The winners of the Golden Globes are decided by the 90 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association – 90 members with, let’s say, dubious qualifications – as opposed to the roughly 5,800 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. So, it’s hard to make a claim that the Golden Globes mean much of anything (if we’re going on the assumption that any awards show means anything) other than a good portion of those 90 people liked what the eventual winner did.
Having said that, there’s something I’ve always liked about the Golden Globes. They don’t even try to hide their hypocrisy, which almost comes off as bold. And no one really ever seems to take them too seriously, which is refreshing during months and months of serious awards. It’s fun to watch famous people get drunk and win trophies. And, again, even though we all know the voting body of the Golden Globes isn’t anything to take seriously, they still somehow forge a perception of legitimacy. And, in that case, perception is more important than reality. The Golden Globe winners can’t influence the Oscar nominees (voting on nominations closed last Friday), but they can influence the Oscar winners.
So, what did we learn last night? Let’s count them down:
1. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were great during the 10 minutes we saw them.
This is a little bit of an exaggeration, but there had to be at least one segment cut (they did mention they were running long) because other than the ten and a half minute monologue – which included biting and firmly on-target jokes about the rape allegations against Bill Cosby – Fey and Poehler weren’t seen much the rest of the evening and they were missed. It’s funny, because in the weeks leading up to the Golden Globes, the main draw was “I can’t wait to watch Tina and Amy,” as if we were going to get three hours of Fey and Poehler cracking wise. Instead, we got an ever more serious preceding that, by the end, was dull.
2. The Golden Globes weren’t as fun this year.
Why did this particular Golden Globes feel dull? Again, Fey and Poehler kind of disappeared for most of the last half of the show – but, remember, before Ricky Gervais hosted, the Golden Globes didn’t even have a host and they were still fun – so my money is on the broken air conditioning at The Beverly Hilton, which apparently was so excruciating, one guest passed out during the proceedings. It’s not as fun to drink booze and seem jovial on television when you can’t stop sweating. (And there was a lot of sweating last night.) It would have been fun to write a whole manifesto of How Hollywood’s Self-Seriousness Has Now Ruined The Formerly Dumb Golden Globes, but sometimes the right answers are the obvious answers … it was the broken air conditioner.
3. Boyhood will probably win Best Picture at the Oscars.
Boyhood had already been in the lead, but it took longer for this to happen than in past years, so people remained skeptical. Last night, Grantland’s Mark Harris tweeted:
And he is absolutely correct, but now millions of people watched Boyhood win an award on national television, cementing Boyhood as your now official favorite. Again, it now has the perception of being a winner, which is probably more important than actual facts.
4. Julianne Moore will win an Oscar; Michael Keaton and Eddie Redmayne will battle it out for Best Actor.
Also cementing their perception as winners: Julianne Moore will win a Best Actress Oscar for her performance in Still Alice. And there is a legitimate two-way Oscar race between both of last night’s Best Actor winners, Eddie Redmayne and Michael Keaton (who seemed way more into the idea of winning an award than I thought he would be; also, it was really great he referenced his real name, Michael Douglas, and discussed his family).
5. The Golden Globes are very progressive about TV, almost to a fault.
For whatever reason, the Golden Globe voters don’t seem to like many television series that have been on the air longer than one season. In the world of the Golden Globes, perennial winners like Modern Family can’t even get nominated and things like The Affair, which a good number of people have never even heard of, take home awards. Look, maybe it would be nice if there were a bit of a balance between the Emmys honoring shows that are well past their “sell by” date and the Globes’ fascination with things that are brand new, but I’ll take a show that honors Jeffery Tambor in Transparent over yet another Modern Family win. (And, if nothing else, these shows that are still trying to find an audience will get a boost from the attention.)
Mike Ryan has written for The Huffington Post, Wired, Vanity Fair and GQ. He is senior entertainment writer at Uproxx. You can contact him directly on Twitter.