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Golden Globe Awards Review: Checking Boxes Doesn’t Make for an Entertaining Show

Annual HFPA honors doesn’t live up to its boozy fun and off-the-cuff reputation

Sunday’s Golden Globes telecast had the right hosts, the appropriate amount of surprises, some serious moments, several tight races and ended on time. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the show’s producers can certainly check all the requisite boxes, but that doesn’t mean it adds up to an entertaining show.

The show started on the right foot with hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey‘s rapid fire opening takedown of Hollywood and its wares. They picked all the right notes of the last year, including the Sony hack attack and the allegations against Bill Cosby.

But, it seemed all the fun was front-loaded. And by fun, I mean there just wasn’t enough of Poehler and Fey throughout the ceremony. Call me greedy. I did appreciate the addition of Margaret Cho as a demanding North Korean journalist.

The HFPA definitely lived up to its reputation of honoring new shows and actors for the first time. There were some I cheered for (Gina Rodriguez, “Jane the Virgin,” “Transparent”) and a couple I didn’t like (Ruth Wilson, “The Affair”). But, overall they seemed to get it right. TV is so blessed right now with so much good work that these races can become so close and almost impossible to say any winner didn’t deserve the nod.

It was a tightly-run evening — again, the producers met all the basic requirements. But in the end, there was a spirit of the show that was missing on Sunday. Usually quite the party, Sunday’s telecast felt serious, even flat.

Maybe, it’s the toll of the Sony hack, the allegations against a TV legend like Cosby and the terror attack on Charlie Hebdo that preceded these awards that contributed to sucking out the elements of the boozy party we’ve come to expect: mistaken teleprompter reads, off-the-cuff acceptance speeches and a levity in the stars that allows them to loosen up a bit and let down their hair. It’s a shame, because after the times we’ve just had we could’ve really used more laughs.