Quick: Can you name who won the Golden Globe for Best Picture in the drama category last year? Or the comedy musical? Can you name who won for best actor or actress, in any category? Of course you can’t, and there’s one very important reason for that. It’s because no one gives a sh*t who won a Golden Globe award last year. Or the year before, or any year.
But can you name the hosts of last year’s Golden Globe awards? Of course you can: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who are returning to host this year (and next). And they were outstanding. Hilarious. Perfect. You could not ask for two better people to host the best awards ceremony on television. Can you name the host before them? Of course, you can. It was Ricky Gervais, who for three years running pissed off half the people in the audience to the delight and consternation of the viewers at home (“Oooh. He’s so mean. Who’s he gonna make fun of next?”)
But that’s exactly why it’s the best awards show on television: Because no one cares. There aren’t a lot of Golden Globes predictions. People don’t obsess over who wins and who loses. There aren’t hundreds of thousands of web pages devoted to sizing up the competition, to putting odds on who will win, and ranting and railing against the snubs. Why? Because no one cares. Oh, sure, a newbie actor or actress who has never been nominated before might briefly give a sh*t, but the veteran actors in the audience who lose out to that newer actor or actress don’t care. They sit sh*t-faced at a table with their friends and muster up a, “Awww, isn’t that nice,” before downing another glass of champagne and vowing one day to do a line of coke in the bathroom with the winner.
Some people complain that Golden Globe nominations are often less about talent and more about who would look good at the ceremony, and thus who would bring in better ratings (see, e.g., 2011’s nomination for the horrific The Tourist starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie), but that’s what makes the Golden Globes so great: It’s all about seeing A-list stars drunk and schmoozy, and giving zero f*cks. Sure, maybe a Jim Broadbent or another snooty British actor got overlooked, but they’d have been lousy at the ceremony, anyway. Angelina Jolie, on the other hand, will show her leg, and she’ll bring Brad Pitt, so that every time one of his ex-girlfriends is on stage, we’ll see another Pitt reaction shot, all of which seem to quietly suggest, “Yeah, I banged her. Of course I did. I’m Brad Pitt.”
Sure, there’s some marketing benefit — for few weeks, between the Golden Globe nominations and the Oscar nominations, which basically wipe away all memory of the Golden Globe winners — but even that’s minimal. And actors who do get nominations but aren’t nominated for an Oscar do get to affix, “Golden Globe nominated actor” to their name, which is almost laughable in the way it reinforces the fact that the actor didn’t get an Oscar or an Emmy. “Golden Globe nominee” is just another way of saying, “Not good enough for an Oscar nomination.”
And yet, there’s enough prestige associated with the Golden Globes that practically the same people that show up for the Oscars and the Emmys show up for the Golden Globes, so you still get a roomful of the best actors in the industry, and 50 percent of them are blitzed by the time Adele gets up and accepts an award that means only slightly more than the 48 MTV Awards she has.
It’s all the talent of the Oscars/Emmys, and none of the care. Look: Awards shows are meaningless, but the great thing about the Golden Globes is that they embrace that fact. It’s the Fast and Furious of awards shows: Fast, loose, illogical, and fun; it has the best camoes; and no one will remember a damn thing about it the next year, except that they had a good time. That’s all I’m looking for when I tune in on Sunday night, and I trust that Amy Poehler and Tina Fey will once again deliver.