Golden Globes 2019: Recapping the drunk uncle of awards shows

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Well, that’s three hours of my life I’ll never get back.

But those were the Golden Globes, the grit-your-teeth drunk uncle of awards shows. So what did I expect? This particular Hollywood-pats-itself-on-the-back exercise never takes itself too seriously. Or seems to put much effort into producing a lively, entertaining telecast.

And Sunday night was no exception.

Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh, hosting the shindig (on NBC) because … well, I really don’t know why … were pleasant enough. But they stumbled out of the gate vis-à-vis their opening spoof-y monologue, which was weakly written and tedious — but, thank goodness, was mostly bereft of any gas-baggy political overtones, save for Oh’s over-the-top “is she joking or serious?” moment regarding “faces of change.” Please. #Cringeworthy.

(But I happen to agree with Samberg’s jokey-yet-pointed opening-monologue reference to “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” as a show “that makes audiences sit up and say, ‘Wait, is this anti-Semitic?’” Couldn’t have said it better myself. Touché.)

Samberg and Oh recovered from their initial, borderline-awkward stumble and, for the rest of the telecast, did what hosts are supposed to do — kept the line moving and got out of the way. (Their “Memorable Golden Globes Moments” bit — an homage to themselves — was clever … and short.) Just a thought: Would it have killed Oh, in accepting her Golden Globe for BBC America’s “Killing Eve,” to thank her more-deserving co-star, Jodie Comer, while managing to rattle off a litany of other names? Maybe she just forgot …

All that being said, most of Sunday night’s telecast was standard-issue stuff, including the forced banter between presenters — why does this always have to be a thing? — and the handful of bleeped moments (I could read your lips, Steve Carell) which, I guess, is a way for celebrities to prove they’re “just like us” and fly their rebel flag for one night (hint: it’s not so shocking anymore). Most of the stars were given plenty of airtime in accepting their statuettes; in a Catch-22 sort of way, that also added to the monotony of Sunday night’s telecast. By 9:45 p.m., I was looking at my watch and ruing the fact we still had over an hour to go.

I thought the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which bestows the Golden Globes, was rarely on point with most of its television picks with a few misfires (Michael Douglas for “The Kominsky Method” and Rachel Brosnahan for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”? Really?). Ben Whishaw was great in “A Very English Scandal” and Richard Madden enthralled viewers in “The Bodyguard,” which set viewership records in the UK. Congrats to both, and to “The Americans,” which went out on top, and to Patricia Clarkson  — was there anyone you hated more than creepy Adora in HBO’s “Sharp Objects”? Clarkson was terrific, as was Darren Criss in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” and the miniseries itself, both of which were awarded Golden Globes. I picked “Mrs. Maisel” to win for Best TV Comedy Series — on popularity, not artistic merits — but was glad to see that smarter heads prevailed (the statuette went to Chuck Lorre’s “The Kominsky Method”).

And how beautiful was Carol Burnett’s speech in accepting the inaugural television award named after her — and concluding with her trademark tug-of-the-ear? Her words were heartfelt and raw and appeared to be unscripted, which made them even more powerful.

(One out-of-the-box note, not specifically related to the actual Golden Globes: How great was it to see the Geico “Hump Day” camel again during the telecast? Fun fact: He was voiced by Chris Sullivan, who plays Toby on NBC’s “This Is Us.” One of the Best. Commercials. Ever. And speaking of “This Is Us,” I found Oh’s reference to tissues crass, tasteless and uncalled for when introducing series stars Chrissy Metz, Sterling K. Brown and Justin Hartley.)

I will say this about Sunday night’s telecast: At least it ended (nearly) on time, unlike its Cousin Oscar, who tends to ramble on past midnight. To paraphrase Jeff Bridges in accepting his Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award: Be thankful for the small stuff.

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