of including Taylor Swift in the room by giving her a nomination for Motion Picture and Box Office Achievement, an award practically invented to attract megawatt stars to the Beverly Hilton. But Koy quickly squandered that victory, alienating the pop star with a cheap shot about her presence at NFL games. Swift, an expert at making the most of wordless TV cuts, telegraphed her displeasure with a single swig of her drink. The night was surprisingly free of notable absences, aside from the former Gervais and the team behind “The Boy and the Heron.” But given what they greeted those in attendance, producers may have a hard time attracting stars of Swift’s caliber again. Lesser-known nominees like Christine Vachon, producer of “May Dec” publicly complained about terrible seats on the edges of the house, adding to the impression that a show that bills itself as a big party was failing to satisfy its guests. For viewers, the subdued vibe was palpable and infectious.

Attendees were pushed to the sidelines by a stage that jutted out toward the center of the room, competing for space with an expanded group of nominees. (Each category this year had six candidates instead of the traditional five.) The layout was one of several awkward choices in the show’s design, including a conspicuous lack of acting clips with the baffling exception of stand-up comedy. At one point, Elizabeth Debicki was visibly shocked when a voiceover interrupted some awkward banter between Julia Garner and Jonathan Bailey. After six months of work stoppages, Hollywood is out of practice when it comes to celebrating. While that pent-up demand gave the Globes a theoretical advantage, the show became an exercise in clumsy execution.

“The Golden Globes have No changed!” host Will Ferrell joked, again invoking the elephant in the room where Koy pointedly wouldn’t. The line landed, in part, because it wasn’t true. The royal awards were full of surprises: a reflection of respectable taste mediocre, an eccentricity that is difficult to bribe. Attendees dined on Nobu sushi: real food, not just an endless stream of alcohol. And the telecast lacked what the Globes have traditionally had to offer: the good form of chaos, not the bad one.

Variety’s parent company, PMC, owns Dick Clark Prods. in a joint venture with Eldridge.

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