With Dean’s Date rapidly approaching, I gave up an eighth of a day to watch the Golden Globes and even more to report on them here. I did that for you, readers, so I hope you forgive me if we disagree about any of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s decisions. Unlike the ceremony and Michael Keaton’s speech in particular, I’m going to keep it concise. Here, then, are the noteworthy moments from the 72nd Golden Globes!
We all knew Amy and Tina would deliver again, and this opening monologue was perhaps their finest yet. The skewering of Bill Cosby was perfect, highly uncomfortable but appropriately so given the seriousness of the allegations against him and the total lack of accountability he has faced to this point. Hard to pick a favorite joke, but in light of Russell Crowe’s recent insistence that plenty of great film roles exist for middle aged women, I might go for this one about Patricia Arquette: “Boyhood proves that there are still great roles for women over forty, as long as you get hired when you’re under forty.” Honorable mention, from Tina Fey: “It took Steve Carell two hours to prepare for his role in Foxcatcher, including hair and makeup. For comparison, it took me three hours to prepare for my role tonight as human woman.”
Joaquin + Amy 4ever
A good number of my teenage years were spent in love with Joaquin Phoenix (I once bought a second hand VHS of Signs because he was in it), and Amy Poehler is a comedy and general life hero of mine. This means I was very happy when Joaquin recently admitted to Jimmy Kimmel that he has a crush on Amy, and even happier when he blew her a kiss during the monologue. They might both be seeing other people at the moment, but can you say power couple?
Gina Rodriguez beats the vets
In a category bizarrely lacking Amy Poehler, Gina Rodriguez of Jane the Virgin took home the Globe for Best Actress in a TV Comedy or Musical. I haven’t seen the show but, from what I’ve heard, her win is well deserved, and she certainly faced stiff competition: her four fellow nominees (Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Edie Falco, Lena Dunham, and Taylor Schilling) have twenty-one Golden Globe nominations between them, and of the group only Rodriguez and Schilling had never won this award before. Before Jane, Rodriguez’s only major TV role was a seventeen-episode stint on The Bold and the Beautiful—it’s refreshing to see a relative newcomer get the acclaim critics all seem to agree she deserves.
Transparent has a dream debut
Jill Soloway’s new and original Amazon show won in both its categories, Best TV Series – Comedy or Musical and Best Actor in a TV Comedy or Musical. I was actually disappointed by the first few episodes I saw, but I plan to watch more because Jeffrey Tambor really is excellent and I think the show has great potential. Tambor plays a transgender woman who is only beginning to come out to her family and friends, and it was extremely heartwarming to see him and Soloway reach out to the trans community in their acceptance speeches. Whatever you make of it artistically, Transparent is certainly doing important work.
Patricia Arquette warming up for the Oscar?
She’s been the Academy Award frontrunner for Best Supporting Actress ever since Boyhood hit theaters, and Arquette’s momentum is not losing any speed. Although I had a few reservations about the film as a whole, I think her performance was wonderful and I hope her Globes win is a sign of more to come.
Weird choices in TV drama
Seeing Kevin Spacey, Ruth Wilson and The Affair take the big three TV drama awards was unsettling and disappointing, even more so considering the shows that should have claimed these prizes were not even nominated. Where was Mad Men? Where were The Americans and Masters of Sex? The fact that none of these got a single nomination is a reminder not to take awards too seriously, but it’s frustrating when they all had such great 2014 seasons. Jon Hamm or Matthew Rhys should have beaten Spacey, and Elisabeth Moss, Keri Russell, and Lizzy Caplan all deserved to win Best Actress. Even Game of Thrones, which I would never put in the category of truly great dramas but which was at least nominated, deserved a win more than the patchy and clichéd Affair.
Progress—but not enough
An inspiring element of these Globes was the recognition of diverse and underrepresented groups, from Gina Rodriguez’s speech encouraging Latinos to “see themselves as heroes” to Maggie Gyllenhaal’s appreciation of increased roles for “actual women” (as opposed to the traditional powerful/weak dichotomy for female characters). Transparent‘s victories were similarly uplifting. Joanne Froggatt called out rape culture in her acceptance speech for Downton Abbey, and as I mentioned before, Amy and Tina didn’t hold back in their monologue. That said, there were still aggravating moments that show we have a ways to go. Whether it was Jeremy Renner commenting on Jennifer Lopez’s “globes” or Kevin Hart repeatedly and aggressively talking over Salma Hayek, the ceremony kept reminding us that this is a male-dominated industry that isn’t always welcoming to women. Let’s not even get into the racist “comedy” bits about Kim Jong Un and North Korea, which made light of a very real and very oppressive regime without even trying to offer any kind of useful satirical comment.
TV still plays second fiddle
I’ve given much more space to TV than to film, in part to counter the Globes’ constant prioritizing of the big screen over the small. The seating chart was a clear demonstration of this bias for film stars, with many of the winning TV actors having to navigate their way to the stage from the far back of the room. With the biggest prizes always left until the end of the ceremony, it was telling that six of the last seven awards were for film. It would be nice to see the Globes pay some more respect to their TV hemisphere.
Who will host now?!
This was the last year for Amy and Tina, which means organizers will be searching frantically for anyone even half as good to take the reins next January. After their sweet and probably very drunk improvisation as presenters, I’ve seen a lot of votes for Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, but my vote goes to a different comedy pairing—Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, creators and stars of Broad City. (Hopefully they’ll be taking some prizes home next time too!)