TV Review - 70th Golden Globes

Tina Fey (left) and Amy Poehler
host the 70th Golden Globes on NBC
The 70th Golden Globes aired on January 13, 2013 on NBC. Tiny Fey and Amy Poehler hosted. Ricky Gervais will go down as the most brutally funny host ever, but a host should be able to charm the crowd as well as be able to stab it every now and then. Gervais never really was able to charm the Hollywood-types in that room. Fey and Poehler don't have that problem. They did a fantastic job as hosts. The myriad of tweets that I saw as I live-tweeted the ceremony told me so. I've been watching the Golden Globes for over a decade, and I'm just going to go on record and say that because of Fey and Poehler, along with the various things that followed, this is probably the best Golden Globes that I have ever seen.

It all started with Fey and Poehler's seven-minute opening monologue, which you can watch on Hulu. Their jokes were great. The James Cameron joke in particular was hilarious. The two of them have great chemistry. They work so well together. They both got their starts on Saturday Night Live, where they were two of the best things to come out of it and it's no surprise that the two of them got their own TV shows. Fey is leaving her critically-acclaimed 30 Rock to pursue films, but not before she gave us seven seasons of tremendous television.

As most hosts do, they two of them disappeared for the majority of the three-hour telecast, but they managed to pop up here and there in clever and creative ways. Both Fey and Poehler dressed up and posed as fake nominees for several of the categories. Just as they've done for other award shows that they haven't hosted, they've even turned losing awards into comedy gold.

When I watch an awards show, I mainly watch to see who's going to win and if they're going to give entertaining speeches. The Golden Globes honor both film and television. When it came to TV, Homeland and Game Change were the big winners. When it came to film, Les Misérables and Argo were the big winners. Ben Affleck got on stage a couple of times, the first time because he won Best Director.

Jessica Chastain in a beautiful Calvin Klein dress won for Best Actress for Zero Dark Thirty. What was interesting is that Chastain's win cemented two trends at the Globes that night. Julianne Moore won for playing Sarah Palin in HBO's Game Change and Damian Lewis won for playing marine and accused-terrorist Nicholas Brody in Showtime's Homeland. All three, Chastain, Moore and Lewis are red heads.

Chastain won for Zero Dark Thirty playing an intelligence analyst named Maya hunting Osama Bin Laden. Claire Danes won for playing the bipolar intelligence agent Carrie Mathison in Showtime's Homeland. Affleck of course won for directing and producing Argo, a story about Tony Mendez, a real-life intelligence agent who secured the safe passage of trapped Americans in 1979 Iran. With the wins of Chastain, Danes and Affleck, along with the actual Mendez who appeared to introduce Argo, the Globes this year was really a celebration of the CIA.

Mendez's appearance is nothing special. When actors play real people who are still alive, those real people often show up at the awards. Claire Danes won a few years ago for playing Temple Grandin, the real-life autism activist and Grandin was practically by Danes' side the whole evening.

The appearance that really stole the show was former President Bill Clinton. President Clinton surprised the audience to a standing ovation before introducing Steven Spielberg's Lincoln. Reports say that Spielberg befriended Clinton and procured the President's appearance during a recent screening of the 12-time, Oscar-nominated film.

I generally liked all the acceptance speeches. My favorite was Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook. She got on stage and proclaimed "I beat Meryl." She also turned to her producer Harvey Weinstein and said, "Harvey, thank you for killing whoever you had to kill to get me up here." Anne Hathaway who won for Les Misérables gave a less funny and more beautiful tribute to Sally Field. It went pretty long but I liked it. Adele's speech after winning Best Song for Skyfall was good as well. I'll also put Kevin Costner who won for Hatfields & McCoys in the like column.

The speeches I didn't like were mainly for movies or TV shows I didn't think were worthy. This includes Lena Dunham for Girls and Mark Andrews who won Best Animated Feature for Brave. Andrews said that this year was a good year for animation. I could not disagree more. 2012 was a disappointing year for animation.

The other speech I'm not sure I liked was the one by Alex Gansa, the head writer and producer of Homeland. He addressed the criticism the show received for Season 2. He tried to use the Golden Globe win as a defense against the criticism. I personally don't share in the naysayers of Season 2, but even I recognize that his acknowledgment and the way he tried to deflect it in that moment was probably bad form. One twitter user even commented how Gansa's speech was filled with spoilers in the least.

Then, there were the series of funny, awkward, weird and stunning moments that just kept coming and coming out on the Golden Globes that night. The first was when the HFPA President asked Bradley Cooper to "call her maybe." The second was when Paul Rudd clearly experienced a TelePrompTer malfunction and created what felt like an eternity of dead air. The third was Tommy Lee Jones' reaction shot during Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig's comedy bit, which he clearly did not appreciate.

I wouldn't be surprised if it was planned, but Arnold Schwarzenegger, an actor from Austria, ended up presenting the Best Foreign Language Film to Michael Haneke, the filmmaker from Austria, for Amour. Schwarzenegger actually presented with Sylvester Stallone, his co-star in The Expendables 2. The two had a funny bit about who has a better master of the English language and it was a bit of a toss-up.

The only thing that came close to Ricky Gervais-level humor was when Sacha Baron-Cohen presented the award for Best Animated Feature. Before he gave out the award, he basically slammed his co-star Russell Crowe and his singing in Les Misérables. He only said what everyone walked out of the theater saying and that was Crowe's singing left much to be desired.

But, the most controversial moment of the night was Jodie Foster's acceptance speech for her Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. Some people liked it. Some people hated it. Some people were confused by it. I look at it as a positive, which I think is how most people took it. Because of the rumors that Foster is gay, a lesbian woman, the speech felt like it was her public coming out. On twitter, A-list celebrities who have had issues around coming out publicly as gay like Ricky Martin and Rosie O'Donnell immediately praised her. Others weren't so supportive.

The thought that she left was that of privacy and maintaining a private life despite the celebrity and Internet tabloid culture that has destroyed privacy on any and all levels. Obviously, there are gay people and specifically gay-rights activists who argue that all public figures should come out and be proudly out and march in parades and be fierce advocates all the time. I can't or won't criticize a person for how they chose to live their personal life. I guess some people might say that if she lied, when asked about it, that's a problem, but maybe her point is why would anyone ask who she has sex with. What does that have to do with her job?

Five Stars out of Five.
Rated TV-14.
Running Time: 3 hrs.


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