Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Golden Globes Are a Joke

If there's one thing the Golden Globes are most famous for (on the movie side, anyway), it's nominating movie stars for unworthy performances just to get them to show up. So following such gems as Nicole Kidman in Birth and Sandra Bullock or Julia Roberts in anything, I was curious: what kind of craziness would the Globes come up with this year?

The answer? The entire musical/comedy category. That's right, the entire category is awful. Now, we knew going into it that this was a weak year in that area. There was no big popular comedy like The Hangover or big Oscar-baiting musical like Chicago, but there were still some decent enough choices they could have gone with. They could have picked a high-quality cult hit like Easy A or Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World. They could have picked a mainstream but enjoyable comedy like Date Night. Or a slightly more serious pick like Love and Other Drugs, which they clearly liked enough to give Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway nods (both totally deserved).

Instead, they took the one serious contender which is a shoo-in to win (The Kids Are All Right) and surrounded it with crap. To be fair, Red was a popular and well-liked movie, so I guess it gets a pass. But the Johnny Depp double dip is exactly the kind of star whoring the Globes are infamous for. Do you know a single person who didn't think Alice in Wonderland was one of the biggest duds of the year? Or a single person who saw the trailer for The Tourist and said "wow, that looks awful"? Followed by critics saying "remember when you said that looked awful? It's just as bad as you think it is." Yet it scored nods for picture, actor, and actress. And Johnny Depp got nominated for both! I'm not even going to bother getting into Burlesque - I think the name speaks for itself. I guess I should be grateful Cher and Christina Aguilera were left out. And at least they had the sense to nominate Emma Stone.

Anyway, the HFPA got most of their star whoring out there so the drama section's a considerably better field. With drama, the Globes like to play at predicting the Oscars, and the five nominees are all likely to make the big 10: The Social Network, The King's Speech, Black Swan, Inception, and The Fighter. The success of the first two was pretty heavily expected, so the only story here is all the love for Black Swan and The Fighter. I think some people online have been underestimating Black Swan cause they think Oscar voters don't know what a good movie looks like. Here's some proof they're wrong. As for The Fighter, this gives it a legit boost and some much-needed buzz to keep it's spot in the 10 (since the movie doesn't live up to the great performances in it). That still won't get Mark Wahlberg in at the Oscars though.

Other things of note in movies: True Grit was completely shut out. Not sure if that means they really didn't like it, or the movie wasn't available to screen at the time they voted. Suspecting the latter. 127 Hours, Winter's Bone, and The Town were all MIA in Best Drama, but none of those were too surprising. The Globes would never go for something as indie as Winter's Bone, or even really 127 Hours, and both still got something (actress and screenplay, respectively). The Town could have used the boost as it's fighting for spot #10 with Winter's Bone, but the nod for Jeremy Renner is a boost enough. And in case you were wondering, yes, the nomination for Halle Berry counts as star whoring.

On to TV, where I have considerably less to say. If the Globe movie nominations are known for star whoring, the Globe TV nominations are known for praising the new and the fresh over the old and the stale. Which often makes the Globes much better than the Emmys, though it also means weak new shows have a better chance than great long-running shows. But in a year with VERY few new breakout hits, this year's crop has a nice mix of both.

On the new front, no surprise to see Boardwalk Empire and The Walking Dead under drama, as they were the only new shows to make any impression this year. It's a strong category overall, as they're joined by Mad Men and Dexter, two shows past the Globes' usual cut-off date that both had great seasons, and The Good Wife, which now seems to really be the only good network drama. True Blood did very well with the Globes the past two years, but after a widely panned season it's deservedly out of favor. And I was happy to see a nod for Idris Elba in one of my personal new faves Luther down in the miniseries category. Though if they were going to reward one Dexter actress, I would have picked Jennifer Carpenter over Julia Stiles.

As for comedy, not a whole lot to say. With nothing new to shake anything up, it's pretty much a repeat. There's a lot of Showtime love with both Nurse Jackie and The Big C in most categories, which I neither support nor oppose. The Office and 30 Rock continue to coast on by with weak seasons cause apparently awards voters don't watch Community or How I Met Your Mother. With Glee less of a force than it was last year, I'd expect Modern Family to take it.

So that's my morning-of reaction. I've been spotty with the blog as of late, but heading into Oscar season I'll try to be on here more reviewing some of the movies in question, keeping you updated on how the Oscar race is shaping up, and of course, my annual top 10 lists for movies and TV. Stay tuned.